Amnesia: The Dark Descent

ImageThe wind howled outside as I lay on the ground. I could not remember anything. It was a very strange feeling, to not only be in a room, a dungeon, with no light whatsoever, but to simply feel nothing but a straight forward emotion. I had no memories in my brain to ponder through and come to a conclusion as to why I was here. The harder I though, the more memories seemed to run away from my consciousness.

                The dripping from an adjacent window showed the malicious weather outside. Around me was no form of light but the sparse bits that fell through from the generous moon. Stone walls surrounded me and were covered in large amounts of accumulated moss and dirt. There was a dilapidated wooden door to my left. Despite the overwhelming situation I must have been in, I felt some pleasant sense of security in that fact that I was in a strange mansion of sorts with no idea of how I had entered.

                I got up, patting my clothes to rid them of the dust that had accumulated over the course of the night, or several nights as it could have been. On the floor was a trail of a strange liquid not dissimilar to blood. I idly wondered who’s it could have been. Surprisingly, no sense fear came upon me as I looked at the stain. Following it led me towards the wooden door and into a spacious corridor lined with torches and paintings of many disfigured people I did not recognize. Going into the room opposite that I had emerged from revealed a dark study filled with shelves of books that did not read English in any of the titles. It still baffled me who this mansion could belong to. Picking up the note, I studied its contents.

                “I wish I could ask you how much you remember. I don’t know if there will be anything left after I consume this drink. Don’t be afraid Daniel. I can’t tell you why, but know this. I choose to forget. Try to find comfort and strength in that fact. There is a purpose. You are my final effort to put things right. He betrayed you for the Orb and god willing, the name Alexander of Brennenburg still evokes bitter anger in you. If not, this will sound horrible. Go to the Inner Sanctum, find Alexander and kill him. His body is old and weak, and yours, young and strong. He will be no match for you. One last thing, a shadow is following you. It’s a living nightmare, breaking down reality. I have tried everything and there is no way to fight back. You need to escape it as long as you can. Redeem us both Daniel. Descend into the darkness where Alexander waits and murder him.

Your former self,

Daniel”

                This note was one of mystery. Did I consume a drink to make myself forget and why? And who is this Alexander of Brennenburg and why do I need to kill him. These questions raced in my mind as I began to sense the sinister background of this mansion.

                As I began to dig deeper into my mind, images flashed before my eyes. Africa, an orb, death a phone call. What were these things and what did they have to do with me? The pitter patter of the rain continued in the other rooms. I sat down and tried to meditate on the stone-cold floor.

My name is Daniel as the letter made it very clear and I placed the note here so I would know to find and kill this Alexander of Brennenburg…in the Inner Sanctum…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sweat covered, hot and fly ridden I moved down into the pit. Following behind me was a man of medium build yet very tall and mean. His forehead was shaved completely and shined in the African sun while his eyes were protected with a pair of expensive-looking glasses. We walked further into the pit and turned out torches on to give us a look ahead. The silence of the empty space was only disturbed by the sound of our slow paces crunching on the slightly wet and muddy ground. We were cautious and did not know what awaited us. It seemed however we were here to find something. The man accosting me appeared to be calm and reserved while he moved with grace. It seemed second nature to him. Finally, we entered a curve in the path and squeezed through the tight arch.

“Daniel, we must find this artefact, imagine the reward the British museum would offer us for such a find!”

“Don’t worry, we will not go home empty handed.”

We had been under for over 10 minutes and it seemed we had almost lost our way. An T-intersection was dug out but we had no way of knowing where it was that we had to go as were told only of one path. Hesitantly, we followed the path to the left after flipping a coin. Further down the pit went and it seemed we were truthfully lost.

“Hold it, what’s that sound?”

I listened and heard a slight buzzing noise coming from ahead accompanied by a faint glow.

“Is this what you said you were looking for?”

“Eh, we didn’t say we were looking for anything remember?”, the man said with a crooked smile on his face.

Walking forward into a spacious department of the route we had taken, the buzzing increased in sound and the glowing intensified. We pointed our torches across past the mounds of piled mud and debris on the floor and rested the light to illuminate a bluish green orb protruding from the wall of the tunnel. We seemed to have found what we were looking for.

Shut up

A short story I wrote in Year 8, it’s very scrappy!

Shut Up

The cupcakes were just sitting on the table. Sweet, scrumptious, cupcakes, just sitting there, waiting to be eaten. The smooth, watermelon pink icing sugar that covered the top of spongy cakes was slowly melting in the heat of that hot December afternoon.

