Welcome to Windfall!

Posted: October 3, 2012 in Windfall




Windfall. Nichols literary magazine provides a vehicle for student writers and artists to express their thoughts and ideas. The magazine is published once a year in book form and now adding a blog to post students creations all year round!


Hell’s Other People

Posted: December 14, 2013 in Short stories

I was in Hell

I wasn’t angry about it.  I knew why I was there. I’d done some pretty nasty stuff.  Married men.  Then, when they’d dump me (always)  —   money to keep my mouth shut.  Even a car once.  And once I didn’t keep it shut.  He’d been the one I really wanted.  If I couldn’t have him.  Big man.  Important.  Big house, kids.  Three car garage.  Must have taken forever to fill up with exhaust.

So ok.  But the pain.  I can’t describe.  You know how you don’t feel the skin hurt when you’re punched in the stomach?  Well, the fire’s hot here all right, but who cares.  The soul burns.

I don’t know how long I’d been here.  I’d look up every so often and see people crossing way above on one of those narrow stone arches.  Indiana Jones stuff.  I didn’t know any of them; never the same person twice.  Except for one guy who must have been the guide.  Him I saw all the time.

Then once I did recognize somebody.  Even that far off.  He ran the donut shop down the street from me.  Nice guy.  I’d come in a lot.  Strung out.  Depressed to shit.  He’d always talk to me.  I’d say, “Why can’t I ever get a guy like you?”  And he’d wave his occupied ring finger at me and laugh.  And if I fished in my pockets a minute, he’d say, “Get me next time, Linda.”  Sometimes that was all I’d eat that day.

And there he was, passing overhead on this bridge out of Monument National Park.  Same guy leading him.  But I couldn’t remember his name.  And he was almost gone . . .

“Hey, Dono-Rama!” I yelled out as loud as I could.  “Down here!  Dono-man!!!”

I saw him stop.  He looked down and called.  “Linda?  Linda, it’s me.  Ray.”

I called back, “Ray, thank God!  Get me outa here!  Help me!”

I saw him turn to the guide.  Did Ray nod?  Then next thing I know . . .

I’m standing up there on the stone arch.  There’s a man next to me who I guess is the guide.  But no Ray.

And no flames, inside or out.

“What?!” I started.  I looked around.

“He’s down there,” the guide said.  I looked down and I could see him.  His face.

“He asked me if there was any way, and I told him: Yes. If someone agrees to trade places.  ‘Better love hath no man,’ and all  that.  So here you are.  Nice guy, Ray.  Your boyfriend?”

He walked me to the end of the bridge and pointed out an opening in the wall. “Just keep walking now,” he said.  “It only gets better.”  Then he was gone.

He was right.  I can’t describe.  Breezes.  Sights.  You know how you’re heart feels when love touches your skin?

I didn’t see anybody else.  Too early, I guessed.  There was a mountain, and I started for it.

Until I stopped.  Shrugged.  Shook my head.  Spoke.

Next second, I’m back.  Down there.  But at least Ray was out, back where he deserved.

Until I looked around and saw him next to me.

I was rip-shit.  “Hey Choir Boy !!!” I yelled.  “Hey Wing Tips!!!  What the fuck?!”

Then I saw that he was there, too.  The guide.

“Finally,” he said.  He was smiling.  And everybody was smiling.  “You’re the last one.”

I cocked my head at him.

“That’s why you didn’t see anyone up there,” he said.  “They’re all down here . . .”

“You mean, everybody’s in hell?”  I shouted.  He nodded.  “Everybody?  Like saints?  Like . . . Mary?”

“That’s her over there,” he motioned with his chin.

“ My mother’ll freak,” I laughed.  Again he motioned.  “She already knows.”  I stopped.

“So I was right all along,” I said.  “We’re all damned.”  He put his finger, very gently, to my lips.

“I told you how it works here.  Compassion.  Someone feels just too badly for someone else to leave them.  They take their  place.  Then that person ends up doing the same.  There are always new people crossing, new chances.  Until, finally, everyone is down here . . .”

“But doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose?”  I was lost.

“The decision was made a long time ago.  Nobody goes till everyone goes.”

I heard a deep voice from the crowd.  “While one soul is imprisoned . . .”

