Unpacking
Eric Springgay-Daubeny

This story was a submission to our March 2022 Short Story Contest.
In the hours immediately after I land, everything feels out of focus. Around me are things I remember. Untrimmed bushes and rusting travel-trailers, chipped paint coloring the asphalt beneath. Sleepy August beams filter through mesh windows, creating a fine grid of golden haze on the floorboards. The rooms are empty and the walls are bare. Holes in the drywall indicate where paintings once hung and water stains show the remnants of torrential rainstorms. I walk the late-summer pavement with bare feet, searing callouses into my skin. Places, for years ...

Chimping
Anonymous

This story was a submission to our March 2022 Short Story Contest.
I desperately labored to capture every moment, to preserve ephemeral blips in the eternity of time. Beep, click, snap. Beep, click, snap. My camera whirred in protest as it struggled to document everything my 7 year-old brain found remotely interesting. "Let's get a move on," my father groaned as I methodically documented the eighty-seventh cracked seashell – the scattered debris would have to wait. It was time for the main attractions. As we rushed from record store to garden, beach to restaurant, the scalding Jamaican sun relentlessly beat down, ...

feelings are meant for the week
Anonymous

This story was a submission to our March 2022 Short Story Contest.
Another scream ripped through my raw throat as I continued to try and rip apart the chains holding me ,hoping that this time they would break. unsurprisingly they didn’t. My sobs bounced off the steel walls. The doors slammed open as sirens started to go off and people started to flood into my little confined room.A year ago I would have begged them to have a heart to have compassion, but I soon realized that it was a useless feat. Because monsters had no hearts. They were soulless. ...

The Call Of The Void
Yannick Layton

This story was a submission to our March 2022 Short Story Contest.
A slight breeze whispered through the roads of west Utah, a mild day but not unusual for late August. Another uneventful day on the road darkened from a day of drizzle. The setting sun over the horizon reflects a soft orange through the thin meniscus of water coating the road. Driving along the canyon's edge was a monthly trip coming home from Arizona. Last month it was Wyoming and the month before Washington. It’s much easier driving into Wendover than leaving. Navigating the mountains and canyons with an empty ...

A Lovely, Little Ghost Hunt
Natasha Mazerolle

This story was a submission to our March 2022 Short Story Contest.
The rigid trees had a silver glow cast on them by the moon, resembling white, temple columns of civilizations long past.
The wind blew through them, bringing the night’s chill on to the skin of the four teenagers trudging through the undergrowth. The blond boy who walked at the front of the group kept his flashlight trained ahead of him as he shivered.
“Are you sure the park ranger said that the legend really took place this far into the forest?” Alec asked, stepping over a scraggly root protruding ...

A tale of war
Ryan W.

This story was a submission to our March 2022 Short Story Contest.
The air was filled with sulfur and the smells stung your nose. I had always wanted to see Sturmwalle’s golden seas, their beautiful waves of wheat like a rolling ocean and clouds towering like giants in a line. Alas I bid farewell to the beautiful land and walk home over reddened black dirt, with my rifle and the spirits of my comrades.
One day I will come back to this fair land to see this land in peace, I will see the prairie roses as red dots on a ...

Knights Graduation
Nate Berglas

This story was a submission to our March 2022 Short Story Contest.
The hinges of the steel door shattered, as a metal-clad boot sailed through the main entrance to the throne room. The doors crashed to the floor, making an earth-shattering reverberation throughout the entire stone citadel. The knight, fitted in shining, polished steel armour, strode into the throne room of the dark gothic stronghold.
“Cult leader of this stygian citadel, I have come to avenge my brethren!” The knight declared in triumph. He waited for a reply, and as the dust settled to the ground, the silhouette of the man ...

Soaring down the mountain!
Caroline Adams

This story was a submission to our March 2022 Short Story Contest.
“Stop, I can't do this. Is there another way down?” I ask frantically
I am boiling, face as hot as the saharan desert even though it's cold, -15.
My breathing quickens, my heart races and my vision goes blurry. “I shouldn't have done this, I shouldn't have done this, I shouldn't have done this” I repeat in my head. “Let's go, '' my best friend said eagerly. I knew I should have just stayed in the car.
What to do now? I'm at the top of a monster of a hill with ...

