Humans are the most selfish species currently inhabiting the Earth. They have bred well beyond their means, squandered precious resources and endangered their fellow animals, yet still they desire more. They desire wealth and would sacrifice the lives of other species for luxuries they do not deserve. What makes humanity greater than animals? Is it their intelligence? I believe that intelligence is the only trait that makes humanity different from other species, however merely because humanity is more intelligent does not give them the right to atrociously treat other species. If there was a person who had a mental disability, would you treat them any worse? Humans grasp at a perfect world of equality, yet speciesism is still prominent throughout society. Why do our ideals of equality exclude other animals? How would we feel if we were treated like how we treat our animals? Our very existence would be devoted to being consumed. We would live futile lives.
When I was with her I was like a child frolicking happily around the park
She was the sun rising high above the horizon, lighting up my day
Her eyes were pure, majestic like the moon shining radiantly in the sky
I reminisce when we were once together
When I lay curled, comforted under her embrace
But now that she is gone, I am alone without a friend
Now that she is gone, only the pitch black night surrounds me
The sun no longer rises above the horizon
I am a flower without the sun
I am a husband without a wife
Waves of anguish crash over me
Only the deep abyss of the ocean surrounds me
Oxygen begins to seep out
I am without the sustenance to keep me alive
I am drowning, drowning of the sorrow which is overwhelming me
I drift to shore
The water begins to recede from my lungs
The world begins to spin once more
I gaze at the sun in the distance
The sun is once more beginning to slowly rise above the horizon
The the bright ball of fire once again shines in the sky
The rays of light rejuvenates the flower
The withering flower begins to return to its former glory
The flower once again starts to bloom
I now have light in a world once devoid of light
But, I know that the sun will never return to the radiance which it once possessed
I will never stop grieving of the day I lost her
I will always remember her
Technology is the sun in which our world currently orbits around. It is the centre of our lives. Humans currently have access to resources and technology in which was once only fantasy, yet we are still unhappy with our lives and desire more advanced technology. Has the taste of technology tainted our minds? Why do the luxuries we have already obtained seem almost insignificant, whilst those in which we have not already obtained seem desirable? The answer is the human nature of greed. It it the reason why humans seek prestige and money. Like these aspects technology merely a drug tormenting and controlling our lives, making us want more and more. It seems the greater the luxuries in which humans have attained, the more they take these things for granted. It is the desire for these aspects of life which has driven inequality amongst the living conditions of different countries. If we, people who are born in a wealthy country, abandon our desire for technology or other luxuries to fund for those suffering poverty, we would make a difference in this world. So wouldn’t life be better without technology?
I stand alongside my comrades, my fellow warriors. As I look around me I see nothing but flat, low lying land and the opposing army approaching. Looking up, I see the sun’s rays streaking across the sky. I feel violent winds whistling past me. This would be a glorious battle, where I will either die honourably for my king or reign triumphantly over the opposing soldiers. My eyes lay fixated upon the army, rapidly approaching towards me. I hear the grumbles of soldiers eager to start fighting.
I hear small whispers turn into loud screams, as the opposing army begins to charge at our front lines. I begin to rush forward holding my shield in my left arm and my sword in my right arm. As I approach an opposing soldier, I swiftly raise my shield, blocking their first strike and in return I send a quick slash across the waist. Blood begins spilling from him, drenching my clothing. Ignoring the person I have just murdered, I continue to charge, mercilessly slashing down each soldier as he approaches, not stopping even if they are begging for mercy. My mind lays focused on the glory and honour I will receive after the war.
A day has passed since the fighting had begun, however the war is far from ending. Both sides have received countless casualties. Either side could triumph in this battle. I slowly rise from my resting place, ready to continue fighting. I draw out my sword and raise my shield. I rush towards the enemy’s front lines, slashing ferociously off their heads. I see laying sprawled on the ground, begging for mercy. I chuckle at the sight of such a pathetic fool. They beg for mercy, yet merely a few minutes ago they were attacking me with the intent to kill. I stomp on his hand until I hear him screaming violently with pain. I laugh at him, mocking him for his weak disposition. Satisfied with myself, I decide to end his life, killing him with a quick swipe to the throat.
Now the war has gone on for weeks. I feel exhausted, barely able to move. There are very few soldiers left who are able to fight. Both armies have suffered numerous casualties. The war is going to end soon. In the distance, I see a white flag swaying in the wind. I realise that the opposition has finally surrendered. I am overcome with the feelings of relief and joy. My desire for honour and pride has finally been satisfied.
