Sunday, December 30, 2012


By Zo'Tomana:

Change It

Warnie slowly crept downstairs. He couldn’t believe what this guy had dared do at this time of year, the traitor, dictator, ‘cool dude’. If he had his way, there would be a different tune being sung right now among his friends, but this guy just couldn’t let the song change. Warnie slid a long, thin knife from out his sleeve as he crouched over his target.
            “Wake up!” he shouted, bringing a hard fist across his target’s face. Warnie shoved the waking writer at the computer on the desk. “Change it!”
            “Change what?” the writer dabbed blood from his nose with his hand, his eyes still unfocused from waking up.
            “Change the theme! We do NOT want to write about Christmas AGAIN!”


By Alex Humva:

It was with small steps she walked across the snow. She placed every foot in front of her with simple, cautious, grace. The twilight lit sky had vanished by now, replaced with the crisp clean light of a moon and the stars. The tranquility of the moment defied description, instead choosing to simply exist, rather than confine itself to simple human understanding. She truly knew peace, out here where no one ever looked. Knew peace from the rest of the corrupt world around her.
She laid down, her soft velvet lined coat sinking into the snow. She hardly noticed the cold that was starting to come through her boots. She stared up at the stars with wonder and envy, imagining what it must be like to be one, to always be a beacon of light. Perhaps they were angels, sent from heaven to shine in the night. If only she could know one. She closed her eyes, wishing.

Instead of an angel though, she was greeted with memories. Memories of a cozy room, of her and her friend. They had always been the best of friends, and that night, she went to his house. It was Christmas Eve, and she might of drank some of the more potent egg nog before going over. She truly felt at home with him, but his parents didn't see it that way. They had come in, and... she cringed at the memory. So much screaming. She went to her parents, and they had little more to say. So she left her house, to the place where she truly knew peace. Came here and reflected on what exactly the holidays meant. Reflected on what exactly her life meant.

Her coughing broke her train of thought. She stood, still coughing, wondering why she truly came here. She slipped her hand into her coat, feeling the cold metal of a gun barrel. Silently, she took off her scarf, her hat, her coat, her boots. Soon she was dressed lightly, modestly but certainly not suitable for this sort of weather. She closed her eyes once more, feeling the cold metal in her hands. Finally, she let a breath out, firing into the ice beneath her.

Her ears were too numb at this point to hurt as the sound went off. She instantly fell through, sinking rapidly into the icy water. With no air in her lungs she sank quickly, the water rapidly sapping all heat out of her uninsulated body. She smiled, though, even as death began its gentle embrace. She didn't panic, didn't shake as her body reflexively gulped in the lake water. She just smiled, knowing that she was going somewhere else. Somewhere where she'd be joyous. Somewhere where she could celebrate Christmas.


by Peach 00:

The smell of a fresh pine tree made her smile. The dazzling red and green ornaments hung on every branch, the stockings hung on every window in the house, and the presents underneath the tree. The dancing firelight in the fireplace warmed her while she gazed at the flickering lights intertwined around branches on the Christmas tree. There were the delicate glass snowflake-shaped ornaments hanging at the top of the tree, while surrounding them were simplistic scarlet-red and emerald-green ornaments.

It was 3 A.M., and Brenda Hamilton couldn't sleep. She was surprising herself as it was – she was eighteen years old, and she was excited about Christmas for the first time in years. She chuckled to herself, remembering the previous year or two when she was your typical Christmas scrooge. But this year, something was different. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but it made her enjoy the holiday spirit more than ever.

She walked around her house for a moment. In the living room, the seven foot tall pine stood in the living room, with a small amount of presents positioned underneath it. Special ornaments hung on the tree, specifically a few slightly strange but still wonderful ones. One of the first ones she noted was the Tinker Bell ornament at the top of the tree – she remembered her family buying it on a trip to Disney World. Tinker Bell was one of her favorite Disney characters, and she practically begged her parents to buy it for her. She smiled to think it had really be eight years ago that she had last went to the amusement park.

She had outgrown all those childhood things…Barbie dolls, crayons, and everything being pink. She was grown-up, and had gone straight to perfume and make-up and finally driving and owning her own car. Next year she was prepared to go to college – it was such a strange thing to think that she had really grown up that fast.

She took a sip of her hot chocolate and savored the beverage temporarily. She continued to gaze at the Tinker Bell ornament; the short dress sparkled emerald green for a moment when the firelight hit it just right. She took another long sip of her hot chocolate as she gazed at the scarlet and gold embroidered stockings on the walls.

Brenda began to smile more when she realized that there were some things you never outgrow, specifically Christmas, and perhaps for her even Tinker Bell. With that last thought in mind, she went back to bed, turned on her favorite television show, and waited for Christmas day to arrive.


By Nick/Zarayna:

     “I thought you would not come,” I say stonily, my eyes fixed on the man walking in the door. He pauses and snorts.
     “To your mass? I would never.”
     I raise my eyebrows slightly, but say nothing, turning away. One in the morning is not a time for arguments over religion.
     “Where are you sleeping?” I say over my shoulder. This man, a cousin of mine, is a rather renowned couch-surfer.
     “I thought I’d see how a rectory bed feels.”
     “Very well. There are ten bedroom, and I think a few are still usable. Good night.”
     Not very charitable of me, I know as I stalk up a flight of stairs to my room, calling over my shoulder, “guest rooms are on the third floor,” but I really don’t have the patience for much else. 1 Am on Christmas morning, my fifth Christmas as a priest, and this man has to show up. Some things are hatred, others are paranoia, but others are quite sensible.
     Do I feel angry with my cousin? Yes. His reputation has been smeared in the mud more than once; few people are willing to take him in for the night, as he has a history of thievery especially from benefactors. Some say he likes to get violent, others that he owns at least one gun. He detests religion in general, but my Church in particular. Still, I guess he figured that blood runs thicker than water and that as a priest I’m bound to be charitable. He was right, unfortunately. I can’t refuse a person like that. Hopefully I’ll wake up in the morning with little or nothing missing. I sigh as I reach my room; already the morning hours and I have to still say Compline. I open my breviary to the right page, already murmuring the opening words before my eyes land on the page. Always a temptation to rush through it and go to bed, but now for once I have something to pray for.
     Christmas is on a Wednesday. Technically I should say Sunday’s night prayer, but I don’t feel like it. God will forgive my irregularity, I figure as I begin to murmur the 30th Psalm. My legs feel tired, and I sit down on my bed. By the end of the first Glory Be I’m on my back, trying to keep my eyes open.
     “Into your hand, Lord, I commend my spirit,” I murmur, the last thing I’m aware of.


