Two Writers One Line: “When I read the text, I scream”

by Connor Zimmerman on March 6, 2020


A hand holding a phone with a text message on the screen that reads, "When I read the text, I scream."
Photo courtesy of user BardotD of Wikimedia Commons, hhtps:// , changes were made


The Glass Shattered Below
by Grace O’Connor ’22

When I read the text, I scream
Glowing from the screen
The words popping out, sucking me in
As my eyes glazed over them
Slowly, in disbelief,
I turned off my phone and
Dropping my face in my hands
Forcing my head up to look at the screen
I picked up my phone unwillingly
Before I knew it, leaving my hand
Hearing the quiet sound of the glass
That shattered below
I breathed in the sharp pain


by Sarah Heavren ’21

When I read the text, I screamed.
I didn’t know what it could mean.
Everything seemed just fine,
But this text brought something to mind.

I tried to forget about
The moment, but now all my doubts
Started rushing over me
Like I’m caught in a storm at sea. 

Sometimes it’s the little things,
And this is the one thing that brings
Back too many painful thoughts.
The past now has my soul drawn taut.

If only people would think
That their words could make a heart sink.
If only somehow they knew
What the meaning of words can do.

I’m now in the deepest dark
With too much weight forced on my heart.
When did the truth of feeling
Become so devoid of meaning?

Why can’t we just be sincere?
Why does that have to disappear?
I’m not broken, I’m not weak.
But I’m human, my feelings speak.

Two Writers, One Line: “I walked into the house and that’s when I saw it”

by The Cowl Editor on October 10, 2019



Scrabble Letters spelling the word "Writer's"

Scrabble letters spelling the word "block"

Two Writers, One Line: “I walked into the house and that’s when I saw it.”


Electrifying But Calm

by Grace O’Connor ’22

I walked into the house and that’s when I saw it
Her long, red dress sunk down to the floor
The shiny, chocolate brown hair of hers poured down her back
Her hands were pressed up against the window sill

I felt my heart pound in my eardrum with every step
Her head wouldn’t turn toward me as if I wasn’t there
A knife could cut through the silence that weighed in the air
I searched for words that seemed to fade into an abyss

Her head turned slowly and I stopped abruptly
Her blue eyes were electrifying but calm
Her face was emotionless but at ease
My mind went blank as if she was controlling my every thought

I never thought this moment would come
A moment filled with so much hope but confusion
I had so many questions but in her presence I was satisfied
Her presence seemed real but not possible

I did not realize until that moment how much I missed her
I reached out my hand but she didn’t move
My heart continually pounding
My mind racing through the darkness and doubt

She approached me slowly and put her hand on my face
She smiled slightly and I could see comfort in her eyes
She stepped back and examined me
I felt happy in her presence and wanted that joy to last

She turned and walked toward the door
I did not chase after her, I just let her keep walking
I knew that was it and did not feel sad
Seeing her once more was all I needed


Infinity Killer

By Elizabeth McGinn ’21

I walked into the house and that’s when I saw it. Dismembered limbs arranged neatly in the form of the infinity sign. This has to be impossible.

As I inched closer to inspect the body — or bodies — the stench of rotten flesh crawled up my nostrils. The limbs making the figure consisted of three arms, chopped off haphazardly at the shoulder so the joint of the arm protruded from the tissue, and a singular leg, foot, calf, thigh and all. Not again.

I stared at it, for who knows how long, until I felt a gentle nudge at my elbow.

“Callahan,” Ramirez, my partner said, “Do you think this could be a copycat?” His eyes darted between me and the bodies, unsure of where to rest their gaze.

After a pause, I hesitantly responded, “The public doesn’t know this level of detail. So if it is a copycat, it’s someone on the case.”

Ramirez nodded, exhaled sharply, and dejectedly asked, “I thought we were done with this crap.”

Me too.

“Detective Callahan,” the pushy reporter shoved her microphone in my face, “Will the Infinity Killer get the death penalty for his crimes?”

“No comment,” I said as I pushed away the microphone, and started to walk up the steps of the courthouse, away from the throng of reporters and curious bystanders.

We had been searching for this bastard for months. He never left any fingerprints or DNA, and the circumstantial evidence for most of our suspects was never enough for a warrant, let alone a charge and conviction.

We finally captured him through a single strand of hair left at one of the crime scenes. Luckily, our guy was a convicted sex offender in our system. Easy as pie to find him and arrest him. All that is left is to convict him.

Waiting for the formalities of the court to pass before I testify, I can’t help but look at him. Grimy hair and gaunt face, he looked like he spent months underground before emerging from his chrysalis. He never lifted his eyes to anyone, not to the judge or even his own attorney. He just sat there like a statue, blank and expressionless.

“Detective Callahan, please rise,” the judge ordered me to the stand. I swore in, and was ready to help get this psycho locked away forever.

“Detective Callahan, can you describe the first crime scene for me?” the prosecutor demanded.

