March's theme was crime.

"Sonnet 23" by Nomie Khishigjargal

The winds of the broken wintry midnight
Worriedly the maid calls the police
The tall charming man turns off all the lights
Hello ma’am won’t you let me go in peace
Lifeless yet beautiful out on the bed
Thoughts of the dead in her sleeping mind
The broken butterfly now presumed dead
Stars in the night sky seemed to be aligned
Wings made of plastic silver and gold gone
Shimmering lights of auric and feathers
Flash photography of the now mute swan
A cigar in hand he takes on leathers
Dancing to the same tune with the same girl
Fragmented but complete it was a whirl

"She Must" by Emily Reedy

Along the window panes she glances
Swiftly averting her eyes.
The security cameras do not matter now.
All costs aside, She must.
Her beautiful commitment at home
Crosses her mind in a shaken path.
Layoffs do not consider ache and malnutrition.
There is only little that is simple to obtain,
She must push effort though, She must.
Grabbing life or death off of the shelves,
Stashing hope and comfort in her coat,
Realizing that these motions have lost all hesitation.
With one last fleeting glance,
Her surroundings a blur,
She escapes into the night.
Her tears threaten to break the boundary and
She knows her character states otherwise,
But circumstances mean
She must...

"Thug" by Maxwell Payne

ask me whether i’ll abide
for the good of The Country but not the man

no lights bright and no sirens blared
but He steals from them
one, two, three thousand more:
numbers inhuman.

unanswered calls left on the machine
His crisp, White Collar can attest:
He’s murdered a million men.

He never dug the knife into his ribs,
but He sat idly while desperate hands cried out, clutching starving stomachs.
He never held her at gunpoint, telling her to put it in the bag,
but He embezzled the accounts, leaving her destitute in terror.
He never pushed her when she slipped her nine-year-old finger into the blades of the
but He ordered down the line, forced them into dirty sweatshops.

Even the middlemen,
through duplicitous dereliction
and mortgages handed out like candy.
ask Him whether He’ll abide;
that clean-shaven, ivory smile
hides the Man who abides by no law,
only bows to the whims of the market.
“supply and demand!” he screeches.
while overproducing and underpaying.

and the black Apostates
are accused of treason of the highest order;
of which swift capital punishment is the only answer.

rotting in cells and dirty graves,
flowers and candles sit atop.
while The Fat King sits on his Throne:
of the broken, bloodied bodies he has stomped on to get there.

who’s the Thug now?

"Thief" by Caroline Perry

While many wake
to find their treasure
stolen from a chest,

I fall asleep
and watch you
steal from mine.

But the odd thing
is you don’t know
what you’re doing.

I find it strange
that my heart
beats so fast

when you have
stolen it from me.
You are a thief.

"Crimson Clip" by Jennifer Sawicki

Dusk settled fast in the town and darkness started to overcome all the nature
around. A small creek of a door opened within the Lance’s mansion.

A mission. The Master had assigned a job for Dice, to retrieve a box of jewelry. It
was worth a lot to the black market traders, and they were expecting it that night.

Dice wore a midnight mask that had magma red contour lines and designs
etched along the hard material. It not only helped him blend into the shadows, but it
revealed his rank to any other thieves that he may encounter.

The home was dead and the Lances’ were asleep in their soft silk beds. A side
window was cracked open, a small breeze shifted the plum purple curtains. Dressers
and objects were moved and sorted through. It was important to put everything back the
way it was; less of a chance for a search of robbery.

Dice slid a large wooden box out from under the empty bed. While he eyed
through it, something caught his attention. He felt around the edges of the box to find a
board overtop some sort of opening before the bottom.

Fingers grasped the edge and Dice ripped the board up, which uncovered the
prized jewelry stashed away. He pulled out a leather bag and proceeded to empty out
the bottom of the wooden case into the compartment.

Movement soon alerted him, which made him stop gathering the gems. Swiftly,
he slid the box back under the bed and made his body roll to the side. His body
disappeared into the large walk-in closet as another person entered the room.

“Check the room boy,” a soft voice croaked out of pale lips.

A short husky growl formed out of a different mouth.

Oh no , Dice thought as his breathing shuttered to the altar in sound.

The home went mute for a split second before the barks started rumbling.

Dice took action right away with a sprint from the closet and booked it toward the
slightly open window. The dog jerked forward, reacting to the invader. Dice shoved the
window open and let himself fall over the edge, the dog’s teeth barely missed the flesh
of his leg. Dice felt his body hit the soiled ground with a crack and he grunted from the
impact. He shakily stood to his feet, candle light beamed at him.

“Hey you! Stop right there!” one of the mansion’s guards seemingly spoke out.

Dice turned tail and starting to run with a slight limp.

Gotta get back to the Marauder House.

Dipping into the shadows, Dice used the side of a building to climb to the roof. He
spotted the guards run past and waited for their footsteps to clank out of earshot. He
jumped roof to roof for a while before he clambered back down to the ground. Going
around to the back of a building, he had arrived at the secret outpost.

The hollowed out room echoed and creaked with ute most defiance. Two guards
stood at the sides of the iron door; silent and dreary.

A voice bellowed from behind the walls, “I sent you to receive all of the objects!
Not just parts of them!”

Heart pounding, Dice felt eyes peering down upon him. His hands clasped
together, the smooth surface slick with sweat.

“I ran into a few problems. The home happened to have a guard dog which
alerted the…”

Dice was harshly cut off.

“That doesn't seem to be the problem Mr. Lawson,” there was a mild pause,
“perhaps to see the problem you should take a look in the mirror.”

A hand grasped the back of Dice’s head, his hair being tugged forward, his eyes
became level with the Master’s. He could feel a warm intoxicated breathe pelt against
his face.

Dice’s shoulders tensed, lifting up a bit, and his head ducked down as if trying to
escape the grip. It took much effort to keep his hands from shaking so he dug a hard,
dead nail into the center of his palm.

“The traders will not accept part of the deal, you know that as well as I do.”

The Master’s hands released and bits of black speckled hair floated to the cold

He turned away from Dice and stated, “do it again… and I’ll feed you to the