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The Talon

The Talon

December Literary Magazine

Lost in a blizzard
Art by Jason Dennis
Art by Jason Dennis


By Taylor Walker

“Bitter snowflakes”

Tell me how to smile

Tell me how to laugh when no one is watching

When I’m staring up at the stars

Story continues below advertisement

And everyone else has left 


Tell me how to breathe in the cool air 

Although it pierces my lungs

And it does not let me exhale

As the snow falls from the sky


Tell me to wrap the scarf around my neck

Although I wish to be only in my shirt

To feel the bitterness of snowflakes against my tongue

And the fierceness of fight in my warm heart


And when the sky becomes angry 

I will no longer fight it

But let it bury me beneath the snow 

In a heap of guilt

By Brock Peterson

“Blizzard rap”

Twas the night before Christmas,

and all was asleep. 

The Hawks are standing on business,

no other school made a peep.

The semester is almost up, 

and academics have become clear.

As winter break came near,

they couldn’t help but cheer.

Students will take their final tests, 

we sure wish them the best.

We’re academic weapons, 

we were born in the nest.

If the winter moon does not shine,

it will shine with Rudolph’s red nose.

Hawk athletics will take this W, 

that’s just how the story goes.

The Christmas trees are up, 

and the snowflakes are cut and scissored.

This winter is going to be a cold one,

 better bundle up for this blizzard.

Short Story

By Jason Dennis


I trip on the doorstep as I make my way inside my house. 

My stomach hurts. I’m hungry. It gnaws at me through my shirt.

I stumble towards the pantry. Bad idea. 

Just the dimmest thought of eating creates waves of nausea

Nearly knocking me off my feet.

I’m getting cold. Goosebumps raise up all over my skin. They hurt. 

The thermostat can tell no lies through its display. It is 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

I walk into my bedroom to change into warmer clothes when another bout of nausea hits me.

This time I really do fall to my knees.

I crawl to the dresser and wrap myself in layers of warm clothes. I strain myself pulling my legs through a pair of long johns.


I’m really wearing myself out. I have to stop to catch my breath while putting on my warmest sweater. But I just keep getting colder. 

Beat, I manage to get myself up into bed. Tugging at the covers exhausts the last of my strength. I whimper like a dog.

I’m freezing. I imagine myself trapped under the ice of a frozen lake. I kick and thrash but the ice is so thick and the water below me is so deep and so dark. A shadow swims towards me with big fins and yellow eyes and jagged teeth and-

S***. I’m delirious. It takes an effort just to open my eyes. It’s dark out. 

I’m going to die. I imagine my appendages turning black and falling off, one by one. 

Turning over in the bed creates friction. Then there’s searing white pain. I put my hand inside my sweater and pull out a bloody one. A certain pair of papillae upon my chest had gotten so stiff from cold that they tore and bled upon making contact with my shirt. 

My teeth are chattering now. I worry that if my jaw keeps trembling then my teeth will break against each other, chipping and chipping away until nothing is left. I’m so cold. I’m so cold. 

I try to swallow but my throat is too dry. Lord help me now. I try to recite a prayer, but I can summon up in my mind no such thing. 

I sob as tears roll down my cheeks. They, too, are cold as ice. With one last breath, I sink into the fetal position and my vision fades.

By Arwen Johnson

“It’s kinda cold”

Perhaps this was all her fault, hers for underestimating the power this thing holds over them
and for being ignorant enough to mess with it.

Nah, this is definitely Kevin’s fault.

Rae kicks her left leg up and hooks it over the right as her arms cross over her chest. Kevin
sighs, the sound echoing through the dark, enclosed space they find themselves in.

“So…” Kevin starts, tapping his hands against his shins, “what do you wanna talk about?”

“Oh, shut up Kevin!” Rae shouts as she kicks him in the arm.

“Ow! Hey, well at least in trying to be positive!” Rae glares at him.

“We are going to freeze to death because of you!” She reminds, her shouts knock a bit of
snow off of the walls and onto the floor.

“Well, we haven’t frozen to death yet.” Kevin states as his own arms cross his chest. Rae’s
eye twitches.

“Of course we haven’t! We’ve only been in here for seven minutes!” Kevin puts his hands up

“Oh, I’m sorry for not knowing how hypothermia works!” He yells back sarcastically. Rae
scoffs and leans back against the wall. She shakes her head. The two fall into silence that’s only
occasionally interrupted by the light sound of crunching snow as they attempt to get more
comfortable. Kevin takes a breath.

“What are we gonna do?” He asks quietly, almost sounding defeated. Rae looks over at him.

“You mean before the witch comes back to drink our blood and eat our organs?” Kevin nods,
Rae shrugs. “We could try getting out again, but like I said earlier,” she points to a steep, nearly
upward facing tunnel covered in ice, “that is too steep and too slippery to climb out of.” Kevin
sighs again.

