Writing Catalog

Ty Jacobs

Grade: 12

University School - Hunting Valley

Instructor: Jim Garrett

The Cold Spring


The Cold Spring

We had an ancient awful spring
I'll stay until it's over
My mother always sings
Winter's much colder

I'll stay until it's over
The trees are all dead
Winter's much colder
The villagers have fled

The trees are all dead
The flowers are all gone
The villagers have fled
The birds won't sing their song

The flowers are all gone
The bees no longer buzz
The birds won't sing their song
For life no longer was

The bees no longer buzz
My mother always sings
For life no longer was
We had an ancient awful spring

Mr. Lander

Short Story

Mr. Lander

I never felt such an intense feeling, like knives were piercing my back and the strain of immense weight on my neck was squeezing the air right out of me. Water rushed into my windpipe, preventing my breathing. The taste of death on my lips and a glooming darkness started to take over my vision. The smell of coffee that stuck in my nose the whole morning, was quickly extinguished by a liquid death, which had been dragging me deep into the depths of a dark blue hell. I opened my eyes. My bed, soft and warm, now surrounded me. I sat up and shook my head, which was pounding like someone was beating a drum inside it. I draped my feet over the edge of the bed and glanced at the time on the old clock on my bedside table.

"9:30! Ugh, dammit!"

I quickly stood up and made my way to my closet. I grabbed the suit which I had hung up and pressed for the day. I pulled the pants off the hanger. I put my right leg in, then my left leg almost tripping and falling, but I stood back up. My headache had only gotten worse since I stood up. I continued to get dressed and finally made my way, almost falling down the stairs into the kitchen.

"Ugh, how am I going to get through today?!"

I investigated the cabinet for some Aspirin or Ibuprofen. There it was the answer to my problem. The box seemed to glow. I grabbed it and opened the ripped top. It was empty.

"Oh my God! Can this day get any worse!?" I yelled.

I knew that I had some at the office, so I grabbed my keys and coffee and headed out the door. The coffee slightly helped keep the headache at bay for a little bit, until I had reached the office. I was already late for work and had to get ready for a meeting that would start in only a few minutes. I called Jamie, my assistant.

"Hey Jamie, I need some waters up here for the meeting. Can you get that done ASAP?"

"Oh yes of course Mr. Laden."

"Thanks Jamie! Oh, and bring me an aspirin I've got this horrible headache!"

"Right away sir!"

As I looked out the window overlooking the lake below and waiting for Jamie to bring me the water, I started to experience this overwhelming feeling of anger. Something in the back of my mind just was ignited. I don't know quite what it was that was setting me off, but I quickly became erratic and spontaneous. I started to grind my teeth. The squeaking noise filling my head did not help the headache. Clenching my jaw and holding my forehead in my hand. How was I going to get through this meeting? The door opened.

"Just set it down on the table there Jamie."

"Jamie?" replied a gruff voice "Who's that?"

I turned around to see the grin of a middle-aged man with his hand out.

"Jeff Baker. Can't wait to be working together!" he said.

"Uhm, Baker, right sorry. I just got in and I'm just trying to get my bearings."

"Oh, that's alright! Ha, ha, I've cleared my schedule!"

The pounding hadn't stopped. My thoughts now racing I sat down across from the man. I tried to focus on what he was saying, but with all the noise in my head I could barely see straight. Waves of emotions were flowing through me as if I were watching a dramatic film. He was saying something about stockholders, the Board of Directors, Empire building. Whatever it was, I couldn't really pay attention because the monkey in my head was clashing cymbals even louder now than before. The door creaked open.

"Jamie! Ha, ha! Finally!" I spoke. "Where have you been" I snarled at her under my breath.

"I'm sorry Mr. Laden I spilled the water on the way here and had to get a new glass and clean up the mess."

"Whatever! I don't care! Where's the aspirin?" I muttered.

"Here sir." She held out the pill in her palm.

I quickly grabbed it out of her hand. Now shaking, I grabbed my glass and swallowed the pill.

"Ahh, much, ahem, ah! Ahem! Mm… hem... I can't. I can't breathe" I exhaled.

Choking on the pill I knocked over the tray in Jamie's hands. I fell over into the man.

"Ah… Ahhem." "Coff, uh-uff."

I tried to stand up so Jamie could help me, but she couldn't get her hands around my waist. I walked over to the window of my office, my head still pounding now harder than ever. I put my hand on the glass.

"Help me!" I wheezed.

I turned around facing Jamie and Mr. Baker. I banged my back against the glass. Trying to dislodge the pill from my throat. Nothing… I slammed my back against the glass again. The glass began to crack behind me. I slammed again and again. The cracks got bigger.

"Mr. Laden stop this, lay down! We can help you" Screamed Jamie.