I raised an eyebrow.  “Oh, that’s God,” the guide said.  “He thinks he’s Eugene Debs.”

God’s down here, too?!  Whose place did he take?”

“Mine,” said the guide with a smile, and his eyes smoldered a little.  I’d thought he looked a bit like Pacino.  But they all do to me . . .

“Wait a minute,” I took him by the shoulders. “This is the place where God is, right?  And now everybody’s here. Together.  And everybody really cares?  But wouldn’t that make this . . .?”

You know how when you turn on the defogger, and it all just melts away from the bottom up?  You know that the rainbow has a big arched shadow?

-Professor Wayne-Daniel Berard


Regina Grace

Posted: December 14, 2013 in Short stories

 She’s more than beautiful. Try to stop her in the street; you’re not getting her name. Regina Grace is a woman who knows what she wants, and she’ll get it. Gina is a showstopper. You never wait for a confrontation with her. Men love her; women hate her. And Gina does not give a damn.

I meet her one night in a sleazy little pub, and as the night wears down we sit drowning shots of Jaeger with Red Bull. She tells me her story. Our brains intertwine; now this is my story to tell. The men surrounding us grow more lecherous with each drink. Make no mistakes; I myself am one of those lecherous dogs. I just like to think I hide it better than they do. I know these dogs are glaring at me, wishing to be me because it is I she has chosen to sit with. I am lost in the shadow of the magnificent Regina Grace, aided by alcohol and adoring every licorice-burping minute.

She’s just that girl.  Not exactly red hair, more the idea of it. Her head is thrown back as she laughs, with a slender leg stretching provocatively. Her left high heel dangles from her pointed toe as she stretches, then snaps the shoe back into place. Every eye in the place follows that move. Faint scars run along her right cheek, and it only heightens her beauty.  Every man in that dump is still eyeing that leg and thinking nothing good. I had originally tried to hit on her; it did not work. I’m a man who will take what he can get.

Now Regina is showing me a picture. A sullen looking guy is next to her, messing up what could have been a masterpiece. His face is weathered, and a large nose is jutting from that leathery mess of a face like a hawk’s beak.  Long blonde hair tied off with black rawhide. He’s a simple man with a slight handicap; he’s an amputee…the left leg. I can’t see this in the photograph, no one could, but she tells me as I’m holding the two of them on paper in my palm. I try not to let Gina see the look on my face but here it is. I can’t help it. Up go my eyebrows and my lips twist involuntarily. She’s disgusted by my reaction.

The two of them met in a crazy way. As she tells me the story, all I am left to do is fall in love with her. He’s dead now. Gina says this as she scoops peanuts from the bowl between us, and her brown eyes fill with tears. I would have killed all those dogs in the bar at that moment to get her man back, amputee that he was. How’s a guy like that get a girl like her…I’ll tell you.

So she’s walking along the beach one night, and his dog attacks her. Just mauls the shit out of her face. He doesn’t bring her to the hospital; he loves his dog and doesn’t want it put down. He feels terrible but he doesn’t want to lose his companion. Turns out, the guy is a nurse (A fucking man-nurse, can you believe it?). Gina had fainted from the whole thing and wakes up in this dude’s arms, her face sewn together and bandaged, him with that nose looking over her. They wind up talking for hours.

I interrupt her here. “What do you mean; you wind up talking for hours?”

“Just what I said.” She raises an eyebrow and crushes a cigarette into the ashtray, smoke unfurling from her red lips. I buy her another shot.

“Continue.” I slide the shot towards her. “I want to hear the rest, Gina. I don’t get how you can fall in love with someone who lets his dog attack you and then doesn’t get you medical attention.”

“That’s because you…“ She slams back the shot. ”…are an insensitive prick.” She continues on then.

Finally he helps her home and her whole family is aghast at what has happened. I guess they have been worried sick wondering where the hell she was, but Gina just kind of brushes it off. By this time, she feels something for the dude, something she thinks is pity. Her family presses her to sue. She refuses.

The next day, Gina walks the beach again, and there he is. James, his name is. Gina and James. And just like that, they fall in love.

I look at her skeptically when she tells me ‘just like that, we fell in love’, but she ignores me in a way that only the truly loved can. I try to pry a bit more.

“How do you know it was love? In just one day?”

