23 Nov 2012

Love.


I’ve seen it crumble, crippled with stress.
I’ve seen hearts break, ripped from aching chests.
They’ve taken away my fairytales,
Stripped me of my Romeos,
And left me in the dust.
Yet like a loyal servant, I will never cease to believe –
True love is more than anything,
A spark that knocks us off our feet.

Above is an extract from a poem I wrote about Love.  Reading over it, it has made me feel rather confused. Because other than some stupid romance novels I bury my nose into once and a while, I know absolutely nothing about love. My Mum and Dad were the worst matched couple in history. My Dad was sickeningly oppressive of her, never letting her out of the house when she wanted, not letting her visit friends or go out at all. My late grandfather was an alcoholic who used to beat my Granny. My great-grandfather beat up my Great-Grandmother too. My entire family history is a trail of terrible marriages, and yet I had the indecency, the sheer stupidity to write - as a what, thirteen year old girl? - that I believed in true love.

 Because now I know better. I sat and watched a film on Wednesday called Beastly. I haven't read the book (I kind of got sick of the whole dark romance novels after a while), but I was bored and I fancied whiling away the small hours until my Mum got in, so I stuck it on. And I enjoyed it, until the ending. For those of you who don't know, Beastly is the tale of a beautiful, popular boy who is cursed by Kendra, a crazy teen-witch, into becoming ugly - all scars and weird black marks and all that jazz. Anyway, she tells him that unless he finds a girl to tell him she loves him in a year or something, he'll have to stay that way forever. And so, he does. Like any true Hollywood film, he gets the girl, she tells him that she loves him, and he returns to his beautiful self. Huzzah. (Apologies to anyone who was planning on reading/watching it, but surely you could have seen where it was going anyway?).

And this is what bugs me. Society depicts these incredible whirlwind romances, that seemingly crop up out of nowhere, but I simply don't believe them anymore. All that right time, right place; eyes meeting across a crowded room rubbish that we all cling too is pathetic

Moreover, what about the AVERAGE people? Average people with average lives and average faces to match. Beastly was meant to be about seeing past the ugliness and falling for the person within: and yet in the end they just both end up being as beautiful as ever. When was the last time you sat down to watch a film about average people? And I don't mean average characters, we get them all the time. I read One Day, and in the book, the main character is slightly podgy at times, wears square glasses and cuts her hair badly. And in the film, it was played by the drop-dead gorgeous Anne Hathaway. How is that right? I want a love story about AVERAGE PEOPLE. I don't want another ridiculous romantic-comedy about two people kissing in the rain or exclaiming their feelings to one another with passion glinting in their eyes; dripping in beauty product and designer clothes.

I'm not beautiful. I'm plain and bland and cripplingly average at times. There are so many girls like me all over the world, and yet we are forced to watch and drool and swoon over the far-fetched love affairs of the Beautiful Ones. The plain girl falling for the gorgeous boy. The out-of-his-depth guy making it with the beautiful cheerleader. Well I say enough is enough. I think we Averages deserve a love story of our own - a love story that does not need beautiful faces or manicured fingers or overly manufactured dialogues to make us believe in true love.

My biology teacher said something to my class once.

"Beautiful people are attracted to beautiful people. Ugly people are stuck with ugly people. It is how the human brain works. Ugly people settle, because sub-consciously they know they can do no better."

 I remember feeling really angry when he said that. But all of a sudden, I am suddenly terrified he might have been right. 




 

21 Nov 2012

Greener Pastures.

Greener Pastures is a place for dead people. We still walk and talk and breathe, but we are not alive, not anymore. Death has already lured away our disturbed, broken souls; even if he is yet to prise away our bodies from this earth. Like nomads, we walk the earth, searching for a place to call home, until our imminent departure steals us away. Greener Pastures is our final resting place, if you will, our final destination before the inevitable end.
    I have been here for four months and twenty-eight days. I could tell you how many hours, how many minutes, how many seconds, but I doubt you’d care. Very little people are interested - they’d just say I had too much time on my hands, which would be right. I have so much time to spare and nothing to do to fill it. Unless you count therapy. Art therapy, group therapy, physical-activity therapy, counseling therapy. It’s such a horrible word, therapy. The “-py” ending is like a sucker punch to what began as a deflated sigh. A nasty ending that nobody was expecting.
    I am not writing this as a means of enjoyment. I am writing this as means of therapy. Cramming words onto a page in order to feel better. Stuffing emotion after emotion down the reader’s throat like there is no tomorrow. Dull, meaningless garbage, that’s probably what you’re thinking. And you’re right - that’s exactly what this is. The irrelevant ramblings of a girl who is spoon-fed pity, and deemed unfit to enter the world of reality alone.
    My councilor, Judie, thinks this is a good idea. I think she is wrong: but what you should know about therapy is that it is a dictatorship. You sit, and you listen patiently, as your therapist dictates how you should live and tells you how you should feel. Like a puppet on a string, we weep when we are told to weep and smile when we are told to smile. Anyway, Old Jude says I need to release some of my thoughts and feelings onto paper, let people know how I really feel.
    So I’ll tell you how I feel: numb.
    Numb is a pretty horrible word too, come to think of it. Sort of nasally, like you’ve come down with the flu and can’t quite finish what you are saying. It would be better if it was “numble”, with a proper snappy ending. Like bumble or trundle or stumble. I’m telling you now: if I told you I was feeling numble, it would mean I was feeling ten times better than numb.
    Numbness is pretty common around here. Seemingly it is a human survival mechanism; when we are supposed to feel pain or anger or hurt, we replace it with numbness, to try and protect ourselves emotionally. I wonder if it is the numbness that has killed the people who live here. Perhaps we have all overdosed on numbness; surpassed our daily fix of numbness; become so focused on ignoring the pain that we didn’t realize it was killing us, softly and quietly.
    Here at Greener Pastures, we are all Friends. Friends with a capital F. Be glad we’re not Buddies with a capital B, because buddies is a terrible word that should only be used in sincerely sarcastic conversations or dated period dramas on the telly. There were six of us in total, until today, when our New Friend brought our numbers up to seven. Isn’t it incredible that I am yet to know or even meet the newest recruit, and I can already tell that he is my "Friend"? The magic of dictatorship, Exhibit A.   

