Sunday Morning

         Katina woke early that morning. She savored the warmth of the quilt for she knew the wood floors would be very cold. The white lace curtains danced in the gentle breeze, letting the sun play a little game of peek-a-boo. Even though the days were becoming more frigid with every setting sun, Katina could not stand a room without fresh, crisp air. She lifted her arms out above the covers and stretched them high over her head. Swinging her legs gracefully over the side of the bed, she draped a bathrobe over her shoulders. Slipping on her fuzzy pink slippers out from under the bed Katina stood up and walked towards her small closet next to her bed. She decided on a soft tee shirt and a warm sweater along with her thick leggings. She allowed the bathrobe to slide off of her shoulders and tumble towards the cold hard wooden floors. As she walked out into the hall, still pulling on her sweater, she stopped to rub the lingering sleep out of her eyes and felt the warmth of the sun through a crack between the still dancing curtains. She stopped to enjoy the warmth on her freckled cheeks, let her hazel eyes close in delight. Almost every morning, she got up at this time, and almost every morning, she stopped to enjoy this feeling of warmth on her face.
        Katina shuffled into the kitchen and pored herself a cup of coffee. She opened the old microwave and slid the red mug onto the tray stained with numerous coffee spills from years passed. From many tired mornings of coffee drinking, an attempt to restore some of those lost hours of sleep at night. She pulled out an old beat up chair from under the table, and it made a scratching sound as it dragged across the evenly beat up and old floors. She sat down at her circular table meant for two but currently seating one. Katina mindlessly rubbed her hands together as she stared out the window into the fields of golden wheat stretching far out onto the landscape and meeting their end at the mouth of a looming forest in the distance. The wheat danced along with the curtains, danced to the steady beat of the unforgiving mouthful of wind. Shining a brilliant golden hue, the wheat was a plate of gold, dropped from above and broken into one million pieces of gold, shattered across a vast landscape. Through the dark clouds in the sky, the sun peeked out, desperate for a little attention. Those skies were a promising sign of snow, or even rain. From the direction of the microwave came a sharp ping sound. This was Katina’s warning that if she didn’t get up soon, she would start her day off the way no one wants to start their day, with a cup of cold coffee. Running her chair across the scraped up floors, she walked over to the microwave and popped open the yellow door by pressing one of the many buttons. She took the cup of steaming coffee in her hands and lifted it to her nose. Taking a deep breath in, the bitter, nutty, almost chocolate like smell filled her senses. 
        Katina walked over to her old piano inherited from many generation’s pasts while tapping her fingers on the warm mug. As she tapped and strummed out piano notes on her mug, her ring made a soft sound against the clay mug she had crafted herself, like wind chimes on a breezy day such as this. She sat down at the piano bench, sliding slightly back and forth on the slippery finished surface. Placing her hands above the cold keys, she wiggled her long, ringed fingers to prepare them for the fast movements of piano playing. She thought of placing her still steaming cup of coffee on top of the piano, but realizing it was covered in dust, she decided against it. She noticed her old piano book from when she was young, took it down from the top of the piano and blew off the accumulated dust. The corner of her mouth lifted in a slight smile. She smiled in remembrance of all those frustrating mornings spent with her mother in this exact seat, at this exact piano, and in this house. Her mother now lived in care, she was old, and Katina was young. Every month, she would go and pay her dear mother a visit. In that time, many kisses and hugs and warm smiles were exchanged, and then it would be time for Katina to leave. She decided to play one of her mother’s favorite songs on the piano. She set her steaming mug of coffee beside her on the stool and again placed her hands on the cold black and white keys. Like a photograph without color, the piano waited to be played, waited to have its keys pressed and warmed. Katina began slowly chiming out the notes of the song. Slowly the song sped up, until her hands were gliding over the keys, then flying over them. The room was filled with the smell of fresh coffee and the sweet sound of piano keys being struck. Ending her mother’s song in a long, deep, dramatic note, she looked up at the mirror above the piano and saw in it a young version of her mother. She smiled, a wide joyful smile, than looked back down and continued to play.