A small hand – no bigger than the cupcakes itself – reached out with caution. The swift, plump fingers snatched up one of the irresistible treats.  There was a brief pause, and then the suspicious hand took one, no, two more. The feet that belonged to the hands scurried out of the kitchen, leaving three empty spaces where the cupcakes once stood.

 Simon was in his room, reading the school novel, ‘Little Women’. What nice girls they are, he thought. So sweet-mannered, so sympathetic, he thought. Unlike my sister – she wasn’t anything like them. In fact, she was the polar opposite! Simon sighed and shook his head, feeling sorry for himself. Brattish, selfish, rude, loud…

‘MUMMY!’ screamed a voice from downstairs. ‘Simon ate my cupcakes!’

Simon froze. He stood up, comprehending what his sister had just yelled out. He didn’t recall eating any of the cupcakes. Simon shrugged and went downstairs anyway, bracing himself for his inevitable misfortune. 

‘Simon! Come downstairs!’ his mother demanded.

‘I’m already here,’ said Simon

‘Oh, ‘his mother turned around to face him. ‘Why did you eat Mary’s cupcakes? You knew it was for her friend’s birthday party.’

Simon’s mother was older than she looked. For a woman of thirty-five, far too many wrinkles were on her forehead. Her skin was like creased paper and her cheekbones were awkwardly sticking out. Simon could see that deep inside her green eyes, stress and work were haunting her.

Mary had her arms wrapped around her mother’s waist, and she had made sure Simon could see her face. The face was terribly familiar to Simon. She held a wide grin that showed her teeth, decayed and crooked, from all the sugar she’s had. Her rosy, chubby cheeks were pushed up high, so her eyes were nearly closed, but just enough to show her eyes. And her eyes, so full of mischief and pleasure…She was grinning a smile of malice, a smile as sly as a fox, a smile that tells Simon that yes, it was her who ate the cupcakes, and there was nothing he could do about it.

Simon welled up with fury. He gritted his teeth and nearly started to protest, but he knew better. This has happened before, he told himself. No need to give Mum more worries.

‘I was hungry,’ Simon said. ‘Even Mary ate one.’

His mother turned to look down at Mary. At that millisecond, Mary transformed her face and put on a tearful, bitter mask. ‘Simon is l-lying. I-I didn’t eat any c-cupcakes,’ stammered Mary. Simon shook his head in disgust and thought to himself: if this girl is good at anything, it’s acting.

The mother sighed deeply, buried her head in her hands and said: ‘Simon, go to your room. Mary, we’ll make some more, okay?’

Simon wasn’t in the mood to read anymore of ‘Little Women’, so he lay down on his bed, feeling sorry for himself, and plotting revenge to his sister. He shall give her a good scolding – just a long, intimidating lecture and nothing more. Anything more and he would just get in more trouble. Simon lay there for a while, and began let his mind ponder about other things. School, friends, homework… It wasn’t long until Simon fell asleep.

Simon was woken up by the heat of the summer day. It was three o’clock, which meant his mother should be at work. He remembered the incident about the cupcakes, and thought he would let Mary off this time.

Simon went downstairs, and saw Mary sleeping on the couch. Probably faking it, he thought. He decided to practise his piano. Simon was a very capable piano player for his age, and he would play for an hour each day. Perhaps he shall play some Bach today? He didn’t feel like it. Nielsen? Yes, he shall play Nielsen’s ‘Snurretoppen’.

His nimble fingers started to play, and every key was stuck with confidence. He was up to the end of the first page, and he realised Mary had woken up. He kept on playing. Mary suddenly said: ‘AHH…I HAD A GOOD NAP…’ in a deliberately raised voice. Simon ignored her and continued. ‘THAT’S A NICE SONG YOU’RE PLAYING, SIMON. BUT NOT NEARLY AS NICE AS THE CUPCAKES I HAD…’

Simon stopped abruptly. He couldn’t help himself. ‘You,’ he said fiercely, ‘should shut up! You don’t know how much stress you’re causing Mum, you don’t know how hard she works out there to support us, and all you do is make her more worried. YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING! YOU SELFISH STUPID BRAT! YOU’RE NOTHING BUT A BURDEN FOR MUM! SO JUST SHUT UP!’

Simon had said all that, out of anger, in a very loud voice. His face was red and hot, and his fists were clenched up tightly. Mary was curled up in the corner of the couch, and had burst out in tears, for real this time. Simon knew he had gone too far. She was only seven, and after all, his only sister.

Mary had run up to her room, leaving Simon behind. Out of extreme rage, he kicked the old television, and stormed out of the room. However, it so unfortunately happens that a spark flew from the television and flew towards the green set of curtains behind. For a second it seemed as though nothing happened, but all at once, a tiny flame ignited on the curtains.

