One More Year by Ian L


It has been a long year with a lot different things happening. The Tsunami in Japan, the death of Steve Jobs, the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, The Royal Wedding. All of these were huge things that defined the year, but some things that were more personal stood out to me. For instance, we got our laptops. This was a huge event for me because I had never really used a computer before 2010. Since than I have become very good at using them. Another huge thing in my life this year was that my uncle almost died. He was in a bike accident and flipped over the handlebars, puncturing one of his lungs. Also only yesterday I had my midterm exams. They were pretty hard, but I finished with a good grade. Like our teacher said, preparing for the exam is more stressful than actually taking the exam in most cases. It’s been a good year that I really enjoyed. One of the best of my life. I hope next year will be even better. Let’s hope 2012 is the best year yet!

Chess Club and ICC by Ian L

Picture taken by Ian on ICC Jin App

I hope this doesn’t seem too much like advertising, but it is never to late to join the Durham Academy Chess Team. Sorry about that last part (It really sounded like advertising). Chess is a great extracurricular thing that can be a lot of fun. Our chess teacher is Craig Jones. Mr. Jones has a great sense of humor, lets you have fun, and at the same time, teaches you a lot. Our chess team is one of the most competitive in the state, and we win or get second almost every year. We compete at the national level as well, and going to tournaments can be quite a blast. Chess can give you something to concentrate on. You have a chess application on your computer for beginners as well as an ICC application for people that are more serious about playing chess. ICC stands for the Internet Chess Club, and it helps you get better. Almost everyone in the chess community plays on ICC including up to the grandmaster level. ICC is very fun once you get used to it, and you can talk with Mr. Jones or any other person in the world who plays on the Internet Chess Club. Unfortunately, ICC costs money to have an account, so you should only play if you are positive about playing chess. You can download the ICC application on any computer, Windows or Mac, and it will run fine. We use ICC on our laptops and desktops at home. It is a great way to get better at chess and it utilizes your computer as well.

Darkhold: Chapter 4 by Ian L


Drawing by Ian




The voice became more and more powerful. The closer John got to Boston the louder and more frequently the voice came to him. He needed to find the source. It had to be some kind of telepathy because he could not find any other plausible explanation. Of course that wasn’t a plausible explanation at all, but…

“We’re here honey,” his mom informed him. Of course John already knew they were almost there. You would think his mom didn’t think he paid attention. John shook his head. The car ground to a halt as they reached a rundown parking lot. The fence was twisted and warped. The lot wasn’t paved, but gravel had been placed instead. Grass grew where the gravel was thin and buildings surrounded the lot. Those buildings too were rundown and looked as if they would collapse any minute. They got out of the car and closed the doors. As they walked, dust from the rocks filled their eyes. John rubbed them and then walked on with his mom. We were going to the Museum of US History. They had to go there because he had a report due in a week that was about major battles in the Civil War. His mom also liked going, but for a different reason. She liked baseball. “It’s America’s pastime,” she had said. They turned a corner onto the street that would be where the museum would be. It wasn’t there. On the side of the road was a man that was dressed like a construction worker. He had a bright orange vest. The man was leaning on a fire hydrant. John pointed to him and they walked towards him. He glanced at his mom and in a millisecond they both knew that he was going to be the talker.

“Umm… excuse me mister. Do you happen to know where the Museum of US History is?” John asked. He turned to John. He had had a couple of missing teeth and was smoking a short, stubby cigar. Black smoke was puffing out of the end of it. He had tattered pants. The man stared down at John.

“Well there was a museum of the History of the US a couple months ago,” he answered. John nodded. Was he a psychotic? Some crazy guy who didn’t know a thing about what I was talking about? Nah, he looked pretty sane. 

“Okay…” John asked, “but what happened to it? Where is it now?” This was confusing. Did it get demolished? Replaced? It didn’t make any sense; the museum was doing well the last time he had visited it.

“Well, now there is just no museum where it was,” the man said biting down on the cigar which was wet by now. John nodded again. This time his mom spoke,

“Thank you,” she said in her warm flattering voice, “We will be off now,” she told the man still smiling. Then they walked off. The man shook his head, turned around, and resumed smoking his ever present cigar. The city was still looming above them. The famous Fenway Park in the distance. John turned the corner and saw a huge building with a sign saying: μουσείο της ελληνικής μυθολογίας, and underneath it said: Museum of Greek Mythology.

“Do you want to learn about Greek mythology?” He asked her. He figured that they had came all the way here, so they might as well do something while they were there. Come to me. There it was again: the voice. A bell rang as we opened the door. There was no one at the front desk, however.

“Anyone there?” Mom said rather loudly. No one answered. They walked on. On the walls were large paintings of the greek gods and captions underneath, describing each of the gods. Each one was written in both Greek and English. The museum was almost a maze. The passage with all the pictures and writing twisted and turned.

