Tyger Literary Magazine

St. X's Online Literary Magazine


Editor-in-chief: Nathan Slaven

Senior Editors: Alex Dripchak, Zade Mutwalli

Junior Editor: Evan Vetter

Faculty Advisor: Rebecca Reisert

Click on the titles below to read the best pieces of creative student writing in 2016-17.

Sunset - By Nathan Slaven

SUNSET

By Nathan Slaven

Sean wrapped his legs around the post like a vine. Stared into the water. Pink. Or was it orange? The sky was a smear of honey. The city was just a thin strip of green felt wedged between the two. And he was-...

What was he?

Not important. Only thing that matters is that he did it. Anna was safe.

Who was Anna?

Not important.

Yes, it is.

No, it's not.

Yes it is. Why can't I remember anyth-

Shut up!

Who am I even talking to?

You're talking to you. To me. To whoever you wanna be.

Wait. Why can't I move my legs?

Please stop fighting it, Sean. You'll just make the switch harder for everyone.

Anna? What are you doing in-... here? Switch? What is this?

Relax, Sean. It'll all be over soon. Look at the sunset, honey. Heh. Doesn't it look like honey, honey? Ha. We're so clever.

Art credit - Sunset, by Gus Orthober

Around and Around We Go - by Samuel Guizio

AROUND AND AROUND WE GO

By Samuel Guizio

Cradles to classrooms to collars to coffins—

Don’t mimic the butterflies; we aren’t them.

Mutiny - by Adam Klimek

MUTINY

By Adam Klimek

A beauty she was, my ship. Her tall masts held rippling sails, which carried us here from our homeland.

“Aye, Captain, mountains ahead,” my first mate shouted. “I’ll sound the bells.”

“Aye. All hands on deck,” I replied, “we’ve got to turn this ship around.”

“Ne’er, Cap. The hills show promise.”

“Promise, yes, if bein’ dead ye desire. These cliffs’ll end us.”

Now my crew was before me, having heard the bell’s promise. But for me it was more of a knell. For my wariness, they threw me into the perilous waters, and here I sink, as they ride on.

Untitled, by James Bryant

The Precariousness of April - by Samuel Guizio

THE PRECARIOUSNESS OF APRIL

By Samuel Guizio


Clouds break when the rain stops,

and robins dance in puddles

to celebrate the torrent's drops.

Clouds break when the rain stops,

and the sun becomes an afterthought

for any worms outside their tunnels.

Clouds break when the rain stops,

and robins dance in puddles.

My Fast Woman - Zade Mutwalli

MY FAST WOMAN

By Zade Mutwalli

She was coming in from Bloomington, Indiana, at 2:00 on a warm June day. Zade had never seen her in person, but he knew what to expect from pictures online: a red-faced German beauty by the curious name of R. He had spent a large chunk of his savings to bring her to Louisville, but knew it would be worth it if she was as special as she was advertised to be.

The quest for a perfect match had dogged Zade for the last two years of his life. Ever since watching the upperclassmen on the Saint Xavier Rugby team leave the stadium with their own cars full of pretty girls, the young freshman dreamed of having that experience for himself. Imagining all of the places he could take her further motivated Zade to choose wisely, because he wanted to enjoy the journeys that lie ahead of him.

Because of this, Zade Mutwalli was very particular about what he wanted. He imagined something that would put all his friends to shame, a trophy of sorts. He had been searching all over Kentucky, until finally he realized he had to broaden his range to fulfill his detailed list of features. He wanted her to be rosy, with a streamlined but practical shape and, hopefully, the ability to carry many children. Ideally, she would also have a large pair of headlights. He wanted her to be fast, and unabashed about how loud she sounded. Most importantly, Zade wanted something exotic, one that was originally from a foreign country, preferably Germany or Japan.When R finally popped up among his search results, Zade knew she was the one worthy of his love.

It was 2:25 p.m. when she finally pulled into the driveway. A grey-haired,balding man got out of the driver’s seat and gave a gap-toothed smile. "Howdy! Are you... Zade Mutwalli?" the man asked. Zade responded with an affirmative and went to shake his hand. It was at that moment that the man pressed the keys into Zade's palm.