Coming Home
Anonymous

This story was a submission to our March 2022 Short Story Contest.
I'm finally going back to the house. The house where things I'll never be able to explain happened. Things I chalked up to my imagination. I walk up the driveway, my parents left me the key to the house in their will. I had texted my sisters and asked if they also got keys, but they didn’t respond. I wanted to invite them to come with me, help clean up mom and dad’s stuff. I knew no one would willingly go back there anyway. No one but me, I ...

Sunburned
Lily Cooper

This story was a submission to our March 2022 Short Story Contest.
Hectic and disorganized. Crawling with panicking and unnerved tourists. The airport should be an annoyingly coordinated place. But it is the very opposite. As I stood in front of and looked up to the flight information board, I wipe the increasing amount of sweat off my upper lip and I collect myself. Inhale deeply, exhale deeply. I look for my flight on the screen. It is across the airport. And leaves in 20 minutes. It’s okay, we can do this. After a messy combination of nervous speed ...

Fatebroken Skies
Charlotte Rempel

This story was a submission to our March 2022 Short Story Contest.
Lucia stirred.
Her scars and scratches stung, she was alive.
No~
no
This isn’t in the prophecy.~
She jolted awake.
Ah!
A sharp pain spun through her head.
“Be careful, Vexar didn’t exactly take it easy on you”
That voice, Lucia remembered,
She saved me, I had been slipping into unconsciousness, that was supposed to be the end.
The sun must set by the hand of the shade.
Lucia couldn’t understand why her Nemesis would want any different.
The night queen sat peacefully on a rock slightly above where Lucia lay, raven hair blowing in the cool autumn breeze.
“Did you ...

Rot ROT ROT rot
Anonymous

This story was a submission to our March 2022 Short Story Contest.
I was caught in an embrace. I didn't want it this way. It wasn't supposed to be like this. I had to get back to the others. They were waiting for me. Away from the thicket in a secluded spot; I had stopped to adjust my pack. As I struggled to break free, I fell down again, but this time fell further than I could have imagined; In fragments of a second I crumpled to the ground. I lay on the dirt wondering where you were to have left ...

XOXO - a speck of dust in the universe
Anonymous

This story was a submission to our March 2022 Short Story Contest.
Dear Diary,
Maybe the world was falling apart. Or maybe it was just my world that was falling apart. No, no I’m pretty sure it's falling apart for everyone else too. Everyone else still acts like they're world is perfect. Maybe they’re lying, smiling when they want to cry, applying makeup on their tear stained face, washing away the pain with a new shopping spree, posting a new perfectly staged photo to rebuttal every bad comment they got. Or maybe they aren’t falling apart. Maybe it is just me. My ...

My Dream Home
Charlotte W.

This story was a submission to our March 2022 Short Story Contest.
The noise.
As soon as I walk through the front entrance of my house.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
Skylights that leak water into the hardwood floors, turning my living room into a pool. It didn’t matter how many times we replaced them, changed the roof shingles, or patched the ceiling, the leakage continued.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
It all started when everything began falling apart. It was like an earthquake had rushed right through our house, causing havoc as it went. The cabinets in the bathroom all began to come off of ...

Forever Together
Rylee M.

This story was a submission to our March 2022 Short Story Contest.
It has now been a few months since I died, and as I watch her smile, I can't help but notice how much she has changed. The last time she had smiled, we had been in the hospital, my condition only continuing to worsen. Lacking her usual sincerity and happiness, the faint grin had felt hollow, no more than a facade. An air of hesitancy seemed to envelop us as we sat in silence. Fleeting expressions of sorrow and despair washed over her features, pooling especially in her cerulean ...

A Fallen Droplet, A Kind Girl
Natasha Mazerolle

A drop of light fell from the sky
and landed in a puddle,
its ripple no larger than an eye.
How did within this puddle,
the drop come to lie?
T’was a mere result
of the sun’s mournful cry;
for the moon, her friend,
left her alone up high.
That’s how the drop fell,
that is why.
Then came a young girl
with hair that smelt of fire
who brought a small cup
and marched without tire.
With a fell swoop, she plucked the drop
And lifted the light higher.
“You are the brightest shine, by far,”
Said the girl, with her eyes to the sky.
“Welcome home, my favourite star.” ...