We were in the middle of the maze when John faintly heard screaming. At first he wasn’t sure if it was screaming. It came from outside.

“Did you hear that?” he asked his mom. He wanted to make sure this wasn’t just his imagination. It wasn’t.

“Yeah, I did hear that,” she answered. Then he felt a hotness to his face and an orange glow coming from around the corner of the passage. His mom liked terrified. “No, no, not, not again,” she muttered. She knew what was happening. Then at that precise moment he knew too. It was a fire. His dad had died in a fire when he was very little and she had survived. This was like it happening to her all over again. Soon, smoke was getting in his eyes. Then the fire came from both sides. He panicked. He couldn’t see well and the passage was getting hotter and hotter. Then the smoke made the air almost impossible to breathe. Everything went black.

Darkhold: Chapter 5 by Ian L

The sixth chapter of Darkhold. Sorry for not posting, but I kept telling myself “tomorrow.” So today was yesterday’s tomorrow.


Drawing by Ian





I found a boy in the remains of the burned out part of my house. His clothes were charred and his skin black from soot. I decided that I would bring him to my house and take care of him. I summoned one of my servants and told him to take care of the boy. My servant walked away with the boy and his arms. I watched them walk out of my view and then decided to set my mind on more important matters. I then paid a visit to my old friend Hecta.

When he saw me appear he grimaced.

“Why do you disrupt my meditating, Vlad?” He asked, his eyes piercing into my body.

“Why did you burn part of my house?” I countered. For a moment I thought that he looked surprised, but he pulled himself together quickly and the look was not there anymore.

“And what proof do you have that I am he cause of this unfortunate happening,” He said. and he continued, “And why whenever something bad happens to you blame it on me,” his words were almost spit out. Again, I had managed to make Hecta lose his cool. I had made him call me Vlad. Vlad was the name that I had had hundreds of years ago. It was close to a thousand now. Then all of a sudden he waved his hand and out of the corner of the room came a brutish thing with green skin.

“‘hat can I do for ‘ou master Hecta?” The thing asked in a gravely voice.

“You can… dispose of this imposter,” Hecta said coldy. Almost spitting the words out with distaste. I laughed. That little pushover couldn’t beat me in a fight to save his life.

“‘essir!” The monster said. I pulled the hood of my black coat down and smiled. It was amusing to me that the monster thought that he could actually beat me. It would make this all the more fun. I turned to Hecta.

“Why would you just throw away one of your servants like that?” I asked him. My eyes steely.

“Because he is a tool- ” He answered, but was immediately interrupted by me.

“But why would you through away a tool?” I didn’t get what the logic behind this.

“An expendable tool. An expendable tool that I think can kill you,” he said. I got it now. Hecta didn’t care what happened to anyone else, only himself. Without further ado I walked up to the monster and hit it. Nothing happened. I narrowed my eyes. I willed my hand to get hot and flames burst up around my hand. I willed my other hand to get cold. It started to freeze and a small cloud of cold air floated around that hand. I clenched both hands together and brought them down on the monster. It reached up to block, but I was to strong and it was knocked over. Its body was both scorched and frozen at the same time. It struggled to get up and I hit the monster again. It faltered. Then it jumped up and slammed into me. I was knocked backwards from the force of the blow. I could hear the monster’s ragged breathing and I stood up. It was lying on the ground and looked injured. I took one look at the beast and kicked it as hard as I could, then willed a spear into my hands. The spear appeared and I stabbed the monster. The glow disappeared from its eyes when it died. I turned around and shot an icy glare at Hecta. He looked disappointed. I then willed myself home. I was there one second and the next I was in the room with the boy. I silently reminded myself to get a sword instead of a spear. I mean, spears are good and all, but whoever heard of the valiant knight who vanquished the evil knight with a spear? Swords are much more popular.


Darkhold: Chapter 3 by Ian L


Drawing by Ian




Just then a thought came to my head

“What did this man look like?”

“I don’t know.”

“Yes, you do”

“I don’t remember” I stared down at the man.