     The man slipped up the rectory stairs, silently. His face under the grey hoodie was blank, but his eyes flitted around, and he winced at every creak. The stairs in this old structure were warped, and looked like something out of the 19th century. His hand slipped to the knife in his pocket, and he looked resolutely at the doorway at the top.
     His car was in the driveway outside, old, uncomfortable, and cold. It would have been safer for his cousin if he had stayed in it. It had been a year since anyone had let him sleep in a bed, even moe since most of his family had deigned to speak to him. The priest was the flower of their family. He had taken him in. The hospitality did not serve to conflict the man about what he was going to do, it only served to spur him on.
     He pause in the hallway, looking up and down. At first the line of doors was intimidating, but only one was open, and out of it came the soft glow of a lamp. Was the priest still awake? He moved forwards, pausing at the door. Peering in, he saw, lying across the unmade bed the form of the priest, opened breviary still in his hand. He was snoring gently.
     “Someone couldn’t stay up through prayer time,” the man murmured, stepping forward and drawing his knife.
    Perhaps it was the loose board his foot trod on more heavily than usual. Perhaps it was God or His angel, but the eyes of the priest snapped open, and he gazed calmly at the intruder, and at his knife. There was a pause as the man froze, gazing at the now woken priest. Then he leaped forwards with a snarl.
    Something hit his square in the face, and he staggered back a step as the breviary landed on the floor. One hand clasped to his face he stepped forwards, only to have a pillow hit him. Then a black form slammed into him, and he gasped as the impact knocked the wind out of him. The priest pressed his advantage, weak from sleep through he was, grabbing the man by the front of his shirt and throwing him with all his strength. He felt something catch his fall, only to collapse. Something prickly. There was a crunch of a glass ball, and he rolled away from the fallen Christmas tree. The priest advanced, something in his hand from the bedside table. The man got to his feet to find his cousin, armed with a long, thick candlestick facing him warily. Neither said a thing; combatants are not want to talk. His guest advanced suddenly, stabbing with his knife in an attempt to gain distance. The priest stepped to one side and swung, releasing his two hand grip to hold the candlestick only with his bottom hand. The extra few inches told all, and the weapon connected squarely with his foe’s head. A second blow followed, sending the would be assassin to the ground. No sooner had his cousin hit the floor than he was seized and dragged out of the room. The priest marched him down the stairs, until they came at length to the door, opening it and thrusting his prisoner out it, the priest viewed him coldly. Then he stuck the knife that he had taken back into his cousin’s belt.
     “Get out of here. It is a present that I am not reporting this. Merry Christmas.”
     The door slammed, leaving the man standing groggily in the early Christmas morning.


Sunday, December 23, 2012


By Tekulo:

The House on the Snow

                There was a house in the middle of a large sheet of snow.  There was not a soul outside.  The windows had been boarded up and the lights were out.  The roof was in disrepair now as broken decorations littered the ground below.  The chimney had not lasted despite its valiant attempt to hold strong.  Even the icicles looming above the door seemed to creep down upon anyone who dared to visit.  The darkness of night seemed to loom over this home like a shadow cast from the scythe of the Grim Reaper himself. 

                Inside there was a family of ten all huddled together next to a fireplace.  There was no furniture inside and, despite the fire’s efforts; it still looked cold and forlorn.  There were no high spirits in this home as they knew this day was one they had dreaded for weeks.  Fear was plastered upon the face of each family member, the resemblance uncanny.  This was their end, and they knew all they could do was stay together before the angels of destruction reigned upon their poor little cottage. 

                That was when the earth began to shake.  The youngest, a little boy, tripped and fell alongside his uncle.  It was fortunate that they could not afford a chandelier for it surely would have fallen and littered the room with glass, shattered and lost in the nooks and crannies.  In every corner of the room the same sounds echoed and echoed; “creak crack, creak crack.”  That was when the roof above them was torn off. 

                This family was now facing judgment before their very god.  The first was grandmother who ascended to meet the malevolent creator.  Her head was chopped off as the rest of her body was casually tossed aside, landing right next to the little boy.  There were no screams, no tears shed from any of the family.  All they showed was the expression of fear as they each, one by one, crumbled before the wrath of god.  This was the genocide at the Gingerbread house.


By Zarayna/Nick:

The Peace of God

      Renald ran his hands through his hair, sending his mail coif falling to his shoulders and leaving his head uncovered. It was early morning and snow was softly falling into the silent and dreary camp. A smile lit the knight’s features, despite the rest of his body beginning to shiver at the unexpected cold. He drew his mantle around him, huddling against a bale of hay next to his tent. Ahead of him the bulk of the castle the army was besieging loomed, silent and still, majestic despite the inroads the attackers’ artillery had made. He supposed that if he could send his eyes closer, he could spot the sentinels walking along the ramparts, no doubt quickening their pace to keep out the cold.