“Do you really think there’s nothing we can do?” He asks quietly. Rae shakes her head with a
shrug. Kevin nods as his lip quivers, a sob suddenly jumping from his throat.

“Oh..hey…” Rae says softly, crawling over to Kevin and wrapping him in a hug. She brushes
his curly blond hair away from his eyes and rests her cheek on the top of his head.

“It’s okay…we’re gonna be okay…” she whispers as her eyes dart around. Now she has to find
a way out, she hates seeing Kevin cry.

And that’s when she sees it.

Through Kevin’s visible sobbing breaths, she sees what looks to be a small hole in the wall
next to them. She lets go of Kevin and makes her way over to it.

“What are you..what are you doing?” He chokes out through his tears, wiping one of his eyes
to better see.

“Kevin, I found a hole in the wall..” she informs, Kevin sits up fully.

“What?” He crawls over to her side. Rae points.

“We..can’t fit through that.” Kevin says. Rae rolls her eyes.

“I’m aware.” She reaches into her booth and pulls out her pocket knife, flipping it open and
showing it to Kevin.

“I’m gonna try to make it big enough for us to fit through, I just need you to keep an eye out
for the witch.” She explains, Kevin nods and crawls back over to the tunnel. She works at the
wall, which, surprisingly, is easy to rip through. A few minutes go by and Rae hits through the
wall, she gasps and makes a hole big enough for her to slip into the next opening.

It’s practically the same as the one they’d been in, but instead of a steep, icy tunnel out, it’s
only a bit steep with no ice. Rae snaps her head over to Kevin.

“Kevin! I think I found a way out!” She shouts, Kevin looks over at her. He crawls through the
hole in the wall and sits by her side.

The small space was filled with silence for a moment. “What if the witch is waiting for us up
there?” Kevin asks.

“That’s a risk I’m willing to take.” Having to fight off an organ-eating witch has to be better
than freezing to death, and Rae can already feel her hands numbing. She moves, digging her
fingers into the side of the tunnel and pulling herself up.

“Be careful!” Kevin shouts after her. It’s quite narrow, Rae has about an inch of space on
either side and maybe five above her. This, coupled with her more muscular build, meant that
Kevin would be able to fit through easily. She lets out a relieved sigh.

It’s only maybe four seconds before her hand digs into the snow of the outside world. She peaks
her head out, searching for any sign of the witch, nothing. The snow is falling pretty heavily,
though. She can only see about 50 feet in front of herself. Rae pulls herself out, crouching in
front of the hole to talk to Kevin.

“Hey, Kev! We’re good, come on!”

“Okay!” Kevin calls back. Below her, there’s rustling, a bump, and then a distinct ‘ow’ from

“You okay?” She asks.

“Yea, I’m fine. I just hit my head.” Rae giggles. Five seconds pass and Kevin reaches the end of
the tunnel. Rae grabs his hand and helps pull him out.

“You good?” She asks.

“Good. Let’s get out of here before she comes back.” Rae nods and glances around, trying to
figure out where they ended up. She turns to Kevin.

“Which way should we go?” Kevin shrugs. A clicking sound echoes through their ears. The
two go dead silent, waiting for any other noise to tell them what they already know, she’s back.
An ear-piercing screech rips its way through the air followed by the quick slamming of hands
and feet against the tunnel walls. Rae smacks Kevin’s arm and starts running, the man follows
close behind.

Rae looks back for a second to see the witch running after them. Her skin is a darker gray
with long, thin, black hair and an emaciated body. Despite that, she runs fast. The two keep
running, jumping over fallen logs as the witch gains on them. Suddenly, through the falling snow,
Rae sees a cabin. She runs faster, scrambling up the stairs to the porch and accidentally
slamming against the door. She bangs on the dark wood as Kevin runs up behind her, hitting
her back as the witch nears.

The door finally opens and the two fall in, Rae turns around and slams the door shut and
locks it. She ignores the family as they ask her what’s wrong and instead walks over to a
window. She looks out the curtain. The witch is visibly growling as she slinks back into the snow,
and out of sight. The mother of the family grabs Rae’s shoulder and turns her around forcibly.

“What the hell is going on?!?” The woman asks angrily, her kids standing in the doorway to
the kitchen.

“Do you have a car?” Rae asks, the woman looks taken aback for a second.

“Yes, but my husband is using it.” She glares at Rae with suspicion in her eyes.

“We need to find ways to board up your house.” Rae says, walking past her to see just how
many windows this place has.

“Why would we need to do that?” The woman asks, following her around. Rae turns to face

“Cause the witch will be back.”

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About the Contributor
Jason Dennis
Jason Dennis, Artist
Jason Dennis is a senior at Ankeny High School. He is involved in band, choir and quiz bowl. In his free time, Jason enjoys bicycling, burning CDs, reading Wikipedia and spending time with his friends. This fall, Jason plans on attending UNI to study ecology and science education.
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