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INTERNATIONALSCHOOL LABYRINTH2014 VOLUME32COPENHAGEN

Labyrinth

Labyrinth

32nd Edition

2013-2014

Copenhagen International School Journal of the Arts

Copenhagen International School Journal of the Arts All rights of reproduction and copyright are reserved and

All rights of reproduction and copyright are reserved and the sole property of the COPENHAGEN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, Copenhagen, Denmark. This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying without expressed permission from CIS. © COPENHAGEN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL – MMXIV

Labyrinth 2014

Dear Reader,

WELCOME TO THE thirty-second edition of Labyrinth, the Arts Journal of Copenhagen International School. Thirty-two, of course is the freezing point of water in degrees Fahrenheit, so one could say Labyrinth has now officially melted, but that would not make any sense at all, so lets just focus on the beautiful, thought- provoking, funny, downright weird and on the whole wonderful artwork of the talented students at our school You really are in for a treat, so lean back and enjoy, and please remember to check the website for the Performing Arts categories too. We would like to thank the PTA for their generous support of the prizes, it really is wonderful to see creativity and artistic expression appreciated.

Oh,

SKYCOW…

and

let

us

All the best,

know

if

you

see

On behalf of the Labyrinth Staff,

Rebecca Lindroos & Daniel Sarstedt Labyrinth Advisors

CONTENTS

Alumni Letters

3

Short Story

6

Black & White Photo

53

Poetry

56

Colour Photo

104

Colour Art

112

3D Art

123

Digital Art

129

One Act Play

138

Black & White Art

148

Non-Fiction

151

Doodles

161

Cover Art by Tanja Jensen

MORE LITERATURE, VISUAL ARTWORK AND PERFORMING ARTS ON WWW.CIS.DK/Labyrinth

Labyrinth 2014

Alumni Letter

CIS Alumnus Letter to Labyrinth

A BIT OVER a year ago I was travelling across Australia with good friends, all taking our gap year. I wrote the following passage an evening, as a brief reflection of what the van-travel was like. Over the weeks we spent driving, sleeping, and eating within this old-timer we experienced beauty, desolation, happiness, and sadness – all bound to and a part of each other. Within the roof it bore the etchings akin to a Saw film, as if its last owners had been trapped and left the ominous message that we read each time we elevated our gaze – “Wicked.” As it evolved it was wicked, in every respect of the word, bringing us the trip of a lifetime, while placing us in several literally life-threatening positions, as every vestige of the van began to fall apart.

I wrote this wanting to add it to last year’s Labyrinth, as I graduated in 2012, however, being deep in the Australian heartland with no way of forwarding it to København, I accepted I’d have to wait a year. With it I want to express total gratitude for the people who were a part of the CIS journey I took. It was less than orthodox at times, and I want every single teacher, advisor, and friend to know that it has meant the world that they were there. So, Karsten Engelberg,

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Mary Donnellan, Ute Reichert, thank you for the ever-present advice and assistance as I got back onto my feet; Lena Raassina and Lesley McDonald, thank you for always having those smiles and doors open for passing and heartfelt conversations; Fred Chiappini, Anu Kokko, and Ms. Szili, thank you for lighting a spark with math that I am now exploring more; Garry McIntyre and Vincent Murphy, thank you for the adventure that was chemistry, a field I have still to give up on; Kristjan Jespersen, thank you for two years of working with BRAP – where adventures of a lifetime and life- lessons were had, as well as the skills gained in attaining sponsorships, and wrapped with the occasional BRAP team dinner; lastly, and definitely not least, Werner Riedel, a great friend and teacher, Olella Nyeindo, we took a road with TOK and history that was never a bore, Joelle Dines, the ever-retold francophone phrases that marked the classroom with smiles, and Bheka Pierce – Obadiah Fleska – you are one of a kind.

So, here we go…

~~ Dusk tuning in harmoniously on the dust-filled Red Interior; ancient songs and dreams emanating from the core of every sand grain in the wrinkled face of the timeworn desert, in every direction, stretching unendingly beyond the curve of

ALUMNI LETTER

the earth. A fragile current breathes the silent song on into the defeated day, and ancestral dust moves and mingles once more with the sands from which they were borne; eerily stirring something in my soul, not mere guilt, but longing regret from the indigenous people, no longer singing their dreams by day.

I’m lying snug in my tightly fitted sardine- tin, my snoring camper-companions inching in from every dimension round me:

pushing from my immediate right and smothering me from the above, rusty, chain-ring lowered roof hammocks. They hang centimetres from my nose, so close that I can feel the moist warmth, the little yet left, of my own breath condensing for a fleeting instant on the synthetic cot, cheating the malicious Uluru inferno, unyielding even in the night.

From the rusting outcrops within the camper-van’s walls the paint peels, and one can eye each layer of previous touch-ups, like some famous geological field-site, documenting a history of timid, if not ignorant, fix-me-ups. The kind never quite doing enough to correct the genuine issues of structural integrity; leaving the moving scrap-yard, composed of haphazardly fitted bits from as many different dying car models, as there are channels on the rasping radio, – a rickety roller in a fly disguise.

The outside hippy-paintjob of the small Mazda van, just the last of many previous covers, psychedelically depicts Bob Dylan accompanied by lines of poetry, and calls forth romantic notions of journeying the road into the unknown. Even as we acknowledge the hazardous state of our vehicle, our new temporary home brings with it its own charm. Our eyes are gullible and hungry for the drive into the red dustpan, pushing our fears into the dark shadows cast by the gleam of blissful

ignorance. While the agoraphobia of those vast expanses plays a balancing act with the claustrophobia of not entering or exiting the van, but for the narrow hole at the end of my minimalistic mattress, my mind is liberated from my vice-bound body, allowing thoughts on the bygone hour, month, and year, to amalgamate into the tale that is my life.

A sliding door shutting on the pressurized

van cabin, rings out the day, and the locked-

in air tightens on our inspiring horizontal

figures, clings onto the miniscule felt-seat fibres, and crushes upon crinkling instant

noodle wrappings (the journeyman’s preferred fuel). Everything feels to implode

in the slipstream of expanding torsos. First

loosening, when fluidly, the expiring breaths make shrinking chests. Like liquid movements reverberating from side to side

in a tub, the airflow brushes on everything

in the van, in a perpetual settling, unsettling, and settling again of the micro- atmosphere. The rhythmic revolutions bind every living and soulless object together inside Mr. Dylan – as poetic justice will have – as the small pulls and pushes of air force every cog in the car, human or thing, to spin in chorus; our entire universe lies here for the moment, we are one. At last night consumes us, and the symphony of our sombre breathing rings through the metallic cage – producing the occasional groaning steel.

By morning, the weight of the sealed car, happily bubbling with sleep-trodden eyes that watch the dust dancing in the sunbeams, forces spasms in my legs that have been dangling limply off my half- metre-too-short mattress – still asleep and tingling with ten-thousand buzzing bees. I wiggle to the door and fling my van-twisted mass onto the sand, gasping for space and fresh air. The day starts with beautifully barren vistas all around, dotted with signs

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ALUMNI LETTER

of life from the past and present. The road waits, and I am ready to take it.

I presently am located in Boston, MA, where I attend Northeastern University. I have been Undeclared this here Freshman year, but plan to declare a dual major in International Affairs and Economics, while taking the pre-med requirements as electives. It is a fascinating road ahead, and I am having a great time riding it. A last

addition that may amuse some, is that there are five of us from the Class of 2012 attending here, and living just a pebbles throw from each other on adjacent streets – ensuring to keep that Danish spirit alive and well.

Viking Regards,

Nicolas Barclay Wittrup

streets – ensuring to keep that Danish spirit alive and well. Viking Regards, Nicolas Barclay Wittrup

Yan Poinssot

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Labyrinth 2014

Short Story

Reading through the short stories in this section it would seem that a quality that many of the writers have in common is the ability to look at the everyday world in startling new ways – often in absolute and simple amazement. They seem to stand and stare, building up the story by degrees, attentively and evocatively, without having to get to the point all at once. Whether the stories come out of the fascination of everyday experience, or out of a strongly imagined alternative reality, whether they present the enthrallment of a “slice of life” or have a clear punch-line - a quiet bombshell - the best of these stories are detailed and attentive. Here we have a panoply of different scenarios - a postmodern world (2125), a royal indiscretion (Burping with Royalty), an exotic tale whose seed came out of the Peru trip (After Weeks of Travelling), a frightening dawn encounter (The Smiling Man) and much more. The collection represents a feast of imagination and a mosaic of artful construction.

First Prize

Containing striking imagery while portraying an intriguing and complex character, ‘Spinster’ manages to cover so much in few words. The intense, flowering diction captivates the reader right from the start before carrying us along with the interesting development of the relationship between the two characters. The ending bats away any signs of a hackneyed love story with the soft sadness of a man left alone in the streets as our spinster proudly strides away.

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Spinster

Iris ten Have

BLACK VARNISHED MOCCASINS on top of white knitted knee-high socks. Her

chestnut coloured hair all tightened up in

a conservative bun unaffected by the

movement of the head of the middle-aged woman. She wears a black coat that

previously belonged to her long-deceased mother. Next to her walks a man. Friend

or lover? We cannot be sure. There seems

to be a preciously controlled distance between them. Unbroken ice. The couple, assuming that is what they are, does not talk. All buttoned-up in her classic black coat, the cold April breeze finds itself unable to reach the woman’s skin and make her shiver. From the pale

SHORT STORY

skin on her cheeks it is apparent that she has long been untouched by rays of sunlight. Imagine the shock and the destabilization of all the millions of cells in her body, enjoying the flow of vitamin D into their nuclei, but simultaneously stressed by the amount of effort expected from them. From a distance, all you can hear is the periodic sound of the woman’s heels clicking on the cobblestones with controlled steps. The man wears leather lace-up shoes that seem to caress the surface of the ground without making a single noise. Silence dominates the atmosphere until, suddenly, a sweet melody fills up the air. It is a bird, announcing the beginning of the breeding season. The season of bees and flowers, the season of love. Something in the woman’s belly is triggered. A warm sensation, a release of tension. This feeling is further emphasized by a maladroit move of the man’s right foot causing him to lose his balance for half a second and forcing him to take a grip on his companion’s shoulder. Their eyes meet: his are blue with small golden flakes around the pupils, hers dark like chocolate. She cannot breathe; she does not know how to respond to his seduction and desolate smile. She smiles back at him then quickly looks down for she does not want him to notice her vulnerability. The man takes a deep breath, the smile on his face remains unchanged. He decisively strides further in his carefree gait, leaving her standing there, fixed. She feels naked. Her head is spinning. Trying to ignore the wild palpitations of her heart, she hides her trembling hands in the deep pockets of her mother’s coat. She remains unyielding. What happened to the determined steps she took before? Will they ever come back? She wonders. Her eyes take halt on the masculine silhouette of her companion. The effect he has on her is unutterable. It is something

like a hot shower in the middle of the winter, the sweetness of red fruit ice melting on your tongue, champagne bubbles and classical music. She imagines what it would feel like to be held in his arms and kissed by his lips. She censures her feelings. Do not be dependent on a man, she convinces herself. She has struggled hard enough to become who she is today. Stronger and more disciplined than her mother, who by putting her emotions and passions first destroyed herself mentally. The single thought of her mother, so fragile in the arms of her careless and unfaithful lover, is enough to stop her hands from sweating and turn them into fists, ready to hit at any moment. Each sentiment is forced back into its locked cage. An impenetrable wall. The man continues ahead of her. His blond hair, dishevelled by the wind, enjoys the coming of this new season as he plucks flowers he finds along the way. There is a bouquet gathered in his left hand, a mix of buttercups, of daisies, of crocuses, of roses. He brings them to his nose, inhaling the fresh and soft smell of Mother Nature. Feeling alive, he is conscious of the moment. While he turns his head to admire his lover, he wonders how she will react when he will give her the precious flowers he has picked to please her. Perhaps simply a smile, but today the man feels lucky and wishes for a kiss. He turns back to reality and discovers that she is not walking anymore. Slightly surprised but not surrendering his goal, he approaches her with timid gestures. Once closer to her, the blood flows to his cheeks:

a sign of feebleness. She looks at the bunch of flowers he is offering. The bouquet hangs between them, waiting to be accepted. But the woman does not move. With disgust, she notices the skin under the man’s nails, turned green from picking plants. There are scratches on his hands, caused by his imprudence when mutinously pulling thorny roses out of the

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muddy earth. Tiny drops of blood roll over his skin then spread over the petals of a white crocus. The golden flakes in his eyes no longer make her dizzy; they disrupt the plain pigment of his irises. Slowly the enthusiasm in the man’s expression fades. A wrinkle of worry appears between his brows. He releases his grip and the flowers fall on the ground like rocks falling off a cliff. Ready to bow down and gather them up, the woman stops him from doing so. “I am allergic to flowers”, she says with a cold and distant voice, “I should go back home, or the sun will give me a migraine.” Once made her

statement, she turns on her heel and revises her plan for the evening while longing for the cloudy skies of winter. In a small town called Swansea with tiny brick houses and narrow cobble- stoned streets, softly illuminated by the sun, you will find a man, flowers scattered at his feet, staring at a black-coated woman, walking at a rapid pace, away from him. There is a mix of satisfaction and indifference on her face that would give any lover the shivers.

There is a mix of satisfaction and indifference on her face that would give any lover

Mariam Hawath

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Second Prize

A stunning story that brings a simple scene at a park to life in many different ways. From the breathtaking personification of a broken bike to the powerful present tense in which the story is written, this piece proves that a narrow focus can amount to a wonderful literary work.

A Cool, Lonely Morning

Cameron Gough

A TALL MAN stands still, a military air

hanging about him. He’s wearing a long brown trench coat, and a hat of sorts; perhaps a beret? The weather is grim, with

a slight dusting of rain clinging to the

brown grass I lie on. Squinting, I can make out each droplet, clear yet reflective, hanging off the tips of each sickly blade. The sight is revolting, as if nature were trying to revive a dead body by dressing it up in its Sunday best. The man has been peering at me for moments, but as each second slips away, it passes through a glue trap, slowing time to an excruciating pace. I feel his piercing gaze, easily comparable to

tiny spots of heat searing the weak parts of my flesh. I feel pressured, unable to move

as he takes a step forward. There’s a flash,

and the man’s on the ground. The bike is an outstanding crimson, the colour of ripe cherries sitting on a kitchen counter on an

early summer afternoon. The bike is in pain, sobbing gently as its wheels spin to a stop. Its handlebars are a twisted snake, latching furiously onto the stem, locked in

a vicious battle between the owner’s

hands and the forces of nature. A wheel is

bent, a pear compared to an orange, lacking its circular beauty and functional mobility. Only seconds have passed, and yet the man has been restored to his

former stance. He glances to the side and notices the bike, the beautiful bike, and its fallen owner. He stoops, and helps the biker up. The biker, in a state of shock, is furious, but at the same time spilling regret out of his mouth, like water flowing over the edge of a cliff. The moment is stunning; a freeze frame in my head of an everyday occurrence; unique and special to only the ones who experience it. The man takes a step back. He waits for a moment, perhaps considering a better route to cross the road. His gaze is again focused on me. I ponder as to what this man could want; what could possible allow me to be the absolute focus of his attention. As I watch, he makes his decision, and dashes across the road. He moved swiftly, his entire body still, save for his legs, which were moving in a manner similar to those of a predator; careful, yet proud. I tense as the man strides towards me. I look straight ahead of me, close my eyes and take a deep breath. The air tastes clean and cool, almost like a cold glass of water. I savour it. A little voice tells me that it could be my last moment. The man slows, and finally, stops. I can feel his shape looming over me, with all of the hairs on my skin standing strong like pine trees in a dark forest. My heart is beating as if I have to say an important speech. I can hear my blood rushing through my ears. A car drives past, perhaps speeding a little, and the man sits down. We both stare ahead and gaze at the beautiful sight in front of us: a hill of dying grass under the bench we sit on, the street further down, the middle-aged woman across the road retrieving her damp clothes from her balcony while a young girl tugs at her skirt, the cyclist waiting for a taxi to take him and his poor bent bike back home, and finally, the steam train just pulling into the train station in the far distance. As we stare at

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the tower of smoke on the horizon, I hear a faint mumble. “Good morning General, sir.” I immediately relaxed. “Now it’s been a long time since I’ve been called that.”

Third Prize

‘June 16 th ’ is a remarkable piece that manages to tell its story through a distinctive and captivating form. Each character’s voice rings of its unique personality while maintaining the realism and authenticity of a documentary. The immense build up to the end of the story leaves the reader on edge and yearning for more.

June 16th

C. Hans Culton

THIS IS A report of the incidents that transpired on June 16 th 2028. This documentary delves into the stories of what happened that day from first hand witnesses – from the people who contributed to its outcome. The documentary was produced over several months of intense research.

Former Speaker of the House, Grey Christiansen, on the political reaction of the US.

“Alright, just look into the camera?” “Yes please.” “Okay…where should I start?” “We’ll ask a few questions…at the end you can freely talk.” “Okay, let’s start then.” “Alright, what were you doing that

day?”

“June 16 th ? Oh, that is a long answer, but I’ll start at the beginning. I was, uh, needless to say, busy. I had just started my job as Speaker of the House. My whole life revolved around doing, not sitting around, not commenting on others, but doing. So, I was busy, but it felt good…at least to me. I had been an author, a businessman, an entrepreneur-I guess those last two are the same things- but my latest venture was being a congressman, and I really hadn’t worked for a government job like this one before, so it was a totally new experience. I had advertised myself to get into congress and become a senior congressman, but…events, hosted parties, traveling…my whole job was to network, get information, and then talk about how good the country was. I was a walking advertisement.” “So how did that affect what you did on the 16 th ?” “Honestly I threw it all away on the 16 th . Hell, all my training went out the window and I went to bare instincts. The most difficult thing was the shock. No one thought that it would happen. No one thought they would happen. Our political reaction – to other countries I should clarify – was certainly hostile, no matter which way you spin it. Our situation was so unique, the reality of the situation shattered the mindset of many. The day was ruined; it was taken up with constant work. I gave answers to people and…and the answers were made up, no facts behind them. I knew as much as them, but my title made people feel as though I knew. Truth is, I was just as scared - startled, awed, shocked, fascinated, whatever you want to call it – as everyone else.”

Former President of the United States of America, Dwayne Sadthaway, on events occurring outside of the states. “How did they affect you?”

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“Ha, they simply made things difficult. You know, the government had this idea for…decades, we’d had signs of it before. No one wanted to acknowledge it. It wasn’t a plague, it wasn’t a political or social threat it was…new…a several decade old new problem. I didn’t know how to deal with it, everyone always just brushed it under the rug…that’s what the president before me did, that’s what the president before him did…that’s what I did.

At some point or another, every government had gotten a hint of it, but felt people would be too scared. Luckily social media helped indoctrinate the people a bit; most conspiracists believe it was a government plot all along, ha. Anyway, most other governments acted as though we were insane at first. We had always spearheaded the operation to keep it a secret. I mean, how do you think people would react?”

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Steve Smith (Ret), on the US military response. “It’s…it’s tedious. Everyone loves to portray the military as a bunch of idiots who just love to pull triggers and sit around as a horde or morons but, we’re really just good people who have agreed to defend US interests. I mean, movie after movie after game after game puts us in the seat of making situations spiral out of control with aggressive action, but, we were the ones who sought a peaceful solution. I don’t think we could have done anything anyway, but we still didn’t want to send ourselves into an uncontrolled situation. It was annoying though…we wanted planes guarding our skies, flying as symbols of safety, but people misconstrued our attempts for safety as attempts to peer into their private lives. I mean, for fuck’s sake, you’re concerned about how much we know about you but put pictures and videos

onto the internet for the whole world to see containing detailed information about everything you’re doing? Stupid. “Well what was your immediate response?” “Um…defense…at a certain point – when it boils down to it – you have to ignore what everyone says and just do your job. We, for a few weeks, put planes everywhere. I mean everywhere. I was shocked to hear the news, as much as anyone was. We had never established a plan of action for what happened. We had plans of actions for lots of things but never…never something like it. I think a lot of the countries had the same reaction when they realized how scared we were. I mean, we had fighters up, we had all defense stations manned, we even had our anti-missile defense systems up in D.C. I mean you could see them scanning as you walked around. I actually took a picture with my niece in front of the Mall with the missiles pointing every which way.”

Former Speaker of the House, Grey Christiansen, on the political reaction of the US.

“I was told to calm the public. ‘Grey, get them relaxed, make them fall back to a daily routine’.” “Did you feel confident about that?” “No, not at all. I had been a leader my whole life, and led much differently than the US government did. I felt annoyed. I was capable of so much more than trying simply to calm the sheep that are the American populace. I basically began giving speeches daily about ‘new information we found.’ I mean, I was on national television every morning in a clean suit, looking like I wasn’t scared, saying ‘this is a challenge, but one that we accept. One that will make us better.’” “Did you disagree with that? Do you disagree with that?” “Are you kidding me? It’s all a lie. Either you’re prepared for something, or

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you aren’t. Either you are capable or you’re not. All this encouraging to engorge those who can’t actually do anything and can’t protect themselves, it was just to make them feel better about being leeches on a once-great-country.”