“I just know.” Gina stops talking for a minute; her voice is soft and sad. So I figure she must be telling the truth, but I still don’t get it. This guy – he’s no looker. I guess to some people looks truly don’t matter. I can’t say that for myself though, nope. I’m a legs and eyes man, and ugly women just don’t cut it for me. I don’t like me any fat chicks, either. And I sure as hell don’t like chicks whose dog has just fucking sliced my face open.

Now it’s nearing the end of the night, and Regina is crying as she tells me of his death. He killed himself, she says. Just swam out into the ocean and never came back. Never left a note or anything, so I suggest an accident. She turns to me then, and there it is – that gleam of fury in her eyes that makes her look like a goddess incarnate. I feel like an idiot for suggesting it. Gina continues on with her story, tells me how it was the best summer of her life. When she met James she was transformed into something else, a better person. He made her feel like she could do anything, that just because she was so beautiful it didn’t mean she wasn’t smart. He loved her for her, not for her beauty. Cliché, huh? Gina swears that it’s Truth. She tells me how before, everyone in her life just based everything on the way she looked. James didn’t. And it was as simple as that.

He was depressed, James was. He saw too much ugly, too much gray in a world of black and white. Gina tried to cheer him up enough to want to stay, but it wasn’t enough. ‘I’m a fucking amputee’, he told her. ‘All I’ll do is bring you down’. They spent all summer talking, talking, and talking, while her family ignored her and James in disgust.

They hated him, hated that his dog had ruined her face. But James and Gina didn’t see the mauling as ruining her face. In fact, Gina told me, she liked it. The scars took the attention from her beauty.

Crazy red-haired vixen.

Siren of all men who were previously nothing.

If she only knew how those scars leaped out, the silver against her pale face serving as nothing less than a magnet for any man.

At this point in the story, the tears completely overtake her. I help her up and over to the ladies.

As I settle back onto the barstool, Tom comes over (Tom who owns the place) and he just kind of stares at me.


“You know what the hell you’re doing, Kevin? She’s been in here a few times, buddy. She’s bad news, that girl.” Tom starts cleaning the bar, all nonchalant, but I know what this dog is up to.

“I’m fucking fine, Tom. Just trying to help the girl get over whatever she needs to.”

Tom snorts out his laughter and thankfully, moves on. I yell for another shot, two shots, and as Regina slides back onto the bar stool Tom brings ‘em down.

“You okay?” I want to lean in, caress her leg a bit. I already tried that move though, and Gina wasn’t having it.

“I’m fine. You ready?” We clink our shot glasses together and knock back more of that harsh, licorice sweetness.

So by now in Gina’s story, it’s closing in on the end of the summer. She packs her things. Not to return home, but to move in with him – and he refuses, James broke up with her. She’s a heartbroken mess, but her family couldn’t have been happier. They bring up the issue of suing him again, demanding that she act like she’s got some sense. She lost it then, went ballistic on her father, and eventually her mother gets everyone calmed down enough to leave. So off they go, back to her former life. But now, it’s a life tainted with memories of a hawk-nosed amputee.

The news two weeks later, they all have a headliner about a missing man in Westerly, Rhode Island, in a place called Misquamicut Beach. Gina tells me her heart froze when she heard it, and she knew then that it was James and he wasn’t missing. She knew that he had offed himself. Those were her exact words to me — he offed himself.

She grinds out another cigarette, exhales heavily, and stands. She’s looking down at me like I’m something she’s never seen before. She’s unsteady on her feet, so I jump up and grab her arm.

“You okay?” I feel electrified, stroking this feline goddess’s arm.

“I’m fine. Just need to go. I can’t…talk…about James anymore. It hurts. It’s been 10 years, and I’m still not over it.” My head spins when she admits it’s been 10 years. How is that possible, that this creature of beauty is still in mourning over an old, dead, washed-up amputee? I walk her out to the street, press a twenty into her hand, and hail a taxi.

Just like that, she’s gone.

When I head back in the bar, the sweet scent of alcohol hits my nostrils like an assassin. I take one look at Tom and all those other dogs and change my mind.

Back on the street, it takes too long to flag another taxi. By the time I finally get a cab, I’ll never catch her. So I just pull up my collar and hunker down in my seat, letting my breath fog up the glass.