"She's all yours."

Drowning - by James Shepherd

DROWNING

By James Shepherd

Scratchy sand between your toes.

Water rising—

Ankle,

Then knee.

Ice cold salt water waves.

Knee,

Then neck.

Loud crashing waves.

You gasp for air

But sink.

You stop,

Think.

How silent it is.

You swim up.

You swim down.

You swim all around.

The color of water changes

From translucent blue to

Navy

To black.

You get nervous.

You panic.

You look up and know

You’re out of your depth.

In Depth, by Eli Thompson

Purple Slime Thing That Probably Eats Children - by Brendan Hart

PURPLE SLIME THING THAT PROBABLY EATS CHILDREN

By Brendan Hart

"Watch out for the monsters, darling."

The little girl nodded. Rushed off, chasing shadows.

Skinned her knee on the sidewalk. Blinked back tears and kept running. A trickle of blood stayed behind.

Something shifted in the tree-line.

The girl found an empty can. Kicked it around an empty parking lot. It rolled into the woods. She followed in hot pursuit.

Stopped. Leaned against a tree to catch her breath.

Dragging footsteps behind her. She turned. Collided with a mountain of slime.

She rubbed her head and backpedalled.

Laughter. It wound an arm around her. "Hello there."

The girl screamed.

Roy G Biv - by Zade Mutwalli

ROY G BIV

By Zade Mutwalli

All equal on a rainbow...

Taking precedence over other colors.

But I say

What about aquamarine?

The color of rivers and rapids.

What about the magnificent shade of green

when trees are misted from waterfalls?

Or the beige of sandstone cliffsides?

I say

Don't get distracted by the rainbows.

Without a backdrop they would just be empty light.

Rarely spotted

Never dotted

Always the center of attention.

But might I mention

The importance of the preceding storm

Without which rainbows never form?

For that sparkling mist

Gives light a twist

In which etherial beauty is created.




Rainbow over the Falls, by Clint Hoehler.

Runaway - by Nathan Slaven

RUNAWAY (EXCERPT FROM THE NOVEL)

By Nathan Slaven

Kurt is a celebrity on social media who gets fed up with life and decides to wander around the country. He’s just arrived in a small town in the middle of Colorado.

There’s a nurse outside the hospital smoking. I don’t think it’s tobacco. Colorado. I sit next to him.
“What’s there to do in Cascade Falls, Colorado?”
He shrugs. “We’ve got the second-biggest national park in Colorado. Like three SuperMax prisons. A pretty lake.”
“Sounds riveting. But what do you do?”
“Give pills to old people. Then watch football and get wasted.”
“Now, that sounds like fun.” My voice sounds funny to me. I think it’s the smoke.
The smoke frowns. What are you insinuating, sir?
It’s definitely the smoke.
Awkward silence creeps in. I kill it before it grows out of control. “I’m Kurt.”
He nods.

I start to ask him what his name is but realize he has an ID badge on his shirt. Seth.
“What’s going on in the world of football?” I ask.
He ignores my question.

“You’re that guy on Instagram, right?”
I sigh. “That’s me.”
“What the hell are you doing in Colorado?”
“Haven’t figured that out yet.”
He takes a picture of me. I fake-smile. Part of me worries that it doesn’t look fake enough and people will get the wrong impression. The rest of me realizes that it’d be exactly the right impression if I worry that much about it. Irony.
“What if I posted this?”
“Some people would probably think you’re really good at Photoshop. And everyone else would be jealous.”
“The sheep, you mean?”
“Sure. The sheep.”
I hadn’t given much thought to the sheep lately. I kind of stopped caring about them. It was relieving, actually. I’m angry with Seth for bringing it up. He seems to notice.
“What? You miss the loving hearts of your three-hundred-thousand best friends? ’Cause I’ve been keeping the hearts of forty retired Vietnam vets from shriveling up like wet sponges,”
I clench my teeth.

He shrugs. Exhales a large puff of smoke. It waves goodbye to me as it vanishes. I wish it safe travels.
He shrugs again.