I went over every minute detail of the case, the months long cat and mouse game of crime scenes, bodies, and that damn infinity sign. The limbs were so mutilated we couldn’t identify all of them.

Finally, the prosecutor asked, “Can you point to the person whose DNA was on the strand of hair found at the crime scene?”

I raised my arm, extended my fingers, and pointed to the culprit.

Languidly, he glanced up at me. A shiver sent shockwaves down my spine as he smirked, directly staring into my soul.

“Let’s get a list of officers and personnel on the case and start from there,” I instruct Ramirez.

Sensing a buzzing in my pocket, I grabbed my phone and answered, “Callahan.”

“Uh Detective, you’re gonna wanna come to May St. We got another crime scene,” the officer said. Crap.

“Are the bodies arranged in an infinity sign?” I exasperatedly asked.

“Uh, yup. Looks like two victims this time, I’ll send you the address.”


I crammed my phone back into my pocket. I stormed out to my car, slammed the door, and rested my head in my hands.

Reflecting back on that day in the courtroom, I was certain we had our man. The smirk, the disconnectedness, that’s what our killer was. And we locked him up for life. We knew we had the right guy.

Or did we?

Writer’s Block: “I swore to myself that this would be the last time…”

by The Cowl Editor on February 1, 2019


Scrabble tiles spelling out Writer's

Scrabble tiles spelling out Block

TWO WRITERS, ONE LINE: “I swore to myself that this would be the last time…

The Last One
By Erin Lucey ’20


I swore to myself that this would be the last time. But as I sift through the pile of potential suspects, I can’t help but torture myself with the thought that I must have missed something again. Okay, I thought, THIS will be the last time, and then I have to go home. Carly is probably one re-run episode away from falling asleep on the couch, trying desperately to wait up for me. I feel so guilty about how often I have been leaving her all alone with the baby. I’ve lost count of how many nights it’s been since I’ve made it home while little Troy is still awake. I had always promised myself that I wouldn’t be that type of dad, but at this point, I can only hope that my son won’t remember these days without me, and that soon I will learn to balance and separate my personal and professional lives. After we crack this case, I thought, I am never getting this involved in my work again. I am missing out on so much of my life, obsessing over the twisted acts of this anonymous criminal. By subjecting myself to this endless cycle of leads followed by deadlock, I am letting this monster steal life from me, too, though not with the same direct brutality as that used on these poor girls.

The dim light of my desk lamp begins to flicker, probably a sign that it’s time to pack up for the night. Hopeless, I am just about ready to give up. Maybe I am just too invested, but I can’t ignore the feeling that I am so close to cracking this. There must be something obvious that I am missing! Has it been right in front of me all along? This barbaric man is getting away with some of the most savage slayings I have ever seen. How could I let these innocent little girls down? As guilty as I feel for spending so much time away from my family, the guilt I feel for these young girls who have suffered, never to see their own families again, is unbearable. I can’t let this guy get away with this. With just enough incentive to look through those arbitrary clues one last time, I finally see it. Of course. It’s been right in front of me all along! I practically jump out of my seat. The killer! I know who he is!


I swore to myself that this would be the last time, but as the thrill of the enchanting power I held when taking the life of another person engulfs me again, I already know I am going to crave this feeling some more. Okay, that statement made me sound crazy. It’s not what you think. I do know that what I am doing is wrong. It’s not like I am one of those psychopaths that doesn’t feel any guilt. The truth is, I do feel really bad about it. Every day, the thought of just ending it all and turning myself in crosses my mind. But at the same time, what do I have to lose by continuing with my actions at this point? When they do catch me, I will probably already go to jail for life for what I’ve done so far, even despite my status as a minor. So why not chase the electrifying feeling all the way to the end?

I don’t quite understand how no one has even thought to question me yet. Do I really seem that innocent? Anytime I see my famous crimes on TV I completely freak out. How has no one noticed that? I always feel like I am making it so obvious! While part of me wants to just get caught and get it over with already, I can’t escape the intense desire to keep this up. How far can I go? How blind can they be? I must be really good at what I do.


Late Night Visits
by Sarah Kirchner ’21

I swore to myself that this would be the last time…
The last time I went into his room and
The last time I let him manipulate me with lies,
The same lies he told too many girls before me.
Those girls who I see too often and have to hide from,
Because they know just like I do.
They memorize the lies only to tell themselves
That he really means it this time.
“It’s only you.” Classic.
I swore to myself that this would be the last time,
That I left his room at 4 a.m.
And walked home alone in the dark.
The feeling of regret washing over me
But not enough to make me not go back,
Because he has a pull that I can’t quite refuse.
The way he smiles at me makes my heart beat faster,
And I never know exactly what to do.
He texts to me “u up?” and somehow
I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
He barely does a thing,
Yet he’s become my everything.
I swore to myself that this would be the last time,
And one day it will be the last time.
It terrifies me that someday
He’ll really be gone.
I’ll believe in myself instead of his lies
So that one day I will walk out that door
And never go back.