   



9 Aug 2012

Defining Humans, Part 2

They entered a long, seemingly endless corridor - silent, completely silent, shut off entirely from the hive and buzz of activity in the balcony behind them. Their footsteps echoed on the freshly scrubbed, highly polished, linoleum tiles. The Prime Minister watched in awe as the fluid figure of Professor Frost glided, effortlessly, down the corridor, passing doorway and doorway - who knew what wonders, what tantalising wonders, lay within the darkened rooms beyond?

“Your men will not accompany on us in our visit to the vicinity.”

“You mean - but I - I need them!” The security personnel who had followed them into the corridor mumbled their agreements - though even they seemed diminished and embarrassed in front of the Professor.

“I assure you, Prime Minister, no harm will come to you if you enter with me. Leave us.” The professor swatted the air as if swatting an irritating fly, and the security officials - casting one last wavering glance in the Prime Minister’s direction - hurried from sight. “This door, Mr Prime Minister.”

“Yes, yes. Alright.”

Bustling forward, the Prime Minister passed through the door. They had entered a stair well - the smell of cleaning detergent made his eyes water, catching in his throat. Letting the door swing shut behind him, the Professor took the steps two at a time, clearly wanting to the get this tour over and done with as quickly as possible. The Prime Minister couldn’t help feeling the same way - his previous feelings of excitement, worry, and fear, and cascaded into an abyss, leaving a mere cold desire to leave this underground, cavernous Unit 13, and return to the world where his security personnel showed no sign of cowardice; where time stopped, elections didn’t matter, and he was forced to bow down to a God, a physical, living God. A God with electric blue eyes and the manner of someone with a whole world at his fingers; of someone on the brink of discovering the greatest wonder of the world…

“Life.” Professor Frost’s voice had changed now. Far from the crisp, mocking tones of upstairs, on the balcony, they where now filled with pride in his greatest accomplishment. Like a father boasting his son’s greatest achievement. “It is imperative, Prime Minister, that you understand that that is what we are working towards, here in Unit 13. Nothing more, nothing less, than life. Many think we have reached life’s limits - that life’s limits, perhaps, are unable to widened, broadened, as everything else has. That life cannot be improved. That life is merely life - an endless cycle, of reproduction, of birth, of trials and tribulations, of pain - both physical and emotional - met only by the inevitable end.
   
“I, for one, disagree. I believe that life can be improved; and could have been improved, at a time much earlier than this, if it had not been for fear. A simple, yet undeniable human feeling that keeps us from pushing forward, pushing onward, to our goals. Tell me, Mr Prime Minister, why can man not run forever?”

“I - um - pardon?”

“Fatigue, dear sir. He would grow tired. His muscles, his tendons, would seize up. He’d crave sleep, rest. Food in his belly, water to quench his dry pallet. I ask you this, Prime Minister, why can man not lift mountains?”

“I - well - because they’re heavy,” The Prime Minister said rather lamely.

The Professor nodded. “Because man is too weak. It cannot sustain such weights. Correct.”
   
The Prime Minister felt a faint glow of pride - which he quickly dampened. This was not some class, the Professor was not his teacher, whom he wished to impress. He cringed as he realized how he followed the man: lapping up his words, bouncing on his heels, like an excited, shamefully loyal puppy.

 “And, lastly, Mr Prime Minister-” The Professor said, as they finally reached the bottom of the stairs and a single pair of double doors - not frosted, like the ones upstairs, but steel-blast metal, with a complex looking mechanical locking system. There was a hum of noise, a flash of purple light that made the Prime Minister start, and the whites of his eyes burn. There was a clatter as bolts pushed back, as the computer recalled his retinas from that they had scanned earlier - and from the Professor’s, which it had seen countless times before. “-why can man not live forever?”