Former President of the United States of America, Dwayne Sadthaway, on events occurring outside of the states. “The day makes me laugh, haha. It honestly makes me laugh. I mean, elections were around the corner and the

biggest thing in history just happened, yet I still cared more about elections. I had a literal army of 23-year-old, fresh-out-of- college, partying-reaction-monkey interns working ‘round the clock to make me look fantastic to them, my demographic. But I had to hide all that, the other countries took long enough to catch the clue that we were acknowledging the events that, had I been trying to focus on elections, we would have received holy Hell.” “So other countries weren’t your first priority?” “No, they were, that’s why I hated it so much. I cared most about elections, but they couldn’t be my first priority. What had happened was so catastrophic,

so cataclysmic to Human history that…it

was just unimaginable. I had to throw everything aside to deal with the problem.

I had our speaker of the house,

um…George…Jay…Grey? Grey, yeah…I had him speaking every day to both national and international audiences trying to calm people.” “He said he only spoke to national audiences.” “No, he was on international TV.

He persuaded international audiences, as

he probably mentioned, he fooled national

ones. He’s too good a guy to admit to himself the fact that…well, he’s probably the only person on Earth who has literally lied to the entire world, ha. He didn’t want to acknowledge going onto national

and international TV spouting propaganda about how well we – America – handled everything, haha. In my opinion, I couldn’t care less about lying to foreigners and would care much more about lying to fellow Americans, but his opinion of the American populace is…much lower than mine. Either way, he was there to make us seem calm, even though our actions seemed the opposite. We first got with the UK, Germany, China, Russia, the important countries at the time, and talked this over. China was reluctant, but they had allowed their people enough world-access that they couldn’t fool the populace into believing what had happened was fake. I mean the whole world thought we were insane. We were the most powerful country in the world on the fall, and here we were…humiliating ourselves in public to the world. We trembled. It was like the whole country just saw a ghost; everyone stunned into one emotion.

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Steve Smith (Ret), on the US military response. “We had the only imaginable response. I mean, what else could you do? You have to defend yourself someway, whether that is against physical, mental or cyber assaults is a separate topic. We just pulled our entire military back into our country, zero troops in any country besides ours, and we enjoyed having something to do. We had some purpose again.”

“Was the purpose your main motivation?” “No, I said it earlier and I’ll say it again, we’re not trigger-happy individuals, we’re a strong team bonded together to fight for the US. And that’s what we were doing…defending our homeland in the one way we had at the time. We did start some over-border operations again, a few of the embassies

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were reopened…the one in the UK, China, Germany…Russia wouldn’t let us. We simply encouraged other militaries to follow suit. I mean, I know we’ve made some mistakes, but, at some point in time we knew what we were doing and did it well…militaristically at least. “How were your suggestions interpreted?” “We were given the finger. You know, you help a country and you’d expect gratitude from them, but instead you get disrespect, and when you then stop helping them because of the negative effect, you get hate. The Germans mocked us, they reopened our embassy expecting us to come in with a new mindset, aid and support, pushing for demilitarization – I have no idea why –instead we went in demanding they increase their military power. It didn’t boil over well.” “How did that event end?” “Do we have an embassy in Germany now?”

Former Speaker of the House, Grey Christiansen, on the political reaction of the US.

“What was it like for you?” “What do you mean? The political

push?”

like…June

16 th ?”

“Like I said, at the beginning, it was hectic. My job’s duties still weighed on me a bit. But that day started normally. I saw it happen no less…thrown off my feet on my walk to work. Anyway, I got in the office after sprinting there and met Jack. We worked a lot over, he told me of my one hour deadline before my first international speech addressing the world regarding the utter insanity.” “What was your reaction?” “I was going to be the first insane person to be endorsed by the government on television…I didn’t think about that though. D.C. was in a pit of chaos at the

“No,

what

was

the

day

time. Our ‘civil servants’ were trying their hardest to put the city back into a functional state. I mean, what does a police officer do for that? Stand in the city with a gun drawn, waiting for action?” “What’s your opinion on how other countries responded?” “My opinion? Bull crap. The only country that didn’t change how they were was North Korea. General Tong Tsu kept that dictatorship locked tight. China had no control over such a large population; they were forced to manage. The African, southern European, and South West Asian countries really didn’t change. They stayed in their confused stew. They wanted to make the incident seem hurtful to them, but none of the previously ‘first world’ countries had the ability to assist. I think it made international relations a lot worse. Europe was already dead, Germany stopped helping the other countries in an effort to stay afloat…I don’t know if it was because of what happened or because of fear of the Europeans, but the whole country got walled up…thousands of Kilometers of steel and concrete.” “Knowing how the world currently is, and how it reacted, what do you think will happen if they return?” “…” “Mr. Christiansen, what do you think will happen if they return?” “…What if they don’t?”

End.

Further specifics regarding response to the incident are classified codeword. Forward inquiries to your relevant security officer.

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2125

Sydney Evans Illustrations: Bailey Davis

IT WAS THE year 2125, and our time was done. The land, air and sea were contaminated, and our planet could no longer sustain our destructive existence. The only ones to blame, who were truly guilty, were ourselves. We had one responsibility and we did nothing. We lost our chance, our home. And now, there is nothing left but regret in our hearts. I still remember that day, the day I almost lost hope. The heavy grey clouds hung low on the horizon, depriving the empty landscape of the golden sun. It had looked like that for as long as I could remember. I’d heard tales of a shining star that lit a deep blue sky, and a silver moon that shone in the night. Those clouds were unnatural, they were not meant to be there. My grandmother used to tell me that it was us who tainted the sky, blackened the ocean, and ruined the soil. I had come to believe that what she said was the truth.

I had come to believe that what she said was the truth. The ships had arrived

The ships had arrived early that morning, and almost everyone had boarded, including the majority of my extended family. They were huge, the ships, they could hold five-hundred thousand people at the maximum. Normally ships like that would cost a fortune to even look at, but officers declared that conditions were worsening and everyone was to board as soon as possible. “Sage, we haven’t got all day!” My parents took turns warning me, over the loud whirring of their oxygen tanks. The air was dense with toxins, and one breath could make one deadly ill. Even the oxygen masks were starting to fail, the supply of clean air running short, and the plague of our blunders commenced to kill us off with the very essence associated with life. Breathing. That’s why the smartest option was to pack up and leave, turn away and move on. The future, the media promised us. Discovery of the cosmos. They tried to make it into a good thing, to ease the affliction we all felt gnawing at our hearts. “Let me take one last look around, alright?” I replied to my mother in a dull voice, sulking out of the house. They were so eager to depart, like they were tired of this planet. I wasn’t. I loved the Earth. Even in all its artificial defection, I had a burning hope deep inside of me. I wasn’t sure where it came from, but I couldn’t abandon my home. Not like this. I left our house and walked down the paved sidewalk of the neighborhood complex, which was littered with garbage. Trash cans overflowed and streets were abandoned. I wrinkled my nose in discontent.The human race was fleeing their own wasteland. I scoffed, stuffing my hands in my jacket pockets and sauntering out of the neighborhood and towards the park. Well, at least, it used to be a park. The trees were all cut down and the grass was dead,

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pretty much everything in that park was dead. It now served as the town dump. How people could have had the audacity to ruin the good name of the only patch of green this city had ever had—by littering it with their garbage— I had no idea. I sat down on one of the weather-worn wooden benches, sighing aloud. There wasn’t another soul in sight. Not even a squirrel. I started to think. Was I going to leave with my ignorant family? That would be preposterous. I couldn’t stand to look at this horrible place any longer, but I couldn’t just leave the mess for someone— or no one—else to clean up. Then again, staying would be a burden, and I was itching to take the easy way out. As I scanned the dismal scenery, my eyes found a soggy package nestled at the stump of an old, gnarly tree. I could just barely make out the label—it was hair dye. Mine. Before all of this had gotten so bad, I’d been keen on changing my hair color every two weeks. I tried to use only recyclable boxes and vegan formulas, but it seemed that did no good. Now it was polluting the Earth’s crust like every other product we’d ever used. My stomach sank as I realized, what had I personally done to stop this terrible age? My mind flicked to several excuses and lazy put-offs. I hadn’t done anything in specific, though I had a multitude of opportunities. My shoulders hunched in shame. Who was I to be upset about this, when part of it had been my own doing? I felt nagging guilt forming in my nerves, and started to tap my foot nervously on the dry ground. I had never thought to turn the blame on myself. All of those recycling programs we used to have in school, tips on how to save electricity and water, carpooling and hand-me-downs. I had never taken them seriously, always relying on someone else to take action. Who exactly, I wasn’t sure, since everyone around me was doing the same as I was. We had consumed and

destroyed this world, and then looked up innocently like it wasn’t our fault. I did this. I was a part of it. I took no stand; I cared not which bin my soda can went in. The irresponsible side of me told me that I could leave it; I could forget all about it, with time the Earth would restore itself somehow. That I didn’t have to be so hard on myself. I gritted my teeth as I stood up, to stare at the hideousness around me one last time. It used to be beautiful, I’d heard. One of the most extravagant parks in the nation. I took careful steps in the silence, pretending I was surrounded by gorgeous green hedges and towering lush trees— like all the fairytales. I passed a jumble of barbed wire that strangled the marred branches of a dead bush, cluttered beside old furniture that someone had dumped there. I exhaled and prepared to turn away.

my

eye.

Amongst the rusty metal and dried thorns, something bright stood out against the dullness. I frowned and kneeled down, carefully putting my hand between the sharp twigs. I pulled out something I’d never seen before, at least not in person. It was barely alive, crumpled but beautiful, petals missing and stem tarnished. It was a flower, a real one—not made of plastic or cloth. I cradled it in my hands. This was all that was left, one thing that survived the environmental blight, and it was still fighting. I stood, staring at the velvety white treasure. I looked back up, seeing my reflection in the cracked mirror of an old and ruined vanity. But I did not see my own cloudy gray eyes and grimy blonde hair—I saw a human being who was faithless and lost, standing in the middle of so much death and abandonment, dreams crushed by her own mistakes. This is what we all looked like lately, even if we acted like we didn’t care. This was our

And

then

something

caught

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world and we had killed it. Who couldn’t be hurt by that? I thought of the pink-tipped white rose in my hands, how it was a ray of pure hope in so much darkness; a symbol of spring blossoming in the ice of never- ending winter. I knew what I had to do. It was in my nature to run from my faults, but I couldn’t do that. Not anymore. I had

to be brave, and face them. Like the small organism I held, I had to carry on. It wasn’t too late to take a stand, and make

up for my indolence. It was time to—

There was a small sound behind me, and I flinched, whipping around in fright. My thoughts had been shattered. There, in the rubble, stood a boy who looked in his late teens, about my age. His demeanor seemed calm, his tan face sincere.

“I didn’t think anyone else came here anymore,” He said, raising an eyebrow, as he took a careful step toward

me. “The ships are scheduled to leave soon. Do you plan to go with them?” He crossed his arms. “I…I’m not sure. If I can find something else here, it’s possible I might stay, but…” I frowned, unsure if I should trust him. He didn’t seem to be from my neighborhood. “Interesting. It’s not that hard a choice for most people.” His inquisitive expression remained. “Well…maybe I’m not ‘most people’,” I countered. “Hmm…” As if he were considering something, he strolled closer, and stuck his arm out. “I’m Jonah Weatherhill.” “Sage Wilson,” I replied, shaking

his hand hesitantly. “Is that a real flower?” He tilted his

head in disbelief. I noticed he was wearing

a uniform of some sort, from an

organization I didn’t recognize. He didn’t have an oxygen mask like most others, including myself—he wore a fancy glass

dome over his head, like an astronaut. “Yes. I found it by the vanity.” I held it closer, having the sudden feeling that he might take it from me. I frowned still, though he proved more and more reliable by the minute. “What does that symbol mean?” I asked, pointing to the green sphere on his chest, connected by intricate details of leaves, flowers, and other symbols of ‘nature’. “This? It is the representation of the company I work for. It is actually why I have approached you here—though I did not expect to find anyone.” He was smiling at me now, as if hopeful. “What do you mean?” I put a hand on my hip, thoroughly confused and quite annoyed. Who was this arbitrary trespasser? I had been in the middle of an important realization, and he had interrupted me. What I really needed to do was go home and talk to my parents, and my time was running out. “I mean, we are looking for young recruits like yourself.” “Recruits? Is this battle?” I scoffed, prepared to walk away. “You could put it that way. A war against our own doing, I’d say. Anyway, we need people like you to help us with our campaign. Young people who are willing to stay on the planet to rebuild the Earth make up our movement, those who wanted to make a difference but never could. This is your chance.” “And you want me to join you?” I faltered. I had only just made the partial choice to stay, and I still wasn’t completely sure. The hurried thought that I would have to make such a choice scared me. “You do not need to if you do not wish to.” He shrugged slightly, but by the look in his eyes, I saw how disappointed he was, the same disappointment I felt for my own people. “It is a risk you must be willing to take. Your survival cannot be guaranteed,” he admitted, a small sigh escaping his mouth and clouding the glass

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of his helmet. The business he was trying to promote was clearly not an apple-pie life, and as he said, most would see the cowardly path as the wiser one. “I…will consider it,” I said after a few long moments of quiet contemplation. “Don’t expect anything for sure,” I warned, grasping the flower tighter in my hands. “If you change your mind, look for me,” He said with a nod of his head, taking a card out of his pocket with his gloved hand, and scribbling something on the back of it before giving it to me. “That is, before the ships leave.” I glanced at the small green lettering on the dirty, obviously-recycled paper, and gently put it in my back pocket along with the pale flower. “Thank you.” He waved at me as I left, and I waved back in a much more half-hearted way. I wasn’t so eager to dedicate my future to his cause, but when I admitted that to myself, my recently made-up mind went crazy with objection. Staying would be the right thing, the brave thing. Taking a deep breath, I ambled back to my house and creaked open the door. My family was running around, packing, and glancing at me impatiently. “Are you ready to leave yet?” My little brother, Timothy, complained as he ran to my side and tugged on my arm before I had even closed the door behind me. I felt a twinge of irritation at his tone, but then I remembered how naïve he was. It wasn’t like he understood the cruel reality of the situation. I hoped he would never have to. I looked at him with pity and fondness, my hand running through his short brown hair. “I dunno, Timmy.” “Well. It’s about time you got back, we were about to leave you behind,” My father commented distastefully from the small kitchen, where he was shoving food parcels into a cooler. He sounded particularly annoyed with me, as he had been since I first started showing my thoughts of staying behind.

“Calm the temper, James,” My mother scolded him, as she scurried over to me and dumped a pile of blankets in my arms. “Dear, please take these to the storage bunker in the backyard, the officials will be here to get it in the next few minutes and we’re nearly done packing,” She said frantically. I frowned. “Mo—” “Oh, and could you get your things packed? You’ve had weeks now, Sage. We sent Lenny to get it started, since you weren’t home—” Out of the corner of my eye I saw my older brother, in my room, stuffing my clothes into a duffel bag carelessly. Though his expression seemed to taunt me, I couldn’t have cared less in that moment. I started to get more and more exasperated as my mother babbled on. “—deal with those pillows we can’t find space for? Oh, and where is that cat! He needs to be put in his travelling case—”

“Mom!” She whipped around, and stared at me in confusion. I dropped the blankets on the ground and crossed my arms. “I’m thinking about not going.” Her expression went from blank to appalled, and silence suddenly filled the room.

“What?” She asked in a hushed

voice.

“Excuse me?” My dad’s voice thundered from the kitchen. Though their obvious disapproval made an effort to change my mind, I stood tall. “Yes. I found out about a company, SitAmet. They’re looking for volunteers to stay behind and get us out of the situation we’ve put ourselves in. They need as many as they can get, and I can’t just leave…” I looked down, biting my lip. I hoped they’d understand that I wasn’t being foolish about this. They, with disgruntled frowns, listened to my argument. With a shaky

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breath, I continued. “The Earth has always been this way, for as long as I can remember, but I know that a thousand years ago it was flourishing with life and everything was green and breathing. We didn’t need these ridiculous things,” I tugged on my mask. “Don’t tell me you don’t feel that too.” My mother’s arms were crossed, and she looked like she was going to cry. “Honey, those were better times. There’s nothing we can do about it now.” “You can’t expect us to just leave you behind.” My father said, his angry voice veiled with sorrow as he put his arm around my mom. “It’s impossible to stay. Everyone is leaving, it’s not an option.” I almost groaned in frustration. Of course they didn’t understand. “I know it’s hard, but you can’t just say that like there isn’t a future for this planet!” I reached behind me to pull the rose out of my back pocket. I quickly moved my hand back when I was interrupted by a brisk knock on the door. It signaled the arrival of the officials, here to collect us and get us boarded—but more like shove us onto the ship so the government couldn’t be held accountable if we died staying. I felt my stomach drop, and wondered how Jonah and his team would manage to stay, or even if they’d actually be able to. I didn’t even know if there were enough resources for such a campaign. “Get your things. We’re leaving, right now.” “N—” “Now, Sage!” My father yelled, and Lenny grabbed me and dragged me to my room. Shamed, I felt a jab of anger and defeat run through me as I tried to smack my brother off of my arm. With my teeth clenched and the sick feeling of rage in my stomach, I hauled the bag over my shoulder. There were so many things I could’ve done in that moment to rebel against their blind ways, but they were my

parents. I couldn’t fight them off, no matter how outlandish the situation. My mom found space for the remaining items and soon the officials were stacking our storage bunker onto a lifter, and taking it to the loading bay. They led us out to the ramp that headed to a huge open archway, the entrance to the ‘Starship Alioth’. It towered over our heads, grazing the murky sky and clashing with the filthy ground. Such a thing didn’t look possible in the scenery that surrounded it. It was big and white, trimmed with silver, like a shining beacon. Though I gaped at its enormity and magnificence, I was thoroughly furious. The last thing I wanted to do was to get on that blasted thing. My opinion didn’t seem to matter to the officers. They ushered me forward anyway, along behind my excited family. I protested, pushed their hands away, but they carried on directing me up the shiny ramp. My parents sighed and went on ahead. They didn’t want to deal with me. Concerned about how I could manoeuvre an escape from this, I reached behind me and clasped the flower in my hand, the dull thorns digging into my palm. I looked up. I was at the massive arch. Inside, I could see blinking blue lights and sleek opaque structures, better known as my doom. The officials, with their black helmets and tinted visors, seemed to glare at me, and I was given a ‘helpful’ forward shove through the tall doorway. I snarled in fury and looked around, enclosed by the advanced cleanliness of the futuristic technology. It was any person of our time’s dream; except mine. I thought of something then, while I was stumbling around in the blinding fluorescent lights. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but it was my last chance. I felt in my pocket for the SitAmet card, and pulled it out, examining what it said. The writing consisted of the company’s

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mission statement, contact information— which was useless now, phone lines had stopped working years ago, not to mention the dysfunctional internet— and the signatures of the president and CEO. On the back, Jonah had pencilled in his signature, along with a statement that declared I was a possible applicant for Operation 406: Clean-Up. Timmy looked back at me with eyes wide as he held our cat, Chester, in his carrying case. They were at the front desk, submitting our paperwork and getting our bags checked for boarding. People moved this way and that around the cabin, almost enough to get lost in, and I was standing between the reception desk and the archway. My parents weren’t paying attention, but it wouldn’t be long before they called me to put my bag on the belt. Time was slipping like sand through bare fingers. Heart pounding, I made my choice and turned back to the archway, filing through the passers-by and towards the official who stood there. “Excuse me,” I said, and he looked down at me, a perplexed expression visible through his plastic eyeshade. “Sorry, Miss, what do you need? We will be departing soon.” I hesitated for a moment, and then showed him the back of the card, and pointed to Jonah’s signature. There was only one way out of this, and it was to see if this movement of teenagers was legitimate. “I’m eligible for Operation 406 and I’ve made up my mind to take part in it,” I said boldly, balancing the bag’s weight on my shoulder and glancing at my parents. They hadn’t noticed yet. “Operation 406? Well, what are you doing on here then? It’s a government-supported program. Right this way please.” He stepped out of his post and started to lead me past the desk and through an aisle of seats. He paused and looked back at me for a second. “You are aware of the

consequences that may come by choosing this?”

I nodded solemnly, gesturing for him to continue on. Before I could take another step, I heard my dad calling me. “Sage?” I felt a pang of guilt. “Where are you…?” The official turned and looked from me to him. “She is the appropriate age for our clean-up program, and she has proclaimed she wishes to participate, she even has a company employee’s signature. I’m sure she’s aware of the terms and conditions.” “I’m her father!” He retorted. “Sage, get back over here! Right now!” “Sir, she is eighteen, is she not? She is free to choose her own destination.” I turned on my heel and faced my father, and all of them. “I’m sorry. I have to,” I said apologetically, the sadness of it starting to get to me. I felt my hands shaking. I looked at their confused and shocked faces, and wondered how to explain why I was parting ways with them after living with them my whole life. We’d just had an argument, but this was the point of no return. I knew they wouldn’t shove me into my seat if I would only find another way out. In addition, the official had a point: I was old enough now to decide for myself. But that didn’t make it any easier. “It’s what’s best. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I left, even if it means leaving you.” Tears were welling in my eyes. I was about to leave the ones I loved for the greater cause, to assist in the saving of the Earth, and I was so torn but I had to do what was right. I wasn’t angry at them anymore; I saw why they forbade it so.

“Mrs. Wilson,” The officer muttered impatiently. “There is limited time.” The receptionist behind the desk glared at the back of my dad’s head for holding up the line, but he was completely oblivious. He looked lost for words, like

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he was unsure how to counter the officer’s argument without sounding selfish. “Keep this,” I said, setting my precious find in my mother’s hands, as her heartbroken expression made the tears

spill over. “It’s real. Keep it alive as long as you can, and remember me.” “No, Sage…” She held the rose gently, and reached out and gave me a tearful hug, smiling forlornly as she fixed my hair one last time. “How could I forget?”