Alaina Bonis '21

The Blackout

      All I could see was black, then I woke up not knowing where I was. I knew something was wrong because this didn't feel right. Everything seemed different and odd to me, but I wasn't sure what it was and why. I could hear the bright, colorful lights and I could see the loud, screeching sirens. There were people surrounding me, but everything was blurry so I couldn't make out any faces. A lot was going on, almost too much at one time. Someone was yelling, but I wasn't sure if it was directed towards me. Another person was putting something under my head and then I felt a tremendous amount of pressure. On the other side of me was someone putting some sort of mask over my mouth. Everything stopped for a second and I could feel a breeze. It wasn't cold nor warm. Everything was indecisive right now. Then I see two more people scramble to the object with bright lights, loud sirens, and with the sides swinging open as they pulled me inside. I knew something was wrong because this didn't feel right. Everything seemed different and odd to me, but I wasn't sure what it was and why. Then everything blacked out again. 
       The lights were off and everything was black. Music was blasting and everyone was screaming. I was pumped to start, I could even feel the blood pumping through every vein in my body. I could hear another voice, but from outside the room. As soon as it was heard, I saw a small crack of light shining in, then the door swung right open. My whole team marched out of the locker room, sprinting onto the ice. I can feel the roars from the crowd. I can feel the tension between us and our opponent, and I can feel the amount of energy in the arena building up. It was the Stanley Cup Finals! The game was tied three to three and this was the final period. We lined up at center ice for the opening face-off. The goalies lifted their sticks to signal that they're ready. The ref leaned forward to drop the puck, the game has begun! 
       The game was intense. Bodies were getting thrown around like rag dolls, pucks were being wired through the air to the net, fists were crushing faces, legs were being hacked at, this game had become something else. Now wasn't about which team was the most skilled, it was about which team had the bigger heart., which team was ready to fight, and which team wanted to win. Intimidation had its factor tonight, as the weaker players lost. I can feel the roars from the crowd, I can feel the tension between us and our opponent, and I can feel the amount of energy in the arena building up. This was a game for the gritty and dirty players. The puck was thrown into the corner. My line mate hustled to it, but was being trailed by a defenseman. He took stride after stride, gaining speed, and winning the race to the puck. The defenseman knew he lost the race and wasn't looking at the puck anymore, his eyes had focused on my teammate. He put his hands up, bent his knees, took two more strides, then with all the force he could use he sent my line mate into the boards head first. You could feel the vibrations from the hit, the glass was ringing all around the rink. There was a split second between when his body dropped to the ice, motionless, until a line brawl started.
         Punches were being thrown back and forth, people were being tackled, there seemed to be at least one piece of every kind of equipment on the ice, blood drops painted the white surface, bodies laying on the floor, refs scrambling, but failing to stop any of it. I looked at my line mate on the ice, still not moving. The defenseman was slowly skating away like he was leaving the crime scene. So I use all the strength I have to skate over to him and sending my hands through his back. His head cocks back and his feet leave the ground as he crashes onto the ice. As he slowly gets back up, he turns to face me. Both of our helmets, gloves and sticks scattered onto the ice. This hockey game has turned into a boxing match as there were jabs, uppercuts, hooks, pushes, and tugged getting thrown at each other. Both of us barely standing, blood leaking from just about every part of our faces. Everything slowed down as he threw a left hook. I dogged it and laid a right hook to the chin of his exposed side, shaking his whole body from head to toes as he drops to the ice. I was still up and he was down, the fight was over it seemed. I started skating to my bench with nothing but bodies behind me.  That's when I heard a voice yell, "Behind you!" I turned to see the defenseman swinging his stick like it was batting practice. It was all happening in a split second and before I could even ---. 
        All I could see was black, then I woke up not knowing where I was. I knew something was wrong because this didn't feel right. Everything seemed different and odd to me, but I wasn't sure what it was and why. I could hear the bright, colorful lights and I could see the loud, screeching sirens. The people surrounding me were blurry and a lot was going on. Someone was yelling, another person was putting something under my head, someone else was putting some sort of mask over my mouth. Everything stopped for a second and I could feel a breeze that wasn't cold nor warm, just indecisive like everything else was. Then two more people scramble to the object with bright lights, loud sirens, and with the sides swinging open they pulled me inside. I knew something was wrong because this didn't feel right. Everything seemed different and odd to me, but I wasn't sure what it was and why. 

Hunter Sadovnick '16