 The doors slid open. The Prime Minister was too in awe, to shocked and stunned and simply terrified, to reply. So the Professor answered his own question for himself.

 “-because man is weak, Mr Prime Minister. Mankind has it’s flaws. Flaws, which, this project, my project, seek to iron out -” He took another great, impressive pause, “I give you, Mr Prime Minister, the next generation of mankind…The next stage of human evolution… The twenty-first-century super-beings.”

The Prime Minister’s jaw hung open at the Professor’s words. Did this man mean to say…Surely he couldn’t be insinuating that…

The Professor led the way, the Prime Minister stumbling and mumbling incomplete sentences after him. The atrium seemed even larger than it had, up in the balcony. It was impossible to see the glass fronted lab room from down here, on the creamy atrium floor. Only now did the Prime Minister notice the stairs that twisted around the room, slanting up, high into the distant ceiling. And lining these walkways, he saw, where metal-barred doors. He was reminded of one of the prisons he’d visited, a few months previous, with the Minister of Defence.

“They - they are in there? In those rooms?”

“They go into their private rooms only at night. Of course, it is not necessary for them to sleep. They are awake and alert twenty-four-seven, after all. However, it is good to give them peace, quiet, time to reflect on the day.”

“So where are they now?”

“Training. Would you care to see them? I think you will be mightily impressed.”

“Eh, well - I don’t want to waste your time - obviously you are very, very busy here -”

“Not at all. We promised you a tour, did we not?” The Professor said lightly, eyes glinting fiercely. “Come along.”

They passed through the deserted atrium and through a pair of huge elaborate doors. Made from tiny panels of glass - mere shards, really - as the light shone on them, it was as if they had been carved from quartz - the light shining and reflecting on every tiny piece. As if sensing the presence of the Professor, they moved open easily, into the room beyond. There certainly wasn’t any doors in the House of Commons that opened merely at the Prime Minister’s glance…

This room, the room they entered, couldn’t have been more different from the atrium. The abrupt change left the Prime Minister breathless - as if all the air had just been knocked out of him, replaced by a searing stitch. It was much less a room, much more a cave. The dark, jagged rock from the lift shaft replacing the smooth, marble walls of the atrium, stalactites hanging like great fangs over their heads. Security lights sent great pools of yellow light rippling across the cavernous, harsh walls. A metal walkway ran the length of the ceiling, for observation, it seemed. The Professor gazed lovingly down over the cave floor, and the Prime Minister - white-knuckled fists clutching at the freezing cold railings - peering into the dark abyss, suddenly saw why.

 It was unlike anything he had ever seen. His eyes almost leapt from his sockets, as they desperately tried to eat it all up at once. With leathery, looping vines; the heavy, fragranced scent; and huge, exotic flowers bursting from the dense foliage that poured in on either side of the walkway… It would seem that they had entered an underground rainforest. And yet -

“How is this possible?” The Minister said - a strange, hollow feeling expanding in his stomach, as he finally made sense of what he was seeing.

For this was no ordinary rainforest - far stranger, than just a rainforest hidden beneath the ground. For unlike the rainforests that span the banks of the Amazon - the heaving lungs of the earth, the burning fire in life’s very belly - this, with it’s cold stillness, was the epitome of science’s sinister heart. Whilst any other hub of Mother Nature’s would be bursting with colour - fiery reds, glorious pinks, luscious greens; the forest filled with the cries of birds, the hurrying of the mammals, and the pitter patter of the tiny, bejewelled insects, scurrying across the forest floor. Here, a deathly, artificial silence filled the air. Even the scent - which the Minister had, at first, taken as purely natural, now had the clinical sting of human interference, that reminded him of cleaning detergent and long, endless hospital corridors.

The leaves were moulded from copper - freakishly beautiful: spidery veins lit in the harsh yellow light. The tree trunks, their bulky frames and towering forms, were replicated with steel, covered in ragged bronze bark. The vines, he noted, where actually links of tightly knotted silver loops. And the flowers - the ornate, beautiful flowers - where formed with folds of brittle gold, of freezing silver, the stamen tipped not by mellow pollen, but with lifeless diamonds and cruelly cut emeralds.

They might have stood there for hours, drinking up the scene. Time stood still in this soulless, empty place. The Minister wanted to say something - anything - to break the silence, but he couldn’t think of anything to say. The Professor, lost in thought, it seemed, was scanning the forest with a small, playful smile on his lips, watching like a proud parent over a park playground.

“S-so where, where are they?”

“Oh but Minister, tell me you have seen them? They are there, in the forest, over there - look!”

The Minister concentrated, forced his eyes to see past the maddening, the unreal, landscape and to sought out any human forms within. But nothing - nothing at all. He frowned, leaning forward, so his nose brushed against one of the drooping, heavy leaves. Once or twice, he thought he saw a fleeting shadow, but otherwise, the rainforest remained empty to his untrained eyes.

“Right there,” Professor Frost whispered, “Right in front of you.”