I turned to Lenny. Even he looked

cheerless, and he’d always been a pain. “Jerk,” I said with a sad smirk, punching

his arm lightly. “I’ll miss you. Take care of Timmy.” He stared at me, serious instead of his usual mocking sneer, and then yanked me into a hug. “Goodbye.” He whispered.

I nodded, and before I could even

turn to him, my father engulfed me in a bear hug. His fury was replaced with

understanding and grief. “You’re right. You should do what you think is best. You’ve grown up a hero,” He mumbled, and pulled back to look at me, my face in his hands. “Go save the world.” Then he smiled at me for the first time in months. At last, I looked down at Timmy. He was frowning, evidently confused, eyes shining with inexperience as they always did. “Where are you going?”

I felt a lump in my throat as I said

nothing, but only lifted him up and hugged him close. “Goodbye, Timmy.” I pressed the plastic of my mask to his small

forehead, as if to kiss it, and set him down again, though he clung to my leg, pouting.

I heard a low rumble beneath my

feet, and a crackling from the loudspeaker.

“All passengers take your seats. The Starship Alioth is in launch.” “You’d better go,” My mom said

softly.

I looked at them one last time, wiping my tears, breathing heavily. Hesitantly, I turned my back to follow the

officer, my heart heavy in my chest and already the feeling of loss upon me. “You are very brave,” The officer muttered, as he led me down a passageway with incredibly pallid walls. I didn’t have the heart to reply. Finally, we came to a heavy hatch door, and he turned the large metal wheel and pushed it upwards. Immediately, the clean air that filtered to my mouth and nose was replaced with smoke and dust. My eyes re-adjusted to the dim light of the outside. “I wish you much luck,” The official said, and pushed his visor back down, giving me a small wave. I stepped out, and he started to close the door behind me. “Wait-” I said all of a sudden, and held it open. “What’s your name?” He paused. “Erik.” I attempted a smile, truly grateful for his assistance. “Thank you, Erik. Have a wonderful trip.” He smiled back. “Of course. And the same to you, Sage Wilson.” The hatch closed with click, and my fate was sealed. I started to make my way down the ramp, peering around through the thick air. It seemed to be a special plot of land, with small wooden cabins in neat rows and strange machinery looming nearby. So there were enough resources! “Well, look who it is,” A kind voice chuckled, and I turned to see Jonah seated beside multiple large wooden crates, a few others from SitAmet and some volunteers standing near him. “Jonah!” I exclaimed, and ran towards him, overjoyed to see him in the situation where everything worked out. “Hello, Sage. You chose wisely.” I gave him a high-five, matching his grin with my own. I felt the urge to hug him, but I held back, turning to greet my new fellow comrades. There were only about a dozen, and all of them looked

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slightly down in the dumps, which I

completely understood. I was trying not to feel that way at that very moment.

A tall man stepped out from

behind the tower of crates, with a tarnished company suit and a stressed yet welcoming expression. “Hello, new volunteers of Operation 406: Clean-up. My name is Carter Davis, and I’m the founder of this program. You are all the courageous volunteers of this state, and

for that I thank you. It is a noble choice to stay behind when everyone else chooses to go. I assume you are all aware of the dangers that come with this job, and that you have considered them before joining us,” He eyed the crowd for uneasy expressions before continuing. “As you can see, this is camp, where you will be staying while in our program. Here are your uniforms,” His voice was quick like he was in a hurry. He gave the green folded suits to one of his employees, and she began passing them out, along with circular helmets. “Are you ready to take your oaths?” It sounded like he was half-joking, but everyone nodded anyway.

I took my suit with care, and put it

gently into my duffel bag. “Do you think they’re serious about the oaths?” The girl next to me whispered. She didn’t look too let down; maybe she had it easier than the rest of us.

I shrugged. “I dunno. I’m just glad to be here.” She gave me a half-smile, and

stuck her hand out. “I’m Harper Blythe.”

I took it, surprised to be making

friends this easily. “Sage Wilson.” She gestured at the boy standing

next to her, who looked to be the most depressed of the group. “This is my friend, Sebastian May.”

He looked up shyly from behind

his long black hair, and half-waved. “He’s quite sad,” Harper said. “He had to leave his family behind.”

I nodded in response. “I did too.” He met my eyes again, and we shared a moment of mutual consideration. “Glad to see you’re all getting to know each other,” Mr. Davis interrupted, re-catching all of our attention. “But I’ve got to get to the next state over fairly soon, so I’ll leave you to it. Jonah, will you do the honors?” Jonah nodded proudly and climbed up on a crate, so he could see all of us. He shot me a wink before raising his right hand. “Repeat after me,” He waited a moment before continuing. “I, Jonah Weatherhill, vow to do all in my effort to rebuild the once-green Earth, to repay nature with my services, and to make a difference in our world.” I smiled at Harper and Sebastian, and then locked my eyes on Jonah. I took a deep breath and raised my hand. This is what I had been waiting for, what I fought for and sacrificed for. I was going to finally do my duty, and every word of the oath would ring true in my name. The hope I’d always felt was rising, becoming not a distant daydream but the real-time present. “I, Sage Wilson, vow to do all in my effort to rebuild the once-green Earth, to repay nature with my services, and to make a difference in our world.” As I recited the last words of the promise, I looked up just in time to see the starship taking off, the fire from the engines propelling warmth in all directions. It was hard to see through the thick white smoke, but I was sure I saw my family waving at me from one of the massive windows. And so, after that life-changing day, I began my journey. Working with SitAmet, we removed the waste from the land and properly disposed of it, we filtered the air and planted trees, drained lakes and rivers and refilled them with uncontaminated water, restoring ecosystems that should have never been

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abolished in the first place. For the first time in my life I saw green coming from the ground, I felt rays of sunlight on my skin.

The people on the volunteer team, we became as close as family. We didn’t just survive the difficult situation we were put in, we lived. Though it wasn’t the best life to be living, and we often thought of the luxury the rest of the population must be experiencing up in space, we had fun while we did our job. We bonded and shared experiences helped each other out. We were a fully-fledged green-squad, with the goal to bring springtime back to the Earth.

My favorite time was when, in my town, we had cleared the air enough that it was safe to remove our helmets and breathe deeply the air we were born to breathe. We felt the wind on our cheeks, and lay in the grass we had planted, counting how many stars we had managed to free from the clouded atmosphere. That was the first time, out of pure intention and in the moment of joy, Jonah kissed me. Five years later, I married the man who showed me courage and the path of the wise, my friends by my sides, the key to freedom and opportunity in my hand. It was the happiest I’d ever been, the happiest I’d ever be. Such a righteous job I was given, each day a new success in the rebirth of our planet. But that was so long ago. The year 2125 ended in rejoicing, and so did several years after that. But now, not all is as well as it was back then. For ten years I’ve remained here, my vast and rewarding task set before me. We have returned the environment in and around my town to its purest state, and for two months we’ve been working on the park. Our job is as difficult and dangerous as we were warned. We work with machinery and toxic chemicals every day, risking illness and injury and often

death. Much to our dismay, we’ve lost several of our original party— including Harper and Sebastian both. They are buried under a newly-planted maple sapling in the center of Central Park, as I’ve come to know it is called. We will continue to rebuild it, but we will never touch the graves of those who fell in fighting for the Earth’s revival, our friends and dear companions through the years. Someday, I will lie beside them— someday all too soon. I myself have been infected with an illness of environmental corruption, from inhaling and handling the toxins involved in neutralizing the air and the water. My only wish is that upon my grave, white roses with pink tips be planted, in memory of my family and of the resilience of the participants of Operation 406. I have done my part as much as I was able to, for now I am bed-ridden and unable to breathe properly even in fresh air. I still have hope even on my deathbed, as I believe in the others and of how far they may go. I believe in Jonah. He will lead them as long as he draws breath. I am not upset about my leaving of this world, because I have fulfilled what I was meant to do, I achieved my dreams way back on that cloudy day in 2125. I don’t need to be remembered, because the only thing that will matter to me as the light leaves my eyes is that my name is Sage Wilson, and I did make a difference.

thing that will matter to me as the light leaves my eyes is that my name

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Burping with Royalty

Carl Wedell-Wedellsborg

BUUUUUUUURRRP” All the members of the cabinet stared at the queen, some with incredulity, others simply because the length and volume of the burp had been quite impressive. No one knew what to say. One would normally have expected the queen to say “excuse me” or “pardon” or “sorry” or “shit,” but she had chosen to remain silent. She had also locked eyes with the Lord Chancellor, who felt thoroughly emasculated by the queen’s impressive display. He was also shocked to discover that Prime Minister had chosen to follow her example as he leaned over the table and stared directly at the queen. “BUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRP,” the Prime Minister finished and sat down once again, looking strangely satisfied for a man who had just burped in front of some the most elite men in the country. “What a strange afternoon this has been,” thought the Lord Chancellor. “First my jacket was missing a button and now the entirety of the cabinet appears to be burping rather loudly. ”Wonderful! Indeed, almost all the members had begun burping, some even going so far as to stand on the table and bang their chest to attract attention. The Paymaster General was currently in the process of strangling the President of the Board of Trade with

his tie, whilst the Secretary of State for Health began gnawing at his foot. The Queen had produced a shiv from underneath her hat and subsequently began using it on the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It was roughly at this point in time that the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change leaned over to the Lord Chancellor and began speaking to him.

“Do you have any idea why they might have started burping?” “I do not. However, it would seem they are still capable of understanding one another.” “So they still understand each other then?” “It would appear so.” “But they’re still fighting, regardless?” “Yes, well you can take the animal out of the jungle, but you can’t take the jungle out of the animal!” “What’s that supposed to mean?” “That they’re all a bunch of twats.” “Ah.” The Secretary pondered for a moment before speaking again. “So if they still understand each other, but we don’t understand them, do you suppose they don’t understand us?” “I’d say that’s a reasonable assumption to make.” “Huh. Do you want to, uh, score some coke, then.” The Lord Chancellor considered this for a moment. “Yeah, alright.”

score some coke, then.” The Lord Chancellor considered this for a moment. “Yeah, alright.” Nishita Ramrakhyani

Nishita Ramrakhyani

23

SHORT STORY

Human Compassion

Sydney Evans

IT WAS SATURDAY evening, and Teagan Thatch had never been so bored in her life. She lay on her bed with her head hanging off the edge, letting the blood rush to her skull. There was absolutely nothing that she was interested in doing, except maybe seeing how long she could hang upside down before passing out. Everyone in her family was busy, so she was completely alone. Her younger brother, Matt, was upstairs screaming at the television, probably because he was still losing his video games. Teagan’s sisters, Abigail and Kristi, were off at another sleepover, and her oldest brother, Sam, was at a sports game with her dad. Her mother was almost unheard of, hidden in her home- office, waist deep in paperwork. Teagan had already finished her chores and homework, nothing good was on TV, and worst of all, the internet was down, as it had been for the past three days. That, and the fact that she was grounded from using her phone, made it difficult to contact and meet up with her friends.

Her neck had started to ache from being bent over the edge of the mattress, and she began to feel dizzy. She closed her eyes anyway, feeling too lazy to sit up. Outside the window just beside Teagan’s bed, the last rays of sunlight were passing through the trees in her spacious backyard. And, just as the sky grew darker and the stars became visible, something like a comet could be seen sailing through the atmosphere. Approximately fifteen minutes later, Teagan had surprisingly fallen asleep in the uncomfortable position she was in. A loud crunching noise from outside woke her, followed by the slight smell of smoke. She immediately shot into a sitting position, and groaned from the

pain in her head. Squinting in the lamplight of her room, she glanced out the window. Through the glare on the glass, she could just barely make out the outline of a person, and a large object that was lopsided and smoking. The person stumbled, and landed hard in the grass. Teagan rubbed her eyes, and her vision confirmed that what she saw was really there. She shakily stood up from her bed, and shoved on some slippers. “Mom,” She called, “there’s someone in the backyard!” After a few minutes of silence, she finally got a half-hearted reply. “Oh, yes honey-- it’s probably your father at the back door, go let him in,” Mrs. Thatch said. She was apparently too busy to give the situation a second thought. Teagan shook her head, knowing her father would come in through the front door, as the driveway was in front of the house. It would make no sense if he came around the back, because that would require hopping a fence. She guessed Matt was probably asleep, so she decided she’d have to go and check it out by herself. She walked through the living room and approached the back door, grabbing a flashlight and a jacket as she went. Then, she slowly crept out onto the back porch. From where she was, she couldn’t see anything, not even the large object she had seen from her window. She was about to turn on the flashlight, when the moon slid out from the navy clouds, revealing the entire scene. Teagan didn’t believe what she

saw.

The object was an oval-shaped machine of some sort, and it was horribly beat up and broken. Cords hung out of the cracks and dents in the metal-like material, and small electric shocks zapped around the structure.

24

SHORT STORY

Beside the machine was the silhouette she had seen from the window. Except, it wasn’t at all what she had assumed. The humanoid thing was whimpering in agony, its glossy tar-like skin shimmering in the moonlight. It was laying face down on the grass, and its body was trembling. On its head, were strands of silvery hair, and not too far from where the forehead would be, were two long, bug-like antennas. Teagan tried to make a sound, but nothing came from her mouth. She was frozen as she watched the creature try to stand up. Before she could move closer, the clouds once again covered her light source. The flashlight had long since fallen out of her hand, and rolled away into the yard.

She waited several minutes in the darkness, immobilized by fear and shock, until the moon shone again. What she saw now, she might be able to accept. In the place of the strange creature, there was a boy; a human boy. He was shaking and twitching just as the creature had been, and there was dark liquid smeared on his clothes and arms. Teagan could tell he was obviously injured, but she didn’t know if she should go near him or not. He could be dangerous. She stayed where she was, and spoke to him instead. “Wh-Who are you?” She asked in a shrill voice. The boy huffed, and rolled himself over with his foot, lifting his head slightly to fix his eyes on the girl. “I come in peace.” He said smoothly and calmly, despite his stricken condition. “I-I asked who you were, and you’d better tell me right now!” Teagan said, more boldly this time, as she made a mental note of the shovel that leaned on the nearby storage shed. “That is quite a polite way to welcome me to your realm. I would

thoroughly enjoy to be hit with a sharp, heavy object.” He replied sarcastically. Teagan’s eyes widened with even more fear than before. It was like he had read her mind. She watched as he let his head drop back to the ground, his body grew limp, and his breathing slowed. Seeing as he was too weak to even stand up, she didn’t feel too intimidated to approach him now. She walked off the porch and through the tall grass, to where he lay. She knelt beside him. He was covered in sweat from the strain, and his eyes were closing. In a few seconds, he was out cold. The puzzled girl stared at him, a million questions running through her head. She thought for a second, going over the details of the situation. The creature she had seen before, the things this boy was saying, the destroyed machine, it made no sense to her. It was like he was some other-worldly creature. After taking quite a while to get over her shock, Teagan checked her watch. Her dad and brother would be home in the next twenty minutes at the most, and she had to somehow hide the evidence that a strange boy had nearly set fire to the entire backyard. She lifted herself from her kneeling position and rubbed her sore knees. She glanced at the unnamed person on her lawn, who was still completely unconscious. Carefully, she walked around him through the grass, towards the machine that towered over her. She circled it, inspecting the surface and how much damage it had actually done. The grass that poked out from under the machine was burnt to a crisp. That must mean that now, there was a huge black circle in the middle of the backyard that Teagan’s dad would notice for sure.

25

SHORT STORY

She couldn’t explain what really happened. They’d think she was crazy. At this point, she was still contemplating if that was the case or not. She just had a feeling that helping him was the right thing to do. “I’ll think of something,” She mumbled aloud, before returning to the boy. “Not to panic…” She paced in front of the scene, crossing her arms nervously. She didn’t want to admit it, but the only option she had was to push the machine into the bushes and haul the boy into her room and hide him until she came up with another solution. She had to talk to him and figure out if her assumption was true. She still had a lingering fear of him; he could be baneful. Especially if he really was some sort of inhuman and unearthly being. She walked hesitantly back to the machine, and attempted to push it. It was extremely heavy, and the electrical sparks shocked her fingers. She let out a frustrated grumble and shoved it one more time, and it surprisingly fell over with a loud thud. She sighed in relief, and started to roll it into the hedge by the pool. “What are you--!” Teagan jumped and whipped around. The boy was sitting up, his face twisted in annoyance and pain. “Be quiet!” Teagan squealed, freezing in alarm.

There was the sound of a car parking in the driveway, and the distant chattering of Mr. Thatch and his son. Teagan nearly screamed in anxiety. She gave the machine one last shove and it disappeared into the bushes, before sprinting back to the boy and yanking him up by his arm. “I demand to know what you are-” She ignored his protests and dragged his flailing form onto the porch and through the back door, just as she

heard the jingling keys at the front of the house. She made it to her room with her hand clamped over the boy’s mouth, and pushed him into her closet. “Stay put and don’t make noise!” She then flopped on her bed and grabbed a book from her nightstand and pretended to be reading it. “Hey, Teag.” Mr. Thatch said, poking his head in the doorframe. “Oh, hi dad,” Teagan said, attempting to look relaxed and very interested in her book. “How was the game?”

“Eh. We lost. Sam was pretty bummed. But it was still fun,” He replied with a smile. “I’m off to bed. You should consider not reading upside down, it’s pretty hard to read that way.” Teagan blinked and frowned at him, glancing down at the book. She was about to give an excuse, but he was already headed up the stairs, still chuckling. Once he was gone, she closed and locked her door, standing awkwardly outside the closet.

She murmured at the

white-painted door. “Yes, hello, I am still here and I cannot breathe!” The boy said. “Oh!” Teagan exclaimed, and pulled on the handle. The boy fell into a heap on the carpet, groaning and huffing. She shrieked and dove onto her bed, grabbing an umbrella from her nightstand drawer and holding it in front of herself defensively. “You’re lucky I didn’t tell anyone that I found you! Now tell me who you are.” She said firmly, locking her eyes with his.

he

touched the cut on his back. “If I tell you,

you must heal me.”

“H-Hello

?”

He

sighed

and

winced

as

26

SHORT STORY

“Fine,” Teagan agreed, after a long pause of trying to understand what he meant by ‘heal’.

“You must be silent while I speak. Do not interrupt.” “I won’t,” She frowned at this. He took a deep breath. “I am Atto, of Korga, and I have come across your world from afar. I know not how, but my true form was disguised and I now appear like you. Please, put down the rain-catcher and assist me as I would you if your kind were to crash on my planet—” Teagan gaped. “You’re joking,” she let out a half-chuckle. “That’s impossible.” “You interrupted.” “Well I—” Atto crawled weakly to her bedside and grabbed her ankle before she scrambled away. “I sense thoughts, and I can see the future. If you do not help me return home, danger may descend on your people. I know you are called Teagan Thatch, and my coming across your dwelling was not without reason.” His eyes were wide and pleading, and there was a warning in his voice. Teagan was breathing hard, and having a mental meltdown. She so badly wanted to speak but was afraid of the consequence. “Yes, you may now respond,” Atto said, smiling faintly at her reaction. “You’re an extraterrestrial?!” She blurted out, flinching her foot away from him.

“Well that is what you think of me, but I assure you, it is how I see you as well. Now if you don’t mind, my back is bleeding profusely and I would like some help, please.” “Um…uh…okay…”, Teagan muttered, rubbing her temples as she tried to think. So he wasn’t a human. He was an alien. An alien was in her room. On the floor. Dying.

She jumped up from her bed and scrambled frantically to the cupboard in the hall, grabbing a first aid kit and a towel.

“You are being awfully loud,” Atto remarked, from where he was sprawled at the foot of the bed. “S-Shut up! It’s a lot to handle!” She scurried back into the room and crouched next to him, her eyes wild with unease.

He lifted off his bloodstained shirt, revealing a huge scrape between his shoulder blades. “You humans are so frail! In my own form I would have healed by now,” he remarked, rolling his eyes. With shaky hands, Teagan cleaned his wound. She was surprised of how tolerant he was to antiseptic. ”

“So

She said, attempting to make

conversation. She was obviously curious about how this alien had come to earth,

and what his abilities were. She was still panicking, and slightly afraid that all of this was her imagination acting up. “How

saw

did you change into a human? I

your other form, but I didn’t believe it at first.”

Atto laughed softly. “What?” She asked, frowning. “That, I do not know. It seems I have a new talent, or there was a

mechanism inside my pod that transformed me to look like the natives of any planet I landed on. Ah yes, I do remember, my companion Metari was researching that idea.”

see. What’s your home like?”

Teagan began to bandage the bleeding scrape, wrapping gauze around Atto’s back.

“You have many questions. I promise to answer all of them, but at the moment I am quite tired.” “I can tell. Sorry.” She said, fastening the bandage and giving him her brother’s old shirt to wear.

I

“I

27

SHORT STORY

“What now will you do with me?” Atto asked, looking up at Teagan innocently. Teagan sighed and finished cleaning up the first aid mess, proceeding to pace in front of her dresser. Although she had started to accept the situation she had gotten herself into, she still had no plan. She stopped and looked at him. “You’re going to have to stay with me, aren’t you?” He nodded. “You took me in. As I said, since you discovered me, you must help me get home. But you must not inform the other humans of my presence. There could be talk!” “Yes, yes, I know.” She grumbled, hanging her head. “I would much like the bed in the closet. As long as the door is open this time.” Teagan scoffed. He had read her mind again.