Short Story Contest Winners!
Knightwatch Editors

Our March 2022 Short Story Contest has come to a close, and after much deliberation from our panel of seven student judges, the winners have been decided. We received 24 submissions that covered an incredible range of topics: fantastic adventures, dystopian futures, suspenseful mysteries, and even real-world drama. Without further ado, here are the winning stories!
First place: To Know Somebody by Jennifer Ridley
This poetic and heartfelt story flows from one sentence to another while gradually revealing details about its two central characters. It is deeply emotional, and uses many creative literary devices to envelope the reader in its romantic labyrinth.
Second ...

Darling and his Devil
Karina Groza

This story is the third place winner of the March 2022 Short Story Contest.
His boots thunder on the pavement of the courtyard, kicking up small bits of gravel as he races towards the doors of the museum. A glimpse of a shadowy figure dancing across the rooftop makes him run harder, each breath tearing at his throat.
The doorknob is slippery with rain and he can feel the heavy weight of the waterlogged coat on his shoulders. He taps at his pockets frantically only to watch the wood creak open on its hinges, leading the way into the building. He pushes ...

To Know Somebody
Jennifer Ridley

This story is the first place winner of the March 2022 Short Story Contest.
I knew a girl.
I’d only met her three times, but should it be by time that knowledge is truly judged? I would insist that it should not. To know somebody is to embrace every linked star in their soul, not to count every linear minute.
The very first time I saw her was so long ago that bringing forth the memory has a semblance to staring into a muddy puddle. I was at an art camp, she was too. The two camps had merged for one day ...

Bill Q59
Anneke Goodwin

This story is the second place winner of the March 2022 Short Story Contest.
One might say I was fairly nervous. This was my first date after all. And my first time breaking the law.

It was past curfew, so I walked through the back alleys until I hit the industrial part of town. Rumor has it this space used to be fairly trendy back in the day, but now people would describe it as more "mechanical". I walk in the shadows of a wide walkway, metal domes with painted red numbers on them lining the edges. I counted ...

I’m a Baker
Ash M.

This story is an honourable mention in the March 2022 Short Story Contest.
I am a baker, not a murderer. As I sit in the nearly empty room, I tap my fingers on the table that sits in front of me. The taps of my fingers are aligned with the ticking of the clock. My right hand is in a set of cuffs, attached to the leg of the chair I sit on. They’re probably searching my apartment now. I don’t know why that scares me, there’s nothing there for them. My leg is jumping. Stop. You look anxious. The ...

The Great Obsolescence of Planet Earth
Claudia T.

This story is an honourable mention in the March 2022 Short Story Contest.
In the first beginning, the Moons and Stars were asleep.
It had always been that way, they never woke, they just existed.
In a much later beginning, it started with one man. There are four things you should know about this man:
1. He was very clever, from an academic standpoint.
2. From any other standpoint, he was also very foolish.
3. He was an inventor, an explorer of science, a man of experiments, although they
...

The Sky Fallen Glow
Natasha Mazerolle

A drop of light fell from the sky
and landed in a puddle,
its ripple no larger than an eye.
How did within this puddle,
the drop come to lie?
T’was a mere result
of the sun’s mournful cry;
for the moon, her friend,
left her alone up high.
That’s how the drop fell,
that is why.
Then came a young girl
with hair that smelt of fire
who brought a small cup
and marched without tire.
With a fell swoop, she plucked the drop
And lifted the light higher.
“You are the brightest shine, by far,”
Said the girl, with her eyes to the sky.
“Welcome home, my favourite star.” ...

Call for Student Poetry!
Nepean Staff

CALLING ALL YOUNG POETS. Happy World Poetry Day! Starting today, Prologue Performing Arts is taking submissions for their digital Student Poetry Publication, which is set to launch at the end of April to conclude National Poetry Month. We have received lots of good poetry from the student body so this is a great opportunity for you to show off your work. To submit, visit the website below.
https://www.prologue.org/call-for-student-poetry-submissions/ ...

