A Picture Is Worth 250 Words


Art is really subjective. We gave some writers some pictures and said, go. This is what they came up with. CLICK ON AN IMAGE TO WRITE YOUR OWN STORY

By Janel Sullivan | Illustration by Jack McGowan

Under the stage lights, Apollo was angry. The dying notes of his set rang with the brutal reality that he, former light god of Mount Olympus, was now a has-been.

1972 started it all. He found his rock ’n’ roll calling and formed his own band, traded in his lyre for a Stratocaster, and dressed only in the flashy colors of dawn.

He could rile whole audiences with a wave of his hand. He played as if he were free to roam the hills of Delphi, not caring about the consequences of his notes or the listeners of his music. From his strings he conjured Cassandra’s lies, Cyparissus’ tears, and Daphne’s screams.

But 40 years had passed, and no one wanted to listen anymore.

After a summer of touring lame county fairs, Apollo received a call to play an exclusive one-night show. In an overpriced venue jammed with celebrities, Apollo filled the room with the electric sounds of hundreds of years past.

The show ended with a trickle of applause.

Apollo threw down his guitar and stormed backstage. The Hollywood elite barely had time to look at one another before he returned carrying his lyre, a playfully sinister smile etched into his face.

“Hello, my pets,” he cooed into the microphone. “Time for my encore.”


By Molly Pomroy | Illustration by Jaycee Checo

Imagine falling into empty space, moving faster towards an end that will never come. You’ll spend the rest of your life tumbling downward, constructing a world out of the eternal blackness.

If years elapsed without human contact, would you recognize the sound of your own voice? The silence might swallow your words. Make sure to talk the whole time; create friends out of loneliness. But bear in mind, imaginary friends are thought to show insecurity.

The fear of crashing will overpower all previous fears: sharks, fire, walls, love. Don’t panic. Sharks smell terror. They’ll race you to your end, the one that doesn’t come from falling. You flail, and they’ll dive. Stay calm. You were always told not to splash through the water.

Don’t play with matches. Let your walls down. Don’t trust a damaged heart. It won’t matter much when you don’t exist.


By Joshua Rivera | Illustration by Anna Paterno

The rose and the atlas, the fire and the guitar, my words and your colors.

Even now, as my phone pulses and your throat dries and the air around you becomes that much colder, that much more aware of the uncomfortable heat building in your own skin, I wouldn’t have done a damn thing differently.

Whiskey to make love, wine to have sex, shouting to show affection, singing to make you pay.

You’re not going to get an answer. You’ll figure it out after the fifth try. It’s far more satisfying to shift gears with my free hand, feel the engine close its eyes and go silent for the briefest moment, just before its lungs fill and—you should have taken my advice and learned to drive stick.

You see, the scary thing about the devil is that you have to let him in.

Your camera is on my dash. It’s recording a message that you’ll never see. I’ll hide it away in the lining of that jacket I always wear when I would leave for places you’d never see, to do what you never could.

I write my verses in the ashes of a cigarette. I leave my finger blackened to remember the song will never be done.

If you hurry, you might still be able to leave. Don’t bother to pack or stop by the bank. They’ll all come looking for you soon enough. Yeah. This is how I wanted it.


By Cassandra Baim | Illustration by Dan Blaushild

From the moment you woke up next to her, you knew it could not last. After all, nothing gold can stay. But the gold remained through the number exchange the next morning, the coffee date the following week, the concerts, bike rides, and museums. You were waiting to wake up from your dream where a beauty with long dark hair, a great job, and a beautiful smile wants to be with a short, pudgy man who barely makes minimum wage. You were at her beck and call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Nothing but the best for this once-in-a-lifetime love. She owned you, and you happily complied. You pretended the gold was still untarnished. Then the private control became public humiliation. Every time she insulted your appearance in front of friends, demeaned your career aspirations, or pointed out strangers she should sleep with, you felt vulnerable: caught with your pants down, hands tied, unable to say anything about her dominance without sounding like a misogynist. You decided to run. Ten years later, living in a different city, working the job you always imagined, you run into a familiar face on the street. The woman you once ran away from rather than confront walked next to a tall, handsome, well-dressed man, hand in hand with a 10-year-old carbon copy of you. Ten years later, you were caught with your pants down once again.


By Tori White | Illustration by Dan Blaushild

Our feet accidentally touched under the table, so I sat on mine after that. We were at Taco Bell. You knew things I’d always wanted some- one to know.

We went to an outdoor concert with all our friends—except him. It felt so wrong because I was so happy to have you there instead of him. I thought, how nice to have you awkwardly swaying only a few dangerous inches behind me: a head banger with poor rhythm who would dance with me if he could.

We wound up alone. We got food, and I didn’t sit on my feet. We laughed, talked, and smiled the whole time. You kissed me in my bed. This time it felt right. I was happy.

I’m not with you, or him, anymore. But I think about you all the time. I have to stop pretending I know what you’re thinking about. Even though I do.