“Fine. But until tell me who this man is, you might as well get used to this old place because it might just become your permanent residence. In life and after.” The man gulped. “Say good by to your life for now,” He looked at me desperately. I smiled a very white smile at him. Then for some extra effect I burst into flames and appeared behind him. The with one deft movement of my hands I quickly knocked him out. He crumpled into a broken heap and I gave the unconscious body a sympathetic look. Then I picked him up and carried him into one of my “guest rooms”. I smiled. Some of my “tenants” had been in this house for a couple hundred years. I unlocked a dusty door and came into a dark, dank spiral staircase. The steps were slippery and treacherous. I stepped down them carefully until the passage. Above the begging of the straight section was a huge arch. it said: Μην βασιστείτε να βγεί εδώ. Don’t count on getting out of here. It was the motto of the expansive labyrinth that had been built under my house. I took a right turn and came to a long passage with cells on either side. There were mostly skeletons, but there were lots of rats that called this dank underworld their home. I estimated that this labyrinth stretched under most of greater Boston. When I had commissioned the building of the tunnels I had to be careful because of some of the car tunnels that that went under the city. Unfortunately for the builders of my house, if my memory serves correctly, I don’t let humans see my home and live. Well, tough luck. People would do anything for money back then. That was during the Great Depression. One of the cell doors screeched loudly as I opened it. The metal felt cold and and harsh to my hand. I put him down in his cell and slammed the door shut, leaving him lying on a small bed-like ledge. Light shining through a small crevice that I suspected was a drainage vent. I had a camera in every cell so I would know when he woke up. I walked up the slippery stairs again and into the, in comparison to the labyrinth, light filled room. This was troubling. It was the second tine I had had to deal with someone who I suspected was sent by Hecta. I pulled on a coat and walked out the door. Today I was going to get some answers. I always got answers. One way or another.

Darkhold: Chapter 2 by Ian L


Drawing by Ian



24 hours before


The rest of the day I was strutting around as if I was the best in the world (which I am by the way if you haven’t noticed). I had ticked off Hecta. In the old days we had to use human spies and unreliable sources, but partly due to the industrial revolution it was now much easier to spy. We practically knew each others habits and hobbies. For instance I knew Hecta knew that I brushed my teeth only once every week. I had found a video camera planted in the bathroom. How he got it there I don’t know. I am very old, a couple thousand years, and am from northwestern Europe. Near Norway and Finland. My name is Vlad, which was given to be my an old fishermen who almost had a heart attack when he saw me. Poor man, he may not have died from a heart attack, but he killed himself the day after. This was presumably  because of the guise I was using when he saw me. All I am trying to say is that that is the first name I was given so that is the name I use.

I was sitting in a meditative posture. My eyes snapped open as I detected movement behind me. It was nothing. Then again I really thought something had been behind me. Hmmmph. There was only the sound of the fan whirring gently in the background and the crickets chirping as I got up and walked over to the table. It was an old table. Probably the most valuable artifact left in the house. Of course I had had much more valuable possessions. Unfortunately I had lost most of them in the Great Chicago fire of 1871. I had lived in Chicago back then. I live in Boston now. It was very annoying and I suspected that Hecta’s hands were not clean. Again I heard a noise and I whipped around. This time I saw the source. There was a young man with a black mask and black clothing standing in the door frame. He winced and opened his mouth. I walked towards him and looked the man in his eyes.

“What is your name?” I asked him. I stared at him. Suddenly he broke and blurted out in a torrent of words,

“My name is Quinn McMurphy” He had a slight Irish accent that gave his ancestry away almost immediately. Plus his name…

“An Irish man I see,” I told him.

“How did you know?” He asked sarcastically. I smiled. I could play that game with him all day. I don’t know, I genuinely like people who are sarcastic when they are nervous. They remind me of myself.

I still didn’t answer

“I will ask the questions here,” I told him in a cold voice. He nodded, obviously scared. I had him now. “First question,” I cleared my throat, “What are you doing here?”

“Well—” He glanced at me cautiously. I nodded for him to go on. “There was this man,” He told me.

“Who was this man”?” I asked him.

“Well, he was hooded, so I couldn’t tell,” That made me annoyed. How bad a liar was this guy. Personally I knew how to lie very well.

Nobody wears cloaks and hoods anymore!” I yelled at him exasperated. Well, except for me. Again, he winced. Such a bad liar. At least I thought he was lying. It was all together possible he was telling the truth.

“He made me swear though. Not to tell anyone who he was” That stopped me. It seamed that this impostor had a sense of honor. But why would he keep his oath when his life was on the line. He seemed to read my mind.

“My wife and kids’ lives are at stake,” Quinn continued.

“What are you here for though?” I questioned.

“The Dagger of Darkhold,” the man answered.

Using My Computer by Ian L

Picture from Wikimedia Commons

I am feeling much better now than I was at the beginning of the pilot program. I now get on the laptop I was issued every day. I have slowly warmed up to blogging on this website. It has become almost an obsession. I just love posting on the blog. In our Spanish class people almost every day take notes on their computer for the Moodle page. We have a class notes page where people post what we did in class that day. In History today many of us typed our paragraphs on our computer. This saves time and you can write much quicker. This is very helpful when you want to be productive. Language Arts and History are usually the only subjects that I use my laptop for, but I could conceive of using it in Spanish and Science as well. Overall, so far, the laptops have been very useful to me, both with schoolwork and homework.

