Bella Vista Newsroom 2022 Art Showcase!
Holden Showalter '23: "A short story about a man stuck in time. I wrote it first for fun but then implemented a really fun idea I’ve always thought about: the butterfly effect. 3 words turned into one of my favorite written pieces."
Sacrifice, Dance, Butterfly
I’m here again. Same masquerade, same people, and same woman, the one with the butterfly mask. Every time I go up to her with a different dance, every time she walks away disinterested, and every time I’m brought back to the start. I don’t know why this is happening, but I’m getting tired of it. I’ve tried walking out but there’s no entrance or exit. I’ve tried just talking to her but she doesn’t say anything. Just holds her hand out, expecting me to dance, and every time I’m wrong. I don’t get hungry, I don’t get tired, I don’t get thirsty. I’m just stuck here, no sense of time and no sense of what to do. It’s sad to say but I’ve tried to kill myself as well. I used my own mask and rubbed as hard as I could on my wrist, but before any major damage could be done the room reset again. And yet the woman with the butterfly mask remained
The people never change either, always the same crowd with the same groups talking to each other about the same things. I’ve tried joining in but they ignore me and their bodies are strong as statues(I learned this by trying to hit one of them which led to my hand getting broken which led to another reset). And yet the woman with the butterfly mask remained.
Finally I gave up trying to get out and returned to the woman, now understanding my situation. I walked around her, tried to push her over(only to fail), and tried talking to her again(only to be met with that silent stare). So I took her hand again and we danced. This time for a little longer than usual, performing ballroom dances around the circle of stone-like people. And yet moments later in the blink of an eye the room was reset again. And yet the woman with the butterfly mask remained.
I observed her. I took in every feature I could, trying to piece something together; a memory I’m forgetting. I walked around her in circles until it finally hit me. She wasn’t asking for my hand. Her hand was held up to stop me.
Before I could finish the thought her head had snapped to me and now did nothing but stare.
“It’s you, isn’t it?” She did not move, but a tear slid down her face. The amount of emotional pain that hit me felt like a line of semi-trucks, each one being worse than the one before. I fell to my knees before her, sobbing. “I’m so sorry. It’s not nearly enough to make up for what I did, but it’s all I can do.”
“You can do something else.” Her voice rang in my head like bells of a church, the only voice I’ve heard for God knows how long. I looked up to see her but found myself in a forest, alone. Turning in circles, I saw the headlights of a car, speeding down a road.
Wait, I know that road.
Adrenaline filled my body as I sprinted through the trees, branches breaking, feet pounding. And then I saw it, the greatest mistake I’ve ever made, about to unfold in front of me. I ran faster. The woman with the mask didn’t know. The car sped on.
I can make it. I can save her. It will be me this time, not her.
The road was right in front of me, the woman in the middle of it, standing in the same position I just saw her in in the ballroom. My foot hit the pavement. I dived.
It will be me, not you.
As she fell she looked at me and smiled. It felt good knowing my sacrifice wa-…
Anonymous Student: "Originally, I wanted to make an inspirational metaphorical thing about not giving up but then I thought it was sort of bland. I decided to go the pessimistic route and give it a twist and I think it feels more realistic that way. We hope things work out and we try not to give up but sometimes that’s the only thing we can do. We shouldn’t give up right away but sometimes just letting go is nice too."
Her fingers bled raw as she clawed the tree branch. She craned her head down and saw the torrent of water that threatened to engulf her. Beads of sweat cut a line across her face as her breath grew sparse. She considered, if only for a moment, if she should accept what she thought was undeniable. Her last moments would be spent in agony, drenched in fear and drowning in the current of the river that opened its maw for her. Was this where her story ended? She had thought she had at least a couple more hundred pages. Today, she thought, was where her chapter ended, but this time there would be no epilogue.
Her hair stuck to her face as if it too, was clinging to hope. Her thighs ached and burned as she wrapped herself around the branch, needing, in this moment, to become one with it. If she tried to shimmy her way towards the bank that beckoned to her, she would surely lose her grip and fall prey to the abyss beneath her. She figured though, she was either destined to hold on until, ultimately it became unbearable and plunged to her death or she fought her way to the ever welcoming bank, slipped and fell, once again to her untimely death. She thought she would rather die trying than wait for it to claim her as a dog waits for euthanasia.
Slowly, she peeled her fingers from their death grip and moved them systematically. Pain coursed through her as if every nerve in her body was being ripped apart. Blood trickled from her hands down her arms and were washed away in the waters. Her numb legs followed the rest of her body, inching closer and closer to the promise of relief. She could feel the hope igniting like a wildfire in her chest and spread throughout her body. She felt invigorated and moved smoother, quicker. Her hands and fingers no longer had skin on them but she still was determined not to become overcome by the rushing waters that would be her death.
Though her body burned and begged for what she would not give it, still she moved. An inch, another inch, one more. Like this, she gained area and made progress, gaining a better view of the ground. She gauged how close she would have to be to make it if she jumped, almost tasting the relief. Her senses dulled, her mind became muddled with the pain and euphoria that coursed simultaneously in her veins. Her grip faltered and her legs gave way. She thought she did not have legs. Those did not exist. Not in her dreary world where all that existed was right here at this moment.
