by Sarah D Kirchner on November 8, 2019


by Daniel Carrero ’23

cartoon campfire
Photo Courtesy of

Camp was at its end, and they celebrated. Bright smiling teeth illuminated what the absent moonlight couldn’t. Music played and people danced, arms and hips mirrored in swinging shadows. The pitch blackness of the woods was kept at bay by the fire, resting at the edges of the camp, waiting for the light to die.

She sat amongst the campers roasting a marshmallow, making sure not to burn it. Warmth seeped through her blanket and into her bones. “I feel like a marshmallow,” she giggled.

“Georgia, you making a s’more?” Pepe asked, with his hands behind his back. “’Cause it looks like you’re gonna need s’more chocolate!” he said, pulling out a box of Hershey’s.

She laughed, rolling her eyes, “You’re mad dumb, kid.”

They sat together in the midst of the celebration. Hesitant to get close to Georgia, Pepe placed his hand at her side. Georgia felt like the crowd’s eyes were on them. She sat stiff, resisting the urge to grab Pepe’s hand, afraid to glance in his direction. Their silence was an island surrounded by the music and chatter.

Soon only ashes and charcoal were left. The campers, save for Pepe and Georgia, took their energy to the cabin, keeping the music and laughter alive from the night into the morning. Hand in hand, they held each other at a distance as they headed down to the lake. Pepe knew the trail well enough to get through in the black night.

There was no light to tame the dark. It swallowed the sound of rustling leaves and snapping twigs beneath trotting feet. Creatures hidden in inky corners and crevices watched the couple walk, ready to run at the sight of sudden movement. Drooping branches loomed overhead like sleeping limbs, wiggling in the wind to regain sensation.

On the dock their feet hung above the lake. Without light, the murky water offered little reflection. Hands interlocked, the silhouettes of their arms were like ropes suspended in the dark.

Chirping crickets found their place amongst the silence. The lonely evening nudged them closer together, but Pepe was hesitant to respond. Georgia breathed deeply, inhaling the cool, calm air. She brought herself thigh to thigh with Pepe.

“Pepe?” Georgia asked.


“I’m cold.”

“Um, ok,” Pepe replied, putting his jacket across her shoulders.

“Put your arm around me instead.”

“Is this ok?” he asked.

“It’s perfect,” she whispered.

Leaning into his chest, she felt her heart rushing. Her head rested on his shoulder and she scanned the lines of his face. His attention stayed on the water.

“Pepe, look at me,” she said.

He faced her. She pressed her lips to his. The gentle sound of their kiss rippled through the still air.

The End of the Jetty

by Sarah D Kirchner on November 8, 2019


by Sarah McLaughlin ’23


When I step onto the final rock, I turn back to look at the coastline.

The harbor is lined with white boats, nestled like piano keys against the rocky shore. From there, the water extends—past the horizon, beyond anything I can see.

I’ve never reached the end before, but my little brother talked me into it this morning as I started the car and backed out of the driveway. Now he’s sitting there, to the left of my sneakers, stretching his legs out as he watches a seagull play with a crab shell, dragging it up out of the ocean and onto the rock.

“Careful,” I say. “Don’t fall in.”

He doesn’t raise his head. “At least we can say we made it all the way to the end.”

Since the first time I saw it, I’ve wondered if I’d ever walk the whole thing. It’s got to be only a mile at most, but as you get further out, the gaps get bigger, the rocks’ surfaces less smooth. Along the edge, there’s a brown border—dark, glistening, a reminder of the high tide, the encroachment of the sea that could swallow you whole if you take one wrong step. As I walked, I trained my eyes to my feet.

Now, I raise a hand to my forehead to shield my eyes from the sun. It bends, I realize—the whole jetty. It puts me at the perfect angle to see the start from the end, uninterrupted by the in- between.

And it doesn’t look quite as long anymore. And the rocks are just as wide here—now the first ones look narrow.

“Bet I could swim back,” he says.

I glance down at him. He’s looking at the shore, now, too. “No way.”