Nikki Anderson ‘14


Trick or Treat – Daniel Snyder

Posted: March 4, 2013 in Poetry

Try not to SNICKER
If you are not mature enough to handle this cover your ears please
It’s Halloween so I am COTTON CANDY (caught on candy)
lemme explain how these treats bring ALMOND JOY (all men joy) with more than flavor
even though it HERt when SHE KISSES
cuz it remind me of the one I thought would be a LIFE SAVOR
but im slowly PATCH-in up that hole so SOUR turns SWEET
I feel like its PAYDAY I want NUT-tin but to kiss her head to feet
Start moving to her neck im tasting all the flavor
shirts off and them DOTS are JAWBREAKERS
I’m CEILING the deal, about to send BABY thru the ROOF,
her eyes roll straight to the top
her pants off now and im lookin at that JUICY FRUIT
so like NERDS im going straight to the box
I start eating like a kid on their first Halloween
across campus they hearing her scream
she light skinned- so it’s MILKY the WAY I make her CARAMEL CREAM
I break off like a KIT KAT
she thrown me down- I sit up- she push me and say get back
I respect that…
so I relax and don’t trip
I was going to let her BLOW my POP til my STAR BURST but I wanna take a FUNDIP
This is everlasting like a GOBSTOPPER, will it end? I think not…
Cuz I’m not gunna stop PUSHing til that RING POP
one after another we explode like GUSHERS
and fall back on top of the covers
she said you did a good job- MR GOODBAR

It’s Halloween and I wanna go back out now
BUTTERFINGERS feel so good on my back right now
The boys bangin on my window screaming you better come out back right now
I give her one last kiss and tell CANDY it’s a WRAP right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While y’all watching “reality” shows listening to chief keef
the 1% is watching your minds grow weak
I urge everyone to wake up we all have the ability inside us
we need to come together and stop letting them divide us
we are all sheep in their visions
divided by country, politics, race and religion
genocide of Indians and slavery of black people is now translated into prison
humans caged by the millions
while our nations’ leaders drop bombs on innocent children
and the entertainment business disrespects our women
and our public schools portray Columbus- the founder of American slavery as a hero not a villain
whose actions led to more deaths than Hitler but we forgive him
and give him a holiday in recognition
his actions were blatantly satanly
in order to understand society you need to understand how it came to be
America has its power only because it is so dominantly militant and its peoples ignorance
constantly declaring war on the innocent
we have all been blinded by our public school teachers
mass media and politicians speeches
constantly voting for people who contribute to our weakness
implanting images to occupy your mind so you don’t see this
please try to see-
why are there still powerful secret societies
and there is a Patriot Act to spy on me?
Why do we spend time hating on people who are different than us- like a goth child?
when we should be studying the inhumane acts of the Rockefellers and Rothschilds
whose family owned corporations
during multiple wars funded opposing nations
and whose banks purposely construct depressions and inflation
who put human life after countless money
who eat like kings while millions are hungry
whose children do not enter the service
and have the lower – class fight wars for their purpose
The history you learned was tainted and mostly a lie
we learn about the Boston Massacre where a few died but not the hundreds in Vietnam in My Lai

and y’all wanna get a degree and work for these businesses… career day February 20th the FBI has a table…should you join? HELL NO
everyone who has gone against the government on a large stage has been JFK’d
and there murderers never found or killed within a few days
EX Naval Intelligence William Cooper exposed them and predicted 9/11 as well as school shootings years before they happened
and knew that Americans GIVING away their rights in their “so called” safety
would be the reaction
he was killed by an officer of the law and no one really knows what happened
in the background the 1% laughing
look at the one dollar bill the words written in latin
annuit coeptis- he- god- accepts our actions
and under that novos ordo seclorum- meaning new world order how can you ignore it
or the owl symbolizing the Bohemian Grove in the top right corner
but we don’t see this as we are making our dollar menu order
we don’t think about how the meat is chemically processed
after millions of cows are slaughtered
we love the entertainment industry, but don’t see
celebrities corrupting the minds of our daughters
while we evolve around the slave owning paper face of our founding father