     The Peace of God. He had heard much of it; the chaplain of the castle talked about this new idea frequently, and he had even heard the bishop preaching it. Right now, in the quiet stillness of that winter day he began to wonder whether or not it was truly a good idea. Certainly people were saying it was being pondered by the Pope himself, and that it might end up imposed on all Christendom.

     But could it not be made voluntarily?

     The knight sighed, wondering what the day would bring. The baron who led them was a harsh man, and even his own men at arms claimed that he feared neither God nor man; some even went so far as to say that he was excommunicated. All in all, his commander stood in sharp contrast to the Supreme Commander who had descended from the heavens over a thousand years ago to partake in the miseries of humanity. 

      It was quiet and peaceful on that Christmas morning, as the knight sat in silence, while all around him men slept while guards watched. Softly he began to hum, his eyes closing as he imagined the festivities of years ago, the high masses celebrated so solemnly in the small chapel of the castle, the feasting, it was as sharp in his memory as the peaceful bitterness of the silent camp. 

     That was not all, he knew. He could remember less earthly joys, so closely associated with the humble infant whose birth was acclaimed that they needed no riches or feasting to convey. Those, although less often desired were the most lasting, and the most piercing. Those he let dwell in his mind’s eye and in his heart now.

     He sighed, a single tear running down his cheek as he opened his eyes. This was a part of Christmas he had often missed; the silent morning, sharp and clear. There would be no celebrating this day, but he had been given his fill of rejoicing here.

     Perhaps he could not observe peace on the day of his Lord’s birth, but he could keep it in his heart all the same.


By Aimee/Aderia:

The Kinds of People Who Shouldn’t Exist

He shook the present near his ear, trying to guess what it might be. It was a box with things that shook inside. Peanuts? He ripped the paper off. A box of treats. He dared let his hopes rise.

The second was small and oblong, like a pencil case. But when he peeled it open, it was a collar with a nametag in the shape of a heart.

His eyes lit up as he turned to the largest box. It was almost half as tall as he was. It was loosely wrapped, with holes along the sides for air holes. And only one kind of present needed to breathe.

“We got a puppy!!!” He squealed, grabbing a fistful of shredded wrapping paper up in the air, and it snowed down around him.

He shredded off the wrapping paper of the last box, and the stood stocks still, hardly daring to breath. Slowly, very slowly, he reached out and placed a shy hand on the lid.

“Go ahead, son. Open it!” His mother beamed at him. Beside her, his father nodded encouragingly.

Taking a deep breath, he flipped the lid of the box off and saw…

“ITS EMPTY!!!!!” He wailed.


His own cry woke him up. But he breathed a sigh of relief. It was only a nightmare.

He reached for his glasses on the night stand, and saw the time. 6:23 AM. Conflicted, he sat in bed for thirty seconds. Finally, he decided he couldn’t stand it anymore. Usually his mother and father opened presents together, after breakfast.

But this Christmas, it had to be different. So much was at stake. He had to know if his nightmare was a reality. It was really eating at him. And besides, if there really was a puppy, it might be awake already, and very scared, wondering why it was in a box. He had to save it.

He galloped down the stairs and saw a modest pile of presents at the foot of the tree. It wasn’t until he turned on the lights that he saw what he was looking for. A large box, in snowflake wrapping paper, that was almost half as tall as he was.

But first, he dug through the other presents. He found the box that rattled, and opened it.  Treats!

Shifting through the pile, he found the oblong present. Except it was a roll of socks for his father. Embarrassed, he shoved the opened present under the sofa. He picked out the only other oblong present.

It was a collar! Small and adorable, and just right for a puppy. It had a square nametag, though, not a heart.

And finally, he turned to the large box that was half as tall as he was. Without any of the hesitation of his dream-self, he ripped the lid off and reached inside and pulled out…

“A kitten!?!” He wailed in dismay.

Dropping the kitten back in the box and slamming the lid on top, he began to cry. Not just little sniffles either.

“What? Tony, what are you doing awake so early?” His father looked at the opened presents. “What happened to our tradition?”

Tony was too distraught to answer any of his father’s questions. Between sobs and gulps of air, he howled,  “This is the worst Christmas ever!!”


By Hubert:

I really like Christmas. It's full of joy and happiness and stuff that involves lots of joy and happiness, as well as the screams of icky little children who sneeze all over their presents and demand more and more, emptying your already dead wallet and sending you into debt.

Of course, that doesn't happen to me, because I'm still too young to get a job, and I don't even own a wallet. Well, I think I do, but it's probably floating around under my bed with my library cards and a few dollar coins. I don't really need it anyway; I just store my money in my pockets because they're much easier to get to than a wallet.

But that's not really the point. The point is that it's nearly Christmas, which means I get my new Doctor Who episode with the new companion and hope she's a good one and can impress me, which will be hard seeing that they killed off the Ponds, who were really, really awesome, especially Rory, because Rory is cool.

Like bowties.

Did I just compare Rory to a bowtie? He does sorta hang off Amy, so he sorta is one.

Other than the new Doctor Who episode, there isn't really anything for me to care about on Christmas Day. I don't really need any presents anyway, and I'm not one for celebrations, but I just like the 25th because of the atmosphere, and all the money made to keep the economy rolling.

I am getting a present though; only one of course, but it's an expensive one present which I really require for my next year of schooling, especially because my current laptop (which is technically sorta my dad's) is terrible, and does not have the required specifications for the subjects I'm doing in Year 9.

Windows Vista is terrible.

Although I do wonder why they want us to get a computer with Windows 7 Professional. It's nearly impossible to buy computers with Windows 7 these days, especially with the release of Windows 8 and all that. And besides, Home Premium seems a bit more useful than Professional, which just sticks in some extra stuff that seems rather unnecessary.

Oh right, Christmas.