Both Jamie and Mr. Baker were now standing up about two feet away from me prepared to push me to the ground and do CPR, if I couldn't get the pill out. But if they only knew. I slammed my back against the glass one more time and the pill flew out. Strait at Mr. Baker. And I flew. I Flew straight out of my office into the lake below, barely able to catch a gasp of air before I was back in my dream. Sinking to the bottom of an abyss. I had felt this very intense feeling now. Like shards of glass were piercing my back and the strain of immense weight on my neck was squeezing the air right out of me. Water rushed into my windpipe preventing my breathing. The taste of salty death on my lips and a glooming darkness started to take over my vision. The smell of morning coffee which had been stuck in my nose for the whole morning was again extinguished by the liquid death, which had been dragging me deep into the depths of a dark blue hell. I opened my eyes…


Short Story


The soft sound of waves crashing in the distance vibrated their way through the large glass double-doors in front of me. As I sat on my bench, I could feel the cool breeze which flowed through the trees around the house, seeping its way through its open windows. I could smell the salty air of the sea and the woody, swampy, wetlands filled with chirping bugs and creatures I could not name. As I look up, I can see the sun setting over the ocean and the warm air settling into a cool summer night. The sand outside blew around adding to the dunes of an endless walk every morning. I paced around the room for a moment to see if anyone was there but soon my eyes refixed on the ocean behind those glass doors.

"It felt so real!" I thought to myself.

"What a beautiful horizon, no painting could ever mimic this moment."

I walked closer to the doors and soon found myself about just a foot away gazing out from inside this white and brown contemporary prison. A loud chirping filled my ears as I saw a beautiful red, blue, and yellow bird fly past me. The bird soared through the sky whistling a tune repeatedly. It filled my ears with its beauty, and it filled my eyes with its color. I looked down at the door to find a bronze-colored key. This key could open the doors and let me out of this place where my mind would wander forever and ever. I could be at peace with nature and appreciate her artwork as it was meant to be appreciated all these millions of years leading up to this point.

I lowered my hand to the key on the door and turned it to see nothing happen. The key did not work, and the door was jammed. I tried the key again and once again the door failed to open. I turned the key the other way but still nothing. I became frustrated and started to shake and jiggle the key and doorknob with hopes of dislodging whatever was locking me inside this place. No luck.

"Please oh please! I must get out of here. I must see her beauty and I have to feel her."

I shouted "I have to feel her! Oh, please OH PLEASE!"

I continued I couldn't help myself. I looked up again and the bird was still singing almost louder now than before.

"Oh gosh, please make it stop."

What was once music to my ears had become alarming as I continued to try to nudge the door open. I found myself stuck in this white and brown prison. I looked around to see other rooms. Just glimpses into the rooms of this house. Some were big and some were small. Some had windows with huge landscapes behind them, some had no windows, just blank walls. I turned back to the doors frantically trying to open them. The colors outside only got more vibrant and the waves crashed harder as though my emotions controlled the nature around me. But it wasn't around me. It was out there, and I was stuck in an asylum filled with phony glimpses into paradise. Now there were many birds screeching at the top of their lungs. Some were red, some were blue, and some were gray and black. They were yelling at me.

Screaming to "Stand back!"

My mind raced. "Why won't this door open! Why won't this door OPEN!"

My breathing was labored, and my eyesight began to escape me.

"No! No! Don't go away! Please don't leave me!"

I panted as I fell to the floor still holding onto the door. Soon my ears began to ring, and birds turned into alarms. I looked away from the ocean, behind me twenty or so people all stared. The oceans crashing soon turned into white noise as shouts began to come out of the mob.

"Step away, sir!" the men screamed at me.

"What are you doing!" said one woman.

"What? What, where am I? Where's the ocean? The beach? What happened? Where am I?"

A man in a black and blue costume pushed his way to the front of the crowd. "Sir!" he exclaimed.

"Where am I?" I replied.

"Sir please step away from the painting."

"The painting? What… painting?"

"Sir, I'm only going to ask you one more time. Step away from the painting!"

"N-n-no. It can't be! But it was right there. I was right there."

I look back to see a painting on the wall. Such a beautiful piece of art. So beautiful it fooled my decrepit old mind. I turned back around to see the two men in blue and black now. No three. They all started to walk towards me. They slowed down. It all slowed down. My mind was racing once again.

"How did I-what did I-where-" So many questions and nobody answering.

The men grabbed my arms and pulled me up. The chatter surrounded me. The alarm stopped chirping and the ocean's white noise grew as we exited through a big lobby filled with big daggering eyes and gaping mouths. Pushed into a car my eyes grew tired. The men in the front separated from me by bars said something but I couldn't make out what. I soon passed out. When I awoke I found myself here. In this room. Padded and white. I have had dreams recently, as there is nothing else to do here, this house, this prison that I'm in. The house, the ocean, the birds. It felt so real.