I lift my sword up triumphantly, but as I look around, I see no one else celebrating, instead they merely stare at me intently with a strange look in their eyes. Around me I see nothing but numerous dead corpses. I smell the putrid smell of rotting meat. When I finally attempt to find my friends, I come to realise that not even one of my friends has survived this wretched battle. I begin to remember the countless people which I have murdered and tortured. I remember the feeling of blood covering my body. The memories begin to bring shivers down my spine. I no longer understand my identity. Am I a monster in human form or is it human nature to crave destruction? I don’t even know the reason for this war, but I still just blindly went for the so called glory which came with victory, but this victory isn’t glorious. It is not glorious to take the life of a fellow human being, it is utterly despicable. I realise that war is an atrocity, which should never be enacted. I realise that humans are merely monsters in disguise.
My earliest memories are parts of my life which are precious to me. I remember being a child, cradled in my mother’s arms. I could hear curtains ruffling softly. The curtains were off to the side and rays of light came beaming at me. I could see my mother, grasping at me, holding me tightly toward her chest. I remember my first memories of my mother. She looked as if she were an angel, covered in a shroud of light. I remember seeing her majestic face glowing with such radiance, it was as if I was gazing at the full moon. Her long black hair lay curled upon her shoulders. I remember my mother was brimming with youth and beauty. I recall on that day there lay a gentle smile on her face, a sight which I treasure for the rest of my life.
My mother places me gently into my crib an begins to walk away. I remember tears trickling down my face. I reached my hand out attempting to grab at my mother, only to grasp onto thin air. I watched as my mother’s shadow turns into nothingness. I hear the echoing of her footsteps turn into silence. Panicking, I jump out of my crib and crawl towards my mother. When I see her, I cry out, full of joy and happiness. I clutched onto her not letting go until I fell asleep. Now, I realise that my mother merely walked through the door toward the kitchen, which was the reason why I was unable to see or hear her.
The sun shines radiantly through the hallway window. A gentle breeze blows through the window, ruffling the curtains. My eyes dart around, wary of anyone approaching. I hesitantly take out my hand and slowly open the door. As I come into the room, I see a girl beaming with such beauty, it seems as if she is a goddess from heaven. She sleeps peacefully and soundly. Her blonde hair is like streaks of gold. Her face is pale, but beautiful. Her body is both slim and frail. I sit down on a chair next to her, staring in awe at her beauty. Suddenly, she starts to move and emerges from her slumber. She sits up and looks at me with surprise. Her bright blue eyes stare at me, as if she is looking into me. I avert my gaze, being nervous and embarrassed. She starts to laugh at my reaction, knowing that I am shy around girls, then she gives me a comforting smile, as if to say that it’s alright. I stand silently, not knowing how to react. My face is flushed and my heart is beating rapidly.
“Hello, you came again,” she says with a cheery voice.
I stand still, unable to respond to the abrupt greeting. Scrambling around for something to say, I begin to panic.
“Hey,” I mutter, panicked.
I place the flowers I brought onto the bedside table and try to rush out, but she loosely grabs onto my arm, knowing that I have a tendency to run away when I am nervous. As I look at her, I see images of the past. I remember when I first met her. I was a young carefree six year old. I had no friends and was bullied. She was the only one who stood up for me. She was the only person who offered to be my friend. I remember that whilst everyone watched and laughed as I was bullied, only she defended me. I remember when she first told me her angelic name, which I will never forget. She told me that her name was Sarah.
I no longer desire to run, so Sarah loosens her grip on me. I look at her and see her white robe, a robe that only patients wear. Her heart is slowly failing her and she may die at any moment. I know that I should be supportive, but all I thought of was running away and leaving her alone. Her parents are busy at work and her friends have abandoned her. Most of her day is spent in solitude, yet she’s still smiling after all that she has been through.
For a while, I stand in silence speechless, shaking nervously. In a desperate attempt to break the awkward silence, I say the first thing that comes to my mind.
“How have you been,” I mutter nervously.
“Okay, I guess,” she responds whilst shrugging her shoulders.
“How have these past few years treated you,” she suddenly states, surprising me.
I guess she still remembers the day when we first met. Since that day, I had tried to befriend her, but was too nervous to approach her. Months and years had passed, but I had never faced my fears. Now it’s too late.
“I remember when you were a cute little kid,”she says, chuckling.
She starts to talk about what had happened in the past, whilst I just nod silently. Our conversation continues and time passes swiftly. Eventually, I feel that I have to leave. I look at the watch on my hand, seeing that it is already six thirty. Knowing that I need to get back home, I quickly run out of the door startling her.
In the distance I hear Sarah say “Thank you for the flowers.”
I rush out of the hospital, running as fast as I can. I need to get home and as soon as possible. When I finally arrive at the train station, I am panting heavily. My heart is beating rapidly. My arms and legs feel like lead. In the distance I hear the whirring of the train. The wheels are crashing rapidly against the tracks. I feel a sense of relief knowing that I may arrive home before my parents.