“Whatever, man. The Raiders play tonight. I’m going home.”
He starts walking away. I run up behind him. “No car?”
“Not on my paycheck.”
“I can drive you home.”
He shrugs.

I run back and get my car. Pick up Seth. We drive through a sea of small businesses with cringe-inducing names.

I ask Seth for directions. Google Maps informs me that he lives very far away. I don’t know how he planned on walking home.
“Nice car.”
I nod.
“License plates from Iowa?”
I nod. “I stole it from a crazy woman and her brother after they tried to harvest my organs.”
“Cool story.”
“Not a story. It literally happened. I dropped off a kidney in the hospital an hour ago. The backpack in the backseat is full of money.”
“Isn’t that something?”
“Everything is something, Seth. This just happens to be a particularly unusual something.”
“Unusual indeed.”
He lets off another puff of smoke. Points out the window to a random house. The neighborhood is sketchier than an Etch-a-Sketch. We get out of the car, and I follow him inside without an invitation. He doesn’t seem like the type to care.
A TV is already on, and something is burning. Seth sighs. Sits down in the very middle of a saggy, sickly green couch, leaving no room. I sit on the floor. It smells like soapy dishwater.
Seth changes the channel to a football game. I watch the lines of miniature-giants run into each other while more miniature giants dance around and occasionally chuck a giant almond-thing at each other. One of them runs all the way across the field. Seth sighs.
“That’s bad?”
“Yes, KurtSC, fumbling at the six yard-line is bad.”
“Oh.”
“They don’t have football in Chicago?”
“They do. I’m just a hockey person.”
“Figures.”
“What?”
“Nothing.”
I try to think of something to say.

A guy in a tank-top and no pants walk in. He glares. “Who the hell is this?”
“Tucker, this is KurtSC. He has three-hundred-fifty thousand followers on Instagram and a backpack full of money from Iowan organ harvesters. Oh. And he’s a hockey person.”
I wait for an introduction to Tucker No-Pants. I do not get one.
Tucker No-Pants rolls his eyes and sits in a beanbag. A sizeable heap of bean-things trickle out. He puts a charred Hot Pocket in his mouth and tries to conceal his disgust. I catch myself staring. I get up and walk out of the house.
I sit on the creaking wooden porch. Something shifts underneath me. I imagine it’s a puma, freshly escaped from the zoo. I whistle.
“Here, puma, puma. Don’t be scared. I won’t bite. As long as you don’t. Ha.”
I hear a mewl. I decide that it is a baby puma, separated from its mother after a week on the run. Puma fugitives.
“It’s okay. Your secret is safe with me.”
The baby puma peeks out from under the porch. I pat the empty spot next to me, and it pounces onto my hand.
“Ouch! Bad puma.”
The baby puma gives a sorry look.
“I’m sorry about your family. You must be feeling pretty gross right now.”
Baby Puma nods.
“I know how you feel. Sort of. Except it was my fault. Which is kind of worse, actually. At least you don’t have to feel guilty.”
Baby Puma scratches at my forearm.
“Sorry. That was insensitive. It’s been a while since I talked to someone real.”
“Who are you talking to?”
It’s Seth.

I turn around. “Nobody.”
“You’re one weird guy, KurtSC.”
I could say the same about you. But I don’t.

“I gotta go.” I stand up and walk to my car.

Seth sighs. “See you.”
No you won’t.
I decide that I don’t like Colorado.

You - by Samuel Guizio

YOU

By Samuel Guizio

You're caustic.

Demon-bile-in-hell caustic.

Acidic,

Like lemons and limes

And salt and vinegar

And tomatoes and Coke

All blended together and served

With a bit of kale flourish—

But I'll drink you.