I am a mathematician using poetry to display my wisdom
with more energy than the transformers all spark
and lines sicker than American blankets given to Native Americans infected with smallpox
my punch lines non-stop
and I got a mean right
that will tag you in the left so you lean right
but I no longer wanna get physical
we are not each other’s enemies- I been reading a lot and it’s the political criminals
every president we ever had lied
but we keep voting for one cuz that’s our way of life
war is nothing but bad business
and your willing to give your life to continue its existence
oh no- by not they are prolly on to me
cuz The United States is the biggest terrorist when you study its wars and foreign policy
making you hate immigrants within our nation
when all of you that aren’t native American’s ancestors came here for a better life
or to evade discrimination

next time you are home talk to your grandparents
ask them about their parents
they were prolly immigrants like the Mexicans you criticize-
That in the 1800’s we declared war on/
so we could continue our conquest to California but you don’t know that cuz you’re a moron
and you pay your weedman with a 20 dollar bill – that’s President Jackson
who declared the most inhumaine actions to make sure the white man prospered and the red man
to be killed and broken into fractions
millions of native americans died but you only know their sports mascots cuz your blind
and you don’t research it cuz u don’t wanna fathom more
you don’t wanna study atrocities we committed in Vietnam, Korea, Panama, Cambodia, The Middle East and El Salvador
The African continent’s resources are the most prosperous
so why we got wealthy American’s with a camera and African children skin and bones bare foot sitting on rocks and shit!
if every nation used its military money for its people it could feed and clothe every child
but you do not care because you are a college student- with your own problems- you’re in debt
and Call of Duty is the only war that occupies your interests
Throughout history America invests
and has given money to corrupt governments// like Saddam Husain’s
who we declare war on when we no longer need them and are done with them/
whose nations we sold weapons to- and with the profit we made more efficient ones
and now they are attacking the 2nd amendment to get your guns
you get left behind with no rights and up turns down
and you act like it’s impossible that the American Governments contributed
to the towers burnin down
if you fold your money correctly you see two towers collapsing in dust
but you do not believe that because in god you trust
religion is the most effective way to control the masses but their philosophies are hypocrisy
and talking badly about religion is a no no
but the most powerful religious man in the world- the pope-prays for the poor from a gold throne
while people in his city are hungry with no homes
if you get paid in gods name you worship the devil
I am a free thinker expressing my mind I am not a rebel
I was placed here to open your mind to the next level
in hopes that you wake up
after I wash away societies make up
I am Mass Messiah- I represent the real and the fake will never replace us

Reezy- Daniel Snyder

Posted: March 4, 2013 in Poetry

I remember being a little kid when Halloween was fun but…
I also remember when Reynold told me Halloween was a come up
because everyone is dressed up and when you run up
with a knife or gun tucked
it take people too long to realize what’s up

he was after more than candy
thinkin he a raw dog not worried about a plan B

plan A was to get that paper up
since a youngin football he played with us
could have been D1 but he felt he wasn’t getting paid enough
believed in god but threw around that angel dust
red flaggin askin “you wanna bang wit us?”
the money started to hurt him- he got paper cuts

missed a year of football because he was living reckless
we tried to talk to him saying he would regret this
he had a different perspective
he thought the streets were his and he had to protect them
the young bulls he chilled with he started to infect them
I just wish earlier he had learned his lesson
cuz now hes behind bars with no weapon
instead of a D1 college on national tv grabbing interceptions
I know he’s in there pacing back and forth stressing
I just hope that somehow he’s progressing
not letting all the negativity in there affect him
hope he doesn’t act like a tough guy trying to impress them
and if he do get into something that someone help him and step in
cuz in a place like that 5’5’’ aint to impressive
he got and ego and want everyone to respect him
someone do something he dare them to test him
I heard stories of how he’s getting messed with
I don’t believe in god but if there is one please bless him
let him make it out safe and start fresh and
place him in an honest profession

And celebrate Halloween not scheming  another come up, taking another route
and never again setting foot back I the haunted house