And then he saw the human. Crouched on a low hanging branch. Freakishly still, inhumanely well balanced. It would be insanity not to note the boy’s beauty, but more insane still not to notice the devilish gleam in his eye, the dangerous animal that stirred within him. His waxen skin had never seen sunlight - deathly pale and ghostly, hanging like an immortal spectre, suspended in the air. Thick coiling muscles - emotionless, empty stare. And the eyes - oh the eyes where the worst of all - two pale silvery orbs, without colour, without feeling, staring back at the Minister, examining him. The human was completely bald, dressed in a black jumpsuit - he was, once more, reminded instantly of the prisons he’d visited, Up Above.

A question suddenly bubbled up within him. “And do they get breaks? Do they get free-time?”

The Professor shot him a somewhat disgusted glance. “They do not need it.”

“But do they get it?”

“As I told you, at night they get time to relax, to go over the day’s events.”

“Locked in cells.”

“Private quarters,” The Professor snapped. He turned to the beast, eyes narrowing. “This one appears to be slacking - you have caught him off guard, Minister. You are not seeing them at their best, I am afraid.”

With a sharp, brittle snap, the air seemed to stiffen, and the creature fell from
his perch, twisting in agony through the air, a strange, sickening yowl bursting from his throat; before gracefully looping himself around a hanging vein, and swinging off, into the distance.
   
“What the -?”
   
The Minister turned to the Professor, searching for an explanation, and finding it in the hand of his tour guide.
   
“You tazered him? For standing still?”
   
“He does not need to stay still, Prime Minister.”
  
 “But that doesn’t mean he -”
 
  Frost’s eyes zoned in on the Prime Minister’s pupils, his features suddenly distorted by the fury that seemed to be rippling through his body. “This is a highly complex experiment, Minister. Please do not embarrass yourself by trying to enforce your authority and little intellect upon me. Come - I have more to show you.”

2 Aug 2012

Another Story...

So I have come to the conclusion that the only way I can beat this Writer's Block is to try and break into other genres, stepping away from The Story That Will Not Be Mentioned. I tried before, with Time and How Best To Waste It (which I'm continuing with, although I have no idea where it is headed), and now I have a second attempt,  Defining Humans. I have a little more idea about this one - but I am determined not to put too much pressure on it.

I got the idea from the gene-doping scandal that was shrouding the Olympics over the weekend. This is just the beginning, it's pretty much a solid start, I promise it gets more exciting, but I didn't want to make it too long, because I have been known to do so! 
I have been religiously following the Olympics - my Mum working full-time over the holidays and my sister out with her boyfriend, Kenny, most of the time, leaves me in my own company a lot, which doesn't really bother me. However, the Olympics has been getting me through any tedious, bored stupors. Yesterday, my best friend Megan came over, and we donned face paints and stick-on tattoos to cheer on Bradley Wiggins... Yes, that is what Fala Dam will bring you too, I am afraid.

Anyway, I'll leave you this story, now, Chris Hoy is on soon!

Lots of love,

Sarah xx

______________________________________________________

Defining Humans (Part 1)


The Prime Minister, at that moment, was feeling a cocktail of emotions - all fizzing and bubbling away inside him: intoxicating, near-childish excitement; mixed with the politician inside him, stern and passive, trying not to give too much away, fretting on the public’s reaction - should it break out - and what the opposition’s take would be on this monumental occasion - if such news was to fall into their scavenging hands. And then there was fear. The haunting presence of that dark-eyed, gaunt-faced creature, breath cool and chilled on the back of his neck. Fear of the unknown, fear of things out of his control.

 His security personnel loaded their rifles; their sub-zero guns snapping hungrily, like starved piranha, eager for the kill. There was five men in total, all dressed in crisp, immaculate suits; black-out sunglasses hiding their eyes from view. Their skin was waxen in the dim, strip-lighting that fizzed and popped above their heads. The carriage gave another ominous rattle. They continued to sink lower and lower into the infinite darkness.

They had been moving at this same, grinding pace for what seemed like an age. The lift was shaky and unstable; creaking and clanking as it made it’s way down a narrow gouge, a roughly cut cylinder, in the harsh rock of Mother Earth’s very flesh. It seemed like so very long ago that they had began their dismount. Entering one of the many government-funded laboratories, mumbling something about fighting pollution to the many journalists crowded outside. They had been led through a number of labs, the director pointing out this and that, working them up to the main event. This: the lift - the shaft into oblivion - into the future.
    
With an even louder clamor, one that rung in his eardrums as if a gong had just been sounded, the lift finally - remarkably - came to a shivering halt. The door hissed open, revealing a concrete platform at which guards dressed in navy jumpsuits, with threatening guns at their hips and ammunition strung around their bodies as frivolously and abundantly  as tinsel on a Christmas tree.  Even his security personnel look affronted: it was very unusual for the Prime Minister’s guard to come across anyone, anyone at all, which more threatening weaponry and outfits to them.