“I’ll make you a bed there. You have to be quiet. We can figure this out in the morning,” she said anxiously. And so Teagan rushed about and made a makeshift bed for Atto on the floor of the walk-in closet, and though she tried to ignore her worries, they returned often. Eventually she had gotten the creature to settle down and rest, and she too turned off the lights and tried to sleep. It will all

make sense in the morning, she thought to herself. Hopefully. What a traumatic day. “Teagan,” Atto’s whisper broke the silence and shattered the girl’s thoughts. “What?” She said, almost in annoyance. It was the third time he had done that, he was like an over-excited child.

“Thank you for helping me.”

There was a short pause as Teagan was taken aback that it wasn’t a strange question about her species.

“Oh

you’re

um, welcome.”

“Such compassion humans are capable of showing. I do believe you are one of the special ones. I am glad it was you that found me.” Teagan sighed contently and said nothing, and neither did Atto. She stared at the ceiling and thought, I’m glad I did too, but why did I actually help him? He was a stranger. An answer never came. It was comfortable silence as they both drifted off to sleep, their dreams predicting what adventures they would have. It was clear now to both of them that they would go through a lot together, and though their meeting was quite odd, from it would form an intergalactic friendship.

a lot together, and though their meeting was quite odd, from it would form an intergalactic

Yan Poinssot

28

SHORT STORY

ARSENIC GFAJ-1 (The Opening)

Le Dung

MONDAY, 23RD OF May. As usual, another sunny day in Los Angeles. Dr. Jeremy Hopper, head bacteriologist of the Anti Bio-warfare and contamination Department, was packing up his suitcase for a vacation. Unfortunately, his plan was cancelled. The whole city, probably the whole of California, the whole United States, or even the whole world, heeded a red-alert warning. During the previous hour, a huge number of arsenicosis cases happening around the world had been reported. In particular, in Los Angeles, nearly five hundred were hospitalized with severe symptoms of arsenic poisoning, and among them, fifty fatalities. Currently, the number of cases had tripled, increasing to fifteen hundreds, and all hospitals within the city were already crowded. The fatality rate of the outbreak tended to be increasing every minute. Dr. Hopper arrived at his office as demanded by the government, who put him in charge of research to find a solution to the ongoing problem. Meanwhile, the outbreak was on its route of spreading and progressing to become more virulent, although those terminologies were more appropriate to be used for a biological warfare. In this case, it was rather acute poisoning over a large population. It remained an unanswered mysterious puzzle.

"Dr. Hopper, can you please explain what is going on?" asked Kimberly, one of the interviewers from the Los Angeles Times. She was the earliest person who knew that Hopper was

commissioned to solve this problem involving national, and perhaps even international, security, and as a result, she was the first one to arrive at the Department, she was finally allowed by Hopper to interview him in his office. "I would say that I don't have much to say right now!" said Hopper tiredly. "The outbreak of poisoning has never been a similar issue, since it's a combination of poisoning, but which spreads quickly like an infectious disease. These complications arise and I have so far not a single hint about what is happening right now!" "We see your point, but can you give a theory?" asked Kimberly. She might have acknowledged the fact that Hopper, losing his opportunity to get a nice vacation, plus the heat that was overwhelming L.A right now, plus the fact that she had been asking Hopper questions for nearly half-an-hour, was becoming angry and that anger seemed to be reviving Hopper's original stubbornness that terminated their relationship three years ago. And, as guessed, Hopper completely lost control of his temper. He stood up from the table and gave a terrible remark.

"I said I have nothing in my head about this right now, so do you mind stopping your non-sense and get out of here?" It seemed he didn't notice his impolite, even rude behavior. Feeling helpless, and a bit shocked as well, Kim waved her hand toward the cameraman, and they both left Hopper's office.

Hopper didn't cool down, even twenty minutes after he shouted at his ex- love-interest, when he came into his laboratory. "Is there something you have found?" he asked him Billy, a member of his staff.

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SHORT STORY

"Nothing yet, sir. You and I, we both haven't seen this sort of phenomenon before!" replied Billy. "Must be some sort of terrorist act. This can't be anywhere close to natural causes!" stated Hopper. Unknown to any of his staff, Hopper had been and was still in the process of interrogating a group of Iranians, who were previously captured for their possession of some chemicals that were feared by the U.S to have been materials for a chemical warfare. It turned out that those chemicals weren't harmful and they were part of Iranian industrial development to treat petroleum in mechanical manufacturing. However, Hopper, being commissioned to research those chemicals possessed by interrogated suspects, developed an explicable hostility toward that Iranian group.

For that matter, he repeatedly referred to those Iranians, who were released after that time, as terrorists who were spreading the plague over the United States as chemical warfare. And although the group of Iranians strongly denied any involvement with this strange outbreak the U.S government lacked evidence to accuse or arrest them and Hopper still considered them the threat. Focusing too heavily on a terrorist act, Hopper's mind became closed and literally unstable. That was the cause of the ruckus in the lab as soon as Hopper was about to leave. As soon as Hopper walked away from Billy's corner, Billy dropped one of the sampling plates of the body fluid collected from the dead bodies, as the government had permitted the Department to access any possible and relevant resource to give a definite solution. The sample was spilled all over the place, and Billy, in haste to catch the plate, accidentally knocked down a ethanoic acid container, which then broke and

spilled on top of the already-spilled sample. "What the hell did you just do, Billy?" an enraged Hopper returned to the corner. "You spoiled one of our samples that supposed to be very important to our research!" "I'm so sorry, sir! It was an accident!" Billy apologized and quickly leaned down to pick up the glass pieces, during which he suddenly noticed something solid and shiny among the transparent beads of glass. "Sir, take a look at this!"

"I don't have time for more of your childish nonsense!" yelled Hopper. "Clean it up and get out of here!" "But sir, this is urgent!" exclaimed Billy, trying to get Hopper's attention to his discovery, but it was eventually wasted. Hopper remained ignorant. "Talk less, hurry up and clean this up! What urgent is that you'll lose your job if you don't finish this in a minute!" That ended the morning. Helpless and noisy. In the afternoon, Hopper worked alone. He was simply obsessed with the idea of terrorism; he sent letter convincing the higher governmental headquarter to keep an eye on the group of Iranians. Afterward, he spent five hours working without any sign of a positive result. All of his attempts at trying to find evidence of a terrorist attack using arsenic poisoning failed. On top of all this, his lighter was unable to light up his cigarette. Hopper angrily threw it into the bin. At that moment, he suddenly noticed an annoying smell around in the lab. It smelled like rotten garlic, which drove an already angry Hopper even crazier. He picked up the bin and headed out to empty it. As he flipped it over, he saw something shiny falling out of the bin, which strongly refracted the bright light in

30

SHORT STORY

the afternoon. He focused his eyes onto those beads, and combining with their smell when burnt by the lighter he had previously tossed into the bin, he quickly identified these beads as arsenic trioxide solid.

poisoning and death within minutes. Initially, Hopper tried to find a connection to attribute this to a terrorist act of using artificially modified pathogenic organisms. However, considering the fragility of these bacteria, how easily and

Hopper listened to the broadcast in

He suddenly realized something that he might have missed. He rushed back into the lab and opened up the fridge, picking up the plates that contained the body fluid samples. His biologist's intuition suddenly gave him a hint of what was going on. On the plates, at first, under microscopic view, he saw nothing like arsenic beads that could possibly cause the poisoning, but instead he realized there was a strange bacterium. He introduced some ethanoic acid, as Billy inadvertently had done in the morning. Secondary observation revealed that the bacterium was susceptible to the acid's anti-bacterial chemistry. As soon as they died out, now Hopper saw tiny beads, and chemical analysis further confirmed that those beads were really arsenic. This was, conclusively, a mutated strain of bacteria that carried arsenic compounds inside their cellular structure,

susceptible they were to any slight changes in environmental conditions, Hopper discarded this idea. He finally came to conclude that the cause should be from water sources, which released this potentially deadly bacteria into the water network. At that time, a report on Los Angeles Times was broadcast on TV, with Kimberly as the reporter. "The outbreak had now spread throughout the entire continent. During the previous six hours, hundreds of thousands of new cases had been reported, and 30% of those had died "

shock and dismay. Six hours was the amount of time he could have listened to Billy, abandoned the idea of terrorism, and searched for a cure and the problem could have been solved just on time so that the outbreak wouldn't have proceeded this far.

and when they were killed by any anti-

He

sat

there,

silent

and

bacterial activity, their cells disintegrated and released arsenic, causing acute

motionless

and bacterial activity, their cells disintegrated and released arsenic, causing acute motionless 31 Oona Tiirakari

31

Oona Tiirakari

SHORT STORY

Perception

Victoria Sosnovtseva

THE HUMAN EYE cannot see. It is anatomically impossible for the human species to see, due to an anomaly in the evolution of the eye. Please repeat after me, the human eye cannot see ” A row of mouths moved to produce the right combination of sounds, to make that appear the truth. I mouthed too, but I couldn't bring myself to say it out loud. I couldn't lie. I knew the teacher was lying, because I could see. I could see so many beautiful things; ladybugs on green grass, clouds formed as enigmas on

a blue background and eye lids, unique

peach colored eyelids. Yet here he was

telling me that I couldn't see, and that was the truth? The absolute indisputable truth? The first time I opened my eyes I screamed and screamed and screamed until it started bothering them, so they took me to the counselor. By them, I mean the community. They never did ask me why I was screaming. I ran my arm up the leather chair he made me sit in and felt its coolness on the sweaty palm of my hand, wondering why it felt so impersonal, like

it secretly pretended I wasn't there.

“What seems to be the problem Alanna?” A: “I can see” “No you can't” A: “Everyone tells me that I can't” “Then you can't” A: “Can you see?” “Yes” A: “Do you see?” “No” A: ! “If you can see why do you not

open your eyes?” “Because I can't see. It's been an hour, I'll see you next week” A: “You'll see me?”

“No” As I walked back from his office down the cold metal railway, I wandered if it had always been like this; such cold impersonality like the chair in the counselor's office. You are stuck sitting in it so you have to accept it, but you always feel like something could be different, better, stronger. Perhaps when people saw each other it wasn't like this. Perhaps when we could glimpse each other's eyes we couldn't hate each other so much. I tripped on a stone. I shuffled it around with my foot for a while sitting there, alone and empty, on the railway that extended to infinity. I decided to take off my shoes so that I could feel the stone's rough edges against my skin, to feel its realness and solidity. We weren't allowed to own things in the community, because they told us that if we did, we would become attached to a world that wasn't ours. They told us over and over again, the dry voice of the professor crackling in our ears like firecrackers on New Year's Eve, so that we would never forget, never slip up. After a while I picked up the rock and slid it into my pocket. I put on my shoes and followed the railroad to the community home. Who would ever suspect I was the type who stopped. My brother. We lay in the tree house side by side, looking up at the light rushing into our eyes through the gentle green leaves. I knew it would be the last time I would hear his uneven breathing in beat with mine, yet somehow all I could focus on was the rough texture of the wood under my hand. Slowly closed my eyes and ran my hand over the tiny bumps that so often go unnoticed, and wandered for the millionth time what my life would be like without my brother. He watched me run my hand over the wood.

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“You aways had a thing for touch” My hand flinched away. I looked into the clear eyes I was so used to seeing in the mirror. I didn't smile even though it felt like the right thing to do. “Time to go” A. “ A little longer” “No Alanna, we have to go” A. “It won't feel the same without

you”

He took my hand and guided it against a crooked crack in the cold wood. “Sure it will” He jumped up with a certain clumsy elegance and stood staring at me with a smirk on his face that suddenly made me feel silly, lying like some small child splattered on the dirty floor of the tree house. Our tree house. He reached out his hand and without hesitation I took it. His hand felt smooth against my rough one. He hauled me up so fast that the wind rushed through my ears, cleared my head.

“Take me ” A: “ Why risk everything, just to draw wrinkles on some old fart's face?” “ Gives me an excuse to stare at people all day;who could wish for more?” A: “Are you serious?” “Are you?” I closed my eyes and gently ran my hand over the cold metal casing of the sword and felt an excitement rush through me, as if I were touching a nerve in my own body. It is such a satisfaction to feel an object before you can see it. It enters your imagination as something unique; it becomes yours, shaped to your own image.

I cherished the darkness before my eyes, because I knew that when they opened them there would be nothing around me but a green summer emptiness. All he wanted was to draw people; especially the eyes. I always looked at his when he drew, and there was a light in them, like he wanted to portray a beauty

that would stand beyond the railway of eternity. My hand closed around the sword in a gentle grip and I opened my eyes, no longer searching for him in every corner, no longer remembering him, because he never existed. I never had a brother. I marched across the creaking wood no longer wandering what every inch felt like

and jumped onto the grass below, beginning to gallop as soon as my feet felt the spongy strength of the earth.

I had no reason to run, but I ran

anyway, even though the sword felt awkward and misplaced in my hand. It made me feel like I was beginning something new, something new and important. I would do something yet Something hit me from the side; “Bucker! What the hell!” “Well damn Alanna you were running so fast I had to! I was worried about you ok I mean I see you ditch class you don't tell me where you are going, I see you with some strange guy… Bucker got worried ok! I mean I know you got your own life but I worry about your safety. What if you got attacked? And they ”

asked me to testify and “Bucker” “Yeah?” “Shut up.”

I stood up brushing myself down,

annoyed that I had let Bucker of all people ambush me, not letting him see how scared I had been when I had thought it was them. My verdict was clear:

“LEAVE ME ALONE” I picked up the sword, made a menacing gesture in his general direction and started walking away.

“What were you doing? Who was that guy? Aren't you scared you'll get in trouble?”

I stopped. I looked at him again,

lying on the ground looking like a tiny

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SHORT STORY

adventurous kitten that had fallen out of a tree. I softened. “I saw something ” Bucker shut up for a while after that, though he didn't stop following me. He kinda reminded me of my brother. Except he doesn't exist anymore, so I guess he doesn't remind me of anyone anymore. We walked for a while. I wandered if he ever opened his eyes in secret like I did, and peaked at the sky. It was so blue, but sometimes it was gray, and sometimes it wasn't even a color but a feeling, a beautiful passionate feeling above me. I wandered if he had ever opened his eyes lying on the grass and for a few seconds seen the unfocused image of thin green blades waving in the wind. I had done that once, and there was a ladybug. It was red and had three black spots on its back. I could never tell anyone about that. ”

“Bucker do you ever “Yeah?” “Nothing” We walked on. Alone. That was before the counselor. I reached the community home three hours late, marched dutifully back

by the cold metal hand of the railway. Bucker opened the door for me, quietly tiptoeing me through the labyrinth of beds in a single room the size of a football field. I knew we couldn't talk till we were in bed under the covers. Safe. “Where were you Alanna?” “I was walking down the railway” “You stopped didn't you?” Of course he would know. “Yes” “You can't stop. You can never stop. You know what happens to those who waver from the path” “I didn't waver” “Yes you did” “Ok so I did, so what?” “You'll be killed” “I''ll kill them back” “Why?” “I hate them, but I want to love them. That's why” He was quiet for a while, and I had almost fallen asleep when I felt salty tears run down my arm. I realized with a tinge of surprise that my eyes were dry. That was a year ago. Bucker doesn't exist anymore. And neither do I.

surprise that my eyes were dry. That was a year ago. Bucker doesn't exist anymore. And

Isabelle Houle

34

SHORT STORY

The Connection

Adelaide Powell

EVERYDAY ANGELA CASEY caught the morning train, going into the third car and sitting facing the rest of the compartment. Angela’s station was the first on the line so she was always able to get the same spot, the first window seat. Over the past few years it had appeared to Angela that other people also followed their own routine. Along with Angela, a bookish middle-aged woman with horn-rimmed glasses came into compartment number three and sat at the opposite end. Angela had named her The Librarian for her varied and numerous reading materials and matronly looks. Today Salinger’s “Nine Stories” was on the menu, and Angela assumed that “Strangers on a Train” must have been finished over the weekend. Angela shifted her focus to the other member of the compartment, elderly Mrs. Stich. As usual the woman was pawing through her tattered, brown canvas tote bag. Right on the dot Mrs. Stich’s knitting equipment broke free from the entangled mess and she continued making progress on what appeared to be yellow children’s booties. Angela turned to look out the window. The train left the station and scooted along towards the city. The rain pitter-pattered against her view of the outside world, streaking the blur of trees and sky. Except for the fat drops sliding across the windows, the ride could have taken place on any other day, it seemed. The predictable and monotonous journey had begun to wear on Angela. Same people, same actions, and same scenery she thought. Reading and doing homework was out of the question for Angela who easily succumbed to motion sickness. Listening to music became

tiresome and Angela was not a girl whose cellphone was like the extension of her arm. Observing was something Angela had enjoyed since she was little, but feeling like she had become so familiar with her surroundings, she had grown bored. There was, however, one passenger who continued to mystify Angela. The train slowed to the next station and Angela knew, just like she knew that she spit after brushing her teeth, who would be joining her company. Yes, this was the stop of the Terrible Two and the unfortunate Nanny. Every morning the twin girls, a few years younger than Angela, stumbled into compartment three followed by a plump caretaker hauling enormous matching monogrammed pink duffel bags, overflowing with toys, books, and gossip magazines. The girls sat across from Angela with Nanny in the row beside them. The quiet of the car quickly vanished and was replaced by the familiar sound of the twins arguing relentlessly about nothing. This time the debate centered on who could hold the new stuffed animal. Nanny had closed her eyes for a moment of respite until Thing 1, victorious in the battle, hit her over the head with the furry, purple hippopotamus. The chaos quelled just as the next station pulled into view and as per usual the group gathered themselves to get off. Angela had always wondered why they only went one stop; perhaps they caught another connecting train. Nevertheless her question went unanswered as the troop exited. Angela glanced up and down the platform as the train slowed to envelop more commuters. No sign yet, maybe at the next station, Angela concluded. Angela peered back at the doors, awaiting the prompt arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Always Professional. A black

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briefcase swung through the sliding doors, proceeding Mr. Always Professional’s entrance. Today he was dressed in a black pinstriped suit with a crisp white buttoned down shirt and Mrs. Always Professional followed in an ensemble just as tailored and slick. Angela noticed The Librarian glance at the Mrs.’ high-heeled black boots and turn back to her book. The Always Professionals sat across from each other in the seats opposite Angela. Mr. A.P. seized the newspaper left in the seat pocket next to him and buried himself in the current affairs of the world. Mrs. A.P. pulled out her Blackberry and thumbed some quick messages. Angela turned to watch the other travelers from the rain-striped window’s reflection and momentarily left the train thinking about what the rest of her day was going to hold. The voice of the conductor brought her back and informed her that the next stop was seconds away. Scanning the advertisements and safety warnings in the car, Angela did not notice The Librarian leave, although she had known this was her stop. Angela also failed to spot The Girl until she was seated diagonally across from her. So it was going to be this stop today, Angela thought. Over the past year Angela had witnessed The Girl get on and off at just about every station. The Girl never did anything besides gaze out the window or at the others in the train and she never seemed to sit in the same seat. Angela realized she had not named The Girl, nor had she ever spoken to her. Angela did not speak with the other passengers, not purposefully but because it did not occur to her to strike up conversation. Angela was contemplating this when the next station pulled into sight. Muscle Man would soon appear on the platform, barging into car three with his sporty backpack and sack of soccer balls.

College Boy would be anxiously awaiting the train with his back hunched from the weight of the textbooks in his bag. At the next stop Mr. and Mrs. Always Professional would depart for their work, and one stop later Mrs. Stich and Angela would be on their way. Where would The Girl be going today, Angela wondered. As the train decelerated to stop, Angela’s question was answered. Angela’s eyes followed The Girl as she rose and moved to the door. Angela felt herself leaving her seat and going towards the exit. Noticing the eyes of the compartment three members on her, Angela smiled. The doors clicked open and Angela followed The Girl onto the platform. Angela realized it had stopped raining. After speeding up to catch her, Angela tapped The Girl on her shoulder. “Hi, I’m Angela. What’s your

name?”

up to catch her, Angela tapped The Girl on her shoulder. “Hi, I’m Angela. What’s your

Adam Riis

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After Weeks of Travelling

Tosia Tamborska

NOVEMBER 19TH, 1526 After weeks of travelling, Piloto Mayor finally arrived and docked in the port of Tumbes. The numbers of ill on the ship reached 12, making everyone around feel ill in sympathy. From far away the mariners saw the rich and fertile soils of the Peruvian land, which all gave a great impression after the impoverished Panama – their point of departure. Hit with the equatorial glimmers of sunlight, the crew desperately searched for shade where then we all then devoured the sweetest in its sweetness water in just a few gulps.

Miguel, one of the youngsters worked as deck crew on the majestic ship of the conquistadors. He hated the ocean, he hated sailing, and he suffered terribly from seasickness even when his thoughts stumbled upon a boat. His father, Juan Miguel, a poor tradesman from Cartagena whose responsibility was to support the family of five children, was the one who pushed for Miguel to join the excursion of Pizarro. He wanted his 15 year old to take an apprenticeship, as well as have one less mouth to feed. As much as Miguel hated anything to do with water, he was cheerful to discover the new land, where the landscapes were so delightful. He missed his family, the father for whom his children were the largest treasures, as well as the four gorgeous and petite sisters whose olive skin gleamed with the barest strokes of the sunrays. In the time of the excursion he longed for the small, cobblestone streets of the coastal Cartagena. Yet, he was thrilled by the view of ripe coconuts falling off the palm trees and other delightful surprises of the region.