So yeah, I'm pretty much doing absolutely nothing for Christmas because I have absolutely nothing to actually do, other than buy a laptop for next year, which I'm probably going to do on Boxing Day anyway. But then I won't be able to go watch the Hobbit.

It's such a hard choice.

Of course, I've already gone completely off the subject, because I'm supposed to be talking about Christmas, but I always go off topic. It's like I'm designed to rebel against authority and commands and what-not.

I have no idea what I'm talking about any more.

Hopefully Christmas Day is cold though, because even I can't take another 40 degree day.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


By Hubert:

Hives are funny things. Which is pretty much all I know about them. Other than them being homes to bees and honey and pollen and whatever bees really do to provide me with pancake toppings. I also know that a 'hive mind' means that everyone's brains and thoughts are all linked together, like the Borg, only with differing levels of hostility. (Voyager ruined the Borg by the way.)

I've always really wondered what bees do in their hives, something that I lack knowledge on. I could rectify my ignorance via the use of the great Wikipedia (Thank you Joe or whatever your name is for inventing it), but I'm actually a rather lazy guy, and whenever I actually think of doing something I usually leave it to later, and completely forget about it the next morning.

I do know that all worker bees are female, probably because the queen wants to keep the competition away from her harem of male drones, but don't quote me on that, because I'm a somewhat ignorant fourteen year old teenager who really likes giant robots. I wonder if I should write a story about a civilisation of giant robots with a hive mind, although I think Hasbro has already done so before.

The bee queens (or queen bees, I have no real idea on how it's ordered), supposedly fight each other for domination over the People's Republic of the Bee Hive In Hubert's Backyard, but I have no idea if that's true either, and I don't even have a beehive in my backyard. It does sound somewhat amusing though, with two giant bees fighting each other like Mothra and Godzilla, because of just how ridiculous it really seems. In my opinion of course, I don't know about the opinions of others.

Maybe I'm confusing this with ants though, but I have no idea if ants have hives or not either. Nor do I know if termites have hives, or any other ant-looking insect species possesses hives. All I really know is that bees have hives and within those hives they make me honey, which is tasty and I can spread it over my pancakes, although I much prefer jam.

I could also spread honey over my crumpets, which looks like a hive, although I'm pretty sure some people will say that a true fan of crumpets would never use honey. I don't really care about that though, seeing that I already microwave my crumpets instead of being a traditional person and using a toaster, possibly because I don't own a toaster.

So to clarify this point again: I have no idea how hives work, other than that they give me honey. I also really like honey. I spread it on my pancakes and crumpets. I don't eat crumpets the traditional way. Therefore hives are cool.

And Voyager ruined the Borg.


By Aimee/Aderia:

“Monty! Scram, get out of here,” Jane shooed the little tabby kitten off her pale pastel quilt, but she couldn’t stop smiling. He was so cute!! The nursing home had only adopted the cat yesterday. It was Jane’s first time meeting him. His full name was The Count of Monte Cristo. It was quite a mouthful, people took immediately to calling him Monty.

Still smiling, she tucked herself in for bed. She was healthy enough to be able to do that on her own. Truth be told, she hardly ever felt old. But still, there were just some things she couldn’t do by herself. Maintaining her own home was unfortunately one of them. She frowned, determined not to dwell on her old, dearly beloved home, and brushed the excessive cat hairs that Monty had left behind away from her.
Clicking the lights off for the night, Jane closed her eyes.

“Have you seen Jane? Has anyone seen her? She’s one of our early birds.” Lucy, one of the staff members who ran the breakfast line every morning asked each person that passed by. Nobody had seen her. Worried, she notified the rest of the staff to keep their eyes out.

The hours for the morning meal had drawn to a close, and Jane still hadn’t shown up. Sighing, Lucy cleared the last table and headed to check Jane’s room, instead of going back into the kitchen for clean up duty like she was supposed to.

“Jane?” She tapped on the wooden door, decorated with drawing from Jane’s grandchildren, twice. No answer.

Lucy pushed open the door slowly, on the off chance Jane was just still asleep. Walking in, she couldn’t see anything. The curtains hadn’t been opened, nor had the lights been switched on. Something changed in the air as Lucy made her way down the  short hallway.

Feeling along the wall for the light switch, she tried to place the peculiar smell that was wafting from further into the room.

Soft light flooded the room when Lucy flipped the switch.

Lucy screamed, and rushed back out the door.

“How did this happen?” Jane’s son asked the doctor. His voice was barely audible, as if he talked any louder, it would break.

The doctor looked at Lucy, who was just sitting with her eyes fixed on the floor and not moving. “Well, Lucy walked in this morning and found Jane. She was covered with hives, and there was an extensive amount of swelling. From what we could tell, she died of a severe allergic reaction. My theory is that it was in reaction to the cat.”

“She never mentioned animals in her childhood, and we never owned any when I was growing up. We just didn’t have that kind of life.”
“None of the residents indicated when they were asked that they had allergies to animals. But if she never knew, it couldn’t be helped, I suppose.”


By Nick Silverpen:


It was eerily quiet, as he felt his footsteps echo through the cavern. He wanted to shout out in fear, but it would only make him more scared. He’d gotten lost... why hadn’t he turned back? Why had he been subjecting himself to plunging deeper into this mess of losing his way, instead of turning back to the Koro like he should have? Whenua would not be pleased to know he had gone this far... the carvings on the walls were obviously not meant for his eyes. So why hadn’t he tried to get out? Cowardice was the answer, and he knew it. 

So as the echoes reverberated on the bubbled walls of whatever this place was, he quaked in fear. The dark green glow, giving him the creeps, the lonely emptiness of the place... it was too weird. He liked the mines better. Above they were busy bodies in the hives of the rock, chipping away. Here, it was though it were abandoned, or maybe awaiting something... he shivered. The fables always told of the Toa rescuing the helpless Matoran; it would be great if one showed up right now. They apparently weren’t, sadly. He would have to shake through this on his own, muttering and cursing his own stupidity for wandering this far.