Empty Activism (a poem)
Tess Burnett

You wear the shirt.
But do you know?
Know What it means?
Know Where it’s from?
Know who suffers?
The equivalent of niceties.
You do what's expected so you aren't judged. Fit in.
Blend in.
Be one with the herd.
But do nothing for those who aren't you. Empty actions.
Empty words.
Empty activism.
You wear the shirt, you share a post. What is it for?
For popularity?
For your gain?
For you?
It isn't for you.
It’s for others.
You wear the shirt, you share a post, you say #Let’sTalk That's fine, but what about the rest of the year?
What about those who plaster on a smile every day? What about those who can't anymore?
What about those ...

Who am I? (a poem)
Arielle Viner-Lemelin

I never thought my name would be so important
I never thought something as simple as a name
Could make me question where I came from
I never believed that Arielle could so freaking hard to pronounce that i would have to shorten it to Arie
Now that is all I am known as
Not Arielle
Not שושנה אילנה
My name is my source of pride
It is
French
English
Hebrew
Even Italian
(I’m not Italian)
In jewish Ashkenazi tradition
you name your kid after someone
who’s dead
But in christain tradition you name your kid some name like
Paul
Mary
Peter
Something old
Nothing new
Um no offense
I want to be
Me
Not
The II
Or ...

Society (a poem)
Amaya

They’re tall and you’re small, she is a she and he is a he
They are them and there's no in between.
She can wear whatever he can wear and he can wear what
She can. They are able to wear whatever they can wear.
A dark face doesn’t mean you’re a disgrace
you’re just as beautiful as the rest of the race
POC are as important as people
Who discipline their place, Their culture and their face.
What I have down there, isn’t for the rest of the world to share
But to know who I identify with love and care.
To ...

Help (a poem)
Arielle Viner-Lemelin

Help
Physical
Mental
Voices
Anger
Hate
Hurt
Harsh
Heavy
Hollow
Hypocrite.
Author’s note: This poem can be read top to bottom and bottom to top. ...

Short Story Contest $$$
Knightwatch Editors

This month we will be running a short story contest for Nepean students, with prizes! Your work of original fiction (one entry per person) must be between 600 and 1000 words, but it can be on whatever topic you would like. There will be gift cards for the top three entries, with values of $75, $50, and $25 (from the winners’ choice of Starbucks, Indigo, Michael’s, GameStop, or Staples). Of course, we expect everyone to be mindful of harmful language and messages in their writing.
The stories will be blindly judged by the students of the Nepean Knightwatch team, using the ...

Untitled Poem
Natasha Mazerolle

Two cradles, alike in size and shape
Made just before it was too late
One wooden, built of a solemn stump alone
The other made of hard, cold stone
The cradles unbearable and stiff,
The children may sleep only if
Those who love them give
Love and say they’ll try their best to help them live
For the early years bring bruises that threaten to never heal
But something soft and supporting brings a kinder feel ...

The Nocturnal Sojourn
Natasha Mazerolle

At dusk I hear the tinkling of bells
The start of a fairy brigade
Joyously marching from the dells
The company’s hair all in braid
Their cheeks like roses in bloom
Their finery of grand emeralds and jade
The clearing, their will’o wisps illume
And then the dance starts
And so expels my gloom
Their actions fast, their movement like darts
Their banter merry and full of cheer
How easy, I think, it must be for them to steal hearts
When the sun rises, my visitors disappear
Oh, how I cannot wait for their visit next year ...

Enter The Winter-Laden Forest
Natasha Mazerolle

Come away to a realm of silence
Where your breath flies away like a ghostly bird
The trees stand still
The towering observers
The kings of the hill
The ground covered in a white river
Knee-deep and frigid
Enough to make you shiver
A pale blanket that coats every surface
All in preserved posture so rigid
Silence stretches on
For sound is stolen
And ensnared within the dainty dancers
Who twirl in their graceful descent
But in spite, shrill somber birdsong rings out
From no particular origin and to no end,
The notes echo relentlessly throughout ...

To Ignite A Rose Petal
Natasha Mazerolle

Rose petals don’t burn
They may blacken
Or shrivel in a bonfire’s flame
But lighting a match to a dried petal
Does little to maim
What can you learn from a corolla so small?
Whose frailness may cause it to crumble in a pinch
A symbol of love and purity,
An icon of romance
Will not be destroyed in a cinch
Light a match to a dried rose petal
It will light but will not burn
When ground it may become soot
But incineration be not a concern ...

