The Essence of A River Fairy

By: Maya Breininger

Note: This is a student generated work of short fiction

I never learned how to activate my essence.
Even as the morning dew weighed down my delicate wings and ruined my ability to fly, even as I hid from the earth walkers under grass blades and lilly pods, I had never once felt the magical tingle of a flower growing at my touch. I hadn’t earned it.

I was a river fairy, I was.

Or so I thought I was.

But as my friends grew older, and as their earthly essence manifested, mine stunted to a point where my only power was helping the snails cross over the moss covered rocks.

So I found myself punting pebbles into the small lake left of the oak tree, cursing the essence distributors for skipping over me.

Then, a sound similar to the fall of dewdrops, I hear footsteps approaching me.

“You there!” An oily voice exudes. “Yes, you! Little one!”

“I am called Lo’ak.” My eyebrows furrow, and I refuse to turn around to the creature behind me.

“Lo’ak.” They taste my name on their tongue. “Lo’ak.”

“Yes. Why do you bother me?” I wonder aloud, wrapping my arms around my knees. “You are a river fairy, Lo’ak?” The stranger asks, their voice dripping with command. “I am.” I finally stand, and turn around to match the oily voice with a face. “But what are you?”

I faced a female as tall as auburn wall, with sun kissed skin, and hair the color of daisies. My eyes widened as I recognized her distinct outfit, and the realization hit me like the wind through the overpass. This woman was an Essence Distributor.

“You will come with me. We need a female river fairy; a monk has been hurt. He lies by the entrance to the oak tree.”

“I would not be of use to you.” I sit back down on the soil. I could not help but be angry with her; all my life I had waited for my essence, but it skipped past me.

“At your age, you have not been graced?” The woman looked a mix of surprise and disgust.

“No,” I say.

Her face froze in a confused expression as she stared at me, and I began to grow uncomfortable.

“I have told you my name. I think it is only fair that I know yours.” I say.

“I am called Kayla. I am an Essence Distributor; I bestow the power of fire onto young burn fairies.” It occured to me now that her voice was not an annoying oil, but a smooth, buttery coconut oil that soothed my ears.

“I can tell you are discontent, Lo’ak. But I cannot give you what you wish. I do not reside in the River Domain, therefore I cannot distribute river powers.”

“Kayla, everyone has their powers, except me. Everyone can embrace their talent and help the home tree. Except me. It has always been this way. I have these wings, but I cannot fly. I am to help the River, but I cannot bend water. Not only am I discontent, I am useless.”

She let out a smoky sigh, and sat beside me. “Fairy roads have increased tremendously to accommodate those who cannot fly. Magical herbs with healing properties have been found to replace the essence of river fae.”

“Are you trying to make me feel better? All you have shown me is that the fairy race has had to make great amendments because of those who are powerless.” My wings wilt behind me, and my heart sinks.

“I am trying to tell you, that even as someone with no powers, you rely too much on them. How do you think essence is earned, by hard work? No, it is when a Fae or Fairy has found their calling, a special talent that only they can achieve. The essence of air, earth, water or fire is then distributed to that individual, to help them achieve their goal.”
I blink once. Then twice.

“Leave me, Kayla. You speak nonsense.”

After a moment of silence, she complies, and stands up away from me.

“Very well then.” She swiveled on her heel, and marched away from me.
I held it in for as long as possible, but as the woman who held the power to change my life walked away from me, I found it impossible not to jump at the chance.

“Wait!” I shot up from my seat, and climbed up the vine to the oak tree. “Wait, Kayla!” In my haste, of course, I flapped my wings to propel my sprint. But to my greatest surprise, thrill and excitement, my feet began to lift off the ground. I realized then; I was flying.

Jack Harlow album review

By: Nagad Omar & Sophie Johnson

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In this writing we will rate the new Jack Harlow album ‘Jackman’. This album came out just last month on April 28, 2023, and it is the third studio album that singer and rapper Jack Harlow has released. The style and genre of this album is very hip hop. The album as a whole, as well as the songs on it, are already a big hit with many of his fans and other listeners.