   A small, frankly bored looking man stood waiting for them. He was dressed in a shabby, out of date suit, and appeared to have a coffee stain on his shirt. His hair was patchy and his belt struggling to reign in his vast belly. Nevertheless, he waddled towards them bravely, almost out of breath by the time he reached the lift - some two metres from where he had been standing previously.
    “Good afternoon, Mr Prime Minister,” The man said, the Prime Minister rightfully detecting a slightly mocking tone beneath his sickly, bitter sweet smile. Labour, the Prime Minister decided rather aggressively, He isn’t one of mine, for sure.
   
“Good afternoon, Mister -?”
  
 “Poe. Mr Poe, sir.”

 “Right you are,” the Prime Minister nodded, rubbing his hands together. The temperature had dropped heavily. He was rather looking forward to getting inside - if only to get out of the icy air and away from the terrifying guards.

   “Well, sir, welcome to Unit 13,” Poe huffed. “A Unit priding themselves in taking the greatest leaps forward in science, to date.”

   The Prime Minister nodded, rocking back on his heels and smiling placidly back again. Poe sounded terribly bored and unenthusiastic. As if he had recited this speech a hundred times before and wasn’t going to attempt any gusto - no matter who’s company he shared.
 
  “Unit 13 numerous lab-workers and scientists live on site, here in our facility, so we have a twenty-four-hour watch on events. Our guards here are only precautionary - both to ward off any enemy territories trying to infiltrate our work, and to keep events within the Unit hazard-free for all who work here. I assure you that you are in no harm, here at Unit 13, Mr Prime Minister.

    “Now,” Mr Poe said, rather huffily, “If you’d like to follow me inside, I can introduce you to Unit 13 Head Professor, Julian Reginald Frost, who will accompany us on our tour through the facility. I am sure that you will be thoroughly impressed, Mr Prime Minister, by our findings.”

And without another word, Mr Poe marched forwards, towards the frosted glass doors that slid open to reveal an inner anti-chamber. It was a far cry from the dark, roughly cut black rock, and the frosty air: here, they had entered the warm embrace of human comforts. Comfortable, plush furniture was arranged around a vast hall, where a reception desk stood at the far end, whilst a huge water fountain played in the very centre. As they drew closer, the Prime Minister’s eyes worked out the sculpture within the gushing water: a vast, imperial looking horse, standing on it’s hinds in the classic warhorse pose, it’s front hooves raised valiantly in the air, as if about to strike. Every coiling muscle, it seemed, had been enhanced by the sculptor - huge rippling coils, spanning across the horse’s magnificent body.

    Reaching the reception desk, they where talked through security protocols, he was subjected to a retina scan and thumb-print test, before  being led through another set of frosted glass doors, both stamped with Unit 13’s apparent crest: the same, muscular stallion; encircled by the phrase, “Through mind, comes might.”

    They had entered, it had seemed, the pulsating heart of the great beast that was Unit 13. A huge glass balcony, gazing out over a gigantic atrium that spanned far and wide, an atrium - he decided - that must have been the size of a cathedral, at the least. It looked awfully clinical down there; though there was seating areas, clusters of exotic plants, and large flat-screen televisions suspended from the walls - though they showed no signs of entertainment, merely the same logo of the horse, entwined by those same, strangely chilling words.

    Yet whilst down there, in the atrium, not a soul but the navy-clad guards breathed, the balcony was a hive of activity. Endless scrolls of green digit, seemingly meaningless data on computer monitors. Workers passing to and fro, eyes bright with newfound knowledge. A constant reel of voices from the surround-sound speakers hastily quoted times and dates and important notes that simply washed over his head. The Prime Minister was astounded - if his secretary showed half as much efficiency, that dratted filing would be done in no time.

    “Professor, Professor!” Mr Poe called, ushering a man over from a hurried conversation with a young, professional looking woman. The man paused mid-sentence, turning to face the Poe; the Prime Minister; and his entourage.

    He nodded, leaving the girl to her own devices and then hastened over to them. He was a man of purpose, the Prime Minister could tell, just from the way he walked. He was dressed in a pristine white lab coat, a pair of half-moon spectacles swung about his neck on a black cord. He had sporadic white hair, that stuck up at all ends, as if he had just been electrified. His vibrant blue eyes, too, seemed to crackle with energy. He might’ve been in his late fifties, though still young at heart it would seem, and still with a hugely active mind.

    “Poe, you didn’t tell me we where expecting visitors.” His voice was neither cold nor accusatory, though the man Poe - who the Prime Minister had begun to think had no respect for authority whatsoever - suddenly looked cautious.

    “Well I - I know you are busy sir - I am, I am sure I sent you a - eh - memo, the other day, Professor…”

    The Professor nodded, “How sure? In a percentage, perhaps?”

    Poe almost choked on his own tongue, his face turning a violent shade of purple. “I - um - numbers have never quite been my, eh, strong-point, Professor. You know me, I’m a - a more of a - practical sort of guy.”

    “Well then, you must be the most impractical practical sort of guy I have ever had the pleasure of coming across, Poe,” the Professor turned from his dejected colleague and, finally, to the Prime Minister himself, who was rather disgruntled at not being addressed first. “Mr Prime Minister, how good of you to visit. However, I am afraid you’re visit has caught me quite off guard - had I known of your arrival, I’d have rolled out the red carpet, so to speak.”