Everything happened too quickly. Simon, in his room, smelt smoke and immediately ran out of the house. If he was two seconds late, he might have died. He puffed heavily and strained his face in the presence of the hot sun. Mary, he thought. Mary’s still inside the house. He bolted back into the burning house.

Not far behind him, stood a little, frightened girl. She stomped her feet with all her might, but the sound was drowned by the crackling of the flames. She had tried calling out to her brother, but there was a voice inside her head, telling her to shut up.

Ryan Teo 10M

Patriot? – Geoffrey Tan

a story i wrote in year 7, i dug it up recently and found it interesting, hope you do as well 🙂

Patriot?

1500 hours 30/12 2009

The overlooking sun shone brightly through the tattered windows of the corroded and aged warehouse. The fluffy marshmallow like clouds complimented by the blue-sky evidently personified a nonchalant feeling, but within the warehouse, things were indubitably the opposite. James Crawford was an expert and highly renowned MI6 agent and was in the most precarious situation detectives, policemen and spies dreamt of. He was defenceless, his hands were suspended vertically in the air and a gun was mounted against the back of his head. “It ends here now!” shouted the assailant, the trigger was pulled back and a 9mm bullet rocketed out and a constant echo vibrated through the warehouse…

James evaded the bullet by driving his elbow into his unknown adversary’s stomach, knocking him off balance and causing the bullet to severely miss, ricocheting off a dilapidated desk. James speedily drove his foot off the wooden floorboards and flawlessly knocked his assailant’s gun from his hand. The man retaliated with 100% brute force, and threw a hefty and stocky punch directly at James’ face, with total success. James was writhing in pain on his knees while his adversary took advantage of the diversion and dashed out of the warehouse, but James Crawford would make escape inevitably futile.

James was intent on catching the brown haired robust man who was accused of involvement in terrorist activity and was a lead on a baffling case, but after pursuing the man during an everlasting chase out into the ocean, he had miraculously disappeared! The only indication of his location, an island with a looming 5-metre barbed wire fence bordering the perimetre and unidentified activity lurking within…

1900 hours 31/12 2009

A myriad of guard towers were erect from the concrete surface and illuminating spotlights constantly revolved in a meticulous pattern. David Johnson clenched his fist, covering his mouth as he discharged a dry and croaky cough. He turned on his spotlight and began his monotone twilight job of looking for intruders. David was contributing towards guarding a huge metallic coloured white complex and didn’t know what company owned it or what they even did; he was simply paid handsomely and there were no queries what so ever! The vibrant echo of a bouncing pebble broke the silence and every sniper and spotlight instinctively and brusquely followed the thud, but no one was there… David was perplexed and ran his hand through his bushy black Afro while a dark silhouette entered the complex unseen and undetected after an unerring and deliberate decoy, his name, James Crawford.

James Crawford had reached the island through a humid sewage pipe that reeked and was infested with feral rats dressed in a flexible black tracksuit! He was proficient and highly intelligent and was responsible for thwarting the plans of the world’s most devious and destructive criminals. Now, James had breached an island that supposedly didn’t exist, where a man accused of terrorist activity had entered and those two don’t benevolently mix, there must be a huge secret or immoral operation developing within.

James was currently furtively creeping down the corridor of the complex he had just entered. His hazel eyes identical in colour to his smooth and short flat hair were on full alert like a furious and stern hawk. The building was unbelievably plain, enclosing walls were creamy white and extremely repetitive and identical science labs with state of the art facilities were everywhere! The strangest thing was the complex was ominously desolate, not a soul within, but as James progressed deeper, a faint voice could be perceived and then…

2100 hours 31/12 2009

“Where, where, where am I?” James’ eyes were flickering and his hands were firmly bound around the back of the wooden chair he was sitting on. “WHO ARE YOU?” A man with a heavy Russian accent demanded, he ruthlessly slapped James across the face and reiterated the question. James had immediately regained consciousness after being knocked out and was fully aware of the situation, but didn’t reply. The grotesquely ugly man with a trapezium shaped brown moustache, a scar diagonally dividing his face and a Russian war uniform mumbled an order with a despicable tone. Inside the small and dusty square shaped room with a light bulb dangling from the ceiling, one of 2 guards responded by covering James’ face with plastic wrap and pulled it back with no remorse, sucking the life out of him. “Now, must I ask again?”

“My name is James Crawford, who are you, you delinquent!” James slurred impertinently.

“I am General Zharov, a true patriot of Russia and I will lead Russia to world domination. I will…” James immediately interjected,

“Kill millions of innocent people and allow many of your own to perish. Think about it, it’s the 21st century, there are nuclear bombs and highly advanced weapons, no one would win, it’d be the Apocalypse!” James argued seriously, shouting at the top of his lungs.