Now that she thought about it, where were her arms, her hands? The sound of the water crashing against the rocks of the shore, accumulating together then dispersing as the waves hit each other lulled her into a state of acceptance and indifference.
The inches she had gained against the branch suddenly were taken away and she was stuck like molasses on this branch. The branch was falling, growing more distant in her field of vision, or what is she who was falling? Her back ached. And then it didn’t. Nothing did. Darkness enveloped her and she felt suffocated. Each breath she inhaled turned to ash in her watery lungs.
The light from her vision faded, relinquishing control to the water. The air in her lungs dissipated and she became one with the rushing waters of her imminent death.
AJ: "A short story roughly inspired by a prompt from the writing club I am a part of. I made this story with a general overview in a short amount of time then went back later for review and improvability."
A Butterfly's Grand Waltz
This is the tale of two strangers, one being the hunter and the other as the hunted. As time goes on, the Hunter relentlessly pursues the Hunted until one day the Hunted finally turns the tables on the situation, forcing the Hunter to retreat back to his base, narrowly escaping with his life. The Hunted one then follows the Hunter back to his base where she finds him willing to give up this grand chase between themselves. They talk using sign language instead of deadly combat for a while for neither of them want to break the silence in the air. When the Hunted decides to take leave, the Hunter then offers her a dance. She agrees, a small smile hidden behind her helmet. They waltz silently around the room like butterflies fluttering gracefully through the air on a crisp winter morning. The Hunted, cloaked in crackling electricity and flowing plasma, shows many mixed emotions under the cover of her helmet while the Hunter, shrouded in a veil of ice, chills the very air around them whilst showing little to no emotion in his eyes as he wears his protective mask. At the end of their silent waltz, the Hunter twirls the Hunted away from himself in a spin, then back towards him causing the Hunted to clumsily stumble into him as she tries to regain her footing. Because of this, they find themselves in a predicament where they’re so close to each other that the Hunter could practically see the Hunted’s face through her helmet’s tinted visor. In a sudden action, the Hunted pushes away from the Hunter and runs out of the room waving goodbye to the Hunter whilst blushing furiously under her helmet. The Hunter smiles to himself then ventures off to perform some needed maintenance on his weapons.
A day or two goes by when the Hunted returns to the Hunter. They sit down and chat via sign language, still reluctant to break the silence between them. As they chat, it helps ease tensions, enabling them to move away from hostile feelings towards each other whilst finding similarities. The Hunted then suggests an idea she’s had for a while but was never able to follow through with. Naturally, she asks the Hunter to help her. He obliges to this while staying a bit skeptical on the matter. This plan then leads them to set out on a journey together into uncharted lands upon vast and frozen wastelands on a distant planet. As they finish up their objective, a great enemy then appears before the unlikely duo. The Hunted then uses her quick-as-lightning reflexes to warp the Hunter to safety in a blink of an eye, leaving herself to tackle the daunting enemy. The Hunter, stunned by the speed of her decision, finds himself back in her base whilst trying to figure out a way to get back to the Hunted. Suddenly, a random portal made of dark energy materials before his very eyes, beckoning him to enter it. Out of options, the Hunter trusts the ominous voice and jumps through it. By the time he arrives at the battlefield of where the Hunted resided, he realizes that he was too late. As he ran over to the Hunted’s side, he noticed the once daunting opponent now laid lifeless in the snow, completely and utterly destroyed but that was not his main concern. When finally standing a few feet apart from the Hunted, he then truly saw what damage her powers had done to herself as she was surrounded in an aura of dark lightning whilst trembling. The Hunter then asked her, “Why?” to which she replied, “To save you from... me” before collapsing in complete exhaustion onto the snow’s soft surface, her darkness aura dissipating. As the Hunter rushed to where she laid in the snow, he cursed to himself for allowing this to happen, soon realizing that he couldn’t have prevented this. In her final moments, the Hunted then whispered to him, “Goodbye... friend,” before passing away. The Hunter then sat there silently crying over her body, his tears freezing before they left his eyes. A butterfly with wings made of tiny ice crystals then flew by and decided to land on the Hunted’s chest. As it did, the Hunter then noticed that the butterfly absorbed some of the electric powers into its wings before flying away. After that, he was sure that it symbolized something but he was left with more of an empty feeling than anything...
Amina '23: "This is a simple art piece I recently made. It was my first time utilizing a watercolor technique called watercolor blooms. I used light colors and avoided creating sharp lines."
Anonymous '23: "The piece is a lion up close using only a number 2 pencil and eraser. I made it after seeing a photograph of the lion and noticed its harmless look while our intuitions suggest its a predator."
Lily Johnson '25: "This is a watercolor + pen floral painting."
Rebekah Fertel '26: "Made with acrylics, this piece is a painting of Woodlands Hope, a large green pony."