Students Published in Local Magazine

We have talented writers and artists at Iowa School for the Deaf, and their teachers help their work shine! Every spring, the Council Bluffs Optimist Clubs judge local submissions and produce the literary magazine, The Write Touch, featuring the best work of Council Bluffs middle school and high school students.
This year, ISD students who earned a spot in the magazine were Sterlyn Aragon (junior from Sergeant Bluff), TJ Nipper (junior from Council Bluffs) and Kali Nipper (freshman from Council Bluffs). Each of the students received a plaque noting their accomplishments. Their work is featured below.
“Earth Eye” by Sterlyn Aragon
“The Shadow Mansion” by TJ Nipper

A creepy medieval-like mansion stands among swampy trees and lily pads. Thick fog and mist as grey as the sky surround the area as a small breeze blows, giving me goosebumps. The path I followed is flooded with mossy cobblestones. Fireflies flash by as a frog swings a tongue out grabbing its dinner. Crooked, mossy vines cover wooden stairs and thick wooden doors with rusty door handles hang upside down. I decided to open it. The door creaks open as it bumps into fallen twigs. A dusty grand staircase meets my gaze with its white railings. The chandelier is gigantic, entirely covered in white webs and dust.

Suddenly, a huge painting of a creepy dressed man opens with a secret passageway behind it. Inside, there’s a large message in bloody handwriting in a foreign language sprawled across the crooked wall. There is a weird symbol on the back of the painting. Three arrows cross each other with three circles connected with chains in the middle. Unexpectedly, something clatters from across the room, maybe in the kitchen? 

I look around, and there is a long table with ripped chair cushions and legs scattered nearby. Some of the glassware is broken on the table, fancy silver utensils shine in the moonlight passing through shattered windows with torn up curtains. The grey mist and moonlight illuminates the room. I peek around the corner and see a dark shadow shift out from the kitchen. 

The footsteps and creeks suddenly start coming from the grand staircase. It glides past the creaky stairs, through the maze of dark hallways, ripping up carpets and paintings as it goes.  Some of the doors are open and slam shut.  The chandeliers glow dimly in the hallway. A breeze rushes throughout the room, but this time I didn’t get goosebumps. I was drawn to move closer to it. 

Doors slam in unison; however, one door remains open. There was a lit candle inside the room. The organ begins playing, and I find myself moving closer – I no longer have control. A shadow grew bigger, covering up the reflection of the candlelight. Then a loud screech sounds and the walls are covered with shapes of weird symbols crawling out from behind the paintings. The next thing I knew, the figure and I vanished into thin air. 

 My shadow reflects on the ground from somewhere unknown. The legend says that the shadow still lurks among the swampy mansion on nights with particularly grey skies waiting to add others to its collection. 



“Pink Flower” by Kali Nipper

A girl sits in class with a shining pink flower blooming in her heart. Five pink petals standing tall: her mind, heart, body, identity, and pride are full of joy. Sarah is a clever student, has a deaf family, and is a successful girl. In the classroom, she answers all the questions. One student asks Sarah, “You think you’re better than us? Well you’re not. You’re awful!” Sarah believes she should not answer questions so they will like her. Sarah stood quietly, while one shining pink petal fell as her joy faded. 

She packed her bag and went to her next class. A boy bumped into her, yelling “Watch out! Can’t you do anything right?” Sarah was speechless. One shining pink flower petal starts to fall. 

Sarah walked in her next class, the teacher handed her a paper. She got an A+. A little joy sparked, but one girl asked, “What did you get?” “ I got an A,” Sarah replied humbly. The girl rolled her eyes and sneered. A shining pink petal slowly fell, landing on the ground. The remaining petals stood together weakly holding onto one another. 

In the cafeteria full of people, Sarah was all alone. One shining pink flower petal fell with her tears. Floating, starting to fade, the petal sinks to the ground. She sat alone with one pink flower shining still. 

Sarah did not think she could survive through the heavy darkness without her light. Until one day when a Deaf-Blind woman came to her school. She shared her story on how she would never give up even though her world was dark and lonely at times. Sometimes, you have to find your own light. 

For weeks, all Sarah could think about was that if a Deaf-Blind woman can survive all the horror she has been through, then Sarah can, too. 

Sarah was done with the darkness inside her. She wanted her joy back, she wanted her pink flower shining bright again. From now on, Sarah would not let the harsh kids get into her mind. She stood up tall, threw her fake mask onto the ground as the pieces shattered like they were worth nothing. 

She got her food and sat down with her friends who bullied her. She sat down with a smile on her face, saying “Hi, what did you get for lunch?” They looked at each other quietly, as she smiled brightly at them.

In class, Sarah received another A. Her classmate rolled her eyes and sneered. Sarah replied humbly, “I would love to study with you.” The girl was shocked and smiled back. The last shining pink petal no longer stood alone and weak. It grew from the tears it soaked in.

Two shining pink petals grew. The third one grew bigger and stronger, then a fourth and a fifth. Sarah still has ups and downs but the pink flower continues to grow. As it shines and blooms, so does the love she has for herself.