“I don’t care! Even if I don’t succeed, I would die for Russia and leave a distinct mark on the world. Even as we speak my brilliant plan is hatching into place. Soon the world will be mine… After my formidable attack begins.” He laughed maniacally with a wide expression on his rough scaly face.

“As the President and his dear family are overseas on holiday, he’s declared all of his guards head home for New Years, there will be no one present in and outside of the White House. I will break in, locate the briefcase that controls over a thousand nuclear missiles the American President holds in possession and fire them all around the world after hacking into the device using advanced technology developed by ingenious scientists in this very complex.”

“I don’t believe you, you’re clearly bluffing and you don’t have the guts.” James conned, trying to deceive General Zharov who fell directly into his trap.

“I agree… You’ll be the one to press the button that’ll launch a few thousand nuclear missiles, guards retie him and take him with us, he’ll have the privilege of witnessing and participating in Russia’s uprising!”

2300 hours 31/12 2009

5 men exited a stealthy and sleek helicopter outside the illustrious White House including James and General Zharov. James had a semi-automatic pistol to his back and obeyed all orders to his captors content, but was secretly devising a devious escape. General Zharov and 2 other men firstly shut down all of the security after they had snuck past hidden sensors situated in the colourful garden that was partially invisible due to the dark sky that was plentiful with bright stars. They had now entered the White House and had initiated the hunt for the President’s office where the desired briefcase lay, while the world hung on a tilting balance.

James had requested to go to the toilet and one man was ordered to escort and watch him. After flushing the toilet situated on a hard luxurious marble tiled floor, James scaled the peachy bathroom wall and pushed against all 4 sides with his arms and legs supporting him at the top. The man who was forced to wait for James was growing wearily impatient! He insisted James come out, but there was no smart aleck reply James would customarily give. The man booted the door open and was stumped, as James wasn’t in the windowless bathroom! He was preparing to signal General Zharov but James plummeted from the ceiling and drove his face into the toilet, knocking him out stone cold and stealing his semi-automatic pistol. 1 down, 2 to go…

James trekked through the gigantic White House for the President’s Office but it was vain. He had already lost many costly minutes and General Zharov could have already launched the deadly missiles, it could result in a protruding death toll. James was warily progressing down an elongated corridor with plush and comfortable white carpet, but halted as he was situated in front of a large russet wooden coloured door with the Presidential logo embedded on it. James lightly tugged the door open and he saw General Zharov plugging an electronic contraption into a black briefcase that controlled the President’s nuclear missiles. James barged the door unlock with his large size 7 shoes, caught an unarmed Zharov off guard and pointed the semi-automatic pistol at the General’s head!

“General Zharov, I will fire my gun unless you instantly change your mind, I’m not going to permit you to fire those missiles and commence a world war. You’re not the patriot you claim to be. Patriots unconditionally and regardlessly love their country to death for what it is, they’re proud of it. They also indisputably care for the citizens of their country and if you fire those missiles, the rest of the world will retaliate by killing many innocent Russians.” James was extremely persuasive but knew from years of experience that criminals didn’t usually consider anyone’s opinions. “Although you hold a strong point, I believe that you have more imperative things to be concerned about, for example, turning around.” General Zharov exclaimed casually with an arrogant attitude. He started pressing various buttons on his device that supposedly had the ability to crack passwords and forge fingerprints. James turned around from facing the General standing behind an expensive glass desk and a glass window that presented a grand view and turned around to see the last of General Zharov’s henchmen pointing a gun at James!

James was a metre away from the individual dressed in a typical Mafia suit with a matching hat and took impeccably quick action. James used a swift roundhouse kick to unarm the man and nimbly swivelled his left foot 90 degrees and performed an effective sidekick with his other foot, sending his heel deep into his adversary’s chest, evidently breaking a rib. The kick was as hard as steel and was executed with exceptional precision. James took advantage of his wounded opponent kneeling down and painlessly knocked him unconscious with a skilled chop to the rear head as the carpet cushioned his fall. The fight may have only taken 30 seconds, but that was more than sufficient for General Zharov to launch a few thousand nuclear missiles worldwide!

“It’s too late! When New Years strikes the world will be trembling under my feet after they’ve felt the wrath of a reborn Russia, an impregnable Russia!” General Zharov jeered ecstatically as he punched the air in triumph. James slowly intimidated General Zharov by progressing forwards and the General, with a fearful expression on his face shuffled backwards. James pounced onto the President’s desk and stared briskly at Zharov, it would be the last time.

