By: Jasmine Laidlaw
Alex’s red hair flew around her worried face as she sprinted to the shelter of a worn down building. Her clothes were ripped and her head drooped because she had been running for hours. Her face contorted in pain as she hit the side of the building, and slithered into the sewer drain beside it. She plunged into the darkness. It had been four months since the bombings started. There was a large terrorist group that had started the bombings and constantly patrolled the city. The government had tried to send help at first but there was nothing they could do. All of France and Belgium was already in ruins and millions had been reported dead. The deadly organization built a huge wall and claimed the land to the south of it trapping the survivors inside its boundaries. Alex and her brother had lost their parents because of some of the bombings, and their house was in ruins. She and her brother were running out of food, and she had got some, but others would want the food. She had to get to her brother and help him, quick.
‘‘Jack!’’ Alex shouted into the gloom, lighting a lantern with matches. A wrinkled, yet strong and determined face came out of the darkness, and Alex shrank back into the shadows. That was not her brother. She spat on the lantern, dousing the flame. Her hair started to stand up. It was a man's face, whose beady eyes stared into the gloom trying to pick up traces of light. The man pointed his flashlights at the boxes of food that Alex had stored up. The great beast glanced around him and picked up the box. Alex heard tires above her and slowly crept behind a pipe.
Alex heard the man talking and saw a woman drop down through the hatch and help the man take the last of their life source.
‘‘We got another one,’’ The woman whispered, and disappeared with the box up the chute. Got another what? Alex wondered. The man answered her question.
‘‘Is it a boy or girl?’’ He said climbing out of the sewer.
Alex gasped and clambered over to the entrance to get a better look. They were guards, most definitely. Both soldiers wore green combat boots with green jackets and hats. The woman was restraining a little boy who couldn’t have been more than twelve, only 3 years younger than herself. Alex couldn’t quite see the boy’s face, but desperately wanted to help.
The boy dropped to the ground and started running towards Alex, who now was in the shade of the building.
Alex locked eyes with the boy, recognizing him for the first time .
‘‘Jack!’’ Alex screamed at the top of her lungs and ran towards the soldiers. ‘‘Let him go! Let him go you beasts!’’
Her nails clawed the man's cheek drawing blood as she struggled to free her brother. The woman grabbed her gun from her belt and pointed it at Jack.
‘‘Don’t move or your brother dies,’’ she said in a steady voice.
Alex immediately surrendered and stared at the monster that she saw in front of her.
‘‘Should we kill her?’’ Asked the man.
‘‘No, not just yet. She may be useful’’ The woman said keeping her green eyes locked on Jack. ‘‘Okay, get in the truck or your brother isn’t coming with us.
Alex did as she was asked, sliding in with her brother in the back seat.
‘‘What do you need us for?’’ Alex asked staring at her lap. ‘‘ Why wouldn’t you just kill us?’’
‘‘Well as you know, The Sea Of Green, or the the T.S.O.G.as we are known, have been trying to conquer the lands above England for some time now.’’
‘‘Ya, we’ve noticed,’’ Jack said looking out the window at the piles of ash and rocks that used to be part of England. The woman laughed coldly.
‘‘Well, we need more allies to completely take over the country. The government can’t do a lot about us but they are putting up an annoying amount of resistance’’ The man said, bringing the truck to a stop by the side of a building.
‘‘Alex,’’ Jack whispered, ‘‘ What if this is a good thing? We’ve been trying to get out of the city for months, and they can help us!’’
‘‘No!,’’ Alex replied, ‘‘Have you seen what they do to people?’’ They are murderers, and I can’t let you do this! If mom and dad were alive then yo-’’
‘‘Oh stop going on about that!’’ Jack exclaimed ‘‘They are dead! Now get on with your life!’’ And he followed the two soldiers out of the of the truck, and into the building.
Alex walked mutley behind him, wondering how the world had come to this.
They were given a disgusting lunch made up of sheep intestines, carved off slices of cow and beans. After lunch Jack came up to Alex in the room they were given.
‘‘You know, just because you’re older it doesn’t mean you can push me around and change my will.’’
‘‘Uh, actually it does, and I want to keep you safe from them’’ Alex replied searching the wall for a exit.Jack scrunched his eyebrows together, and started for the door. He knocked three times on the wet ,worn, wooden door. A slot opened showing a pair of green eyes.
‘‘I would like to help you,’’ Jack told the gleaming eyes, ‘‘Is that possible?’’
‘‘But of course,’’ The voice whispered. The door opened revealing two men holding a new uniform and a handgun.
‘‘Welcome to the Sea Of Green’’ The man to the right side said and Jack walked towards them.
‘‘And as for you,’’ The other man said addressing Alex, You are going to be released back into the city, and live there till you starve.You are not loyal enough to serve us.”
‘‘Jack.’’ Alex whispered hoarsely her voice filled with betrayal, as she was dragged past him. Jack kept his eyes on the floor, as the iron exit door slammed shut, separating them.Alex fell onto the dusty earth craning her neck as she watched the troops on the other side of the building set out to war. Although Alex knew it was too late to stop him going with them, she still believed her brother didn’t mean his actions. Quietly but quickly Alex followed suite.
About an hour later Alex spotted a line of glowing lanterns hang around green tents, out of the darkness. She headed for the smallest tent in the middle of the camp. Alex could Hear sobbing coming from it and peeked inside. Her brother was curled up in foetal position in the middle of the tent, tears matting his new army clothes.
‘‘Jack’’ Alex said softly, sitting down next to him.
‘‘Alex!’’ Jack gasped wiping the tears from his face, and sitting up.
‘‘ Why are you here? When they catch you they will kill you this time!’’
‘‘I’m not leaving without you,’’ Alex said sternly, grabbing his arm.