“I think I could make it to that little fishing boat, at least,” he replies, pointing. “And then I’d call for help.”

“I’d like to see you try.”

“I’m serious. I could do it.” Then he looks at me over his shoulder. “You ready to go?” 

“Almost,” I reply. “Give me a minute.”

There’s a reason people don’t swim out here, out to this point—it would be meaningless. It’s a place that holds no significance outside of the fact that it’s the end of something. It’s the last note in a song. The final step in a running race. The period at the end of a sentence. It’s having tunnel vision as you step from rock to precarious rock, so focused on the destination that you don’t know what to do when you reach it except turn around and look back.

The shore doesn’t look as far away as I thought it would. It doesn’t look as far away as this rock did, shrouded in mist, separated from where I stood by an empty, dark expanse.

Averting my gaze, I tap my brother on the shoulder with the tip of my shoe. “Let’s walk back.”

Photo of the ocean with a jetty

Frederick the Fearful

by Sarah D Kirchner on November 7, 2019


Lady Bug cartoon
Photo Courtesy of


by Gabriela Baron ’20


Frederick the fearful ladybug never learned how to fly. Even his younger sister, Petunia, had mastered the skill. Frederick was among the very few ladybugs that never seemed to mind staying on land.

“C’mon, you gotta learn to be brave, bud!” Frederick’s friend, Duke, exclaimed.

“Dukie, I don’t think you understand the amount of danger I could be in at such extreme heights. What if I get my antenna caught in a tree? Heck, I could forget to flap my wings together and drop straight to the ground. Not to mention the exercise! I’m not built to do that kind of strenuous activity.”

“Ok listen, Mr. Smarty,” said Duke, with a ping of annoyance in his voice. “I’m one of the toughest around here and I really can’t be seen with someone who doesn’t have the spots to take a risk. I mean it will totally RUIN my macho reputation. Besides, asking your friend who is a ladybug to fly shouldn’t be, you know, that absorb.”

“I think you mean absurd,” the frustrated Frederick corrected. “And I don’t see how my actions reflect your life. As my BFF (Bug Friend Forever) you should support me in my views.”

Seeing that the conversation was not going to get resolved today, Duke flew away, knowing that Frederick would not be able to follow him.


The next day, Frederick crawled out from his leaf hut and looked up to see his friends playing bug, bug, butterfly (their version of duck, duck, goose) in the sky. He longed to join them. But the cons outweighed the pros. He had heard stories of new fliers crashing into one another because they didn’t know how to steer and turn correctly. Sometimes crashes even occurred with experienced fliers who had drunk too much mildew and lost control of their coordination. It was all too much for him to think about.

“Hey, Freddy, I’m sorry about yesterday,” Duke said, descending back to the moist earth.

“No, you’re right, Dukie. It is absurd that I can’t fly.”

“Don’t feel bad. I understand why you are circus.”

“You mean nervous?”

“Whatever. I just want you to know that I am here for ya no matter what.”

“Thanks, I just don’t know what I should do.”

“Well, bud, you’re scared of things that haven’t happened yet. Look up: there’s a whole world your bug eyes have never seen. If you don’t take flight, you’ll be missing out. Sure, you’ll be safe in your leaf hut, but do you always want to be living that way, Freddy?”

Frederick couldn’t believe these words came out of Duke’s mouth. Maybe, for once he had a point.

“I’m not courageous like you are. You’re not scared of anything.”

“That’s not true. I’m scared of a lot of things, like losing my muscular body when I’m older.”

“Wow, how scary,” Frederick said, knowing Duke wouldn’t catch the sarcasm.

“I know it is but look at me anyways! Living each day without fear controlling me,” said Duke.

Even though Duke’s example wasn’t inspirational by any means, Frederick didn’t want to be labeled as fearful anymore. He just wanted to be Freddy. He knew today wasn’t the day he would try to fly. But he did decide that he would like to learn.