The General pulled a jagged pocketknife from his grey thigh pocket and lunged ahead and attempted to stab James’ in the heart as he stepped off the table, but epically failed. James tightly caught his wrist and vigorously twisted it, causing Zharov to drop the knife. Zharov was squealing in pain as James levered the General over his head through the President’s glass table, cracking it in two. General Zharov was unconscious, but he had possibly stalled James for long enough, World War III would momentarily commence as a New Year was on the brink!

Melbourne- Federation Square 2359 hours 31/12 2009

Thousands of Melbournians had partied all night and waited for the celebration countdown for a brand New Year. As crowds bundled altogether in Federation Square brainstorming New Years Revolutions a red speck was lighting up the sky from a far and quickly descending.

“Daddy, a firework!” A 3-year-old boy anxiously pointed at what was actually a nuclear missile and his eyes were tracing it in anticipation while in plummeted through the murky sky. “10, 9, 8…5,” The entire crowd counted enthusiastically while the boy was bamboozled, the red dot was now moving upwards, he scratched his head in confusion. “4, 3, 2, 1!” Fire works suddenly rocketed up from Docklands and displayed a stunning array of colours. It appeared as if James Crawford had prevented the Apocalypse, he had saved the world!

Word Count: 2017

The Keeper of Time

The Keeper of Time

John sat at a deserted workbench, watching the antique timepiece he held in his hand with intense interest. Tick… tick… tick went the ornate second hand, the sound shockingly loud in the silence. He stared, trance-like and obsessed, watching in fascination as the little hand of metal spun around in endless revolutions, steadily traversing the worn face of a clock engraved with graphic depictions of terrible demons and glorious gods.

It’s losing time’, he observed, ‘at a rate of a millisecond an hour’. John despised tardiness, but despite this, he made no move, his exasperation soothed by the steady, rhythmic movement of the golden needle as it plodded across the clock face… round and round, round and round.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

John didn’t flinch as the incoming train whooshed past him, flicking his hair into wild tendrils that billowed around eyes that gazed unsurprised, unblinking and abyss-black. Although impassive in expression, John nevertheless felt a twinge of irritation slither through his body and blossom into an irrational surge of anger, simply because the train was several seconds late. ‘It’s always late,’ he mused. ‘Always by the same amount, too.’

John had always suspected he was strange… well, not normal at least. Considered a musical prodigy at a young age for his unerring sense of rhythm, his mentors’ enthusiastic encouragements in this area had waned dramatically once they discovered his inflexibility. It seemed he could not, or would not, alter a melody’s tempo when required, such that his music, though technically perfect, lacked the wild, living beauty of spontaneity. The reason for this was that John had a metronome of sorts in his head – an inherent ticking that clicked away relentlessly, 24 hours a day and seven days a week, from the moment he was born to, in all likelihood, the day he died.  He wasn’t bothered at first, until the physical toll of the relentless ticking began to distinguish him as different from the other children. Fascinated by rhythm though he was, this clicking proved perpetual temptation that distracted him from paying attention in class or studying. His physical performance also suffered, since during strenuous activity, his heart rate and breathing sped up and became erratic, which jarred with the steady beating in his head. This invariably resulted in a splitting headache, such that he stopped trying to resist it at all.

It was not until he was about 5 years old that he realized that the ticking in his head corresponded exactly with the second hand on a clock. Intrigued, John decided to delve deeper into the mysterious world of time. Enraptured by the synchronous harmony between the analogue clock and his own internal metronome, John soon developed an addiction to the soothing feeling of being in coordinated resonance with timepieces. Unfortunately, as a result of his new obsession, he began to get more and more intolerant of inconsistent and erratic beats and events.

Yes, John was definitely not quite normal.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

John clasped the antique timepiece gently, still staring while the golden hand yet again swept over the demonic engravings. He had obtained it from his grandfather, and was eerily comforted by the unchanging tempo as the needle methodically crossed the dial. He knew that it was slightly inaccurate, but for some reason it did not bother him as much as it usually would.

Wham! A shock of searing pain speared suddenly through his side, slamming him to the ground and wrenching him out of his reverie. He looked up, dimly registering through clouding eyes a figure swathed in black, brandishing a bright yellow shaft of light, much like the one sticking out of his side. The pain was explosive. John tightened his grasp on the pocketwatch, seeking its comfort. The last thing he saw was the sunlight flickering over the dancing demon figures, before everything went black.

 ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

John’s body stood up, a force not quite earthly controlling him, like a puppet on strings.

The figure opposite him grinned, and then spoke.