Some other audible sound had to come from here; the tension was too much for it not too. His mask went darted around at all of the green pods that lined the walls. It was bugging him out, so much that his knees buckled and he was frozen in place. This was not right. Unnatural, the cavern felt- the carving of the place was too precise, better than that of Po-Korans. Slowly, he wandered further into the hive of the Bohrok, thinking all the while about it how he should turn back toward the Koro. As he went into the hive further, shivering all the while, the Bohrok slept on, almost letting the Matoran down in holding the silence, not bursting from their pods. 


By Caleb/Cederak:

Thinker Bees

It's really an interesting idea, working in an office. You grow up wanting to be an astronaut, a quarterback, a movie star, or whatever the hell suits your seven year old fancy, and you wind up sitting at a desk for a minimum of forty hours a week. If the boss needs you to work overtime, that's just a little more of your life sacrificed to an eye-crippling monitor. And sure, people like to sit around at the bar with their friends, laugh about how the overtime pay is worth a little extra time at the office, but is it really? What the hell do we need all this money for? Oh right, because we owe everyone a debt.

Somewhere down the road, when we were eating ramen soup, depriving ourselves of sleep to study for that next test, we incurred a debt along the way. That is the life of average, ordinary people in a middle class society. You grow up, become indebted to someone, and work for years to pay it back off. And somewhere in the middle, maybe you actually got that job you were gunning for in the first place. But along the way, you're here, in the office. And guess what, you're still stuck in the suburbs. There's no escape from the overprotective bubble of suburban life, the sedentary reminder that tells you to sit down, shut up, watch some television, buy some crap, eat some salty, greasy food, and wish you looked like a damn supermodel. All the while, we continue to live our lives in the bubble, even faking our social interaction through a screen.

Let's be honest, how many of us give a damn about the people we graduated with? Do we really need to see their new baby, their new significant other, their new house, or their new car? We don't? Then why the hell can't you just get away from them? Because this is the hive of suburban life. You're sent off to be a worker bee in the morning, and you're sent home to be a non-issue for everyone else when it's over. What kind of existence is that? No, can't afford to question it. If you don't keep your head down, you're going to end up like that guy on the evening news, mowing down a few people in his own office before he turned the gun on himself. Sure, maybe the office was a house, or a busy street, or whatever venue you can imagine, I don't think that matters much.

The point is that you don't want to be a newspaper headline, a cemetery soapbox for people's outrage about where society is heading. But what the hell can they do? They've got their own office to show up to, their own kids to get to soccer practice, their own significant other to keep from losing their mind or throwing divorce papers in their face. That's a lot of stress. Good thing there's a drug for it. We're so lucky we have the perfect drug for your every ailment, because that'll comfort people in the back of their mind. If we're numb, we can't think about losing it and going crazy on someone. And that's the idea. If you numb yourself to being alive, keep yourself awake from coffee cup to coffee cup, pill to pill, injection to injection, you can ignore what's staring you right in the face. We're all a little bit crazy, and sometimes we can't help but remind ourselves if we miss our scheduled appointment with our vice of choice. Have fun drinking the honey, the hive isn't going anywhere.


By Alex Humva:

The man entered the building, putting on a hat as he passed a rack of them. He scowled at his surroundings; black dust covered many surfaces, metal worn to the point where it had that industrial sheen of too many shirts rubbing against it. Moving through the hall into the building proper, he looked around at the old familiar surroundings. Vast machines rumbled and clattered, hundreds of people at assembly lines putting bits and pieces together into bigger bits and pieces. He was handed a toolbox by a waiting man, who pushed it into his comrade's arms and made a rush for the door in what seemed like a rehearsed fashion. The man sighed, pulling out a wrench and going off to do his job.

A few hours later he was neck deep in a machine, some of the gears occasionally making a turning motion. He'd been in quite a few death traps like these before; his nerves had long since dulled to the sound of metal creaking towards him. You couldn't keep sharp nerves in a place like this, not for long at least. He gave his wrench one final heave, tightening the bolt best he could before slipping out. Closing the hatch and coming off the ladder, he flipped a switch and watched the great machine whirl back to life.

"There you go miss," he said to a woman in a dirty dress. "It should work just fine now."

"For a week, maybe." She went back to the assembly line, the man sighing and continuing on. All around him were people working, people making things. He spotted two others doing the exact same job as him; fixing the machines that inevitably broke down. He sighed once more, falling into the same routine for the rest of the day. He found it somewhat funny, when he contemplated it, that he was little more than a cog in the machines he fixed. One more worker in a nest, a hive, of them, buzzing about and doing their jobs with little more care in the world than anything else they did.

He figured being a cog in a machine though was better than being in Europe, fighting in their war. Fixing the machines supplying the troops was sure better than being the troops. His train of thought was broken by a blast of hot, coal rich air, making him cough something harsh. He looked at the machine that had caused it, some smoke rising from it. He moved on, though; it wasn't his area, the mechanics that looked after it would be there soon enough. He gasped for some more air then continued on his way, ready to fix whatever other machine broke. A cog in the machine; there had to be something poetic in that.


By Andrew/Velox:

Detective Mason Daniels opened the door with his shoulder and quickly stepped inside the large office space. Inside there was a line of back-to-back desks with thin walls separating them. At each sat someone with a headset, all speaking loudly as if they were the only ones in the room – it was a hive bustling with activity.

“Who’s in charge here?” he asked the desk closest to him.

The man just continued talking into headset. “Yes ma’am, we guarantee a one-year warranty for all of our products.”

Daniels shook his head and continued passed the long line of telemarketers, coming to an office in the back. “LAPD, open up,” he said loudly as he knocked on the door, trying to make his voice heard over the others’.