    Though he seemed completely polite - another doting political fan, on paper - once more, the Prime Minister detected something hostile, something sarcastic, about another member of Unit 13 staff. They seemed particularly full of themselves, as if such big-shot brainiacs needn’t care with such trying, insignificant things as Prime Ministers coming to inspect their establishments.

    “Well, never mind that,” The Prime Minister said, injecting a note of coldness into his words. “How about the tour?”

    “Oh, the tour,” the Professor said, shooting another accusatory glance at Poe. “I am afraid I didn’t realize we where running on an itinerary.”

    “I was promised a tour, to be accompanied by yourself.”

    The Professor’s looks, once so deceivingly pleasant, suddenly darkened, “Mr Prime Minister, this is my Unit. This is my investigation. Any visitor to this Unit - scheduled or otherwise - is my responsibility. Within these walls, there are things that would blow your mind; scare you witless; and extract every tendril of happiness within your veins. Within these walls, are some of sciences greatest advances and mankind’s greatest fears. And so I must make it very clear, that, sir, with all due respect, sir, Prime Minister or not - I will call the shots here, for both yours, mine, and my fellow workers safety. Is that clear?”

Ushering the man forward, like a teacher guides a lagging pupil, Professor Frost leads the way. The posse troop after the Prime Minister, who stumbles forth, trying desperately to match the Professor’s vast strides - crossing the room in one, two, three steps, the crowds of workers, adorned in the same white coats, hurrying out of Frost’s way, but acting as if the Prime Minister was not there - buffering him side to side, nudging him with their elbows, scowling down at him like he was an annoying toddler, misbehaving, getting under their feet. Immature, childish, na├»ve. Part of him wanted to scream at their ignorance. Another, far stronger part of him, wanted to burst into tears and turn and flee this strange, foreign place. He acted on neither human impulses - and merely soldiered through, through the pushing and shunting crowds, following the white-haired, impressive man who walked ahead - his tall, strong silhouette lit by a most ghostly, glittering half-light. The Prime Minister was suddenly, and quite clearly - crisply - brilliantly, as if he was staring through a telescope lens,  he envisaged this man, dressed in a billowing white robe, his silvery hair swept from his temples by a wreath of gold. The messiah of unbelievable knowledge. The saint of untold secrets. The leader of a nation that lived beneath the earth; a chosen few who chose a life of intricate science, over a world of meaningless insignificance, of passing through life like a ghost passes through reality. Not truly there - no substance, no spark.

    Realization came to the Prime Minister, paralyzing him on the inside, leaving him feeling strangely detached from his own body. He, the Prime Minister, might be leader of Great Britain for a couple of year, but down here, this man would be leader - king - for a lifetime. No wonder they treated the Prime Minister like a silly, troublesome nuisance. He had been elected from ballot papers - meaningless slips of paper. This man, this professor, had been elected to the highest of pedestals by a different method: respect. Respect in the lessons learned and the lessons still to come. Respect in the words he spoke and the actions he took. Respect for the new generation, for the next step in mankind - that he had envisioned, he had created, he had mastered.

   

   
   
 
   
   
   


   
   
   
   
   
   

29 Jul 2012

Time, And How Best To Waste It.


 First and fore most - THE OPENING CEREMONY! Personally, I thought it was amazing - I loved the fact that it told a story, and totally grasped what it is like to be British. More than anything, however, I loved the Children's literacy part. J K ROWLING WAS THERE! I almost burst! The cauldron was fantastic, too. I loved how it was a little bit different - I couldn't understand why everyone was getting so excited about it until I realized that it was truly a piece of art. I think it was nice that the show wasn't completely concentrated on flashy fireworks and stunts - I loved the simple, totally you'd-only-get-it-if-you-where-British feel too it. However, I could've done without Paul McCartney - yes, he is a music legend, I loved the Beatles, and think their music is amazing but... is it just me who feels he is a tad past it? He's sort of croaky and painful to listen too, and his weird jackets kind of make me cringe a bit... I mean, if you didn't know who he was - what he had written - how talented he had been in his hay-day - and simply closed your eyes and listened to him NOW... Well, you know what I mean. Or maybe you don't. Hey-ho, as my Granny Pat would say, it wouldn't do if we where all the same.

Now though, I've come up with an idea - an idea that could either go brilliantly well, or be a total and utter disaster. Either way - and I'm warning you now, it may well be the most atrocious piece of garbage I've ever written - I'm going to post it, because otherwise, I'm not going to move forward AT ALL. The story I mentioned yesterday is mainly dark fantasy - so I thought that I might try out some of the more emotional, real-life stuff - the kind that I wrote for my Pushkin portfolio. I'd never written that kind of stuff before the competition, it has always, mainly, been totally fictional goblins and dragons type stuff, so looking back, it was the most bizarre and stupid think to randomly put two stories forward of a genre I rarely wrote in. However, I did enjoy it (even if it was a bit depressing) so I'm going to try it out again, and see if it helps me shift this writer's block...