‘‘But I left you alone. I betrayed you, and our parents!’’ Jack said
‘‘I don’t care about that, you are still my brother, and I love you! I will never give up on you, no matter what you do! Now come on or we'll get caught.’’
Alex and Jack ran out of the camp and didn’t stop until they had shelter behind some rocks. They could hear shouts coming from multiple tents and lights pointing in all directions.
‘‘Now let’s get out of England,’’ Alex said turning her back on the tents. She heard a shout and turned to see a soldier pointing up at them, Alex and Jack broke into a run, the solder following behind. They jumped behind a bush at the last moment, sending to guard hurling past, moving onward into the night.
‘‘How are we going to get past guards like him?’’ Jack asked, You’ve seen the giant gate at the border, there are guards and gang personnel everywhere!’’
‘‘Well that's okay, because now you are one of those guards and they gave you a gun didn’t they?’’ Alex exclaimed, and they ran into the darkness. By morning they collapsed at the side of a looming black slab of Iron, that blocked their path.
‘‘Well here we are Jack. Scan your card quickly,’’ Alex implied, standing next to a scanner.
‘‘Here you do it Alex, you deserve this more than me’’ Jack said handing the card over. Alex swiped it and a small door swung open. On the other side there was a plain of green grass, with purple flowers dotting it. In the middle of the field there was a small village and a couple was running towards them. Government guards also rushed towards them eager to help.
‘‘Oh you poor dears! Are you okay?’’ The woman asked them.
‘‘Why don’t you stay with us for a while?’’ The man asked, ‘‘We have heard what it like in there, it must have been awful!’’
‘‘Thank You,’’ the siblings replied, ‘‘Thank you so much.’’
They then followed the people back to their little cottage, on the side of the village. In the middle of a green field, with purple flowers. Alex’s shoulders relaxed, everything seemed fine. And it was, for now.
A murderer, like a tribal herder
of sheep; with blood-stained teeth,
leaving the result of an ambitious appetite.
One can hardly find a bite of sanity.
Rather, to be a bitter heart with exclusive dreams,
replacing a soul with materialistic commodities.
Wealth and power has nothing on a life
A rhetorical behaviour that keeps repeating itself,
over and over again,
like a leaning bookshelf.
The stories in there,
Written like legends in warfare.
Tall tales of a cynic,
The criminal trials of a schizophrenic.
Possessing a spousal hand of blasphemy,
leading to conviction of tyranny.
A best friend’s love for thee.
Attempting to pursue an evil act of self deprivation,
will only enact a forbidden ability,
Only known in this situation.
Featuring a general of patience.
Someone’s counsellor in which they confide in,
but only to realize that it’s pure confinement.
Behind the great walls of an asylum.
The mental ward of a hospital.
Although, aid is continually redirecting.
Not in a victor’s favor,
But according to the pythoness still feasting.
Stakes of romance and pain.
Characteristically known as a mad-man in chains.
Prisoner of one’s own mind.
The bars to high to leap.
Just jump until sleep,
is no longer a scheduled reaping.
Made a part of a dynasty.
Washing hands from nothing, but anything.
~ Alice Stade
This guy has a point... Don't worry, the title is just that, a title. Just something to think about.
- Carlos Montoya
Paintings of the night sky are beautiful.
The way the artist paints the swirls of deep blues, and the moon lighting up the night. The way he paints the stars, all how he sees it in his own mind and oh, how they are all so different. Some see stars as small dots that trace their way into our vision, and some see them as suns on their own, giving the dark sky an aura of hope and warmth. Some draw trees, some draw mountains and some draw cities, but every single painting of the night sky is beautiful only because though we're all painting a different scape, we're all gazing at the same thing.
The cold air is still.
Melding with the reckless night
Sunlight crashes through
Middle of the road
Wandering lost and aimless
within city lines
Trees, wind, green and sun
construction, trash, gasoline.
We all stand in awe.
January 12th, 2014, a Sunday.
San Francisco International airport, approximately 4:15 pm local time.
Currently aboard United airlines flight 16something. Sandwiched between me and my mother is one of those moms who desperately wishes they were still 30 but are quite clearly over 50. The type with badly bleached hair, a small bald spot on the crown of her head, and too-tight bedazzled-pocketed light-wash jeans. She talks ear piercingly loud to her (assumedly) adult daughter on the phone; "Remember sweetie. You're most important... And then butter." ... Paula Deen, is that you?! "I know hun. It's very sad that I'll never see him that way again." That sounds pretty personal to be talking this loudly about on an almost-full flight, I thought to myself. "I mean, next time I see you he's not going to be a puppy anymore." Oh. "Make sure you 'instagram me' lots of pictures of him so I can watch him grow up. Yes. Haha. Make a Butter-blog." I have concluded that Butter is the name of the dog. Unsurprisingly American. My mom reaches over the lady's lap to pass me my turkey wrap with a good 8 inches to go before she would even skim her spray-tanned nose with her hand. The lady dramatically dodges my mom's distant fist by forcefully pushing her head into her headrest, pausing on the phone as if to emphasize how much of a minor inconvenience we were to her, resulting in a beautifully unflattering triple-chin. A physical hyperbole. To my delight, my chapstick was somewhere in my mom's purse, which means I got to see that triple chin three times. That's a satisfying 9 chins in less than 10 minutes! "Okay honey, happy birthday. I love you. And Butter." Minutes later she pulls out her 2014 planner. Last Thursday's slot has "Butter = Everything better" written in it. Today's has "Angela's Birthday", as if she might forget. I then had the pleasure of watching her angrily tap every square inch of her iPhone screen BUT the on switch as she tried to turn on airplane mode, before giving up and powering down. Dog people.