Darkhold: Chapter 1 by Ian L

Drawing by Ian

   Here is the first chapter of my story.  Please comment below by telling me what I need to improve on or whatever else you want to say about my story. I hope you enjoy!




John woke up with a grunt. He had had a very strange dream. He had been some sort of creature and had faced a man named Hecta. But it was just a dream. Just a dream John repeated to himself. It seemed so real though. Breakfast was fine, but his dream was still haunting him. Who was he? John did not know a Hecta. The only person he knew whose name started with an h was his best friend, Henry. It was all very strange. Maybe it was just a hallucination. It was so real though! Hah! What was he thinking! It was just a dream! Just a dream, he repeated to himself to calm his nerves. This would be embarrassing if people knew I was taking a dream seriously. The door squeaked when John opened it. A draft of cold air swept into the room and he pulled on a sweatshirt so he wouldn’t feel the cold as much. All of a sudden a voice said, “Come to me.” He looked around. It was just me. He started walking to school. The walk was long and tiring and he arrived to school five minutes late. He heard the voice again, “Come to me.” This time it sounded like someone was saying it right into his ear. John almost jumped. Again John just shrugged it off as himself, but throughout the day he kept hearing the voice. It was as if he was going crazy. The more John thought he going crazy the more it became the truth. The more he heard The Voice. It seemed that it was his own brain thinking it, but it wasn’t. John was distracted in class and couldn’t remember any of the things that I had read the previous night. When he got back to my house no one was there. That was strange. His parents were always there. Plus they would have left a note. Strange. He shook his head. Even though John was confused he just did my homework and waited for them to return. They didn’t. He made myself dinner and waited for them to return. They didn’t. It was all part of some plan. They just forgot to leave a note. He convinced myself that they would come back. They didn’t. John woke up in the morning and could already tell that that day was going to be bad. For a start he woke up discombobulated and then spilled his cereal all over himself.

Darkhold: Prologue by Ian L 11/28/11

Drawing by Ian

I started this story early in fifth grade. I abandoned it after writing a little and decided to not write anymore. Then later in the year I picked up where I left off and wrote some more that week. I again got bored with my story and moved on to other things. Sports, friends, and other stuff. I recently picked up again and wrote another couple pages. I will try to give a chapter a day if I get comments. If lots of people comment I will dust off some older short stories that I wrote in 4th grade and post them. Those are much shorter, but I will still have to post them in segments. I will try my best to edit both the short stories and Darkhold, but if you see mistakes please, talk to me if you can. So here goes nothing…




Hecta turned to face me. His face was dark and he was frowning. I looked at him questioningly. “Why have you come here? We had an agreement,” he said in his annoyingly deep voice. I smirked at him arrogantly.

“An agreement you broke first,” I countered.

“Leave me in peace before I get angry and decide to destroy you,” he went on. Always so dramatic. He knew I was more powerful.

“If you are so fond of preaching our agreement then why did I have to deal with one particular thief trying to rob me of a very valuable artifact?” I was out of breath after I finished. Hecta’s eyes were still cold and hard.

“What does this have to do with me?” Hecta asked. I smirked at him again just because I was one of the only people that could.

“Well after some considerable torturing he uttered one word. That word was quite revealing. Can you guess what word he told me?” He shrugged.

“What was it?”

“Well, he told me your name, Hecta. I thought I told you, you never tell people your name. But you did and you will pay for it,” I said.

“Leave now,” Hecta said.

“Bite me,” I taunted and turned my back on him. Hecta gave an angry growl and lunged at me. Just before he hit me I willed myself into non-existence. I wished myself home. I disappeared.

Comic Life Projects by Ian L.

As the Donnelly Language Arts morning class is finishing around half the wisdom tales in their book, it is time for them to start the Comic Life project. This project brings out the creativity that lies dormant in many of the students. All of the students have been having fun with this project. The students can now use their artistic and creative skills that have had little use in previous LA classes. There have been some people, including myself, who quietly grumble to themselves (and other people around them) how hard it is to draw on the computer. Like I said, I agree with this opinion, but there are also advantages to drawing on the computer. For instance, you can make perfectly shaped straight lines and circles. This can can be very useful when you only have to click and drag to make a straight line. This however is both a curse and a blessing. This is because when you have to draw a curved line, it is very hard. On Skitch, the program that we use to draw, (as far as I know) you can only make straight lines and circles with the click and drag tools. To make curves you either have to make a circle and erase part of it, or you have to draw it out with the free draw tool. Overall, Comic Life his been very fun for the class, and I think it is a great tool. I am glad that we have been able to use it, and I am glad we were able to use the computer to create these comics.