‘The aim of our expedition is to take as much gold and other goods as the ship can hold

and safely go back to the land of Spain while attempting to prevent any fatalities during our excursion.’ is what Miguel constantly heard, and felt as if he were indoctrinated by the words by the time the ship docked in the port of Tumbes. He didn’t believe this was right, but as the future man of the family, he could not have brought shame on his relatives and the family name. ‘Get out there and bring as much back as you ca; you have until dawn to find your direction back to the port.’ was what Miguel and the other youngsters were urged to do.

The anger in Miguel kept accumulating and strengthening; he knew this wasn’t right. He got off the ship wanting to discover what the rich Peruvian soils had to offer. He walked through the streets of the little settlement, he saw the marvelous, colourful, woven fabrics, the markets with tables almost breaking from the weight of the ripe fruits and other goods, and the farmers collecting maize of all colours which would then be sent over to the Inca in lead. He knew he was far away from home, weeks of dreadful sailing, but he didn’t think he’d end up in such a distinct, unfamiliar and exotic world. As he strolled the crescents, he fell into contemplation and reflection and utterly lost track of time. The saunter delighted and entertained him so much, he didn’t mind. ‘You look lost’ he heard, and fearfully turned around as if the words burst the bubble of felicity he was in. This little lady, wrapped in those gorgeous woven fabrics from head to toe, who barely reached the height of his shoulder, was standing outside the front gate to her house.

She invited him over for a cup of coffee, the beans of course collected from a local farm. She explained that she was taught Spanish by another sailor, many years ago, just so someone in the village

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could communicate if the conquistadors arrived on Peruvian grounds. He met the whole family, none of them able to communicate in any other language than Quechua, but so warm hearted and welcoming that Miguel felt at home, even on the other side of the globe, where his beloved Cartagena was. He wanted to warn Illpay and her family of the plans made by the conquistadors, but she already knew it all. ‘This isn’t the first time, this won’t be the last time either. We are strong enough to live without all the goods, but we don’t know for how long’ she said with her squeaky Quechua accent. He heard the fear and misery in her voice. As he looked out of the primitive window, which in fact was just a hole in one of the walls, he realized that the sun must have been long gone. ‘Joder!’, he thought. ‘The ship must be all packed already; it leaves tomorrow before the sunrise and I’m not able to make it back now!’ he screamed. He saw the sorrow on Illpay’s face and thought that he didn’t want to be a part of the Spanish conquistador world. He asked

Illpay if she knew of any ways of getting to Europe; he was willing to trek down half of the continent to find another ship to take back home. Illpay offered him a place to stay until the next ship docks in Tumbes, ‘It really won’t take long’, she said, still quite upset.

July 28 th 1540 After years of living in Tumbes, I finally realized I’m in the place where I belong. Illpay passed away, leaving her Inca heritage with her children and me. Their reality is so simple, yet so gorgeous and astonishing. I spend my days learning Quechua, with the boys, now men, laughing at me when saying ‘Napaykuykin’ – why can’t it be as easy as ‘Hola’? I see the sorrow in their faces when they hear other news on continuous executions or new treasures of the conquistadors. …I’m afraid ‘It really won’t take that

long.’

or new treasures of the conquistadors. …I’m afraid ‘It really won’t take that long.’ ❁ Nicolai

Nicolai Verbaarschot

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Alice’s Cat Day

Adelaide Powell

ALICE HAD PACKED her things. In her pink and yellow backpack she had compiled an assortment of items that she presumed would hold her over for the conceivable future. Stuffed at the bottom was Bunny to be kept safest, some crayons were pushed into the crevices, her favorite mug was in there somewhere, a juice box could be found, and a map was in the side pocket, of course. “Good-bye, try to not miss me too much. We might see each other again someday,” Alice said to her pile of stuffed animals. She took one last look around her room, scanning the movie posters, books, bed and desk. The girl paused at the window and looked out at the New York City skyline she had become so familiar with and adored. The June sun beamed down on the concrete jungle bursting with busy people of all kinds. Alice imagined herself soon walking down the sidewalk below on the path that she had planned out.

Alice left her room after stuffing a few pillows under her blankets, just in case, she thought. Parading around the apartment one last time, Alice said a heartfelt adieu to Earl, the family watchdog, gave him a biscuit and grabbed a treat for herself- cookies. At the last minute Alice remembered that she must indeed write a note and carefully crafted an explanation-in cursive, of course- and placed it under one of her pillows. He would at least have to hunt a little, she thought. “Good-bye house,” Alice said and walked out the door. With her backpack strapped on tight, Alice hopped on the elevator and went down to the lobby. Ding, ding, ding and Alice was in the lush Victorian apartment lobby that always smelled of books and flowers.

Just who I’m looking for Alice thought after she spotted Norman the desk clerk. Alice strolled over to the man typing away at the computer, with his back hunched over and glasses about to fall off his nose. Good old Norman, the most dedicated worker she knew. “And what are you still doing here, missy?” questioned a still bent-over Norman. “I needed to talk to you, Norm,” replied Alice. “I think school is a little more important than talking to dear old me.” “Today’s national hug your cat day, didn’t you hear? We got the whole day off, plus it happens to fall on a teacher workday. Anyway, I wanted to ask you if you remembered where my favorite place in Central Park was, because it’s by that bench across from the big rock by the lake. Just FYI in case it comes up in any future conversations.” “Okay, I’ll be sure to keep that information stored. You just remember to be safe roaming around the big city out there,” cautioned Norman. “Yes Sir, you have a nice day you hear. It’s only once a year that showing cat affection is celebrated worldwide,” said Alice. She turned and headed out the door, followed by Norman’s puzzled stare.

Now to the park, Alice thought. The girl left the building and walked across the street, glancing up to spot her window. Definitely one of the best parts about the apartment was its location; Fifth Avenue across from Central Park wasn’t too shabby. Crossing into the park was like stepping into an oasis in the middle of a jungle. Alice could smell the roasted peanuts and watched as families of tourists equipped with running shoes and baseball caps stopped to take pictures of every change in scenery. She saw a man and young girl ride past on a horse and carriage and spotted a painter with a

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blank canvas situated over by the big rock who tipped his hat at her. Alice sat on the bench and pulled out her mug she had gotten from the Magnolia Bakery on 49 th and laid it under the seat. She paused to watch the painter expertly mix some colors and then supposed that it was time to get moving. The girl left the park and headed towards Rockefeller Center. It was about time for something sweet, Alice concluded. The city was alive with the sounds of construction, music, and people scurrying

to and fro. Alice was engulfed in a sea of

people but still felt a bit alone. Finally

arriving at the bakeshop, Alice entered a world of splendid smells and dazzling

colors. The treats looked extra delectable today, but Alice was on a mission. “Hi, Elaine,” Alice said after locating her favorite pastry chef. “Could you make me my special with a little book design on it and save it for someone?” “Sure, sweet cakes, whatever you want,” replied Elaine. Alice was a happy customer and decided that she would need refreshment for herself, but then remembered that she had already packed some cookies for such an occurrence. And to the final stop, Alice thought. Heading across town would take

a little while but Alice had time. After

about an hour walking, the girl arrived at

the bookstore she felt was a second home and took some time to browse the

different sections. When her perusing had concluded, Alice sat in the classic fantasy fiction section, pulled out her favorite book and relaxed in the conveniently stationed albeit weathered and stained beanbag chair. Alice had read almost the entire book by the time a familiar voice pulled her from the story.

“I got your note.”

“Hi dad, I will not be here when you get back. I am tired of being at home by myself

without any supervision and care. I’m ten

years old for goodness sakes! I consider myself

a worldly child but even movie star’s kids need

a little love and attention. If you were really

good at your job you would at least act like a

good father. If you were to miraculously come after me I would definitely not talk to Norman, he wouldn’t know anything. And there will most likely not be anything under my favorite bench in Central Park-as if you’d remember where

that was. If you’re feeling hungry don’t stop by a certain eatery near Rockefeller Center for

a whoopee pie. And lastly whatever you do, if

you happen to be in need of a book I wouldn’t go to The Strand. So, there you have it. If I see you, I’ll see you. Alice”

book I wouldn’t go to The Strand. So, there you have it. If I see you,

Hannah Sturesson

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The City

Gergana Gyuleva

IT WAS A Thursday afternoon in mid-

October. Subtle chatter filled the café with a continuous melody of voices. Daniel was looking across the table. He had been doing so for a while now. He was looking

at Jennifer.

‘Apple cake with cream?’ Daniel’s view was blocked for a moment by a waitress leaning over the table. She smiled and the tips of her thick woolen scarf came dangerously close to the cream on the plate. The low autumn sun was blinding him, so

he could only see the contours of Jennifer’s face. It was as if she had a halo of sunlight. The sun tickled the skin on his face. He was listening to the noises of the city: the clickety-click of bicycles, the scratching of the leaves against the pavement as gusts

of wind made them twirl in a dance. It was

one of those days where the wind didn’t

feel cold, but just passed through your hair, stroking it, caressing it. It was a Thursday afternoon in mid-October. People constantly pushed

their way between the chairs and tables in and out of the crowded café. As if they could never just stand still for a moment.

A young mother was yelling at her son for

spilling his hot chocolate over the table. Jennifer was sitting still, not doing anything. She was sitting in one of the chairs, with her back to the sun. ‘Apple cake with cream?’

A waitress leant over the table and almost

dropped the plate. There was a sharp noise as it hit the table. The voices around Jennifer seemed to be constantly rising in pitch and volume. The wind made the noise even louder. She was struggling to eat the cake because the strong gusts continuously blew her hair in her face. The cake was cold and damp, probably not baked enough.

‘Jennifer, it’s been a wonderful year. Don’t you think?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Today is such a beautiful day.’ ‘Yes.’ ‘How’s the cake?’ ‘It’s alright.’ ‘Jen, listen. Yesterday I went for a walk. And as I was walking, I found this place. It’s just so special. I want to show it to you.

‘Now?’ ‘Yes, why not?’ ‘I don’t know, I’m a little tired.’ ‘Oh, come on.’ ‘Really Daniel, I just want to relax today. The city is so loud.’ ‘What’s wrong with the city? It’s warm, and big, and full of stuff.’ ‘It’s too big, too full of stuff and I lose myself in it.’ ‘Oh, come on. It’s a fantastic place. You’ll understand once you see it. I’m sure. Let me show you.’ ‘Those two, they come here almost every day, after they are done with their lectures. I noticed them already the first time, but I don’t think they noticed me. People usually don’t notice me. She is Jennifer, he is Daniel. The beginnings were beautiful. They used to talk and look at each other, sometimes for hours. They talked in the beginning, but later it got less and less. Just small talk. ‘How was your day?’ ‘Good, how was yours?’. “Tea with lemon?” The waitress left the tea on the table in front of the old man without waiting for an answer and hurried away. So now instead of talking they just look at each other. She is beautiful, he is handsome. That’s them, walking away down the street. I can see them, I don’t think they see me.’

‘Are we there yet?’, Jennifer asked. ‘Almost.’ ‘What type of place is it?’ ‘You’ll see. It’s magnificent. When I went there yesterday, I regret not having

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found it earlier. It just filled me with energy. You’ll see.’ ‘Well, I am looking forward to seeing your amazing discovery.’ They walked down five streets, three alleys, crossed six roads and bumped into strangers twice. Daniel was walking faster and faster. Jennifer was hurrying behind him.

‘It’s just what I don’t like about the city, though.’ ‘So you’re saying you don’t like it? ‘No, I just don’t see why it’s so special.’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘It’s just part of the dirty, spoiled, loud, miserable city. You stand here and you pretend to be part of something big, a

think.’

 

‘Can

we

please

walk

a

little

city, and you pretend to be full of life, and

slower?’ ‘I can’t hear you. What did you

surrounded by people, and you pretend to feel ‘the pulsating rhythm of the city’. But

say?’

what are you in the end? You are lonely,

‘Can we please walk slower?’ ‘Why?’ ‘I’m tired.’ ‘Alright.’ At the end of an alley there were two godforsaken buildings, each four floors high, with a tiny staircase between them. They hurried up the stairs, Jennifer completely out of breath. There was a door at the end of the staircase. Daniel opened it, they went inside a dark corridor with old posters on the walls. At the end of the corridor there was a small window and next to it another door. The door opened onto a platform. Jennifer realized the platform was the roof of one of the two buildings. On three of the four sides it was surrounded by higher buildings, so it looked like a room without ceiling. Only on one of the sides was there an open space, looking over the street they had just walked on. The rooftop was empty. Jennifer looked down over the street and saw people like ants walking and pushing

you are the loneliest person in the world. You know why? Because if you’re in a forest, you are lonely because there is nobody else there. So you are actually not lonely, you are just alone. You don’t need anybody. You are at peace. But if you are in the city, you are in the city because you want to feel close to people. You are surrounded by a community you pretend to be part of, but actually nobody cares who you are, what you do. None of those people down there on the street knows or cares who you are. You might just as well not exist, it wouldn’t make a difference in the city. You are among people, but you don’t acknowledge their presence, they don’t acknowledge yours. Because you are among all those people. And because you’ll never get the chance to know who they are. You are the loneliest person in the world. ‘What on earth is wrong with you?’ ‘Nothing, I’m just saying what I

each other, everybody going their own

 

‘Yeah,

but

you

never

say

such

way.

things.’

‘Is that it?’ ‘Yes, this is the place. It’s like some sort of refuge in the middle of the city. Isn’t it amazing?’ Jennifer looked down again. The height made her dizzy. ‘Yeah ’ ‘I knew you’d like it.’

‘That’s because until now I never said what I think.’ ‘But what is it that you have against me suddenly? How can you not like this place, when it is so special for me? ‘This only proves it. ‘Proves what?’

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‘Proves that you are lonely and you don’t care about anybody else but yourself.’ ‘What the hell are you talking

about?’

‘It was an experiment, Daniel. I wanted to see what would happen if I say what I actually think.’ ‘But you’re not saying what you think, you are making me look like a fool.’ ‘Whenever I ask you for a favor, whenever I have a concern, you ignore it. I pretend it’s fine. You are happy that Jennifer agrees with what you think.

Whenever we talk about politics, Jennifer will silently agree with you. Of course, because you two are made for one another. Sometimes I try and say what I think, Daniel, but already in the very beginning I saw what happens. This happens. Whenever I have different view than you, this is what happens. ‘Jennifer, you’re out of your mind.’ ‘I am, Daniel, I am.

than you, this is what happens. ‘Jennifer, you’re out of your mind.’ ‘I am, Daniel, I

Iris ten Have

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The Smiling Man

Rebecca Flowers

I PULLED BACK my knotted hair and plopped it at the very top of my head. The slight layer of moist sweat on my neck had left my pillow with an oval of discoloration. With an agitated move I tossed my freshly changed sheets down to the end of the bed. A feeling of relief swept over my lower body as a cool wind hit my stubbly skin. I glanced over at the window only to realize that someone had shut the wooden frame back to the wall. It seemed that the heat of our bodies had covered the glass with a layer of steam. All I could see was a blurred light from the black lamppost that was flickering due to an old nearly-broken bulb. The clammy sweat that had managed to get in between my toes disgusted me. I lay one hand on my cheek in hope of relieving the unpleasant sensation of overheating. There was no difference in temperature. I glimpsed at my wooden nightstand that stood about two meters in front of me. The red block numbers read 2:45 A.M. I reached for my water bottle and started to unscrew the lid. The motion was slow, almost dreamy, as if I were still asleep. My throat clenched as the tepid water sank through my body. My mind had been prepared for a refreshing yet soothing sip. Instead I was disgusted by the lukewarm water and found it hard to keep down. I remember the clear constraint of trying to prevent a cough so that I wouldn’t wake Jacob. His face was turned away and I could see a line of sweat that had formed down his back. I knew he was sound asleep from the soft exhales that were on the borderline of becoming snores. I was never very bothered by his breathing problem; it was actually quite the contrary. It was calming to fall asleep next to his air gulping remedy.

I carefully lifted my legs over the side of my bed. The smooth stone floor was soothing against the palms of my feet. It was like trying to be a feather even though my inside felt heavy as a rock. The slightest sound would always wake Jacob and put him in an irritated state. I hated when we fought, it would always ruin a cozy night that we would otherwise have spent laughing at each other. I had been lucky finding Jacob as a roommate. We always managed to swim along side each other from waking up late to enjoying the same late night TV shows. Conflict was rare apart from the usual smelly socks and lifted toilet seat arguments. I felt strangled by the heat and my lungs desperately needed fresh air. I couldn’t open the window as Jacob had managed to break the hinges when he had once drunkenly tried to open it. I started towards the door with my hands in front to guide me through the dark room. I fumbled to find the doorknob but the smooth metal assured me that I had gripped it. I gently twisted it sideways and put my hand on the door to keep it from tweaking. I could see the light in the hallway was on so I squeezed through a narrow gap to keep the brightness from entering the room. There had been no change in temperature by stepping into the hallway. Alicia from next door was on the way to the common bathroom. Her baby blue eyes looked larger than ever as the sharp light had made her pupils contract into a tiny black dot. I used all the energy I had to let out a small smile. I didn’t want to open my mouth as I always had a really bad sleeping breath. It took me about 5 minutes to actually get out the building as the complicated hallways were even more difficult to navigate with a brain that was only half awake. The streets were pitch black apart from the occasional flickering lampposts. The area wasn’t exactly fancy as it was difficult to find cheap housing in

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a somewhat decent part of town. My natural instinct was to walk towards my daily stop at the bagel shop. The warm ‘everything’ bagel with a thick layer of cream cheese was the only reason I had

the slightest urge to get out of bed in the

mornings. Remsen St. was unrecognizable without the thousands of busy New Yorkers that were rushing to work with a

coffee in one hand and a black brief case in

the other. The peaceful atmosphere was

different but came with a certain comfort. The cool air started to awaken my mind and the energy was slowly starting to flow through my body. Though there still wasn’t quite that spring freshness you would get up in the countryside. The city pollution made the night more humid than anything else. I came to the end of the street and took the quick decision to head towards the park. I turned the corner and that evening comfort was gone. I couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was watching me. The shivers attacked my

body and lifted my feet off the ground for

a split second. I was always an

exaggerator so I told my mind that I needed to get over being such a wuss and kept waking. I had actually walked this route quite a few times as my uncontrollable hormones gave me heat flashes at least once a week. Never had I

been given a reason to feel afraid but as I turned the corner, at the far end of the street, on my side, was the silhouette of a man, dancing. I laughed feeling sorry for that man as he was by himself drunk on a Wednesday evening. His movements were unusual. A waltz like dance that finished each “box” with an odd forward stride. I stopped laughing when I realized the man was heading right for me. I assured myself that he was most likely intoxicated and stepped across to

the opposite sidewalk. There was a black

fence on my right hand side that reflected

the light from the lamppost. Behind was a

newly built park that had grass that was greener than sugar snap peas, which gave it a very unnatural atmosphere. My thoughts returned to the man who was slowly getting closer. I realized how gracefully he was moving. His long lanky limbs were flowing through the air even though he was suited up, as my favorite character from “How I Met Your Mother” would have said. My body was frozen as the silhouette crept closer yet. I could start making out his face that had a weird blankness to it. His eyes were wide open with a wild glare; head tilted back as if looking up into the sky. His mouth was formed in a painfully wide cartoon of a smile. It reminded me of the stripped cat from Alice in Wonderland. From his dancing to unusual expression, I decided to step up my pace a bit. I took my eyes off the man to make sure that I wouldn’t engage in eye contact. I looked down towards the pavement as a gesture to show that I wanted no trouble. After a couple of seconds I glanced back … I stopped dead in my tracks. The waltzing man was now standing on one leg, perfectly balanced and perfectly parallel to me. I couldn’t keep myself from looking at him as he was facing me but still looking up towards the sky. Lips wide on his face. For some reason, I wasn’t frightened. My heart rate had not jumped one bit as they always describe in the thriller novels. My palms weren’t sweaty and I was actually completely and utterly unnerved by this. I kept walking, keeping an eye on the dark silhouette. There was about a block between us and the man hadn’t moved. I started to turn my glance towards the sidewalk again making my way back to the dormitories. My thoughts wondered off to the black spots on the concrete underneath my feet. Thousands of people tread these streets everyday and each spot marked a moment in time. These kinds of details always fascinated me.

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Still unnerved, I looked back to where the man had been standing to find him gone. A wave of relief entered my body for a brief moment. That was until I noticed a shadow out of the right corner of my eye. This time the man was crouched down on the street. A thought of concern filled my mind but was quickly replaced with uncertainty. He was like a leopard, ready to pounce on its prey. The distance made it unclear if he was still smiling but his position made it clear that he was facing me. This time I stared at him making sure he knew that he was not going to hurt me. That was until he started walking towards me. He took giant, exaggerated tip toed steps, as if he were a cartoon character sneaking up on someone. Except he was moving very, very quickly. This would typically be the time when I pulled out a pepper spray or dialed any number available on my cell phone but I just stood there. I stood there trying to find my voice. Something about him intrigued me but at the same time managed to scare the crap out of me.

Words stumbled out of my mouth as if I had no control over my lips. The theory of humans being able to smell fear is still arguable but there is no doubt in the fact that they are able to hear it. I heard it in my own voice and the man stopped again. He just stood there, smiling, head towards the sky. Then he started running. I ran as well.

This time there was nothing stopping me. I reached the stoplight that stood in front of the large brick building aka the most hopeless dormitory ever. I glanced back to make sure that I wasn’t giving away my daily location. There was nothing to be seen. The man was nowhere in my sight but that didn’t keep me from glancing over my shoulders as I took the last couple of steps across the road. I was always half expecting that his wide-eyed smile would appear behind me, but the night was empty.