“So, the Keeper of Time finally shows himself. Had enough of this charade? Why you decided to shirk your duty and hide yourself as a human I have no idea …damn filthy monkeys. But the game’s up now. You have no attacking power – you shouldn’t even be part of the Pantheon. Surrender!”

What used to be John merely looked at the gaping hole in his side before running his fingers nonchalantly over it. The regeneration was immediate – the bleeding vanished, flesh reappeared and fabric knitted together such that there remained not one indication that a horrific wound had gaped just moments before.

When he was done, he looked up and murmured slowly, “Do you know what I see? Do you, Keeper of Thunder? My eyes see the End. The End of all things. Everything has an end. It is a terrible curse, forever seeing destruction. Humans are so lucky, so carefree, only caring about their petty little lives and never having to be burdened by the great troubles of Immortals. Everything has an end, Keeper of Thunder. Everything. Even gods. This is the Curse of Time.”

He saw the black-clad figure begin to angrily summon another murderous shaft of light. With a supreme burst of effort, ‘John’ bade his personal metronome to slow. The ticking, once incessant, was beginning to stop, and was bringing Time itself to a standstill. The winds stopped howling, lighting halted in mid-flight, and a god peerless in power suddenly found himself trapped frozen in stagnant space and time. With a light push of a 15-year-old boy, the Keeper of Thunder fell without resistance, straight into the path of an incoming train speeding to make up for lost time.

The Keeper of Time smiled as he glanced at his pocketwatch, knowing, having foreseen that this fellow god would lie at rest until the very End, never, ever, to rise again. Time itself had forsaken him.

‘The train was late, like always. But this time, it was right on time,’ he grinned.

 

Kevin Tang 10F

This was my Time to Write Submission… decided to post it just in case anyone was interested. I wasn’t especially proud of this piece, because I felt I could have done a lot better, but I got lost in it and ended up writing about 500 words over, and then went crazy and deleted a massive piece of plot development…

Body Image

-Body Image-

I’m sure we’ve all seen those models on television, or in a magazine, newspaper or billboard. We’ve all admired/marvelled/fantasised about them. Unfailingly, they are all beautiful, tall and skinny. However, despite being what most people look up to, they are not the epitome of human evolution, and are not an accurate depiction of what everyone should appear like naturally. Unfortunately, a lot of young people didn’t seem to get the memo. And that is a seriously escalating problem in today’s society.

A distressing amount of young women nowadays (usually teenagers) are obsessed with their weight and body image. Much of what is considered a ‘healthy BMI (body mass index)’ by experts is in turn denounced by these young teenagers as overweight, pudgy or fat. More and more teenaged girls are diagnosed with bulimia or anorexia (maybe even both), which are both extremely serious conditions, with wide ranging repercussions, which could severely affect the patient’s health or life, even debilitating the patient’s career chances.

I think that this is more than isolated phenomena occurring en masse, but is instead a result of the problems deeply rooted inside today’s media preoccupied society. Many young people have access to, and regularly use, a television set, or alternative media outlet, such as a newspaper or news site on the Internet. It can be found that a staggering amount of attention and coverage are given to celebrities and supermodels, and so, from an early age, young people are ingrained with the notion that being ‘like a celebrity’ is a good thing, judging by the amount of positive hype and popularity they receive.  This hits especially hard for teenage girls, who are particularly social creatures, with a close-knit group of friends and confidants. Here, under the pressure of peers and friends, the expectation to conform to society and society’s demands are perhaps the strongest as they ever will be in the human race.

Alienation from her circle of friends is a fate that no girl wants. To avoid this fate, girls will adhere extremely strongly to the standards set by role models and admired celebrities. This trend, observed by their male counterparts with derision and amusement, is ‘fangirlism’ and usually applies to young, teenage male celebrities such as Justin Bieber and One Direction. As these desired idols are regularly seen associating with the slim model type women, the pinnacle of what any girl wishes to appear like, many teens attempt to match their physique and appearances with fanatic fervour, despite unattainable differences such as age, height and lack of professional equipment and funds.

But the effect of the media’s use of an overinflated (in my opinion) sense of importance in regards to the body image of celebrities has permeated deep into our society. At schools, bullying was, and still is, an enormous problem. And along with race, academic prowess and gender, one of the main reasons bullies target victims is because of their weight. Overweight students are usually sensitive about the matter and when it is placed in the spotlight and exaggeratedly and mercilessly ridiculed, the victim may be particularly hurt and be driven to drastic actions. These ‘drastic actions’ may range from suicide to drugs to obsessions with losing weight- all of which have broad field of potential consequences, none of them positive.