People say that I am too truthful
I don’t love any more but I used to
sorry if I used you
but I cannot love any more
I cannot love any more
I do not look for guidance from above anymore
though I do talk to Jake…I know that he listens
we used to sit back and smoke and talk about women
similar situations but the people were different
I am sure he would want me to love again
I just wish I could give my brother a hug again
everything changing so rapidly
I don’t even remember the face of the chicks smashin me
but there is no face when you hit it from the back
I only loved once I don’t know if I will ever get that feelin back
but I also donno if I want to…cuz every chick I talk to I look beyond you
and behind you…and I constantly remind you
that I cannot love again…
but we can fuck again
because emotion causes commotion in my mind and it feel like exploding
so it take me a while to get open because it only took my heart a short time to be broken
and I try to put together the pieces
and when I think about love I feel at my weakest
cuz I keep it 100 and these chicks be deceiving
so you think I am a demon
and judge me when you see me during the weekend
think you know what I’m getting at before I start speakin
and when I say things that make you smile you don’t believe it
cuz you knew a friend that knew a friend and all I did was beat it and leave it
you think I have no heart and I am the meanest
but I am just honest- I do not want to be misleadin
I have infinite reasons
why I cannot love again…
but we can fuck again…
for the last year I haven’t
been able to give a female anything but orgasms
and they think I am cynical
because all I can offer is my physical
and just show affection with my erection so love doesn’t make me miserable
I can give you my body but I cannot give you my heart- and you think that’s banannas
but the only women who has never tried to bring me down is my nana
before you judge dan try to understand my scripture
pinkie promises have almost always turned into middle fingers
and we are supposed to put a ring on the next one
my mother always asks, ”How do you know it isn’t gunna be the next one”
I just respond, “I’m not impressed mom.”
how can I be when she remind me of the rest
before I get ready to take another test
I think about my ex
and realize all of my relationships have just resulted in stress
when I am in  one I treat them like the best
and in return for the love I give- the only positive I get is sex
which is funny cuz they always think of me when they’re messin with their next
pause, rewind, play- it has been the same result in every stage
so I just spend time with Mary Jane on Valentine’s day
and I smoke and think and relive the pain
of all the thoughts of tying knots running through my brain
I could love again- yet it would prolly turn out the same
or I could continue my journey through the rain- missing clothes on this walk of shame
but the boys love when you sleep in a random bed so to them it is a walk of fame
I look into these females eyes trying to figure out what they want from me
and it’s usually feelings not a fuck buddy
but they cannot get anything but a really good fuck from me…
it’s crazy… the thought of having a wife and some babies
that is something I laugh at lately
so if you let me sleep over…and simultaneously we wake up again
just let it be known, I cannot love again
but we can fuck again…

For years I been wanting to do this so bad
please grab your pens and a notepad
My gasoline been pouring out for years and many don’t like it
well tonight im gunna ignite it

I know a lot of you don’t do this in class

but please be quiet and please be patient
because you are about to receive some real life education…
I hope yall didn’t judge me from my reputation…
I mean- who are you to judge me?
the same people who shake my hand dap me and hug me
are the same ones that talk behind my back and it disgust me
trust me
look around who at who surrounds you
what it comes down to
is the set of morals and values that i was raised by and I am bound to
where im from- you got somethin to say to someone you say it to their face
not behind their back when they walk out the place
not judge someone based off their race
because even if you can fit in their shoes…you might not be able to walk at the same pace
and im not just talking about the students
even some of the faculty do this
i can prove it
and unless you open your eyes what im saying is useless

I stand up for what I believe in you act like that was never done before
I could say thats not hypocrictical and their doing their jobs but i cant pretend that
I speak my mind at any given time and they condemn that instead of commend that
but you cant take my words away from me gimme my pen back

you cant walk away from the truth eventually its gunna catch you
and when it grabs hold of your ankles walkings gunna grow stressful
i know all of you look into the mirror
but how many look beyond their appearance?

i dont care if you belive this
i see this
studying math ed so its about time i start teaching
matter fact its about time i start preaching

why everybody act so different on the weekend
then on a weekday when u see em u dont even start speakin
i say wassp to eveyone im cool wit dont care if they say it back
cuz we gotta come together cuz kids uniting is the only time they have fun when they get babysat
its metaphorical- but im stating facts
if you cant handle the truth- whatever im ok with that

but if you wanna make this school better then prove it
because if we want to progress we need to make movements as a unit
or we can keep dividing into smaller fractions
keep in mind in time the biggest results come a collection of the smallest actions
so next time you complain about the school
try and remember the picture I just painted for the school