I was always half expecting that his wide-eyed smile would appear behind me, but the night

Yan Poinssot

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Prostitutes in Pink

Luisa Dickson

Bent over leaning into the car her skirt pushed upwards ass out. Bright pink plastic pleated mini skirt. You could barely even call it a skirt, at most it was a rag. A rag that barely covered any part of her. How was she not freezing, it had to be getting close to the negative degrees by now. The first car in front of me pulled up, one man, dark shades, window wide open. She leaned in again asking if he wanted a good time. Something clicked, you see her turn around, plastic leather from her jacket falls down. She whistles and says something incoherent to the group of girls in the back. Slowly steps into the car, left leg first. It stretches up until the further front most part of the car and he puts his hand on her leg. The doors close and the car speedily drives away.

She Would Cross the Road

Saga Sjöstedt

SHE WOULD CROSS the road, looking right first, and then left. Nothing in sight, only her and the wet streetlamps overshadowing the empty road. She would take the minty gum out of her mouth and roll it through her fingertips. Immediately she will think of him again, intuitively. His broad shoulders, his chest full of tiny thick dark curls. She would think about his big gentle hands moving up and down her spine. Finally she will release her breath and give off a small smile. She’ll feel happy, until her head whipped to the right and the lights blinded her. Before she could understand what was going on, the car hit her.

But now she was relaxing on her stomach as to not expose her childish belly. His dark skin rested against hers. She lifted her head to look at him again. What was that? A car? ’Shit’ she whispered. ‘For fucks sake, out!’ He yelled. Her hands shook as she rushed to pick up her clothes lying on the floor. He hopped around on one leg trying to get his pants back on. His arms tensed as he was jerking at the bed sheets, she couldn’t help but to stare at him with those big admirable eyes of hers.

“Well shit, get out.” He hissed at her. Oh right, where the hell is that bra? Whatever, let the bitch find it. Maybe then he’ll leave her. Maybe then they could be together. Maybe then they could move somewhere else. Door, door, door. She slipped out quietly through the garden exit, covering herself only with her mini dress and ballerinas. She didn’t get a proper good-bye, they didn’t get to share that last look they always do before she leaves. It was too late now, she moved behind the shed and dressed, body still shaky and her mind racing, yet she couldn’t help smiling. Was she crying? Yes she was, had she been crying this whole time? She peeked back at the house. Are they hugging? Since when do they hug? Now the tears were uncontrollable, her thoughts determined. She knew what she had gotten herself into, she’s a big girl, almost about to graduate.

She Was Insane

Luisa Dickson

HER CATS WERE all a different color, but whatever the color was it was bright. Neon pink sitting in the shower, a florescent green hiding behind the sofa,

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red as fresh blood napping under the bed. She tested a new color out each week – and each time a different victim was chosen for the extremely long process of covering the fur from the roots to the tip with the indescribably bright dyes. The horror came on Sundays; the second Sunday of every other month. How people had just realized now and never questioned the ongoing adoption of animals yet never saw that the number in her household remained constant still confuses me. For a year and two months, that makes seven of these occurrences, the cats were used as lab rats. Placed into a washer, in a desperate attempt for her to clean out the electrifying colors from their fur. And each time the same process was made. Brights – normal cycle cold water cold rinse, 1.5 hours, spinning set on medium.

water cold rinse, 1.5 hours, spinning set on medium. ❁ Emma Jepsen Everyday Dystopia Sophie Achiam

Emma Jepsen

Everyday Dystopia

Sophie Achiam

He smiled. Put his leather shoes in away in the corner before entering the room and giving her a hug. Told her his day was fine. Becker had messed up the Royal Copenhagen order, what a mess he'd made. Why, she had made casserole and potatoes and dinner, how lovely. Had her books come in the mail yet? No? Huh, usually it just took two days before orders arrive. Well, maybe tomorrow. Yes, he would love to have some coffee and some pastry while he watches the sports. How nice of her. Bolton had won. Was it badminton? Or pingpong? Whatever. "Are you sleeping Mark?" she asked. Why no, of course he wasn't sleeping. No, no he wasn't tired; he just had a hard day. "I'm fine." Sharapova had won the semifinals. Great.

Dinner already? It smelled nice. "Excellent taste Marjorie, quite excellent. A bit salty, but quite good." "Huh, I thought you liked it salty Mark," she said, "I thought you liked it salty." He arranged his slippers symmetrically by the bed. Then he lied down, first with his arms behind his head, while he talked to Marjorie about something meaningless. Then he told her to have a good night, turned around and switched off the lights. She snored. He untied the laces of his black leather shoes and put them in the corner of the corridor. Hello darling. Fine, and you? That's great darling. Oh that's great. Lasagna? My favorite. Yes, I would love some coffee and carrot cake, why thank you.

Chin Meng was the favorite to win the badminton tournament. "No, I'm not sleeping, I'm fine." The Australia Open was to begin next week.

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"How is Stacy doing in college? That's great. Yes, very nice lasagna, I'm enjoying it." "Goodnight Marjorie, we should go to sleep." "Goodnight." "Why, did you get your shoes polished Mark?" "Yes I did." His day had been fine. Hers too. Williams got the point. "Are you sleeping, Mark? I brought you your coffee and biscuits." The stew was delicious, a bit salty, but otherwise great. She thought he liked it salty. "Huh," he said. Goodnight.

Shoes. Fine, you? Great.

Coffee and pastry. No, not sleeping.

Kendrick is winning. One more point.

Mac 'n' Cheese. Salty.

Sleep.

Damn knot. Good, fine.

Sport. Coffee. Not sleeping.

Salt.

.

BHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM.

Salty. Sleep. Damn knot. Good, fine. Sport. Coffee. Not sleeping. Salt. . BHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM. ❁ Mieke Faeste

Mieke Faeste

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Perfect

Brage Haavik

EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT. The whole country of Europe was now a perfection sculpted by God himself. Every edge of a building was carved with care. Every street appeared as though it was paved the night before – smooth and beautiful. Even the people of this perfect society were also perfect. All fair skinned and had a perfect body complexion. Everyone that populated the country was perfect, because if you weren’t, you were killed and used as the foundation for new structures. The population was reduced from ten billion to a good seven billion during

the past two years, and that is, only after clearing Europe. Rebellions began to occur from the people that did not fall under the ‘perfect image’. I mean, who can blame them? One day you follow your daily routine consisting of a cup of coffee and maybe a cookie, the news air and you’re running in fear of being shot. It’s stupid. Everything is stupid. I thought to myself as I reloaded my pistol and crouched under a nearby table. I don’t understand why we have to deal with this government bullshit.

A pair of footsteps swept in with

the passing wind, I took that as a signal to

run. I dashed from under the table, across the room, and out the window. Landing softly on both feet, I looked around for anyone from my group. “Jesse, over here!”

A loud whisper came from behind

me. I turned around and stared through barbed wires at my friend, Carlos. Carlos waved his hands in a signal to come around the building and through a back door. I did as I was told.

The metallic floor beneath me

screeched and squeaked as I ran to rejoin my friends. “Man, I thought they got you!” A dark skin boy, about my age, welcomed me with a nice pat on the back. “Get me? They are not allowed, I’m perfect.” I answered James.

I took out the pistol, which I had

found earlier, from my pocket and handed

it over to Carlos, who took it with care. We

were inside a small underground basement of the towns’ local library. Why would a library need a basement? I debated with myself as I sat on a wooden crate not far away from James. I took one more look at the empty basement which

contained nothing but us, a few wooden crates, and a pair of mattresses. This was our home for a night, maybe two, three at the most.

I glanced at the floor noticing a

folded newspaper. I reached down and picked it up, opening to the front page. Year 2067, it read. The government successfully raided the city of San Francisco and elicited a

hundred perfect citizens, eliminating the world of all others.

“I tell you man, it’s the segregation

era all over again.” James commented on

the headline.

I lowered the newspaper, “How

would you know? Lived a few centuries?” “Ma mamma’s great great great grandma, or so, was there. We have her diaries from the times.” James thought for

a moment before correcting himself. “Had

her diaries. All burned to ash now, governments’ orders.” James lit a cigarette that he had pulled out of his pocket earlier.

“Can you not?” Carlos retorted at the sound of a lighter igniting. “This space is small enough for air to even exist, and here you go polluting the whole god damn place!”

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“Shut up! This may be the last day of my life, let me at least have a smoke.” “You don’t know that.” I stated. James gave me a cold look in response, “Well, neither do you.”

I took that as the cue for me to

leave. “Allrighty then, I’m gonna take a walk.” I grabbed my newly found pistol from Carlos and exited through the door.

“We’ll assume you’re dead if you don’t return by sundown!” a soft shout

came from Carlos as I closed the door.

I waved my hand, “I’m perfect,

they won’t kill me.” I said to the already closed door. Because I’m perfect. The words were foreign to me now; unlike they were in my childhood. My thoughts trailed off into the past, but I shook them away. I focused myself on the reality. Everything around me was burning. There are two types of burning 1) the type that spreads like a wildfire engulfing everything, and 2) the type that slowly and unnoticeably devourers the surroundings. This was the second type of burning. Fallen tree branches crunched under my feet as I walked by crackling houses. Widened eyes looked out from basement windows, not daring to come out.

There was a sudden sound of fast moving footsteps coming from a distance. I looked up to see a petite girl. She was running. She ran straight at me, at first I was confused to why, but then noticed a group of perfect ones not far behind her. The girl, seeing that I was no threat to her, made an attempt to stop before me, but instead collided with my body. The red haired girl was breathing hard and mouthing out words in between each breath.

“Help…me… please. Shelter. I need shelter.” I took one glance behind her at the nearing perfect police men, and nodded in

response. “Come, I know a place where we can hide.” I grabbed her hand and ran. We lost the police men after we made a detour around the store center, which was just in front of the library at which my friends were. As I was about to make another sprint through the clearing and to the library, the girl pulled at my hand and sobbed. “I can’t run anymore. And my whole family is dead and I don’t know what to do and –” She was clearly in hysterics. “Shh.” I moved her small body closer to the wall of the store center in hopes of somehow covering her existence. “We’re almost there.” “You don’t understand! You’re perfect! They won’t ever go after you. But I, a few inches too short, will never make it. Thanks for trying though.” The red haired girl pushed me aside. “Shut up and quit crying. I’ll get you out of here, okay? There’s a ship coming tomorrows. Its destination is Australia.” I tried to explain. I opened my mouth to say more, but she said it before me.

“The safe country.” “Yeah.” “Name’s Layla by the way.” She said whilst wiping a tear from her cheek. “Jesse.” I responded as I looked around for the police men. Seeing no threat, I exchanged glances with Layla before taking off to the library. I yanked at the back door, which opened easily, easier than the last time. I shook the thoughts off and continued running down the dark corridor, with Layla closely behind me. I stopped short before the door that led to the small basement where Carlos and James were, “Don’t worry, they are nice.” I answered Layla’s thoughts, and pulled at the door handle. “Hey guys, I brought –”

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Blood. I saw my two friends’ blood slowly interloping in the room’s center, creating a perfect shade of red. “Layla –”I wanted to tell the red haired girl to run, to run as far away as she could and wait for me, but was interrupted by a gun shot. I didn’t flinch nor speak because I knew what had happened.

“Your name is Jesse, right?” The voice of a perfect policeman echoed through the corridor walls. I did not answer or turn to face my speaker. “You are no longer perfect for that your mind has been dirtied.” His cold voice rang out again. The sound of a trigger being pulled added color to the dark corridor.

His cold voice rang out again. The sound of a trigger being pulled added color to

Catharina Behrens

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Labyrinth 2014

Black & White Photography

First Prize

Kristhy Bartels

Labyrinth 2014 Black & White Photography First Prize Kristhy Bartels 53

53

B&W PHOTOGRAPHY

B&W PHOTOGRAPHY Second Prize Yan Poinssot Third Prize Kristhy Bartels 54

Second Prize

Yan Poinssot

B&W PHOTOGRAPHY Second Prize Yan Poinssot Third Prize Kristhy Bartels 54

Third Prize

Kristhy Bartels

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B&W PHOTOGRAPHY

Honourable Mention:

Tanja Jensen

B&W PHOTOGRAPHY Honourable Mention: Tanja Jensen Honourable Mention: Julie Woldbye-Lyng 55
B&W PHOTOGRAPHY Honourable Mention: Tanja Jensen Honourable Mention: Julie Woldbye-Lyng 55

Honourable Mention:

Julie Woldbye-Lyng

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Labyrinth 2014

Poetry

In his introduction to his radio lecture for children on poetry writing (Poetry in the Making for the BBC schools series Listening and Writing) Ted Hughes says “in a way , I suppose, I think of poems as having their own life, like animals…and nothing can be added to them or taken away without maiming and perhaps even killing them. And they have a certain wisdom. They know something special…” The fine poems in this section seem be full of life arising from intensity, close observation, strong feeling, sensitive use of form and other kinds of truthfulness - and to achieve “a certain wisdom” about a world of heartfelt subjects - youth (“Youth”), heart-break (“Missing Someone”, “Cries of a Lonely Heart” the ”

heartbreaking “They Said they will never lose

and the lovely haiku “Pretty Puckered

Lips”), insomnia and over-thoughtfulness (“Sometimes I find myself drifting…”), matters of death (”Requiem”), minutely observed objects (“Eraser”/”Drumsticks”), a sense of dismay at the state of the world/humanity (“To my Sisters); Messages of great, impossible hope (“Infant Stars”), magical poems (“Faery), money and its corruptive power (Mob Money); loneliness (“The Crowd”), motherhood (the moving “Fragrance”), addiction (“Addiction”) and much more. There are also experiments in light verse (Rango the Mango, Money) and poems that (arguably) are in a league of their own - and we are, of course, talking the inimitable “super mega awesome flying laser awesomeness shooting” “Skycow”. A cornucopia of wonderful poems, much to be celebrated.

laser awesomeness shooting” “Skycow”. A cornucopia of wonderful poems, much to be celebrated. 56 Isabelle Kallan

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Isabelle Kallan

POETRY

First Prize

This writer offered a suite of poems for publication and we were hard-pressed to select a winner from them. Each has something powerful to say, but works sidelong through imagery and sustained metaphor to create its strong impact. “Denim Days” picks out details about the subject’s appearance now and then which bespeak her lost innocence. Tiredness, artificiality and rapacity are all captured in the first stanza and offset against youth and naturalness “glimpsed” in the second. The whole is brought together hauntingly in last three lines where we “sigh” at the “trees” and “cigarette butts” that bespeak the past and present so poignantly. The rhythms and metre at the end give a dying fall. We felt that this simple, vivid poem had depth and music and deserved first prize.

Denim days a tide of rich black kohl washed up under tired eyelids fake fur draped over her shoulders pointing her chin, strolling like a vulture on the lookout for prey

sometimes you'll catch a glimpse of scraped knees a pretty faded photograph of a girl with a fair complexion and a secondhand floral dress and you'll sigh, just like the trees she litters with cigarette butts now, in the denim days

– Kinga Wójcikowska

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Second Prize

The wonderful imagery in this poem seems to have an elusive life (or lives) of its own. The tensions between submerged or waterbound and the earth, desert and mountains, between the dead, rotting or sunken and the warm, colourful, living and rising are strongly felt and powerfully expressed. The idea of the sunken church is beautifully caught in “the great rotten doors/reveal tinted glass and sunken pews” and the rhythms and syntax of the end of the poem are haunting.

Sunken Lake

Ancient, mossy stone piercing glassy waters as church bells toll, a solemn song surging through the silence of the lake awakening great grandmothers preserved forever in virginal white. Open the great rotten doors, reveal tinted glass and sunken pews, watery whips that sit in silence listening to the Lord’s good words, waiting to ascend towards the sun that reflects off their soggy prison. As the sun paints the snow capped mountains in rich crimson the briny dead disperse from the chapel, sinking into their shoddy shacks while whispering secrets to the scuttling crabs and krill. The next day warmth will rise and embrace the earth but as the daylight rots away and flakes into dessert dunes, with every chime of the hour the hopes of the dead will not.

– Daria Drenker

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POETRY

Third Prize

A short yet powerful piece, proving simplicity can pack as much of a punch as any other lengthy poem. Cleverly disguised by its use of loving imagery, this piece’s strength comes with the delivery of the last two lines “I can hear the unending ringing in my brain/The sound of all of its wrongs”, leaving the reader with chills.

Sleep Over

Manners and polite nods Smiles and twinkling eyes Hugs before bedtime It’s all so civilized Mom loves dad Dad loves mom Brother and sister get along It’s so quiet It’s too quiet I can hear that unending ringing in my brain I can hear it screaming all of its wrongs.

– Lara Jakobsen

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POETRY

Honourable Mention

Skycow

Is it a bird Is it a plane No It’s SKYCOW

The super mega awesome cow it can fly its better than you it shoots laser and awesomeness everywhere

Its like the seacow, but it flies who doesn’t like flying cows? Like the cow that jumped over the moon but it doesn’t jump over it, it flies, extreme awesomeness everywhere

It’s still not a bird It’s still not a plane It’s still the super mega awesome bauss flying laser awesomeness shooting skycow.

– Lorenzo Courir

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POETRY

Honourable Mention

Tumbleweed

street lights, they call:

enter the sprawl! blinding with their neon hues cracked, sticky pavements, muffled blues illuminating giants with a million square eyes

the dazed rookies linger wrapped around their fingers with heartbeats quick and shallow that tap like candy wrappers dancing with the wind

they offer the youth a soul – an empty room and the everlasting, yet faint dizzying smell of paint batting their eyelashes at the round ones and serenading the broken ones

– Kinga Wójcikowska

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POETRY

Honourable Mention

Mob Money

Let’s just for fun say the world rots. You get old and tired and make jokes, sure, but you wont find me laughing. I’ve got a dead man in the trunk. And that’s not all. This morning I heard the swish of invisible people. I walked into the parlor and found that dame Carol’s finger wrapped up neat in a bow, fresh and pink like a rose, the tip of her nail painted a dark crimson like the girls in your porno mags. It was beneath the needle of that broken record player you got at a garage sale and refused to throw out. Piece of shit, that thing is. Never thought I’d hate it more Carol, though. I still can’t quite picture how she would have screamed, and every time I do I can’t get the taste of salt out of my mouth. Maybe it’s her tears. Or maybe that’s just what guilt tastes like. Shut up.

62

Trust me to stay awake. You know damn well that the stench of drink suits me finer than any perfume and that there’s no surer cause for a crook in the back than digging graves. Oh, we hated those night shifts. The cold bit like a dog and shook us like dolls.

Not even the souvenirs we snatched from the bedside tables of deceased dignitaries could make up for the ache in our spines. You always said better to be a bad man than a mediocre one,

well,

mission accomplished. The water on this rosary is withering in my hands and Death opens his arms in my rearview mirror.

I keep telling him the guy he wants is in the back but he won’t listen. He’s chatty, like you. Keeps telling me how he hates his job,

how people like me make it hard for him.

I tell him to cry me a river.

He shuts up.

I drive.

I think about breakfast and how I skipped it.

I think about sleep and how I miss it.

POETRY

I think about you and I stop the car. The house lights are off but I know you’re in.

I look back

and Death is gone.

He’s petty like that.

I get out and pace to the door, knocking twice. No answer.

I figure you’re screwing with me and knock again. The streetlamp flickers

a car passes

a dog barks

but you still don’t open the fucking door.

So I kick it down. You’re on the floor.

You’re still. You’re pale. You’re a couple hours old, and you’re a corpse. I find the notes in the letter–box big, pink and brutal. I’m on the floor holding your hand. It’s cold, but I’m colder. I realize that Death wasn’t in my backseat for the bloke in my trunk nor for me. He just wanted a ride and you were his destination.

– Daria Drenker

bloke in my trunk nor for me. He just wanted a ride and you were his

Julie Woldbye-Lyng

63

POETRY

Honourable Mention

drain me of what i am and listen to what i am not tell me what i think

i won’t tell you what i’ve thought

I’ll try to be him and we can forget about me you act like it’s a secret, when we both know i’m not free

my salt-stained pillows, we throw them away and little by little i’ll withdraw from the fray

sorry for the trouble

i won’t thank you for the pain

but somehow i’m sure you’re the ones who kept me sane

– Isabella Furber

64

Why black is black.

POETRY

If black were called yellow would the sun still shine?

If the sun were black would color exist?

If black were called green would grass be black?

If grass were black would our world overheat?

If black were called white would black be white?

If black were white would we be in heaven?

If black were colorless would this poem even exist?

– Soffia Mangal

were white would we be in heaven? If black were colorless would this poem even exist?

Yan Poinssot

65

Youth

POETRY

I’ll take your unending sympathy Feed me Feed off of me Till I run dry And you just run

Enjoy me while you can Reap me of my benefits while they still exist I’m only going to taste sweet for so long

I demand you enjoy it

I demand it!

I won’t lie here unsucked and swollen

There is nothing sweeter than the taste of naivety.

– Lara Jakobsen

Netto

POETRY

Take my hand And show me the right path But then that kid This kid With large jacket pockets Where stolen things are hid Is caught mid thievery And the lady at the till starts to scream And the shoppers start to scream And the police sirens start to scream And everyone’s screaming Bur no one can hear over all that screaming And my hand slips from yours in all the commotion And there I go running back Along my misguided route.

– Lara Jakobsen

from yours in all the commotion And there I go running back Along my misguided route.

Nandini Verma

67

Cries of a Lonely Heart

POETRY

Covered with roses, You look like a porcelain doll. Motionless with a shattered heart, I watch as the casket closes And your dainty pale hands are folded on your shawl.