Wish me luck,
Sarah x
(P.S. I'm writing this in installments, different periods of time in this girl's life... I don't know where it's going, no more than you, but maybe it'll turn out alright).
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Time, And How Best To Waste It.


Karma isn’t the bitch, time is.

Karma is the belief that if someone is a bad person, in the end, they will get their comeuppance, what they deserve. Time is different, time is worse, in my opinion. Time is a relentless, overpowering force that drums on regardless - never stops, never gives you a moments rest. Time is a race, a race with no destination, it just keeps on going - and going - until you are breathless and panting and desperate to stop. Yet you will never stop. You will just keep running - and running - and running - sure that, one day, you will reach the end, you’ll finally cross that finishing line...

But you won’t.

You’ll die. Right there, on your feet. You’ll slump to the ground, a pulse less, lifeless body - crippled and wizened with age, broken and aching. You will never reach the end of time’s race - nor will your children, your grandchildren, anyone. Yet you will all run it, you will all die trying to overcome it, and yet you will never question the race’s motives, nor why you must keep running, you must keep going,why you must run this tiresome race at all.

No matter what you have done - no matter how hard you have tried in life, how hard you have worked, you will still run the race of time, and you will - inevitably - lose. No matter how good a person, you will still die on that track, still never reach the end. Karma is only for the bad in us, is only for those who deserve it. Time is a battle for us all - good or not. It is a punishment, not only for the murderous, the cruel, the deceiving - but for the good, the kind, the loving, too. And time will always triumph - time will always win. No one can beat time, just like no one can control it - manipulate it - stop it, even.

However - and perhaps this is the cruelest of time’s many feats - time can be wasted. Time can be dwindled away - hours and hours lost forever, days upon days slipping through outstretched fingers, year after year fading into a great, infinite expanse of nothingness. It is both sad and laughable - how we desperately try and claw it back when it is too late. How we concentrate all of our emotions, all of our strength, on stupid, pointless things - until, too late, we realize all that time we took on reaching a stupid, pointless conclusion, has left us with no time at all.

Observe, if you will, time - and how best to waste it.

11.39am.

There is no place more undignified to break down in aching, gut-wrenching tears than your school toilets. Trust me on that one. As I slumped there - a weak and pathetic being - clutching at the toilet bowl, drenched in sweat, eyes blurred as they stared up at the painfully bright, strip-light above me, I came to find perfect clarity:

I hate my life.

I take a gasping breath, surfacing from frothing, dark waters, the torrents grappling my body like icy hands - only for a moment, before their grasp fastens, tighter still, and I am pulled under once more. The sea is the truth, you see, and within it, I am drowning.

I really, really hate my life.

Hot tears, burning like fiery coals against my cool, pasty skin, drip down my cheeks like droplets of tar, bubbling on the tarmac streets beneath the heady, burning sunlight. I briefly wonder why, after everything that occurred this morning, why I had bothered to put on eyeliner and mascara. Was I really so painfully plastic, so disgustingly obsessed with my own reflection, that no matter how fast my world is crumbling, how heavily I have fallen from grace, I will never stop applying make-up.
My stomach gives another pulsating, coiling gurgle. I can imagine it - squirming uncontrollably, withering like snakes, taking it's time, stalking the moment, waiting to strike. Bile rises in my throat, and I hunch over, my perfectly manicured nails gripping at the porcelain bowl, my body contorted as if halfway through a terrible, and painful transformation - blood pounding in my ears - tears, pouring, faster and thicker still. I am disgusted in myself, my actions. As I vomit - God, this is horrible - I dimly hear someone squeal in horror from the sinks and hurry out the door. No doubt I’d face another anorexia rumor, now. If only - it would be far easier to face than when they finally got their hands on the truth.

Oh God, don’t remind me.

The explicit activities of last night burned in the back of my mind like a white-hot poker, searing against bare flesh. Blurred, tainted images slip through my mind, no matter how hard I try and forget them forever. The fifth empty bottle in my hand…The glance across the room at Damian Price, kissing some blonde bitch so passionately, so aggressively, that you couldn’t make out which limb belonged to who…The feeling - the desire - to avenge myself, to prove that it was his loss, and another man’s gain… The hot prickle of that boy’s eyes on the back of my neck. Examining my body like I was some piece of meat on the counter, as if I was nothing more than some biology experiment, something to pick over and probe, without needing to feel ashamed - guilty for his actions…Another bottle…Another glance at Damian Price…Now his gaze wasn’t quite as offending…Another shot…Another swig…The room is spinning, my conscience’s warning sirens fading… And then, I feel myself move - the heavy weight that is my body - stumbling towards the boy - the boy with no name, with no story. The boy who has been staring at me all night… Finally, I smirk to myself, someone who gives a damn.


27 Jul 2012

The Writer Is Dead.