On the Eve of Samhain

by The Cowl Editor on November 1, 2019


by Clara Howard ’20

As the sun set on the eve of the harvest season, the countryside of Valenlea was awash in yellows, oranges, and reds. Nature brushed fingers of brilliant light against the tops of trees and blew winking kisses of gold to the terracotta tiles of roofs. The royal castle, settled high in the hills above the capital and built of glass and sandstone, burned resplendently in the golden sun. Standing tall, the ancient home of the monarchs cast a proud gaze over the spread of life beneath it. And as the sun smoldered red against the horizon line, the indigo of dusk crept ever closer. Behind it all, gathering in the east and sliding smoothly together, clouds covered the moon. The forces at work had no wishes for any witnesses tonight, after all.


Hidden far beneath the earth, in a dirty, moldy prison cell, a bearded man sat. His head rested against a wall of dirt and stone and his eyes were closed. Only the slight rise and fall of his chest gave any indication that he still lived. His hands were curled into fists, cut off by the heavy, black iron manacles locked around his wrists. A second pair wrapped around his ankles, connected to a short chain embedded in the wall. One of the newer guards ventured the observation that it almost seemed as if the man were waiting for something. Distracted by the subsequent teasing, none of the guards saw the prisoner’s answering smile.


Above the prison, mere moments after the last dregs of the sun disappeared beneath the horizon, an unholy storm broke over the kingdom of Valenlea. Rain lashed at windows and sides of buildings, shattering glass and tearing at brick walls. Water roared down the streets as small streams transformed into furious, churning rivers. Screaming gales of wind brought trees and precious crops crashing to the ground. People panicked as they sought higher ground, only to be swept away by the merciless water. Nature swallowed the cries of Valenlea’s dying as she threw electrifying bolts of lightning to illuminate the sky and rolled great crashes of thunder to shake the ground. Tomorrow, her calm blue skies would shock the humans who feared her, but tonight, she would let her anger rage at them.

Beneath the ground, the prisoner listened as chaos erupted. Water gushed forth from the sewer tunnels, flooding the dungeon cells at a deadly pace. The guards withdrew, clambering up to the surface and abandoning their charges to their certain, watery ends. The man opened bloodshot eyes to watch as black water flooded into his cell. A figure rose from the shallows, cloaked in oily black and wielding a steaming, curved blade. The prisoner scrambled up to stand before the figure. And as the scythe tipped slowly forward, the edges sharp enough to split souls, the man’s bloody, cracked lips twisted into a smile, revealing rotten, chipped teeth and a black tongue. He spread his fingers wide and held his arms out to the reaper, palms facing up. Death had fulfilled his end of the bargain and had come to claim his reward.


High in the hills of Valenlea, the queen watched the devastation that tore through her lands with blurred vision. Tears streamed down her face as her heart found a new home in the back of her throat and sobs caught behind her ribs with each flash of lightning that revealed new destruction. The heavy steps of the king echoed into their bedchamber, and she turned her face into his broad chest, the familiar scent of her husband wrapping gently around her breaking heart. He rubbed a spot between her shoulder blades with  

jerky movements and pressed his lips to the top of her head. She sniffled, wanting to inhale his comforting scent again, but froze. A small kernel of her magic pulsed in the abyss of her stomach, and she sniffed again. Something was wrong. Something was very wrong.

“Alec?” she whispered, her voice muffled against the king’s chest. The queen tried to ease herself out of his embrace, pushing gently against his torso to widen the distance between them. Instead of letting her go, his arms tightened against her back. He crushed her to him, squeezing her until black spots started poking holes in her vision, and it became hard to breathe. Above them, thunder boomed as lightning lit the room. In its echo, she could hear her son screaming, and her head suddenly cleared.