You’re gone, so my fate is sealed. All around, I see you smiling at me. The void in my heart cannot be filled, Until you return back into my arms, I will plea.

Worried looks from strangers who don’t understand,

I shut them out to be with you.

We shall reunite and all worries will be banned, Life with you was all I ever knew.

Sorrow and loneliness fill my dark days.

Counting the seconds till we can restore our love,

I recall when you were my sunshine rays.

Going through my own personal hell, you sit above.

Walking down the street and shut it all out,

I look up at the pale morning sky,

Thinking you were the rain to my drought My damaged heart clenches and I sigh.

After an eternity of drowning, you taught me how to breathe. No attempt at swimming, I give in to the sinking It’s time to leave.

Sometimes at night I hear my heart whisper your name And tonight you will whisper my name in return.

– Sophie Smedegaard

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POETRY

Sometimes, I find myself drifting Away from my endless slumber The early hour of two in the morning And I wonder where I’ll be in five, ten, maybe even fifteen years

And sometimes I lie there for hours, Thinking about all the ‘could be’s’ And all of the ‘what if’s’ All of the possible possibilities

I think about how my life is now And how I have to change my ways In order to not be a failure, Not disappoint all those around me

But sometimes, I find myself drifting Away from my endless slumber That repetitive quotidian of two in the morning And I wonder if I’ll be here by then.

– Luisa Dickson

69

POETRY

Observers

They are fascinated by us, And we are fascinated by them. They use characters, We don’t understand. They observe from afar, With black suits and hats. They appear at substantial moments, And more frequently in the present. It seems like they’re reporting their findings, To a higher force or command. They will infiltrate our world, Slowly, forcefully, But densely. And promptly, The whole world will be ruled by a greater, More advanced, More mystical species.

We call them Observers.

– Maik Martiniak

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POETRY

Requiem

It was like a funeral,

A house of concern,

A nightmare which,

I’ve been running from. I walked in. The mood of the people, was pure regret. I was shocked. In the back of my head, I developed a mixture, Of fear and anger. “It’s time.” My face consisted of tears, Whilst others were smiling. It was his death, That was beneficial, Not to me, But to his murderers.

– Maik Martiniak

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POETRY

Eraser I

An eraser The grey piece of rubber Found in every pencil case The clammy feeling of scraping my finger over it During the test It calms me Makes me focus

Reread the page long essay There! A mistake Wiping it out Not completely gone, it’ll have to do Chewing the eraser on my pencil It calms me Makes me focus

Erase a past mistake Have to write something new Not enough space for it A clock rings Test is over I am calm I am focused.

William Hansen

72

POETRY

Eraser II

An eraser The grey piece of rubber Found in every pencil case Commonplace Boring, clammy, dead Helps wipe out mistakes

But do the mistakes ever truly disappear? The faint grey pencil trace, that Always stays, never fades Try wiping it out again, It stays. Try to write over it, Makes the mess A jumble of old and new pencil lines Try making the new lines more defined Ends up ruining the whole page Because of that one mistake.

William Hansen

73

POETRY

Pretty Puckered Lips Blowing Kisses in the air As he falls forever.

– Mats Brokvam

POETRY Pretty Puckered Lips Blowing Kisses in the air As he falls forever. – Mats Brokvam

Oona Tiirakari

74

POETRY

A cool winter Breeze Meets the winds of warm summer You’re not in Kansas.

– Mats Brokvam

Footstep by footstep treading along Making the beat of a soft spoken song Deep in the night with nobody awake A trail of destruction does lie in his wake.

– Mats Brokvam

Deep in the night with nobody awake A trail of destruction does lie in his wake.

Sophie Smedegaard

75

POETRY

With a push from a paw down falls a vase into the jaws of the cold hard ground.

– Mats Brokvam

A mighty crash does wake the house The Son, The Daughter, And the Spouse Down the stairs they run to find Their little red angel lying snug on the mat Though little they know of the trouble he’s caused with their bat With the vase in the hall, it is one of a kind.

– Mats Brokvam

76

POETRY

To my sisters

To the warriors clutching pregnancy tests Like pistols in their pockets The enraged goddesses United by the same sky And NOT our organs The dotted line they cut along, Chanting smile and behave, Then printing the hetero template onto our skin

To the warriors who tried to escape but couldn’t run In their sleek and elegant armor called "company dress code" Simmering down, they turned their stilettos into knives Played as mothers, played as wives Nursed the opposition they gave life Now, here's a wage gap; I love you, mother

They may have bought our bodies, Brushed over our spots, faded freckles, scars Uncertain ones, beginners, let us open your eyes Come now, march loudly, help the warriors decide Which shade of blood red lipstick makes the patriarchs cry

– Kinga Wójcikowska

77

POETRY

Conversations with the aliens in my head

They didn't clap when we landed on their planet Beady–eyed, small, bodies speckled like granite I patted the ground, but their earth was deaf A gangly one blinked, we held our breath They left

The stars like dust in the sunlight, the air stiff and heavy A choked wreck of a space shuttle dumped upon a levee My mind – a void, my heart – a shell of an egg It approached; thump, grumble, shuffle, blank as a peg Didn't dare ask for resources, we just sat together But it mumbled some words I'll remember forever:

"The bodies of salt drooling down From your observatory organs Human girl, It is essential It is a token of growth Experience it Live it Make it your own It is as dear As the wax in our ears Your spaceship, it will fly As will you"

– Kinga Wójcikowska

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POETRY

Infant stars there I stood and above me God's canvas speckled with infant stars a garden of glittering ghosts a sea of sparkling spirits silenced, shimmering, and singing

gazing longingly and breath one with the evening's air I couldn't help but gasp we are all but a puny speck under a celestial blanket

infant

infinite

– Kinga Wójcikowska

but gasp we are all but a puny speck under a celestial blanket infant infinite –

Sophie Smedegaard

79

POETRY

Money

Money, money, money Brighter than sunshine, sweeter than honey.

It glows and glimmers Flickers and flares

Causes smiles and frowns, Depending on whom it’s near.

Sparkly and twinkly, Makes dreams come true How can I encapsulate you?

Work hard all day, Just for low pay

I don’t understand, It’s just not fair

How can some be so rich? While others itch ‘n twitch

Well life’s a bitch A mean old witch

One day I’ll make it, Except I won’t fake it,

Breaking and aching

Is the only real way To feel the zeal Of a satisfying meal

Money, money, money I love you Wish you loved me too.

– Brad Furber

the zeal Of a satisfying meal Money, money, money I love you Wish you loved me

Rebecca Chivers

80

POETRY

They said they will never lose, But they have lost. They said they would be here forever, But they are gone They said I was safe But I am in danger. They will say what they can, To make you feel secure. But in the end, It’s our own truth that matters.

– Olivia Jensen.

can, To make you feel secure. But in the end, It ’s our own truth that

81

Alexa Forsyth

POETRY

Just for Fun

Jimmy the mouse, Lived in a large house. He like to wear a blouse, While he cleaned his pet louse. He had a friend named Jeanine, Who was a bean, And was very lean and green. He was very jealous, When she fell in a crevice, And met another named Elis, So he flew to Venice. He met a cat named Briar, Who was really a liar, Because he said he was in a choir, But he was really a friar. But the boats were really pretty, And so was the city, But when he met the committee, He left.

c

82

POETRY

Faery

A massive courtyard, Stretching before me. Ivory statues, Marble pillars, Flowering trees. Fountains hurling geysers of water In the air. Flowers of the rainbow, Blooming everywhere. Strands of music, Reaching pointed ears, A combination of Harps and drums, Strings and flutes, Bells and whistles. Strange but wonderful At the same time. Slender hounds, Of moss green fur, Mill about Searching for crumbs. Beautiful eleven knights, Hold up the walls, Carrying hawks, Or small dragons. A bare chested man, With hooved feet, Winks from the bushes. A small figure, A girl with gossamer wings And opal eyes, Serves strange concoctions, Bubbling and hissing. Boys with squirrel tails, Chase each other Up a tree. Two thrones Grow out of the ground, Vines strangling the shape. Perched on one, Oberon. The Summer Regent, the Erlking.

Tall and slender Hair long and silver, Falling to his waist. Eyes, flints of green ice, A thorny crown Resting above his arched brow. Power radiating in waves, As subtle as a lightning storm. Tatiana. A royal woman of otherworldly beauty, Long hair shifting colors. Black, brown, silver, red, golden. Glittering blue eyes, And the temper to match.

This is all I see As I enter the room, And I know that with such beauty, Death is close at hand.

– Olivia Jensen.

I see As I enter the room, And I know that with such beauty, Death is

Rose Andersen

83

Drum Sticks

POETRY

Their glossed surface catches the eye when reflecting the sunlight Given their light and versatile build they provide many different options of usage Slender and fine-fitting in the hand they glide through the air Effective in creating organized sound yet wholly dependent upon their user Helpless to those who abuse them, those who pollute the air Nonetheless exuberant when utilised for the creation of colourful sound They are servants.

On the contrary they remain rebellious to their commanders After each stroke they rebel against the stiff arm that controls them They revolt against their leader wishing to rule themselves independently Nevertheless the stiff arm is able to submit them producing what sound it wishes In frustration they beat the objects that give them their glory The objects yell, creating beautiful ordered rhythm that accompanies the distant cries from other lands.

Andy Ringheim

– Ryan Pointing

creating beautiful ordered rhythm that accompanies the distant cries from other lands. Andy Ringheim – Ryan

84

Space

POETRY

Long in the distance, far beyond my capacity to see You await the human race, waiting patiently You lie on an ocean of nothingness, just above the sea We try to behold your magnitude, seemingly audaciously Yet no one is able to behold your majesty

You contain clouds of galaxies Yet you remain a mystery We are given merely a taste of your realities You are finite in terms of your history Yet still far beyond our visual sea

Terrestrial life may be illusive to our eyes However you encounter most things in being To you all things are like specs of lice And though you may not be seeing You are closer to us than we feel.

85

– Ryan Pointing

Spring

POETRY

The bright blue skies shine light into the early morning hours Walking out into the deceptive cold air the sun centres on the earth Anticipating warm weather, yet met with grim reality Lunch signifies transformation of the indecisive skies Outwitted yet again by the spring whether Cloudy morning succeeded by hot sunny days and vice versa Trapped legs inside heated trousers; bare legs exposed to the elements Predicting the weather resembles pathing the direction of wind Only One is able to forecast the spring weather Outwitted yet again.

– Ryan Pointing

direction of wind Only One is able to forecast the spring weather Outwitted yet again. –

“Baloon”

86

Rango the Mango

I have a mango And his name is Rango

POETRY

Rango loves to tango And has a pet named Django

His father is an apple And his mother a chapel

They do tango Just like Rango

After tango they get hungry So off they go to find something crunchy

They all buy Thai But think it is a little dry

They give it to their dog Who throws it to a frog

Froggie sits on a log Where he goes on his blog

It is late and they are all tired They soon drift off to wherever they desire.

– Emma Jarlbæk

POETRY

This is where the lions meet

The predators of the urban jungle come out of their office cages, to hunt for prey, while their employees, serve it up on silver plates.

And while they feast on meat and money, served with the sauce of coins and gold, the poor must feast on the dust of sorrow, with broken knives and broken forks.

Have these rich men by now forgotten the humble ones they swore to serve? Or did they turn a blind eye towards them, distracted by the shine of gold?

Has Wall Street found new, shiny playthings while the markets rose and fell? Do bankers lie and say they help us, while their pockets overflow?

So this is the world of the corporate jungle, where they all win and we all lose. Here plays the game of think deceit, for this is where the lions meet.

– Sophia Greenblat

Mieke Faeste

we all lose. Here plays the game of think deceit, for this is where the lions

88

Cloud of Streams

POETRY

Imagine a society in the clouds No one ever worries about rain or about parades to be stomped on or dreams to be dreamt.

Imagine taking the streams of clouds No one ever asking questions about it and playing music to be danced to and singing to be heard.

Imagine the angels coming to watch no one ever noticing them nor ask them to be human again nor weep to be felt.

– Maria Jarlbæk

POETRY

En stjerne jeg på himlen så

En stjerne jeg på himlen så,

mit ønske var der op at nå. Et stjerneskud på himlens bue, gled og lod mit øje skue.

.

Stjerneskud kom denne vej, og drys lidt stjernestøv på mig. Der oppe fra vor mælkevej, måske du kan fortælle mig.

.

Om andre stjerner rummer sjæle,

der ligesom mig lar' sig bevæge. Af nattens skønhed og magi, der letter ensomhedens sti.

.

Den giver varme til mit hjerte,

og letter sjælens tunge smerte. Så evig taknemlig jeg vil være, og tænker på om mine kære.

.

Kan se din glans dybt i mit øje, og derved lade sig fornøje. Oh stjerne du som nu er død, skal vide at jeg ej fortrød.

.

Den lange nat på kolde sten,

jeg ved nu det er ej for sent. At prise liv og død med glød, mens støvet daler i mit skød.

.

– Maria Jarlbæk

Manhattan Minds

POETRY

A city,

One angry intersection. The shouts, fists, the honk of horns

– It aught to drive you mad

Not I. New York is a great opera,

I listen, I watch, I hear,

I see

Your beautiful buildings,

Skyscrapers,

smoothly grabbing the silky clouds. An empire state of mind

The

busy, bustling, buzzing

of chattering tourists, residents

climbing through the streets

Manhattan, the gossip, glamour and glares. The crowds of people continuously walking, through the endless streets of Manhattan.

New York,

flattered by thousands of lights that never leave your view.

A city that never sleeps.

I am your audience,

your fan, your poet. New York, I love you. New York, Do you love me?’

– Katrine Jensen

The Crowd

POETRY

So much hustle, the streets of every city Define the busy lives of every person on this planet. Despite the heaps of people on the street, Each and every one of them is a companionless outcast.

Whether the idea of loneliness is acknowledged or not Every creature experiences it one day or another, And the realisation of being completely alone among The crowd is not common, but when it’s obvious it’s terrifying.

No matter the size or the number of people in the crowd, The isolation and emptiness from the rest of the world, Is impossible to ignore. One day or another… One day or another.

Sonja Krynetskaya

of the world, Is impossible to ignore. One day or another… One day or another. –

Rose Andersen

92

POETRY

Fragrance

The fragrance of a mother Unique and Unspoiled by the time spent giving love, not always returned but precious just the same

–Your loving daughter

– Victoria Sosnovtseva

not always returned but precious just the same –Your loving daughter – Victoria Sosnovtseva Mieke Faeste

Mieke Faeste

Crystal

93

POETRY

Walking step in step behind a single flickering moment imagined in a room full of blowing tulips and swinging roses doing splits on trapeziums

It never existed the moment that had passed inside the mind of a silver coated optimist who believed in fairies, fancies

the only walk worth taking was the cynical avenue to love not cemetery, where lay buried all the cliché fancies that could have been a crystal precious and untouchable to her, old and wrinkled and out of fresh beginnings.

– Victoria Sosnovtseva

94

POETRY

Missing Someone

Missing someone never there, never touched never seen, never been part of me

Missing someone piece of a puzzle tears shed, over someone never cared, never saw

Missing someone who left me.

– Victoria Sosnovtseva

tears shed, over someone never cared, never saw Missing someone who left me . – Victoria

95

Julie Reynolds

POETRY

Summer Day

Tenderness in a rocky hard coldness of a world like sunlit leaves and fancies wrapped in golden tulips on a moonlit night.

Tears dripping down like icicles reflecting gray, uneven surfaces of faces hiding purple feelings of warmth, for someone else.

Smiles made up of thimbles filled with kisses that once belonged to someone else, little hands and blades of grass swinging on that stormy summer day.

– Victoria Sosnovtseva

96

POETRY

World of Forced Smiles

A crack o’ light trying with all my might to shine through the darkness, please do. Breaths flickering a thousand lights mimicking a feeling of total tender and immortal.

Reaching from the water like the sun but hotter, for a rope a single strand of hope, in a world trampled stomped hurled reflections in a thousand mirrors throwing me back into my immortal fears.

– Victoria Sosnovtseva

97

Addiction

No matter what, No matter when, No matter why, It's the same,

POETRY

That you're consuming lethal products, That you're playing video games, You're the only one to blame. You create yourself a distorted reality.

The small rebellion inside yourself falls to ashes, The smallest glimpse of hope dissolves into smoke, As you let the beast annex your mind and your body, You fall deeper and deeper in the hole you dug.

It's starts small but ends up big, So big that in some situations it destroys you, The flow of time betrays you, Years seem like minutes

As the last petal of your life flies away, You stare at the sky for hope, Realising you were blindfolded, You are too late,

Time has won the fight as it always does.

– Yan Poinssot

98

Chilled

POETRY

Like the layers of the ocean, but within her the chill is dark, as if it had settled for years, slowly creeping onto her shoes and seeping to the bone.

Above is bright, warm and transparent, but travel down to the floor and the cold seeps.

Much like the dewy morning grass after a cool night, the top gleams with sunshine of the new day. Slide below the grass into its bitterly cold shadows, plummet into the dirt not yet thawed, and the glittering warmed tips of grass only become a mask to the piercing cold beneath.

The top hit by the light is weightless. A balloon ready for flight. But the cold is a burdening mass which takes its freedom, tying it to the ground.

Oona Tiirakari

Millicent Roach

But the cold is a burdening mass which takes its freedom, tying it to the ground.

99

POETRY

Reflection in a Mirror

It copies every move you make It shadows every step you take Looking back at you with the same expression It is indeed your honest reflection.

See the impeccable and see the flawless See the damaged and see the mess Remember the past, predict the future too It is indeed all part of you.

You cannot hide and you cannot fool No matter who you are; the trash or the jewel Accept the truth and be content; For it is indeed you, the mirror attempts to represent.

Search your soul, search your inner, Find it in your reflection in the mirror

100

– Pratya Arora

POETRY

Thoughts Thoughts have always crossed my mind, But what are thoughts in relation to us? Are they intruders or are they friends? Do they have feelings or do they give feelings? Do they even weep at our presence? Or are they shadows with no trace? Thoughts are what you will.

even weep at our presence? Or are they shadows with no trace? Thoughts are what you

101

– Alex Benes

Emma Jepsen

POETRY

You’re a Mess Kid

You're a mess kid I think you know You feel stupid But don’t let it show Just laugh it off and make a joke Another drink another smoke.

You’re a mess kid! And you’re so plain to see , Do you regret it so painfully? Just laugh it off and make a joke another drink another smoke.

You’re a mess kid and you’re drowning fast in an ocean of what’s in the past. Move along don't apologize eventually they'll will dry their eyes. You’re a mess kid to the other ones who finally thought they've had enough. Move along don't apologize eventually they'll dry their eyes.

Yah, I know wrong place, wrong time Yah, I know after this you’ll be fine.

You’re a mess kid and it’s getting sad, is this a lifestyle This is not a fad - laugh it off and make a joke, Another drink another smoke. You’re a mess kid don’t try to justify the things you do every night Laugh it off and make a joke, another drink another smoke

You’re a mess kid and I just don't get what you were thinking - are you thinking yet? Move along don't apologize , eventually they'll dry their eyes You’re a mess kid, time to face the facts those you depend on aren't coming

back. Move along don't apologize eventually they'll dry their eyes.

Yah, I know wrong place, wrong time Yah, I know after this you’ll be fine

You’re a mess kid don’t throw your life away - Yesterday’s mistakes won’t be there today. Pick yourself up and get off the ground Put down the pipe and take a look around Open your eyes there is more to life Don’t drink away your sorrows or smoke away your stride Just take one more chance, see how far you can advance.

Yah, I know wrong place, (another drink) wrong time (another smoke) Yah, I know after this (another drink!! another smoke!!) you'll be fine Fine (another drink) fine (another smoke!!)

– Tom Woodhour

102

If You Can

POETRY

If you can say it to me Than I can say it back If you won’t put past me all the things I lack Then I can show a smile and know that i'll be fine At least for a while , no more cheap ass wine!

Now i know, I don't know what I thought i knew before This is different. This is different And I find myself wanting more.

If you can think I’m funny Then i’ll try to make you laugh If you can take my stupid jokes Then i won’t take them back If you can find it in you To put your hand in mine

Then i know something is certain

I will be fine.

Now I know, I don’t know what I thought I knew before This is different. This is different And I find myself wanting more.