Hi everyone:)

I have been trying, relentlessly, to write something decent on this for a very long time. It's not that I've got Writer's Block, as I have done so many times before, it's just that I seem to have wandered down a road where there is only one story - and one story alone - that is in my head at the moment. Banging it's angry little fists on the interior of my brain, calling out to me that I must put all of my creative juices into bringing it to life. This story began this very time last year, when I was sitting in the South of France beside the pool, letting my mind - rife with unexpected and tantalising ideas - drift through all sorts of stories and plots. And then I found something, something that got me really excited, something that made me snap out of my stupor long enough to realize that I might just have stumbled across something that could be incredible, if I got it right.

But that's the thing. I can't get it right. I have the characters perfected - with their backgrounds and life stories all planned out. I have countless settings at my disposal - all equally detailled in my mind. And yet, when I try and piece them together, it all seems to fall apart. It is the single most infuriating thing I have ever experienced, trying from different angles and perspectives, only to end up with hitting the 'Delete' button at the end of one long, hard graft. And the more frustrated I got, the more adamant that this story just wasn't going to work, the more fresh, brilliant ideas and plots and characters appeared...Only, unlike before, when all my ideas where connected to different stories, different stories COMPLETELY, these all went back to this same, one idea. So I tried, and tried, and tried, and still try to this day - because I KNOW that I could make this amazing, if I got it right. So that's why I haven't been posting - since January - actually, because I have become drunk on this one single story.

It's got me questioning wether or not I should be a writer - simply because I can't be much of a writer, if the thing I'm struggling most is the WRITING part. If I'm totally honest, I'm kind of ashamed that this has become so agonizing, so difficult. Once, I could just sit in front of a computer and write - the words would flow easily, everything would come naturally. Now, it's all stiff and awkward - and although sometimes I get bursts of the old me, and I can write fifty-or-so pages ago, I merely curse them by the end of it, after I've written long into the night, because they aren't as good - as perfect - as I want them to be. As I think this story, these characters, deserve.

So I've decided I need a culture shock - something to get my pulse racing, my mind thinking, once more. I need to go back and remember what it was that got me writing before, what started my thirst for all of this in the first place. What made that wide-eyed five year old girl, on her first day of primary school, turn to look at her Mum and say: "I'm going to learn how to write, Mummy, and then that's all I'm ever going to do".








24 Nov 2011

Amnesty International.

So recently, I've been feeling a bit...insignificant. As if, no matter how hard I try it's not really going to make much of a difference, in the grand scale of things. But I've changed my mind. What if everybody felt that way? What if nobody tried? Sure, maybe your English teacher isn't going to give you credit when you work your socks off to get a high mark in your test; or your Mum doesn't thank you for taking the dog out and locking up the chickens.

I doesn't matter what people think of you,
It matters what you think of yourself.

Well, that's what I think, anyway. Yes, you're going to get knocked down and you're going to get let down, but should that mean you should give up? Somewhere out there, in the Big Wide World, someone needs your help. Are you going to not bother to try or are you going to give it your best damn shot?

Y'know what kickstarted this? 
Amnesty International.
My RE teacher invited me and a few other friends to her Amnesty International Club, if we where interested. I'd heard about Amnesty International before, but I wasn't entirely sure what they did. But me and my friend Freya, deciding to give it a shot, went along.

It's a worldwide community fighting for human rights. You learn all about these people who're being supressed for what they believe in. Who're being imprisoned without fair trials. Who are killed in the most horrific ways just because they are who they are. And Amnesty International makes a difference. All those tiny "insignificant people" come together to make this burning ball of fire, lighting the way for people who need our help. Did you know people are stoned to death? Literally. Women are buried into the ground if they cheat on their husband, and people lob stones at them until they die. No fair trial. Half of them can't even write their own name. They can't afford to employ their own lawyer to support them, even if they do get to appear in court. There's also a human rights worker, in China, who's been put under house arrest for months, along with his wife, despite the fact she has nothing to do with his work. He depends on his sixty-something-year-old mother to provide for the house, and is unable to take his young daughter out to play in the park, or walk her to school...And this happening, in our world, right now.

Amnesty provides a voice for those who've been silenced.
One card. We've all got them. A birthday card, a get well soon card, a Christmas card. One of Amnesty's biggest campaigns involves just that...One card. Send your card to one of those prisoners, with a nice message they might not even be able to read and sign it with a name they won't remember. One, insignificant card.

But it's not insignificant.
Because those thousands of people are sending a card, too.

And now think about the cards you've been given. Your birthday card, your get well soon card, your Christmas card... How did they make you feel? That one tiny card that told you someone, out there, in the Big Wide World, cared. And now imagine thousands of those tiny sparks of light, of  belief, arriving at your doorstep. Locked away in prison for a crime you didn't commit, forced into silence when all you want is for people to hear your pleas for help...

So I'm the writer for this magazine, and I'm going to following stories of these extraordinary people that so many people want to deter. And, hopefully, I plan on sharing these stories with you guys too. Take a look at the website (Here it is...) and see for yourself. And, please, if you can spare a moment to write a card, or even starting your own Amnesty International Club (If you're feeling that inspired!) then I promise you it's worth it.

Because we're not insignificant,
Unless we really want to be...

Write soon,
Love,
Sarah xxx