Her magic bloomed, winding its way through her veins and nerves, lending her strength as she struggled against her husband’s embrace. Another cry from her son distracted her, and in that moment, the king reached up and laced his fingers through her hair, wrapping the tendrils around his palm and pulling her head back. As their eyes met, the terror that had been slowly building in her throat erupted from her mouth in a scream. The queen looked at her husband but did not recognize the man who stared back at her with eyes of a monster from the ancient myths. Cloudy grey surrounded onyx irises circling white pupils. His face had gone as pale as the snow covering the peaks of the northern mountains, and his golden hair had turned as black as tar. A cruel smile twisted his mouth as he reached his other hand up to cover her face. With her last breath, the queen released her magic, the ensuing whoosh of air masking the sound of her neck snapping. As the monster and the queen fell, the storm ceased.


The king awoke to golden sunlight flooding his bedchamber. A headache hammered at his skull. He opened his eyes slowly, blinking in confusion. Why was he on the floor? He sat up, a nauseous churning in his stomach as he took in the details of the devastated land outside his windows. A glint of gold in the corner of his eye caught his attention. He turned, and the headache exploded behind his eyes as he beheld his wife, wide-eyed and still, lying on the ground beside him.

His heart pounding and hand shaking, he reached for her. A sob wrenched from his throat when he felt the ice of her skin, the sound aggravating the hammering behind his brow. “No…Mae…” Tears streamed down his face as the sun beat on his back. He closed his eyes, resting his face against her frozen collarbone.

The king struggled to breathe.

The queen was dead.

And he remembered all of it.

A tiara splattered in and dripping blood
Photos courtesy of and

No Place Like Home

by The Cowl Editor on November 1, 2019


by Gabriela Baron ’20

“Do you remember what I told you?” Mom asked nervously.

“Get lost and walk alone?” I said, mocking her.


“Mom, it’s going to be ok. Stop worrying. I’ll be with all my friends.”

It was my first time trick-or-treating without my parents. I was in sixth grade, and my mom and dad were finally letting me be independent! I mean I was 12, so I was practically an adult. I was going out with a big group of boys and girls in my grade (that was the only way they were allowing me to go). Christina was a witch, David was Harry Potter, Kevin and Adam were superheroes, Emily, Katie, Natalia, and Rebecca were characters from Winnie the Pooh, and I was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.

“And don’t let this little stinker get loose either,” my mom said, petting my teacup Yorkie, Snickers. Snickers was dressed up as Toto, Dorothy’s little pup.

After another ten minutes of reminding me of the rules, my parents set me free. It was 9 p.m. The sky was gloomy, and the moon glared down at us. We made a few stops around the best houses in the neighborhood, and my pillowcase grew heavy with full-size candy bars.

“So, who wants to go to this place next?” David said, pointing to an old, wooden house in the distance. Its paint was stripped, and it looked naked without any shutters. “Definitely not one of the girls,” Kevin joked.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I called back.

“It means you girls will chicken out. There’s a creepy man who lives there all by himself. Rumor has it he hasn’t left the house in years,” Kevin replied.

“I also heard that anyone who goes to his house on Halloween never makes it back home,” David added.

“Well, I’ll prove you all wrong. Haven’t you guys watched Home Alone before? The scary next-door neighbor who was always shoveling snow ended up being a sweet, misunderstood father. I bet you this guy’s not bad and these stories are just mean lies,” I argued.

“I don’t think that’s good enough of a reas—” Katie started.

“Oh, please. It’s not a big deal. I’ll be back in five minutes.”

After walking with Snickers for what seemed like longer than I had predicted, we finally reached the front steps. I could feel my heart pounding. You can do this, Ella, you’re basically a teenager now, I told myself. I knocked on the door three times. No answer. I knocked another three times. I thought I heard a sound from within but figured it was all in my head. “C’mon, Snickers, there’s no ‘creepy man’ inside,” I said, walking back down the steps. I heard a door creak open.

“Hello?” said a shadowy figure in a low, raspy voice.

I looked back. “Oh, uh, trick or treat!” I said awkwardly. Snickers’s tail was between his legs.

“Are you here all alone, Dorothy?” The man peered his head out the door. He had beady eyes. I don’t think he ever blinked.

“No, my friends are close by!”