When I arrive home, I see that my parents haven’t come back home yet. I enter my room and lay on my bed. I think about the events which have transpired today. Everything seems like it was from a dream, as if it weren’t real. I close my eyes in thought, wondering what my parents would do if they knew about what I have just done. I never told them about Sarah, knowing that they wouldn’t allow me to visit her even if I had begged them. My parents would never let me do anything that would hinder my education. I was denied the right for a proper childhood. As a child, my parents never cared about me. They neglected me, only providing me with food and then left me to study. My parents never show affection towards me, always pushing me towards a goal that they chose for me. They want me to become a doctor and they don’t even care about what I want to become.
My eyes become weary and I fall asleep. I dream about the time I’ve spent with Sarah. I have visited her twice. I think about what she has experienced. I wonder how I would feel if I have experienced what she has. I would be frightened, fearing death. She acts cheerful, but I know deep inside, she must be crying. I know that I should support her, so I decide that now, during the last few weeks of her life, I will visit her and try to make her life easier.
During the next few weeks, I visit Sarah every school day. I become more confident and stop shaking. I begin to open up to her. Now, I am able to have a proper conversation with her. Everyday, I look forward to visiting her. Our relationship grows stronger, and we have become more that just acquaintances, we are now friends.
It has been five weeks since my first visit to Sarah. As I approach the door to Sarah’s room, I hear the faint sound of crying. I stop in my tracks, hesitating before I enter. I don’t know how to react to this. How would I comfort her through her time of struggle? I take a deep breath in and slowly open the door, barely making a sound. I see her Sarah’s, covered in tears. I sit on the chair next to her wondering what I should do.
“I’m going to die soon,” Sarah sobs softly.
I stand still, in shock, unable to react.
“As a last request, I want you to pursue your own dream. You don’t have to obey your parents’ every command,” she tells me.
“I wanted to have a simple life as a teacher, but I am unable to achieve my dream, so I want you to achieve yours,” she says, with tears trickling out of her eyes.
I sit next to her, holding her hand whilst she cries underneath her blanket, listening to her last wheezing breaths. I sit in silence relishing every last moment I have left with her.
By the time I leave, it is already eight thirty. I know my parents will be furious, but I no longer care. When I arrive home, my parents scold me, but I just ignore them. All I can think about is Sarah. Whilst I am lying on my bed, my phone suddenly rings.
“Hello…it’s Melbourne hospital. It’s Sarah…she’s dead,” I hear, instantly dropping the phone.
Time seems as if it has slowed down. My breath begins to fluctuate. My arms become numb. I fall on my bed and place my arms over my eyes. Tears begin trickling down my face. I punch my bed mattress, feeling both furious and sad. I begin to remember the moments I had with Sarah. They were the happiest moments of my life. Now I will never see her again. I remember her last request, in her dying moments, she selflessly told me to pursue my dream, when she was unable to pursue her goal. I remember, during the last moments of her life, she told me she wanted to be a teacher. To honour last request I’ll disobey my parents and pursue my own dream. I’ll pursue her goal to become a teacher, a dream that she didn’t have the opportunity to fulfil.
Ten years pass by since the day Sarah died. I’m standing in front of her gravestone with a bouquet of flowers, the same flowers I gave her on my visits. I kneel down, gently placing the flowers on her grave.
“I have fulfilled both our dreams,” I say quietly to Sarah.
By Matthew Ung
I am in a dark room, alone. I hear footsteps in the darkness approaching me. In the distance, I see the face of a monster, which is hideous beyond belief. I am unable to move. When the creature is in front of me, everything suddenly turns black. I wake up, sweating profusely. My heart is beating rapidly. I am panting heavily from the horrible nightmare. My throat is parched, but I am too frightened to move. I lay in my bed motionless, trying to calm myself. I conjure up the courage to get up and turn on the light. My room is filled with a dim, eerie glow.
As I leave my room, I see that the rest of my house is covered in darkness. I am trembling with fear. I am scared of what may lurk in the darkness. I hurriedly walk through the hallway to the kitchen. I quickly open the fridge and pour myself a glass of water. I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I am safe.
Suddenly, I hear the wooden floorboard creaking. I hear footsteps approaching my direction. I am terrified. I stand motionless, paralysed by fear. My body is shaking with fear. I back myself against the wall. I see the beast approaching me. Its face is distorted and covered in blood. Its eyes are crimson red with malice. It comes closer and closer towards me. With adrenaline running through me, I grab a knife and stand firmly against the monster.
I charge at it, swinging arms fiercely. It evades my attacks and leaps at me, clinging onto my face. I fall over and collide with the ground. I swing my arms at it but I am unable to come into contact with the monster. It curls itself around me and I am no longer able to see.everything is in complete darkness.
Suddenly, I open my eyes and I am lying on the kitchen floor. I realise that the monster was merely a creation of my imagination. The monster was created by my own fear. I walk back into my room and fall asleep, relieved that everything was just a figment of my imagination.
By Matthew Ung