But despite these overwhelming negatives for body image in the media and in advertisements, there can be concurrent benefits, if done properly. In an age where the standard of living is extremely high in developed countries, and where technology does practically everything for you, obesity is peaking. By broadcasting a sensible ideal to kids and teenagers about the correct, healthy, body image, the media might be able to curtail this destructive trend and restore people around the world to some semblance of an independent, healthy race, fit to be the dominant species on planet Earth.

This was a practice essay I wrote in preparation for… something. I thought it would be a good idea to post something non-fiction for a change.

Kevin Tang 10F

Stoic Bricks and Muddled Time

Author’s Description: Just a story I’m hoping to enter into “Time to Write”. I knocked it out in one go, so grammatical errors are probably going to be prevalent, but please disregard the tense changes. They’re part of the story! 🙂

Amid the hushed suburbs of some amorphous old town in England, a stoic brick was pondering the precisely regular noises coming from the room it composed. The brick, which was about to set a cognitive personal and world record, was hearing a peculiar grunting-snoring mix, that almost sounded as if its producer’s throat had a semi-chestnut-semi-ping-pong-ball sized piece of gravel, lodged in it.

The semi-chestnut-semi-ping-pong-ball sized piece of gravel existed entirely, of course, in the brick’s cognitive realm. Yet, the brick’s ponderings weren’t completely wrong; in fact, there was someone with a semi-chestnut-semi-ping-pong-ball sized piece of gravel lodged in their throat. Yet, this man (or woman, the brick didn’t know), was as far from the perceptual field of the brick, as was the validity of the idea, in most people’s minds, that bricks could think at all.

Yet, it was nonetheless true.

The brick sat, stoically thinking about what exactly it was hearing. But bricks don’t often achieve a pensive state for more than a few minutes, and much like its compatriots, the brick’s mind dissolved, back into its bricky trance, from which it was to rise again only 23 and ¼ years later, when the building was being demolished. The last emotion the brick would feel, would be an unshakeable stoic outrage, before it was pummeled into the ground by a large sledgehammer.

And as the brick fell stoically back asleep, a black-lightning haired man, with set of eyebrows thick and long as the Thames (thick and long enough, some thought, that birds nested there on occasion), collapsed upon the street; he twitched uncontrollably, as though his lightning hair had electrified his nervous system. He clutched his throat with the grip of a homeless man holding a five pound note donated from an exceptionally rich passerby.

And people strolled past, without the faintest perception.

Todd Terrance, the man whose snoring had awoken the brick, awoke himself. A dull, prickly haze covered his chin and jaw. An inky aura diffused across Todd’s room, which perpetually smelled like old socks. In a sluggish stupor, and slumbering pace, Todd threw himself reluctantly from bed.

I don’t like Mondays, thought Todd. Yet, it was true to suppose also, that he didn’t like any day. But then, there would never be any reason to hate that day if he hated every day. So Todd supposed to himself that today was special. Today was worth hating more.

Because today, wasn’t like any other day.

The lightning haired man’s body relaxed. And people kept walking by. Occasionally, someone would step through him.

A lead sledgehammer slammed into the bricks, a fierce sonic boom-like sound erupting from the impact. And with that, all the bricks in the wall awoke. A wave of stoic surprise flowed through the bricks, one by one, as each impact followed every other. And the bricks began to wake, and shout.

Todd hobbled about, slowly picking up the tumult of his possessions. A vast, messy being was being assembled within the suitcase. Socks, shirts, pants and underwear all mixed, and in a furious mish-mash, which would have threatened to explode with utter disdain – if it had been alive, that is. But thankfully, the clothes had no consciousness, and so, relaxed, stupidly collapsed in a heap, in Todd’s case.

Blow by blow the brick’s friends shatter, into a constellation of pieces. The surprise matures to outrage, despair, and a sad resignation, which then evolves back into shock, when the brick habitually falls back asleep and wakes up again as the hammer slams against the wall. And the last thought of the stoic brick’s intangible mind happens. A dull, stoic outrage floods through its length.

Todd steps out of the house, walking to a restless taxi parked at the curb of the road. The barge of suitcases following him behind stare sadly ahead, and Todd strains to push each on into the thimble-sized trunk of the taxi driver’s taxi. Yet, after all the hustle and bustle, the suitcases rest safely, if a little stuck.

And the taxi drives away, past the footpath where the lightning haired man is collapsed.

And several hours later, a large truck arrives, to demolish the houses along the forlorn street.