“Well, all the kids already took the candy that was out on the stoop. But I have an extra candy apple inside.” He smiled, showing yellow crooked teeth. He was looking down at my ruby red heels.

“Oh, that’s ok!” I laughed nervously.

“No, really, come on,” he said, motioning me in.

“I’m fine. Thanks anyways!” I turned back around.

“No, I think you should come inside!” He grabbed one of my braids. I struggled to break free. My friends were too far away to hear me shout. His other hand clutched my forearm, pulling me in. My ruby heels made a screeching noise, scraping against the floor. Snickers growled and lunged forward.

“Ow, what the!” The man screamed, letting go of my hair. His ankle was bleeding from the bite.

“C’mon, Toto, we’re going home!” I shouted, yanking on the leash.

Suddenly, spending Halloween with my parents didn’t seem so bad after all.

A spooky cartoon house in all black with red windows
Photo courtesy of

Arctic Summer

by The Cowl Editor on November 1, 2019


A person scaling. mountain against a blue winter backdrop
Photo courtesy of

by Jay Willett ’20

Picks dug into the transparent ice, deep enough for the burly man to gain a footing with his spiked heel. Void of upper body strength, Daniel heaved hard, chuckling at his own physique and exhaustion. It had been Danielle who convinced him. Think about it, she said, the Inner Arctic Circle: uncharted land that not even the great explorers like Amundsen could find. Daniel had reached the edge of the mid cliff, the horizon a mixed magenta and green.

“Wait up!” Danielle’s laugh echoed up the frozen wall. Daniel sighed; his breath misted and fell in front of him. It had been his sister’s idea, yet she couldn’t keep up. Two days of climbing, sliding, camping, and crouching from the occasional polar bear. Daniel had preferred to watch them gallop on National Geographic, safely in the comfort of his own flat in Nova Scotia. That was his problem, Danielle always lectured; Daniel was too comfortable. He was unemployed and she had been traveling across Siberia working in the Peace Corps.

“Cliff bar?” she waved it towards Daniel’s beard.

“I guess there wouldn’t be a time more appropriate than now, eh?”

“I guess not,” Danielle grinned. “Sun’s going down, wanna call it?”

Daniel smirked, and bit into the granola.

“Why? You tired?”

“As if!” Danielle nudged him. “You’re the one panting like a dog; I could hear it all the way back there!”

Daniel nodded. This was his punishment for neglecting the gym for years.

“Better than home though, right? I’m glad we could do this,” Danielle said.

Dusk began to blanket the sun. Night was rare and sparse at the beginning of the summer season. There would only be an hour or two of darkness. Danielle pulled out a flare, Daniel reached for it.

“No, not that—here, use this.” He handed her a firestarter, coated in sap. He always wondered how she got this far in her career despite being so clueless. Sparks feebly flickered in and out with the heavy northern winds. Danielle frowned and spun the lighter in frustration. She had always been determined, Daniel thought. Without her, he probably never would have left the house.

“UrGh – gzzzzzzt” a growl hissed from the ice ceiling on the cliffside. Danielle recoiled, Daniel grabbed his flashlight.

“What was that?!” Danielle whispered. Daniel held his hand up. Cracking sounds boomed on the lake below, audible even from hundreds of feet up. There was no light now; Daniel’s beam was all that was left. He angled it towards the sky.

Ripping sublevels of concrete ice, an arm glimmered through the reflection of the natural mirror. Daniel could see the metal drilling underneath
the surface.

The Path Home

by The Cowl Editor on November 1, 2019


Philips Memorial Library
Photo courtesy of

by Erin Venuti ’20

Amidst a string of warm autumn days in October, there was a cold, dry night the week before Halloween. And it was on this cold, dry night that she noticed the footprints.

She was walking back from the library after a late-night study session for her biology midterm. It was two in the morning and one of the security guards had kicked her out of the library just as it was closing. As a freshman, she might have protested or relocated to Slavin for an all-nighter, but she was a senior now, and she was tired, so she was reluctantly making the trek back to Davis to go to bed.