A few moments later the door opened. Daniels was greeted by a finger telling him to wait a moment as the man continued talking on his phone.

Is anyone ever not on the phone here? he wondered to himself.

He was motioned to a chair across from a desk about the size of four of the desks out in the main room. He looked around the office, seeing various plaques on the wall. The table was overflowing with papers, with one clear corner where a phone lay. Of course, he thought to himself.

He was waiting nearly five minutes before the man finally hung up and smiled. “What can I do for you, officer?”


“Sorry. Detective.”

Mason Daniels just shook his head, sighing as he thought about how he would need to spend a good amount of time here, questioning the workers. He had always hated telemarketers. 


By Nick/Zarayna:

Stinging against stings

     “I wasn’t expecting ten of them to react!” the matoran said angrily, rubbing at the dent in his deep green Kakama. The turaga sighed, shaking his faded orange Akaku sadly.
    “You always say that whenever you go out to preach anything, Lasc. Each time you think you can convince enough of them, and each time a half a dozen and more attack you. The only thing I can credit is that you haven’t drawn blood, yet. But this has to stop.”
     “I’ll stop as soon as truth stops existing, sir. The way they react is the same way that the bees do when one pokes them; they can’t take the truth, so they swarm out at you. I win in the end, because they’ve departed from rational discourse.”
     “Lasc, Lasc, Lasc,” his turaga said sadly. “You’re as bad as I once was. Think of what you’re preaching! They’re not ready to accept what you say, and you’re forcing it down their throat.”
     “If they were rational, I would be. They don’t have a throat to force something down in your analogy; a throat in that sense implies they’re willing to listen, and be reasonable. These people are bigots. Nothing more.”
     “Is it your duty to teach them? If they act wrathfully, should not you refrain from acting the same way?” the turaga objected, clenching hiss staff.
     “I fight only to defend myself. If I struck out without cause at them, such would be so. I have not. Thus, your point has no effect,” Lasc replied, rubbing the pummel of his rapier now. 
     “Lasc. Put aside your logic now and think! Your teacher was executed by a mob, as was his. Is it really wise to continue this crusade?”
     “I am not a coward, nor am I selfish. These truths which I hold are true. Thus they cannot be contained by me alone. Others must hear of this! If I die in the process, then it is not of consequence. My life is nothing next to Truth.”
      “They will sting you again,” the turaga said, shaking his head. A smile lit Lasc’s face for a moment as he touched the handle of his rapier.
     “A fist cannot sting, but a blade can. And I have had far too much of this hatred. Should they render blow, I shall render defense…In my own way.”
     The turaga’s last pleading faded into silence as the tall matoran stalked out, leaving his elder to sit alone in sad resignation.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

The End Came

Nick Silverpen:

A Sense of Finality

And there was some satisfaction of being finished, fulfilling the task to its completion. Something felt good about having the entire job done, to see everything in order, whole and orderly. The chaos had been tiring, and all I wanted was to be done. Looking over the dining room, I smiled to Kate as she wrapped the cord of the vacuum in a final coil before stowing it in the closet.

With goodbyes said, I walked out the door, a feeling of pride in my chest. Though it had been a late start this summer, I had done my duty well. My body slumped as I stumbled out of the restaurant, and I climbed in my car, a chuckle as I sat in the darkness. I threw my phone in the glove compartment, and turned the ignition on, pulling out of the employee driveway.

I zoomed out of the neighborhood, through the backstreets of the island. A crumpled list lay in my fist, and I chuckled. All those shifts, fifteen shifts in ten days, they were done, and I was done. No longer would I have to come here for work. I could relax, and do what I wanted in the last fleeting days before leaving for college. The radio was left off, feeling that peace of completion as I gassed the car forward. A pocket full of money, a good sense of work ethic, I had done my job. Flicking the turn signal on, the car was turned onto the main boulevard. And as I went up that bridge, looking into the stars, I laughed, on top of the world as I passed the peak of the structure. They were bright tonight, and the darkness around me grew more complete as I left a world of streetlights behind. Down the bridge I steered the car, onto the dark highway, and I was gone.


“Don’t make me go! Don’t make me!” Amelia clawed at her mother’s arm, squealing like there was no tomorrow. “I’ll die! Mommy!!”

Amelia’s mother rolled her eyes, reaching down to fix her daughter’s round and wire glasses. “Stop being such a drama queen.”

“But Mom!!” The tiny ten year old crawled over the waiting chair’s arm onto her mother’s lap. Even though she was small, she wasn’t small enough to fit comfortably into her mother’s lap anymore.

“For mercy’s sake, Amelia! It’s a booster shot. Be a big girl,” her mother shifted so Amelia could half sit on her lap, half lean on the arm of the chair.

“I don’t like shots! They hurt!!” she protested.

“It builds character, my dear. And immunity.”

Amelia tried turning around to face her mother and better plead her case, but again, she was growing too big. She let out a panicked squeak as she began to fall backwards to the floor. Her mother grabbed her wrist, preventing anything unfortunate or more embarrassing from happening.

Springing up to smooth her jumper, Amelia glared at her mother. “If I don’t survive…” she trailed off in what she thought was a threatening tone of voice.

“Amelia?” A nurse poked her head into the waiting room.

The little girl turned to her mother with a look of utter horror on her face.

“It’s not the end of the world. Don’t worry. I’ll go with you.” Her mother grabbed her hand and practically dragged her through the doors.

Not even ten minutes later, Amelia skipped out of the doctor’s office with a new Justin Beiber band-aid and a blue raspberry lollipop. No, it wasn’t actually that bad, she had told her mother, and now it was time to go out last minute Christmas shopping for Grandma and Grandpa.

And then the world ended.