The brick thinks about the grunting-snoring mix, and the semi-chestnut-semi-ping-pong-ball sized piece of gravel lodged in the throat of its creator, whilst, 23 and a ¼ years later, the brick’s entire psyche erupts simultaneously in a torrent of stoic outrage. The hammer falls upon the wall, just as the brick’s ponderings cease, and it falls back into its bricky slumber for 23 and ¼ years. And as it shatters, and sleeps at the same time, a semi-chestnut-semi-ping-pong-ball sized piece of gravel flies through the air.

A protester screams “Save the Houses!” from the street as the heavy hammer slams into the wall, as the bricks subsequently erupt into a wave of stoic surprise.

And the projectile flies through the air.

The semi-chestnut-semi-ping-pong-ball sized piece of gravel lodges, two inches down the black-lightning haired man’s throat, as he collapses, clutching his throat, and twitching uncontrollably, just as Todd wakes up, a sluggish hate emanating from his very being.

And as the man collapses upon the pavement, as the passersby walk, unnoticing.

Time.

Shourye Dwivedi

My Name Is Love

Author’s Note: 

This story is the product of writers’ block. When I can’t write something, I take something in my surroundings and write about it, just to get the words flowing. At the time, I was listening to a song called Heart of the World by Lady Antebellum, which is a beautiful song and which prompted this. Fair warning, this is very whimsical.

Leon

———————–

Hello. My name is Love.

I come in many shapes, and just as many forms. Nothing links them, and nobody can explain them. I am Love, and I am many things: feelings, memories, sounds, sights.

When just the right kind of music is played, and just the right nerve is struck, you feel me. It starts in your belly, warmth, that you can’t ever feel anywhere else but when you meet me. It spreads, slowly, gives you tingles in your arms. It sits in you until you let it go, until, like all things, it fades away. You can feel this warmth even when you hear the saddest of songs, you can feel this warmth when you just want to get up and dance. And you aren’t the only one. Maybe for different music, sure, but everyone feels it. In their heart, in their soul. I touch you where no other feeling can reach you.

I am the kindness you see in the world. I am the man who saves lives, the soul who prevents suicides, the child whose innocents pierces reality. I am the kind man who helps the homeless and the sad man who feeds the pigeons. I am the man who sits alone on a bench and stares across the lake, just the same as I am the woman who sits beside him and makes him smile. I am the person who see once on the train and don’t forget until three weeks have passed. I am the brave man who stands up to terror to save one man or a thousand, and I am the judge and the lawyer who face injustice. I am the policeman who walks the streets and saves lives and livelihoods, and I am the detective who fits for the truth and brings evil to the eternal scale to be judged.

I am what you feel when you stare into your lover’s eyes, and trail a finger across their arm, and flight a hand across their stomach, and rub circles into the small of their back. And I am all those things when they are done to you. I am the peace after the passion, and the warmth by the fire. I am the morning ember in your heart when you wake beside the person you love. I am the hug you have with family seen often or not. I am the party when everyone comes together to celebrate the grandmother’s birthday. I am the kiss before the dawn and the kiss after the sunset, I am the person who cares about your day, and the person who holds your hand when pain is all you feel. I am the spirit who touches you when your heart is broken, and I am the spirit who tells you to pick up the pieces and move on; just as surely I am the person you meet who helps you.

I am every colour. I am the rage and passion of red, the calm and piercing eye of blue, the raw of green and brown, the light of the yellow sun, the good of the revealing white, and the bad of the destroying black. I am every colour on you rainbow, just as I am the rainbow itself and every eye that beholds it. I am the beauty under the clouds, when the sun is covered.

I am the kiss in the rain, the hug in the storm. I am the person who holds you when you fear the thunder stroke. I am the person who holds your hand under a summer’s sun, and I am the person who gives you their coat under winter’s white clouds. I am the person who walks away, and I am the person who runs after you when you leave. I am the beggar on their knees, pleading with you to stay. I am the person that lets you cry on their shirt, and I am the person who picks up the pieces of your broken heart. I am the person that stands there and faces the end with you, and I am the thing you least want to let go of. I am the adventure you run away on, and return home as well. I am the lie you are told, and the forgiveness you give.

I am beauty and I a sorrow. I am kindness and I am reality. I am what you feel and who you are. I am who you love, and who you forget. I am the breaker and the healer, and the lover and the leader and the inspirer. I am the untouchable feeling and the undeniable truth. I am the raw spirit of your soul, the calm peace of your mind, and the overpowering feeling of your heart. I am the strongest man’s weakness, and the weakest man’s strength.

I am what you would die for.

I am Love. I am entirely indescribable, and yet you know when you feel me, who you meet me, when you step into my shoes. I am the universal truth that nobody can explain, and the most beautiful feeling in the world. I am every emotion, and no emotion. I am you and you are me, and I wish you to feel me as often as can be.