She might not have noticed the footprints if she hadn’t been listening to the “Release Radar” playlist on Spotify, because the first time she looked down at the ground was when she pulled her phone out of her pocket to skip the new Taylor Swift song she’d already heard a hundred times that day.

Now, she saw them—too small to belong to a college student. Too wet to make sense. And because the owner of these feet had been barefoot, she could tell that they were missing the second toe on their right foot, giving the illusion that their left foot was slightly larger.

Perhaps it was a Halloween prank or perhaps they’d always been there or perhaps she was only imagining them, but because they were so distinctive, and it was two in the morning, and she was alone, and they were going in the direction of her apartment, she couldn’t help but notice that her heartbeat was beginning to speed up.

She looked up and around. No one. Harry Styles continued to sing through her AirPods and she breathed in the sweet, thick detergent drifting from the cracked window of the McDermott laundry room.

She kept walking, not daring to step on the footprints.


Her heart crashed in her chest and her hands flew to her headphones, yanking them from her ears.

She froze.


She looked down at the footprints again, confirming they actually existed. They did.


She fought the pressure that was threatening to close her airways. What air made it to her lungs seemed to be lacking oxygen.

The noise was getting closer. Slowly, she dared to look to the right of the walkway, where the sound originated, searching the shadowed leaves at the edge of the grass.

A squirrel.

Crisis averted.

And to her relief, the footprints had changed course and were no longer headed in the direction of her apartment but had rather taken a sharp left turn between McDermott and Aquinas and into the quad. She put the AirPods back in her ears, pressed play, and continued on past St. Dom’s, Feinstein, St. Joe’s, Guzman, and at the bottom of the stairs took a left on that walkway that used to be Huxley. From here, she could see the window of her bedroom, her roommate’s fairy lights fading off and on.

It occurred to her, here, that she’d not seen another person since she left the library, which, even at two in the morning, was unusual at PC.

She noticed, too, that she was about to cross paths with the footprints again. Except this time, they were coming from the opposite direction. They were heading toward her.

And they were getting closer.

The Dark Arts

by The Cowl Editor on November 1, 2019


Skulls stacked upon each other to form a wall of skulls
Photo courtesy of

by Sam Ward ’21

The wood burned as the fire cracked and the occultist conjured unsettling images. Clowns and killers brandishing knives. “Dahbay!” The syllables erupting from the bottom of his throat; he threw sand on the fire. “Mugrodan!” His hand fell flat on the ancient tome. “Kasarah!” The fire exploded outward, sending him and the heavy book flying to the ground.

The occultist was nothing without his enchantress. How could he wreak havoc on humanity without her power? He only knew the one necromancy spell and judging from his blistered face and the decomposing body at the altar, he had done it wrong.

He stood up in the catacomb, the dying fire lighting only enough for him to see a fraction of the ornate design on the limestone sarcophagus. The limp body was far from the psychotic clown he had hoped to transform it into.

That’s when the walls began to shake and the fire burned a toxic purple.

“Who dares disturb me!” The voice oozed from the altar into the soul of the young necromancer. The ancient script on the catacomb walls lit up and the sarcophagus began to convulse and the feminine voice shrieked violently.

The occultist turned to go for the exit, running instead into a wall. A left turn yielded a similar result as the shrieking continued. Panicked, he fell to his knees and began searching through the sand for a match, a lighter, or a dropdoor: an exit or something that would illuminate such. He could feel the oxygen subside as if the room was shrinking.

The disquieted voice offered no reassurance to the dying man.

“The altar is closed for necromancy on Sundays,” she spit before the walls collapsed inward, finalizing his burial in the ancient catacombs.

What ‘s Up with Everyone Today?

by The Cowl Editor on November 1, 2019


by Daniel Carrero ’23

Ike was upset nobody shoveled the snow from the driveway. He had to park on the street. Walking inside the house he could hear Wonder barking from the backyard. He dropped his suitcase at the door, “Dad’s home!” No response. Ike thought the house was unusually silent this evening. Typically after a long trip he’s greeted at the door.