Munny Right - by Evan Vetter

MUNNY RIGHT

by Evan Vetter

*To fully immerse yourself in this piece, it is important that you prepare a few things before reading. First, find a quiet place wherever you are, such that you won't be disturbed. Once there, open a music app (Spotify, iTunes, etc.) and queue the song "Munny Right" by Jon Bellion. The song is quite atmospheric, so this piece works best with a headset or headphones. We will be examining this song section by section, so prepare to listen for a specific amount of time, pause and read, then listen again. Now that we are ready to begin, play the song and pause after 51 seconds.*

Jon Bellion took risks. Big ones. Like drop-out-of-school-to-make-music big. These opening lines are exactly what he would have said to anyone doubting his actions.

Recently I began a transition from a focus on school to a focus on gaming, specifically professional League of Legends. And it took forever to convince my parents to let my normal A's become C's. Yet now that I've fully committed, I've noticed an absurd increase in scoffs at explanations of my future. People just don't understand unconventional dreams.

*Continue with the song and pause at the 1:38 mark.*

"Eighth grade I feel depressed as ****

‘Cuz’ my heart is in the future and I know where I belong.

It just takes time.”

Okay, so these lines just blew me away.

Sophomore year was easily the hardest year of my life. I struggled in school, was unsure of religion, and had few friends. Put simply, I was depressed as ****. And the worst part was I knew where I wanted to go, what I wanted to be. I just had no idea how to get there. And all I can do is hope I can say the same things as Jon when I'm 22.

*Continue until the 2:40 mark.*

A few words before I let you finish the song. The line "you sound like everybody else" with the deep voice. People who are educated on the subject of League of Legends say this exact phrase. They know the odds are slim in going pro and refuse to believe I am different in my commitment. And proving them wrong will be hard, but when there is only one thing you want in life, you do it.

*You may now finish the song. I would advise you listen once more through, without any interruptions. Draw your own conclusions on what the song means and how it relates to you. I would also encourage you listen to the rest of Jon's album, The Definition. It's fantastic.*

Type Love - by James Shepherd

TYPE LOVE

By James Shepherd

I wanna puppy-love type love.

I wanna-be-on-the-phone-just-to-listen-to-you-breathe type love.

I wanna think-of-you-thinking-of-me-thinking-of-you type love.

That you-get-on-my-last-nerves-but-I-love-you-type love.

I wanna-die-just-so-I-can-be-born-again-and-fall-in-love-with-her-in-a-different-life type love.

The I’m-running-out-of-data type love.

I want that make-a-fort, order-some-pizza, and watch-netflix type love.

The I-rub-your-feet-while-you-tell-me-about-your-day type love.

That hating-how-crazy-you-are-but-loving-how-you-miss-me type love.

Looking at how your name looks so good next to my last name.

That I-don’t-know-where-this-is-going-but-it-feels-good type love.

That fall-asleep-on-the-phone-but-don’t-hang-up type love,

And-then-wake-up-with-her-still-next-to-you-on-the-phone type love.

That love that is as puzzling as she is.

That love that every time you look into her eyes you can’t help but to stare.

But look, I have a girlfriend,

So she gets all this love.

Mirror Man - by Samuel Guizio

MIRROR MAN

by Samuel Guizio

Ah, there he is.

Shouldn't have wasted it, Mirror Man.

Shouldn't have waited so long.

Should have done that,

And that,

And that and that and that.

Now you're just sitting here,

Ever-wishing for an eternal youth,

Or at least a relapse of what was

And will never be again.

The gold's rusted, man.

Its flakes are floating throughout the air.

You can't catch them, so don't try.

Just watch them shimmer.

Pitiful man without my pity,

Die withered.

Senior School Blues - by Zade Mutwalli

SENIOR SCHOOL BLUES

By Zade Mutwalli

I don’t want to school no more.

Aw, I don’t want to school no more.

I don’t even know what I’m waking up for.

I’m going out down the senior slide.

Oh, I’m going out down the senior slide.

My scores may suffer, but I’m keepin’ my pride.

Spend Eight hours waitin’ on the bell.

I spend eight hours waitin’ for the damn bell.

When it rings, I’m allowed to leave this hell.

When I leave, I don’t know where I’ll go,

When I leave, I don’t know where I’ll go.

I know I’ll be missing senior year though.

A Scale Unturned - by Adam Klimek

A SCALE UNTURNED

By Adam Klimek

Demons and angels,

The unending fight,

Strife.