A Christmas Alphabet
Lucy Turk

A is for Angels,
Popular Christmas characters,
With sparkling wings and glowing gowns.
They always lift frowns.
B is for Blizzards,
Blustery winter disasters
And school cancellations
Though they do create fun winter exploration.
C is for Christmas trees,
Tall and bright
The center of attention
Covered in snow, glittery and white.
D is for December,
the month full of first snowfalls,
and the evening darkness being the strongest.
The holiday feeling
everyone has needed since August.
E is for Eggnog,
a classic holiday drink.
Everyone pours themselves a glass
before sliding on the rink.
F is for the First Frost,
A wave of cheer flows through you
you see the fresh flurries on the ground.
Then all the neighbourhood kids get out
and decide ...

My Voice
Arielle VL

I’m suffocating in all the restrictions
Six feet apart huh? Well how about six under with a triple layer mask on
The ground over top pulling
never pushing you out
You scream and scream but no one can hear you
because you're
six
feet
under
You don’t know who put you there
All you heard was someone eating a bat, or was it a fish? mushroom?
Who the hell knows
Not i
You're stuck there going nowhere but down
You're in the ocean but you don’t know which way is up
And you still have ...

A Writer’s World
Arielle VL

A Writer's world is never what it seems
People always believe
That in
a writer’s world
Fiction
Becomes
Reality
But that’s not always
True
In a writer's world
Horror
Becomes
Reality
too
Sure the library in your closet might not have any books on
It
But that doesn't mean that there are none.
The writer's world is a blank page
When an idea sparks to life
It catches
Flame
But if this
Spark is a
Drop
Of
...

The Fate of King Evander
Natasha Mazerolle

The Oracle wasn’t vague with her words.
King Evander, the kind and justly sovereign, was foretold to be slain by his own descendant.
The prediction shook him. Nothing else took up the space in his mind as he left the Oracle’s villa. Or when he rode back on his steed. Or when he returned to his castle. Not even when he sat down to eat dinner.
When he laid down to sleep, his thoughts poked at him like pins with the ponderings of when the last time may be that he lays before he never awakens. His dreams were pervaded with images of ...

The Church Without A Clock
Natasha Mazerolle

The halls are silent, an absence of mechanical ticks
The sunlight from the windows bears no meaning
Eons pass, or was it just five seconds?
The House of God, where time does not exist
The walls are bare, so much space unused
Why are there so many crosses?
And not a single clock?
No bell tower rings from above.
O Temple of pale walls, do your bells ring strong?
Do your visitors treat them as absolute?
Do they even mean anything when you cannot see the sky?
Is the birds’ morning song indistinguishable from their evening finale?
Do the faithful believers know how long their sermon has been gone when they step ...

Greek Tragedy Play
Grade 12 Student

[Jamal’s heroic flaw is that he gets jealous very easily]
PROLOGUE:
T’Challa: Damn, man you did it. You became class president.
Jamal: Yeah T’Challa. What’d you expect?
Jamal leaves stage
Tyrone enters
T’Challa: Yoo Tyrone. What's up man.
Tyrone: Ohh you know. The usually. Admiring Jamal.
T’Challa: Yeah I hear you. He is super dope. He got a fly honey, he quarterback on the football team, School President, most popular kid in school. He got it all man.
Tyrone: Yeah but he gets a little jealous sometimes.
PARADOS:
Jamal is a nice dude,
Quarterback of the football team,
School president,
Honour roll student,
Everyone likes him,
That’s for sure,
Everyone want to be like him,
That’s for sure,
But ...

The Shot
Grade 9 Student

“Today’s pain is worth tomorrow’s glory.”
I thought to myself, walking back onto the pitch. Anticipation, adrenaline, nerves, and tingling sensations crowding my thoughts. I began jumping up and down clearing my mind, my cleats coasting against the smooth touch of the freshly tended to turf field.
The dulcet whistle sang like the howl of a wolf calling his pack. Freedom. The second half was on. Quickly I turned to my wingback,
“Cover the long ball,”
He nodded; falling back into a defensive position.
I ran up the field taking a moment to observe the crowds on the sidelines pulsating like they were semi-sentient animals. ...