Now I know that ,

I know all too well I could lose It all

I have to stay inside myself

But not this time because i'm going to try Don’t tell me I can’t have the sky It’s my turn I’ll take what I please

I could stand in an airplane where I can see Now it’s her eyes Even her pacing glance Just one look And i’m in interest

– Tom Woodhour

103

104
104

Labyrinth 2014

Colour Photography

First Prize

Nishita Ramrakhyani

Labyrinth 2014 Colour Photography First Prize Nishita Ramrakhyani 105

105

COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY

Second Prize

Iris ten Have

COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY Second Prize Iris ten Have Third Prize Yan Poinssot 106

Third Prize

Yan Poinssot

COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY Second Prize Iris ten Have Third Prize Yan Poinssot 106

106

COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY

COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY Honourable Mention: Julie Woldbye-Lyng Honourable Mention: Kristhy Bartels 107

Honourable Mention: Julie Woldbye-Lyng

COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY Honourable Mention: Julie Woldbye-Lyng Honourable Mention: Kristhy Bartels 107

Honourable Mention: Kristhy Bartels

107

COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY

Yuki Nielsen, Yan Poinssot, Andy Ringheim, Iris ten Have

COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Yuki Nielsen, Yan Poinssot, Andy Ringheim, Iris ten Have 108
COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Yuki Nielsen, Yan Poinssot, Andy Ringheim, Iris ten Have 108
COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Yuki Nielsen, Yan Poinssot, Andy Ringheim, Iris ten Have 108
COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Yuki Nielsen, Yan Poinssot, Andy Ringheim, Iris ten Have 108
COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Yuki Nielsen, Yan Poinssot, Andy Ringheim, Iris ten Have 108
COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Yuki Nielsen, Yan Poinssot, Andy Ringheim, Iris ten Have 108

108

COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY

Saga Sjöstedt, Rebecca Chivers

COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Saga Sjöstedt, Rebecca Chivers 109
COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Saga Sjöstedt, Rebecca Chivers 109
COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Saga Sjöstedt, Rebecca Chivers 109
COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Saga Sjöstedt, Rebecca Chivers 109

109

COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY

Nishita Ramrakhyani, Julie Reynolds, Junaid Zaheer, Rebecca Chivers, Julie Woldbye-Lyng

COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Nishita Ramrakhyani, Julie Reynolds, Junaid Zaheer, Rebecca Chivers, Julie Woldbye-Lyng 110
COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Nishita Ramrakhyani, Julie Reynolds, Junaid Zaheer, Rebecca Chivers, Julie Woldbye-Lyng 110
COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Nishita Ramrakhyani, Julie Reynolds, Junaid Zaheer, Rebecca Chivers, Julie Woldbye-Lyng 110
COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Nishita Ramrakhyani, Julie Reynolds, Junaid Zaheer, Rebecca Chivers, Julie Woldbye-Lyng 110
COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Nishita Ramrakhyani, Julie Reynolds, Junaid Zaheer, Rebecca Chivers, Julie Woldbye-Lyng 110

110

COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY

Julie Woldbye-Lyng

COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Julie Woldbye-Lyng 111
COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Julie Woldbye-Lyng 111
COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Julie Woldbye-Lyng 111
COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY Julie Woldbye-Lyng 111

111

Labyrinth 2014

Colour Art

First Prize

Julie Woldbye-Lyng

Labyrinth 2014 Colour Art First Prize Julie Woldbye-Lyng 112

112

COLOUR ART

COLOUR ART Second Prize Yuki Nielsen Third Prize Freya Lindoos 113

Second Prize

Yuki Nielsen

Third Prize

Freya Lindoos

COLOUR ART Second Prize Yuki Nielsen Third Prize Freya Lindoos 113

113

COLOUR ART

COLOUR ART Honourable Mention: Isabel Pontoppidan Honourable Mention: Isabelle Kallan 114 Honourable Mention: Mariam

Honourable Mention: Isabel Pontoppidan

COLOUR ART Honourable Mention: Isabel Pontoppidan Honourable Mention: Isabelle Kallan 114 Honourable Mention: Mariam

Honourable Mention: Isabelle Kallan

114

ART Honourable Mention: Isabel Pontoppidan Honourable Mention: Isabelle Kallan 114 Honourable Mention: Mariam Hawath

Honourable Mention: Mariam Hawath

COLOUR ART GALLERY

Yuki Nielsen, Rebecca Chivers, Oona Tiirakari, Tanya Jensen

COLOUR ART GALLERY Yuki Nielsen, Rebecca Chivers, Oona Tiirakari, Tanya Jensen 115
COLOUR ART GALLERY Yuki Nielsen, Rebecca Chivers, Oona Tiirakari, Tanya Jensen 115
COLOUR ART GALLERY Yuki Nielsen, Rebecca Chivers, Oona Tiirakari, Tanya Jensen 115
COLOUR ART GALLERY Yuki Nielsen, Rebecca Chivers, Oona Tiirakari, Tanya Jensen 115
COLOUR ART GALLERY Yuki Nielsen, Rebecca Chivers, Oona Tiirakari, Tanya Jensen 115
COLOUR ART GALLERY Yuki Nielsen, Rebecca Chivers, Oona Tiirakari, Tanya Jensen 115

115

COLOUR ART GALLERY Yuki Nielsen, Rebecca Chivers, Oona Tiirakari, Tanya Jensen 115

COLOUR ART GALLERY

Nishita Ramrakhyani, Agathe Helle, Nicolai Verbaarschot, Natsumi Hirao, Mariam Hawath

COLOUR ART GALLERY Nishita Ramrakhyani, Agathe Helle, Nicolai Verbaarschot, Natsumi Hirao, Mariam Hawath 116
COLOUR ART GALLERY Nishita Ramrakhyani, Agathe Helle, Nicolai Verbaarschot, Natsumi Hirao, Mariam Hawath 116
COLOUR ART GALLERY Nishita Ramrakhyani, Agathe Helle, Nicolai Verbaarschot, Natsumi Hirao, Mariam Hawath 116
COLOUR ART GALLERY Nishita Ramrakhyani, Agathe Helle, Nicolai Verbaarschot, Natsumi Hirao, Mariam Hawath 116

116

COLOUR ART GALLERY Nishita Ramrakhyani, Agathe Helle, Nicolai Verbaarschot, Natsumi Hirao, Mariam Hawath 116

COLOUR ART GALLERY

Natsumi Hirao, Mariam Hawath, Julie Reynolds, Isabel Pontoppidan

COLOUR ART GALLERY Natsumi Hirao, Mariam Hawath, Julie Reynolds, Isabel Pontoppidan 117
COLOUR ART GALLERY Natsumi Hirao, Mariam Hawath, Julie Reynolds, Isabel Pontoppidan 117
COLOUR ART GALLERY Natsumi Hirao, Mariam Hawath, Julie Reynolds, Isabel Pontoppidan 117
COLOUR ART GALLERY Natsumi Hirao, Mariam Hawath, Julie Reynolds, Isabel Pontoppidan 117
COLOUR ART GALLERY Natsumi Hirao, Mariam Hawath, Julie Reynolds, Isabel Pontoppidan 117
COLOUR ART GALLERY Natsumi Hirao, Mariam Hawath, Julie Reynolds, Isabel Pontoppidan 117

117

COLOUR ART GALLERY

Isabel Pontoppidan, Isabelle Kallan, Iris ten Have

COLOUR ART GALLERY Isabel Pontoppidan, Isabelle Kallan, Iris ten Have 118
COLOUR ART GALLERY Isabel Pontoppidan, Isabelle Kallan, Iris ten Have 118
COLOUR ART GALLERY Isabel Pontoppidan, Isabelle Kallan, Iris ten Have 118
COLOUR ART GALLERY Isabel Pontoppidan, Isabelle Kallan, Iris ten Have 118
COLOUR ART GALLERY Isabel Pontoppidan, Isabelle Kallan, Iris ten Have 118

118

COLOUR ART GALLERY

Iris ten Have, Isabelle Kallan, Ingrid Bergendahl Yuki Nielsen, Freya Lindroos

COLOUR ART GALLERY Iris ten Have, Isabelle Kallan, Ingrid Bergendahl Yuki Nielsen, Freya Lindroos 119
COLOUR ART GALLERY Iris ten Have, Isabelle Kallan, Ingrid Bergendahl Yuki Nielsen, Freya Lindroos 119
COLOUR ART GALLERY Iris ten Have, Isabelle Kallan, Ingrid Bergendahl Yuki Nielsen, Freya Lindroos 119
COLOUR ART GALLERY Iris ten Have, Isabelle Kallan, Ingrid Bergendahl Yuki Nielsen, Freya Lindroos 119

119

COLOUR ART GALLERY Iris ten Have, Isabelle Kallan, Ingrid Bergendahl Yuki Nielsen, Freya Lindroos 119

COLOUR ART GALLERY

Freya Lindroos, Elesse Petty

COLOUR ART GALLERY Freya Lindroos, Elesse Petty 120
COLOUR ART GALLERY Freya Lindroos, Elesse Petty 120
COLOUR ART GALLERY Freya Lindroos, Elesse Petty 120
COLOUR ART GALLERY Freya Lindroos, Elesse Petty 120

120

COLOUR ART GALLERY

Ellese Petty, Andy Ringheim

COLOUR ART GALLERY Ellese Petty, Andy Ringheim 121
COLOUR ART GALLERY Ellese Petty, Andy Ringheim 121
COLOUR ART GALLERY Ellese Petty, Andy Ringheim 121
COLOUR ART GALLERY Ellese Petty, Andy Ringheim 121

121

COLOUR ART GALLERY

Adam Riis, Kristhy Bartels

COLOUR ART GALLERY Adam Riis, Kristhy Bartels 122
COLOUR ART GALLERY Adam Riis, Kristhy Bartels 122
COLOUR ART GALLERY Adam Riis, Kristhy Bartels 122

122

Labyrinth 2014

3D Art

First Prize

Nicolai Verbaarschot

Labyrinth 2014 3D Art First Prize Nicolai Verbaarschot 123

123

3D ART

3D ART Second Prize Mariam Hawath Third Prize Natsumi Hirao 124

Second Prize

Mariam Hawath

3D ART Second Prize Mariam Hawath Third Prize Natsumi Hirao 124

Third Prize

Natsumi Hirao

124

3D ART

3D ART Honourable Mention: Emm a Jarlbæk Honourable Mention: Laura Brown 125 Honourable Mention: Agathe Helle

Honourable Mention: Emma Jarlbæk

3D ART Honourable Mention: Emm a Jarlbæk Honourable Mention: Laura Brown 125 Honourable Mention: Agathe Helle

Honourable Mention: Laura Brown

125

3D ART Honourable Mention: Emm a Jarlbæk Honourable Mention: Laura Brown 125 Honourable Mention: Agathe Helle

Honourable Mention: Agathe Helle

3D ART GALLERY

Rebecca Chivers, Mariam Hawath. Nicola Richards, Alex Barholm-Hansen, Isabelle Kallan

3D ART GALLERY Rebecca Chivers, Mariam Hawath. Nicola Richards, Alex Barholm-Hansen, Isabelle Kallan 126
3D ART GALLERY Rebecca Chivers, Mariam Hawath. Nicola Richards, Alex Barholm-Hansen, Isabelle Kallan 126
3D ART GALLERY Rebecca Chivers, Mariam Hawath. Nicola Richards, Alex Barholm-Hansen, Isabelle Kallan 126
3D ART GALLERY Rebecca Chivers, Mariam Hawath. Nicola Richards, Alex Barholm-Hansen, Isabelle Kallan 126
3D ART GALLERY Rebecca Chivers, Mariam Hawath. Nicola Richards, Alex Barholm-Hansen, Isabelle Kallan 126

126

3D ART GALLERY Rebecca Chivers, Mariam Hawath. Nicola Richards, Alex Barholm-Hansen, Isabelle Kallan 126

3D ART GALLERY

Maria Jarlbaek, Julie Reynolds, Isabelle Kallan

3D ART GALLERY Maria Jarlbaek, Julie Reynolds, Isabelle Kallan 127
3D ART GALLERY Maria Jarlbaek, Julie Reynolds, Isabelle Kallan 127
3D ART GALLERY Maria Jarlbaek, Julie Reynolds, Isabelle Kallan 127

127

3D ART GALLERY

Isabel Pontoppidan, Isabelle Kallan, Andy Ringheim

3D ART GALLERY Isabel Pontoppidan, Isabelle Kallan, Andy Ringheim 128
3D ART GALLERY Isabel Pontoppidan, Isabelle Kallan, Andy Ringheim 128
3D ART GALLERY Isabel Pontoppidan, Isabelle Kallan, Andy Ringheim 128

128

3D ART GALLERY Isabel Pontoppidan, Isabelle Kallan, Andy Ringheim 128

Labyrinth 2014

Digital Art

First Prize

Chris Nielsen

Labyrinth 2014 Digital Art First Prize Chris Nielsen 129

129

DIGITAL ART

DIGITAL ART Second Prize Nishita Ramrakhyani Third Prize Nicolai Verbaarschot 130

Second Prize

Nishita Ramrakhyani

DIGITAL ART Second Prize Nishita Ramrakhyani Third Prize Nicolai Verbaarschot 130

Third Prize

Nicolai Verbaarschot

130

DIGITAL ART

Honourable Mention:

Nicolai Verbaarschot

DIGITAL ART Honourable Mention: Nicolai Verbaarschot Honourable Mention: Julie Woldbye-Lyng Honourable Mention: An dy
DIGITAL ART Honourable Mention: Nicolai Verbaarschot Honourable Mention: Julie Woldbye-Lyng Honourable Mention: An dy

Honourable Mention:

Julie Woldbye-Lyng

Honourable Mention:

Andy Ringheim

ART Honourable Mention: Nicolai Verbaarschot Honourable Mention: Julie Woldbye-Lyng Honourable Mention: An dy Ringheim 131

131

DIGITAL ART GALLERY

Chris Nielsen, Ellese Petty

DIGITAL ART GALLERY Chris Nielsen, Ellese Petty 132
DIGITAL ART GALLERY Chris Nielsen, Ellese Petty 132
DIGITAL ART GALLERY Chris Nielsen, Ellese Petty 132

132

DIGITAL ART GALLERY

Rebecca Chivers, Julie Woldbye-Lyng, Junaid Zaheer, Kristhy Bartels, Holm and Sophie

DIGITAL ART GALLERY Rebecca Chivers, Julie Woldbye-Lyng, Junaid Zaheer, Kristhy Bartels, Holm and Sophie 133
DIGITAL ART GALLERY Rebecca Chivers, Julie Woldbye-Lyng, Junaid Zaheer, Kristhy Bartels, Holm and Sophie 133
DIGITAL ART GALLERY Rebecca Chivers, Julie Woldbye-Lyng, Junaid Zaheer, Kristhy Bartels, Holm and Sophie 133
DIGITAL ART GALLERY Rebecca Chivers, Julie Woldbye-Lyng, Junaid Zaheer, Kristhy Bartels, Holm and Sophie 133
DIGITAL ART GALLERY Rebecca Chivers, Julie Woldbye-Lyng, Junaid Zaheer, Kristhy Bartels, Holm and Sophie 133

133

DIGITAL ART GALLERY

Natsumi Hirao, Nicolai Verbaarschot

DIGITAL ART GALLERY Natsumi Hirao, Nicolai Verbaarschot 134
DIGITAL ART GALLERY Natsumi Hirao, Nicolai Verbaarschot 134
DIGITAL ART GALLERY Natsumi Hirao, Nicolai Verbaarschot 134
DIGITAL ART GALLERY Natsumi Hirao, Nicolai Verbaarschot 134

134

DIGITAL ART GALLERY

Rebecca Chivers, Nishita Ramrakhyani, Saga Sjöstedt. Rose and Adam

DIGITAL ART GALLERY Rebecca Chivers, Nishita Ramrakhyani, Saga Sjöstedt. Rose and Adam 135
DIGITAL ART GALLERY Rebecca Chivers, Nishita Ramrakhyani, Saga Sjöstedt. Rose and Adam 135
DIGITAL ART GALLERY Rebecca Chivers, Nishita Ramrakhyani, Saga Sjöstedt. Rose and Adam 135
DIGITAL ART GALLERY Rebecca Chivers, Nishita Ramrakhyani, Saga Sjöstedt. Rose and Adam 135
DIGITAL ART GALLERY Rebecca Chivers, Nishita Ramrakhyani, Saga Sjöstedt. Rose and Adam 135

135

DIGITAL ART GALLERY

Saga Sjöstedt. Yan Poinssot

DIGITAL ART GALLERY Saga Sjöstedt. Yan Poinssot 136
DIGITAL ART GALLERY Saga Sjöstedt. Yan Poinssot 136
DIGITAL ART GALLERY Saga Sjöstedt. Yan Poinssot 136

136

DIGITAL ART GALLERY

Yan Poinssot. Yuki Nielsen

DIGITAL ART GALLERY Yan Poinssot. Yuki Nielsen 137
DIGITAL ART GALLERY Yan Poinssot. Yuki Nielsen 137
DIGITAL ART GALLERY Yan Poinssot. Yuki Nielsen 137

137

DIGITAL ART GALLERY Yan Poinssot. Yuki Nielsen 137

Labyrinth 2014

One Act Play

Alan Ayckbourn in his book The Crafty Art of Playmaking gives a number of “obvious rules” to the would-be playwright. Obvious Rule No.14 is “At least fifty percent of your play is going to be visual”. A reason that our One Act playwrights succeed here is because they write for the theatre. In their scripts, they give attention to elements such as staging, lighting, blocking (positioning and movement), costume, scene changes and acting to reinforce their narratives and messages. Here we have three short plays which seem, variously, to deal with existential unease – in relationships between couples (Contemplations), between child and adult (Cousins) and in the fine parody of Beckett’s quintessential expression of the absurdity of existence in Waiting for Godot where the writer sends up many of the verbal and theatrical conventions of the original to hilarious effect.

First Prize

A brilliant parody of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. The writer captures many elements of the original to hilarious effect. An audience familiar with the Beckett would laugh at the way this burlesques Beckett’s setting, characterization and language. Particular comic delights are the recasting of Estragon and Vladimir of the original as fish (and Vladimir as female), the all - important boots as flippers, the enigmatic Godot (God?) as a woman - and the line “we’re fish, we can’t hang ourselves” is a triumph. Also in the spirit of mockery, the author catches at subtler elements of the original – absurdism and the existentialist idea of “nothing to be done”; narrative and extra-textual allusion as ways of “passing the time” and the sense of indeterminate time and place. A wonderful, subtle send-up

138

Waiting for Dory

Elizabeth Lam

CHARACTERS

VLADIKA

ESTORINO

Inside a fish tank, evening. There’s a volcano, and a few purple and green seaweed stalks on the backdrop. There’s one large green seaweed stalk on stage. The ground is gravel. There’s a treasure chest to serve as a seat. Lights are a blue wash.

When the CURTAIN rises, ESTORINO is seated on the treasure chest with flippers on. He’s struggling to remove the left flipper. VLADIKA enters with short, clumsy strides

ONE ACT PLAY

also wearing flippers. ESTORINO gives up trying to remove his flipper.

ESTORINO: Nothing to be done.

VLADIKA: (moving around the stage) I’m beginning to come round to that opinion. (She stops, back turned to ESTORINO.) All my life I’ve tried to put it from me, saying “Vladika, be reasonable, you haven’t tried everything.” And I resumed the struggle. (Turns to ESTORINO.) So, here we are.

ESTORINO: Yep.

VLADIKA: It’s just us then.

ESTORINO: Looks like it… (Pause.) What do we do now?

VLADIKA: I don’t know.

ESTORINO: Let’s go.

VLADIKA: We can’t. (They both look up at the ceiling.)

ESTORINO: How did Dory manage to get that clown fish out?

VLADIKA: I don’t know wait. (Pause.)

She said to just

ESTORINO:

tank

mindlessly) I’ve been reading this book

by Newtschaw.

(looks

around

the

VLADIKA: Who?

ESTORINO: Friedrich Newtschaw. He’s a philosopher.

pronounced

VLADIKA:

I

think

that’s

Nietzsche.

ESTORINO: (Sarcastically.) Wunderbar…

VLADIKA:

though?

(Pause.)

What

about

him

ESTORINO: (At the same time) You’re sure it was this evening?

VLADIKA: What?

ESTORINO: That we were to wait here.

said Saturday. (Pause.) I

VLADIKA:

She

think.

ESTORINO: You think.

VLADIKA: I must have made a note of it. (She fumbles in her pockets, bursting with miscellaneous rubbish.)

ESTORINO: But what Saturday? And is it Saturday? Is it not rather Sunday? (Pause.) Or Monday? (Pause.) Or Friday?

VLADIKA:

(Looking

wildly

about

her,

as

though

the

date

was

inscribed

in

the

landscape.) It’s not possible!

ESTORINO: Or Thursday?

VLADIKA: What’ll we do?

ESTORINO: Let’s go.

VLADIKA: We can’t.

ESTORINO: Why not?

VLADIKA: We’re waiting for Dory.

ESTORINO: Ah. (Stands up slowly)

Silence.

VLADIKA: The Knight of Faith!

ESTORINO: Pardon?

VLADIKA: In the church garden. Are you familiar with the story?

139

ONE ACT PLAY

ESTORINO: No I’ve never heard of it.

VLADIKA: Shall I tell it to you?

ESTORINO: No. (Sits down again.)

VLADIKA: Well I don’t remember all the details, but basically there’s a princess whom three knights are in love with. For a reason that escapes me, all three cannot realise his love for her in this world. So the first declares the chase foolish and settles for the rich brewer’s widow. The second resigns to the fact that they can’t be together in this life, but hopes that in another life or spirit they can. Are you even listening?

ESTORINO: It’s not like I have a choice in the matter.

VLADIKA: (disregards ESTORINO) Anyway, the third knight, the knight of faith, believes that in this world and this life they can be together.

ESTORINO: What has this got to do with a church garden?

VLADIKA: That’s where it all takes place?

ESTORINO: So did the “Knight of Faith” get the princess in the end?

VLADIKA: I don’t remember.

ESTORINO: That was a terrible story.

Silence. ESTORINO gets up and walks around a little.

VLADIKA: What do we do now?

ESTORINO: Wait.

VLADIKA: Yes, but while waiting.

ESTORINO: (looks towards the seaweed on stage) What about hanging ourselves?

hang

fish,

VLADIKA:

We’re

we

can’t

ourselves.

ESTORINO: Right…

Silence. They walk around a little.

ESTORINO: “Boredom is the root of all evil –the despairing refusal to be oneself…”

VLADIKA: Listen!