The Trumpet

When the trumpet sounded, we left our homes and went to watch. All our bickering was over—all our greed, our avarice. It was suddenly worth so little in the face of the coming end. The trumpet echoed over field and mountain, from the city to the waste, and into every corner of the groaning earth. Birds scattered across the sky, and the beasts of the field fled to their hollows, and far below, the dark things stirred and awakened, exulting.

The stones of the mighty causeway upon which we travelled had been laid down long ago by the giants of the earth, bound by their oaths to the gods. Their sleeping forms lay sprawled across the land on either side, clothed with trees and green grass. The fire would soon wake them if the trumpet did not. It was louder now: splitting the clouds above us as the mass of humanity made its way down the track. Down toward the mountain of the gods. There we would watch. There we would be safe. So we thought.

A hand gripped my arm as I trudged onward, head down. I turned and saw a wrinkled face, a gray beard, a one-eyed gaze piercing me. The old man leaned upon a twisted stick. He looked weak, and I stooped to support him. Suddenly his grip tightened, and I felt the strength in his fingers.

“My time is done, lad,” he rasped in my ear. “The trumpet sounds for me.”

“Surely not yet, old one,” I replied and tried to smile, but he shook his gray head. His one eye looked distant.

“The trumpet sounds, and death is blowing upon it. Its jaws are wide, and soon I must fall into those jaws...”

He stumbled again and sank to the ground. I knelt with him as the stream of humanity trudged around us. He fixed me with his good eye once more, and now a smile played round his mouth.

“My thanks for your kindness, lad but go now,” he said. “I’ll rest here and wait. My time is done, but yours isn’t. Only remember my words, when the jaws open wide for me. Seek the darkness when the fire comes. She’ll wait for you. She will.”

He sighed and pushed me away, clutching his stick, and the press of bodies carried me along the causeway, wondering...

Soon the pillars of stone rose before us, and the high ridge, white as bone, that sheltered the earth from the light of heaven. We camped there, and at last looked back on the lands we’d left behind to follow the call of the horns of heaven. The end was a terrible thing to look upon.

On one hand came the hordes of the unfettered dead, marching from their caverns beneath the earth, cold and dripping and hungry for the light. On the other hand rose the raging sea, brimming with the waterlogged bodies of the drowned, and on its surface came the stone ships of the fire giants—vast rafts of pockmarked pumice, floating on a foam of boiling surf. They raised flaming eyes to the shores of earth, and in their hands was fire, unquenchable.

The shorelines quailed at their approach, and steam went up to darken the sky. The fields of earth smoked and burned, and far above, carrion birds mixed their cries with the trumpet sound, and the howling of wolves echoed on the empty hills. They hoped to sate their greed when the battle was over. They hoped in vain.

There was a crash away behind us as the gates of heaven opened, and deadly light flickered forth to strike at the armies of the dead. They grasped at it in droves, hungry for life, but found only more death, and the dust of their corpses mixed with ashes on the battlefield while mighty men fought and fell and swelled the ranks of the dead all the more. From the boiling sea came serpents, and writhed across the dry land in waves of poison. Spears flew and swords flickered, and the footsteps of gods shook the earth as they had not since the beginning.

I fell back from the edge of the ridge in fear, for the tide of battle was drawing near. We had thought to find safety here, here in sight of heaven, but the end came on regardless, inevitable. It would all burn, and us with it. The gods could not stave off fire and death, for they had seen their own ends.

Suddenly there was an apparition at the crest of the bone-white slope. A spear raised, scattering light from its nine-bladed tip, and the hand that grasped it was strong. A horse reared up, its mane and tail aflame, and the rider pierced me with his ancient, one-eyed gaze, gray hair framing a wrinkled face, full of fury.

And I remembered his words, as the jaws opened wide for him. A wolf-like shape reared up behind the rider, and the sun turned black, and I fled.

I fled, and as I ran it seemed that the nature of the world was revealed to me: the mountain walls of heaven dissolved, and there was a narrow defile leading on beneath the sky. Deeper and deeper, dark walls of stone rising on either side, until the walls fell away, and at last I saw, thrusting from the horizon, the shape of a tree.

It was a withered tree, twisted branches hung with a thousand nooses, and I stumbled in the blood-soaked earth. Still I went on, and the dead canopy stretched over my head, and I felt the weight of despair bearing down on me. I stumbled again, and almost gave up—

—but a hand gripped mine and pulled me up once more. There was light again, and I saw that it was a woman, clad in rags. Her face was desperate, like mine. “She’ll wait for you,” the man had said…

Wordless, she pointed to the base of the tree, and in the flickering I saw a hollow between the roots.

“Seek the darkness when the fire comes.”

A glance behind, and I saw the source of the light: red and angry, the horizon blazed with unquenchable fire. The fire giants danced upon the graves of the gods, and a mighty wolf lay with his jaws broken, the nine-bladed spear buried in his side. A broken serpent writhed in its death throes as the inferno rushed forward, and a thousand, thousand souls went screaming up as we plunged headlong into the final darkness beneath the tree.

And the trumpet fell silent.


Um, so yeah, bro listen up man. So not sure why I’m writing really, and I don’t normally write so you better be chill with typoes and what not.

So here’s what’s happenin’ I heard from a friend of me, real chill bro he is, that the world is ending. 

Now I’m all like, man you’re crazy, but he just won’t be hearing it. Yeah, he’s sort of one of those paranoid types. Kind of gets annoying after awhile, but what you gonna do.

Anyway, where was I, oh right. Well you see bro, my friend was all like we need to write letters for the next generation, you know the guys who gonna be a seeing this ruined planet so they know what happened. So here’s my message.

Screw you all. 