Corvus Et Corpus
Natasha Mazerolle

It was a cold day
I stepped off my porch
and into the woods
walking through the foliage
step
by step
by step
I saw a black crow
next to a dead songbird
ripping out its feathers
one
by one
by one
Nothing awaited me
so I sat and watched
as it ripped out feathers
another one
by another one
by another one
The crow finally looked at me
Its eyes appeared older than eternity
I nodded in understanding
As time passed by us like the breeze
Tick
tick
tick
The crow grabbed its meal
and flew away, leaving nothing but feathers
It left me alone
Probably returning to its home
and so I walked back to mine
Step
by step
by step ...

November (A Poem)
Grade 9 Student

What is November?
To me
November is…
The soft taste of hard-earned chocolate melting on your tongue
When we leave the ghosts behind, and welcome the winter holidays that have just begun
When the air loses it’s love
Forcing you to find warmth on your own so you pile coats and toques and gloves
When the moon rises before you’re finished with the sun
With Winter Solstice in a month
When reds and oranges and yellows have fallen from the trees
And their barren branches loom with the ground covered in dead debris
When the first snowflake flutters down from the sky
And you smile in awe at your younger brother ...

Essay (A Short Story)
Grade 9 Student

My mind was a blank slate as I touched my rough fingertips to the smooth plastic keyboard. I glanced at the missing letter. A gap in the otherwise perfect device. The letter zed. Not so common that I have to use it often; but common enough that I occasionally feel my pinky darting across the bottom half of my computer towards it.
I still had no ideas for the essay. Tryouts for the school soccer team were tonight, maybe I would find something to write about then? Yeah, I could picture it in my mind now: The ball came hurling ...

The Ballad Of A Very Confusing Afternoon
Natasha Mazerolle

On a Thursday, the sun shone bright,
A cool breeze drifted through the air.
The students sat in their school,
A half hour left, they could hardly bear.
A loud screech ripped into ears
And all of the students stood.
They walked outside calmly,
They did what they should.
For autumn, it was too hot.
The day felt rather wry.
It felt worse when a cop
And a fire truck stopped by.
The students blocked the road,
A woman was trapped.
The crowd parted like a river,
Then everyone clapped.
In front of the school,
Something zany was on display.
For an old woman had hit someone’s car
And then drove away.
Finally, the event reached its end.
The students ...

A Visit From The Sluagh
Natasha Mazerolle

The cold breeze was the first shocking thing that night. The Equinox had come and gone, chilling the earth and blackening the sky in the early hours of the night. The emerald leaves bled yellow and red, the most sure sign that Autumn was arriving.
There was nothing wrong with that of course, many people love the season. Several adore the liminal time of the year, how the transition has a certain vibe to it no other season can match. The feeling of knowing something sits in the air, just beyond our touch.
For the inhabitants of Oak Grove, that was only ...

Untitled Haikus
Grade 10 Student

three lines say so much
freedom found within the limits
somehow less is more
the fan is too loud
soft words surrender their shape
to the rush of air
it seems so foolish
to cherish ink on paper
yet you are precious
posters fill my class
their garish colours wound my eyes
i prefer blank walls ...

The Girls With The Same Name
Grade 9 Student

There were girls with the same name
And they ran through the rain
Their feet patted quietly
Their voices echoed loudly
With the same name, two girls ran
Under the quiet night they rant
The cool misty night
The deafening street lights
The smell of dew
I knew
For the world may suck
I can see its beauty
Rain symbolises sadness
And it's then I see clearly
When the sky screams
They can’t hear, so I speak
When the world is inside
So I am alone
I needn’t to hide
Because it’s heaven I see
When I dance in the rain
Because it’s hell I feel
When rain dances in me
Rain can be painful
When filled with bitter emotion
What we do when we’re ...

Only a Small Motion
Grade 9 Student

A drop of water makes a ripple in the ocean
A soft breeze
And comes falling a beautiful leaf
A small motion
Isn’t it crazy
How much power we hold?
Only few words told
Yet a kind person now they see
A word
To a smile
A smile
Can mean the world
Isn’t it scary
How much power we hold?
Some things should have been left untold
Yet still a kind person they see
A word
To a frown
A frown
Can change the world
A drop of water makes a ripple in the ocean
A soft breeze
And comes falling a dead leaf
Only a small motion ...