This album has a total of 10 songs with a length of 24:03. The whole album overall got generally positive reviews averaging with a score of 67/100.

The first song we are reviewing is called “It Can’t Be”. This song has a lot of nice bass in it and the vocals are especially good. Some of the songs on this album are not our favorite but this is one of the better ones we’ve heard. The beat is a little repetitive but overall, this song is a 7/10.

The next song is called “Blame On Me”. We would rate this song a 6/10 because there is not as much of a melody. It’s not a bad song but there are definitely better ones on the album.

Another song on this album that we reviewed is called “Is That Ight”. In our opinion, this song sounds the same as most of the other songs on the album. It is another 5/10. Once again, this song is not a bad song, but it’s not the best we’ve heard.

The next song off of Harlow’s new album, ‘Jackman’ is called ‘”They Don’t Love It”. This song was released as a single for the album. We would rate this song a 6/10. The beat of this song is pretty good and the song overall is not bad.

The next song on the album is “Ambitious”. The lyrics of “Ambitious” are great but we don’t like the sort of mellow beat. The chorus felt repetitive and long. The verses are definitely strong but feel like spoken word sometimes and less like pop music. We rate this song a 6/10.

The next song is “No Enhancers”. We really like the chorus of this song and the repetitiveness. It’s just enough but not too much. The lyrics flow really well and it feels like the normal pop music Jack Harlow makes. The beat is great and doesn’t feel as mellow as others. We rate this song a 8/10.

The next song we will rate is “Denver”,our favorite song on the album. The beat and flow of this song is unmatched. The chorus is great and the melody and flow of Harlow’s voice all match up perfectly to create this masterpiece. The opener of the song is great and sets the tone before the beat at the beginning comes on which we love. This song has no flaws. We rate this song a 10/10.

The last song we will rate is, “Gang, Gang, Gang”. This song was Harlow’s biggest song on the album, but really because of the content of the song. In this song Harlow talks about one of his buddies who allegedly raped 7 girls in the back of a Target parking lot. He also talks about his other hometown buddie who is accused of molesting a 10-year-old. This is very different from what is usually in his music, but the bigger story in this song is how much people change when he revisits his hometown and how hard it is to believe. We rate this song a 8/10.

Overall, this album is different than what Jack Harlow usually puts out. This was more deep of an album than Harlow puts out normally. His past album, “Come Home the Kids Miss You” was more rap and pop whereas this album is more mellow and Harlow tells stories in each song. The lyricism in this album is different then what we usually get. In the last album, Harlow had big features such as, Drake, Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake and Lil Wayne, whereas in this album there are no features. All in all, this album might not be for everyone but this album has better reviews than his last. We rate this album a 8/10.

‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3’

By: Joseph Nelson

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On May 5th, 2023, James Gunn ends one of his most successful trilogies. Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ trilogy started in 2014 when the group of misfits would take the theaters by storm, breaking their box office records of that year. The movie was so successful that we got to see a sequel 3 years later with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’. The sequel would go on to also break box office records and solidify ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ as one of Hollywood’s best superhero movies.

6 years later, Marvel fans received dozens of content and movies that molds the plot for the third installment of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. The audience loved it! With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 82% and a 95% from audience scores. James Gunn’s final send off of his 9 year Marvel project was the best work he has done for the Marvel franchise yet.

Many fans will claim that Marvels recent projects have been pretty meh. But after leaving the theater, those same fans will go on the internet to make videos and talk about how great of an emotional rollercoaster it was for them. Unlike many final Marvel installments, it is hard to find any criticism towards the film as the news filled their headlines with praises and put the film in the best light that they could.

It was truly shown on the big screen that he wanted to end the Guardians of the Galaxy on his own terms. When asked in an interview how he felt about his project finally sunsetting he said “[S]ad and proud.., But I feel like we did what we set out to do and I don’t think we could have done it much better than how we did it.”

Now, like many Marvel installments, just because the main series movies are over doesn’t mean that this will be the last time we will see these misfits on the big screen as Marvel has a tendency to include cameos in their main series films like the Avengers movies.

Overall, it was a bittersweet ending to the movie series that we have come to love and adore and it will be interesting to see what Marvel does next.

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