Wrong against right,

Balance maintains

Life

Maintains balance.

Right against wrong,

Strife.

Fight unending,

The angels and demons.

The Knell - by Adam Klimek

THE KNELL

By Adam Klimek

The final bell had just rung twice,

But yet here I remain

After it echoed through the world of ice.

The final bell had just rung twice,

Showing glimpses of a paradise,

But here I have everything to gain.

The final bell had just rung twice,

But yet here I remain.

Oda a la Mora - by Chad Bauman

ODA A LA MORA

By Chad Bauman

Frescas en el campo.

En la luz del sol,

gotitas de agua brillan,

calentadas por el calor del verano.

Es imposible no admirar

las esferas moradas,

perfectamente redondas y regordetas.

La primera mordedura, la explosión de sabor

es un despertar

de todos los beneficios que el verano trae.

Los días más largos,

perder el tiempo con amigos,

ser libre.

Llegan en cantidades enormes

para que las familias puedan disfrutar

del equilibrio armonioso entre

la dulzura y la acidez de la mora.

Y cuando las moras están preparadas

en una tarta, el resultado es nada menos

que mágico.

Oda a la Nieve - by Chase Bauman

ODA A LA NIEVE

By Chase Bauman

El silencio blanco,

cubriendo todo, blanqueando todo

embelleciendo nuestro amor.

Sin ruido, habla,

fuertemente con la pasión

del poder inmesurable de la naturaleza.

No como el demagogo del terror tiránico,

Ni el presagio ominoso de nuestros miedos más profundos.

No.

Esta calma, serenidad, pureza de paz,

me platica, te platica, nos platica,

como un mejor amigo, un anciano sabio, un padre amoroso,

abrazándonos hasta la felicidad completa,

guiándonos a una amistad inseparable,

revelándonos una aceptación de la hermosura.

No.

No habla por si mismo, sino por todo que respira.

Por silencio, triunfa sobre

lo malo, lo feo, lo siniestro,

destruyendo, venciendo, dominando

las imperfecciones que nos espantan tanto.

Y a través del bosque, un copo de nieve.


Oda a la Noche - by Patrick Haugh

ODA A LA NOCHE

By Patrick Haugh

A la muerte del día

la oscuridad viene

con timidez,

como la sombra

de un fantasma

que calca cada fotón

en cruz del sol.

La boca de lo desconocido

los devoran pero su

hambre por la luz solo

está amplificada.

Todo que sobra es

el aire fresco

y el misterio de qué

trepa en las tinieblas

del bosque negro y gris.

Cada goteo de luz de luna

es una cara que

sonríe con un rictus,

un motivo ambiguo.

Los espíritus nadan

en el agua añil

de profundidades infinitas.

Los deseos nocturno

se manifiestan e

el reflejo de ojo

que se contempla

la realidad altern

en el espejo de oro

Un chillido y un suspir

son lo mismo e

el silencio inquieto

La piel se sient

en filos desiguale

y se pone de pi

con el susurr

de las hojas

El viento acall

a los vagabundo

de medianoche qu

cruzan por las calles vacías

La luna mira la serie d

fatalidades con un

somnolencia santificad

y en las horas entre una y cuatr

no hay ningún sonido salv

la respiración

de la tierra

Oda al Beisbol - Matthew Logsdon

ODA AL BEISBOL

By Matthew Logsdon

Simple béisbol, Un equipo,

pelota blanca, nueve,

costuras rojas. una familia.

Pero eres más opaco Todas partes de la máquina

que muchos piensan. tienen que funcionar juntas.

Un deseo, Una pelota blanca,

un amor, un bate,

me das más que un juego.

los momentos más altos,

amigos nuevos,

memorias.

Eres una conexión,

una relación entre un padre y un hijo,

un amor compartido,

simple béisbol.

Tiro, tiro, tiro.

Fracaso, fracaso, fracaso,

un juego de fracaso.

Los momentos más bajos,

lecciones de la vida.

Estoy preparado,

los fracasos no me afectan.

Gracias, béisbol.