He walked into his bedroom and Tina, his wife, sat in front of the TV watching The Office, with a plate of burnt steak in her lap. Her brown hair looked like it was dipped in frying oil, and the bags under her eyes were purple potato skins.

Last time she looked like this was after Izzy was born, Ike thought. “Hey, babe. Um, you ok?”

Through a mouthful of food, she replied, “I’m doing great sweetie! I jus-just  was feeling really sick the last few days is all.”

“Oh ok, well you’ll feel better soon,” he said, putting his arm around her. “That smells good, honey, what kinda steak is that?

“Mmm, new recipe I came up with,” she said, offering him a piece.

“Oh wow, that is good,” he said chewing. “Where are Izzy and Toni at?”

“The kids! Oh, they’re probably raiding the fridge or out in the backyard.”

“That’s weird, I didn’t hear them when I walked in.”

Tina giggled, “Maybe they’re hiding”

In the backyard, Ike watched Wonder in the snow, at the far end of the yard chewing a thick bone. Ike called Wonder over, but Wonder ignored him. He’s usually more excited to see me, Ike thought. Everyone’s usually excited to see me, what’s up with everyone today?

In the kitchen with Tina, Ike asked, “You know when the kids are coming home?

Preparing some vegetables, she said, “I’m making spaghetti tonight”

Ike narrowed his eyes at Tina, “Ok, but what about the kids?

“I’m sure they’re already here, babe, don’t worry.”

“Do you not know where they are?”

Tina barked, “Of course I do! I told you where they are! Will you stop pressing me? I’m cooking. Shut up and grab a beer or something. Leave me alone.”

Ike flinched, surprised at Tina’s outburst. Ike decided Tina must be going through her woman time—men, right, always assuming.

Opening the fridge for a beer, his stomach churned. He stood frozen, horrified by the two pale, mutilated faces staring back at him next to pools of blood

“Oh babe! While you’re in the fridge, pass me Izzy and Toni’s heads. I was defrosting them so we could have spaghetti and eyeballs tonight.”

Eyeballs and spaghetti in a bowl
Photos courtesy of and graphic design by Connor Zimmerman ’20

Who’s There?

by The Cowl Editor on November 1, 2019


by Sam Pellman ’20

Today was a success! I found everything I needed and was finally heading to the car. I had been at the mall for two hours now just by myself, popping into different stores, leaving with lots of bags. There is no better feeling than going to the mall for a purpose and leaving with that purpose. It’s dark now. The sun was out when I arrived but seems to have completely vanished. I begin to walk through the parking garage, forgetting where I parked my car. Was I even on the right level? I could not remember for the life of me. I always hated parking garages, they freaked me out. This one was cold and dark. It was somewhat empty but I remember it being packed; I could barely find a spot earlier. There was not a soul in sight, even though the garage was massive. I began to breathe faster. Should I go back into the mall and collect my thoughts? It certainly isn’t a good idea to roam around a creepy parking garage alone. I clicked my keys hoping the lights on my car would go off. It was nowhere to be seen. I must be on the wrong floor. My heart was pounding and I felt goosebumps starting to form. What was that noise? I swore I heard distant footsteps.

The steps got closer and I began to walk faster. Where the heck was my car? I felt my skin turn white. I heard a laughter echoing through the garage.

“Who’s there?” I said aloud.

The laughing continued. I began to run frantically, trying to open my phone and call someone. As I ran I dropped my keys. But when I attempted to grab them they were gone. I looked up and saw my car a few hundred feet away, running, keys in the ignition: but no one inside. I dropped my bags and headed back to the mall. My heart was jumping out of my chest. I pushed at the door but it was locked shut. Tears started to form in my eyes.

“Please who’s there?” I mumbled, half to myself.

I closed my eyes. I heard the laugh again.

“It’s me,” they said. But I kept my eyes shut. I
 I didn’t want to see who it was.

Woman burying her head in her hands
Photo courtesy of