I mean seriously, where were you guys when the world was ending, that is if it’s ending. Well if you’re reading this then I guess it did end, ugh time is all confusing and what not. Anyhow, dude, why the heck did you not show up when ya know, the world was ending. I mean you dould’ve helped or something and don’t spout some BS to me about it not being feasible or what nto. You’re bloody aliens you make it work.

So again I must reiterate.

Screw you man.

Anyhow if you’re some bloody scientist, well here’s what you need to know. Humans were extremely feeble characters, both in mind and body. Now don’t get me wrong, we could have straight up geniouses(Is that how you spell it?). Whatever.

See but here’s the problem, we were utter idiots when it came to so much. Love confuzzled us, hatred seemed to run rampant, we could even get our act together for more than a few days. Always screwing up. Our world was at constant world with itself, Humans killing other humans and don’t even get me started on how we kept screwing over this planet.

I don’t know man, why couldn’t we all just be bros and sing kumbaya or somethin. I never understood why we all had to be all y’know, screwy. As a species we could have done great thigns, instead we kept squanderin it on self gain and what not.

My prof was quite fond of saying that, but you know what, screw plagiarism it’s the end of the world.
But seriously man, why were we constantly at war with one another, I mean come on. We’re all the same species right, when all laugh, we all cry, we all applaude, we all feel anger y’know. So why couldn’t we work together like a family. Sure we might have been a bit of dysfunctional family, but atleast we wouldn’t be killing one another.

And I mean seriously, who doesn’t enjoy watching some  dysfunctional family on television.

Alright, you know how I said before we were all weak, I kind of lied. There were some great man among us, man we should have all aspired to be like, we just sort of failed. Blame fate for being cruel or something, but really it was just a stupid human nature.

There were great man we could’ve looked up to like MLK and Gandhi. They were bros, always striving to bring peace and what not. But those were only the well known ones, there were plenty of bros in everyday life. The little kid who decides to help the grandma across the street. The guy walking down the street who bends down to help you pick up some stuff you dropped. Those guys were bros as well and well I wish we could all be as kind hearted and open as those folks.

Anyhow Will’s yelling at me to finish up and what not so I suppose this letters done but I’d just like to take a moment and say to you Aliens again.

Screw you man.


Unlike what many would have expected, the end of the world did not involve a religious event of doom, nor did it involve a giant rock slamming into the planet and wiping out humanity. It did not even involve a nuclear apocalypse, and to the sadness of the writer, there were no giant abominations of doom hugging everyone and turning them into orange goop.

Instead, absolutely nothing notable happened, which did disappoint many of the suicidal conspiracy theorists awaiting the end. The world did end of course, but to everyone on the planet, it seemed as if it hadn't, for it ended up resetting itself a mere instant after its destruction. There was, of course, an explanation for this strange occurrence, but it was rather convoluted and made no real sense.

Suffice to say it involved a lack of scale, robots and people punching the walls of time.

Having ran all his ideas into the ground, the writer actually had no real thoughts on how to continue his train-wreck of a story, although he did think of shoehorning as many references as possible to the theme of the world ending, which was a rather broad subject if one were to think about it, especially seeing that there were hundreds of millions of … okay, there was lots and lots of worlds out there in the cosmos.

Of course, the theme was not actually the end of the world, but merely 'The End Came', which is so ridiculously broad, making pretty much everything possible. Anything could be written under that theme, including apocalyptic wars between giant robots and shonen protagonists, but the writer didn't include such things, possibly because he was making everything up as he went.

He also wishes to apologise for his incredibly bland and awkward writing, developed through years of writing awkward and confusing texts.

Finally, after much thought and distraction from the music blaring in the background, the writer decided to finally get his brain into gear and write properly for the theme.

The End. (It arrived.)


The sunset, a brief flash of colour on a faded screen of blue.
Slowly growing to encompass the vision, abolishing the old and bringing the new.

The waves, churning the unfathomable depths of the sea.
Slowly bringing them to the surface, showing them to us, letting us see.

The clouds, white, floating pillows of a majesty we cannot understand.
Soaring above us, leaving us with a longing, left here on the land.

Our life, that which we use with abandon, that which we recklessly use,
Quickly beginning, and quickly ending-symbolic, some philosophers might muse.

Our death, a sudden, indescribable, not-understandable thing,
Completing the cycle, the last link in the chain, the last bit of the ring.

The beginning, the point from which all things come,
Indecipherably complex, and a period all is expanding from.

The end, come so soon, so unexpected, so fast,
Yet we continue to celebrate, to live, laugh, and love, until the very last.


     Did the world always seem this… grey?  Wasn’t there a time where everything was filled with brighter colors?  Yes, there was something… music, that’s what it was.  It always sounded so pretty.  I think it came from a box of sorts.  I know that sounds a bit silly, music coming from a box.  But yes, I’m certain that’s what it was.  There were also other things as well…  We called them… laughter... bliss… hope… rapture… sorrow… pain… deceit… lies…  Yes, those were the colors that had filled the world.

     Now it was as if all of those colors had been absorbed.  It’s as if the artist’s brush had retracted everything and… well, that was just it; and what?  Wherever those colors were now, they most certainly were not here.  Everything seemed blank; lifeless and barren.  The universe itself was now a blank sheet of paper.  What was to become of such a form?  Would the artist paint anew, or would it be decided that painting was simply not worth the time and effort?

     How did the world come to be like this?  A world that was filled with such colors; how could they all just vanish?  It was all here just a moment ago, wasn’t it?  There was… there was a noise…  Yes, it was called… a shriek?  Yes, the woman in front of me; what did I call her?  Mother was it?  She was the first to go.  I think I held onto something…  I thought… it was important…  It had something in it…  I just can’t remember.

     Now the world filled with music, joy, wonder, suffering and pain is gone.  Now all that is left is me.  Am I the last to leave?  I close my eyes and I feel something.  It’s a key.  I turn it around and around then wait for the music to stop playing.