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TurlTimes

Volume III, Issue 1 January 1, 2012

I pushed upon my gate and found it gone - David Jeffrey

Dreams
Poetry and Prose from the students of the 2010 Oxford University Summer Creative Writing Program.

Contributors
Carolina Amoroso is an Argentinean teacher, writer and editor. She started learning English at the age of six, and has not been able to stop ever since. After sitting for several international English exams, she attended teacher training college at IES Lenguas Vivas, from which she graduated with honors. She then decided to continue her education abroad, and studied Creative Writing at Oxford University. She is currently doing an MA in English in hometown Buenos Aires. She works full-time as a teacher of English as a second language to kids, teenagers and adults. Early this year Miss Caro also started teaching writing. Following her experience at Oxford she undertook a collaborative writing project in the form of an electronic newsletter with her fellow classmates, for which she writes and is assistant editor. She hopes to combine her passion for writing and for English and turn them into a book, ideally a best-selling one. Stay tuned. Dipti Anand is a dreamer. An artist in training, she loves to draw and paint. She is currently halfway through finishing her BSc degree with a double concentration in Entrepreneurship and Creative and Visual Arts at Babson College, USA. Clearly this is all just a ploy to distract her friends and family from her true hopes and dreams, which are to be a Bollywood dancer. She has been writing since she was 9 years old and her first poem was called Smile. Dipti specializes in giving people false directions to well-known destinations and dressing as well as she possibly can, even when the weather is just absolutely unbearably awful. She also loves bubble tea. Sheila Armstrong is currently doing an M. Phil in Popular Literature in Trinity College. She has just finished an internship with New Island Books and will be staying on to do some editing work for the company. Her blog is doing well and she is incredibly busy. She is still struggling with her health, but hopes that the new year will bring a fresh start. Her blog is http://www.facebook.com/l/de316NBvi6VkKOwlDw1CX4U48Q/www.wrapitinwords.tumb lr.com Omnya Attaelmanan is currently exploring the many facets of getting an MA in Globalization & Development Studies, which include obligatory grad student broke-as-fuck-itude, unraveling the many mysteries of Dutch society (among other things, they appear to eat chocolate sprinkles on toast for breakfast and occasionally engage in mass blackface) and switching thesis topics 14 times. Her ultimate goal is to save the world, although she will also settle for the chance to rule said world. These days, she is far more likely to stumble upon the Holy Grail at a garage sale than she is to find the time to write fiction, but hopes to actually be able to hand in a full-length, predeadline submission to the Turl someday soon. She looks forward to a full Exonian reunion, tulip

season, Frank Turners return to the Netherlands in April, graduation, another day spent in the company of the loveliest man on Earth, the release of the Hobbit, and the moment she figures out where home really is not necessarily in that order. She can be reached on Facebook, which currently owns her soul. Janet Barr is an Australian writer and filmmaker. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree from The University of Melbourne, majoring in art history, while continuing to work as a critical nurse to support herself and three teenage children. After attending Oxford Universitys Creative Writing Summer School at Exeter College in 2010, Janet completed the Foundations in Film and Television Course at her Alma Maters Victorian College of the Arts in 2011. Throughout the year she wrote, directed and produced three short films, acted and crewed for fellow students and continued to hone her first full-length screenplay through multiple rewrites. Janet is currently researching the subject of her second screenplay sustained by family, friends, landscape and music from pop to rock, dance and blues to classical compositions, especially the repertoire of her favourite ensemble, the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She also enjoys reuniting with her Exeter College colleagues online as a regular contributor of short stories and essays to their international e-journal, the Turl Times. Always a keen traveller at home and abroad, Janet hopes to return to Oxford and another inspiring summer school in the not too distant future.

daily. It also featured well received features on Durga Puja celebrations and the Sunderbans wildlife sanctuary. Though she is in love with textin-print, she also enjoys writing for online media like www.caleidoscope.in and others. Her written work has also appeared in foreign and Indian publications like: the Times of India, Hans India, the 11th Issue of 34th Parallel, two issues of Fashion and Beyond, Kolkatamirror.com, On the Grass, issues of Turl Times, the winter issue and summer collaborative issue of Twenty20 Journal (a popular minimalist journal). She wishes to continue contributing to the world of published literature by way of quality fiction, poetry and journalistic writings. Ruth Cupp has been a Practicing attorney since 1954, columnist for SC Lawyers Weekly, writing third book, it is non-fiction and on the subject of unmarried teenage mothers.

Wafik Doss or (Fiko) Doss is 19 years old and lives on a farm in Cairo, Egypt. He is currently studying at the American University in Cairo and majoring in English and Comparative Literature. Wafik has inherited a love of literature and the fine arts from his mothers side and his flair for business from his fathers. He dreams of traveling to Tibet, South Africa, and The Americas, and hopes of becoming a world-renowned writer. In his spare time, he fights off monkeys in Bali, incidentally, and loves swimming and traveling the world. Wafik has been writing poetry since the age of six and remembers his first ever poem, word for word, however he is too embarrassed to include it in the Rebecca Brothers is a junior English major at anthology. Walla Walla University whose poetry has been published in Cirque and The Gadfly. She has also Lorenza Hadda is a college student from Mexico. written numerous short stories, two novels, and a A warm hearted, sweet young woman, Lorenza screenplay, none of which has yet been can often be found wandering through Blackwells, published. During the ten months she spent reminiscing about excellent salads she's had in the teaching English in Poland, she began a weekly very recent past, and, unfortunately, sometimes food blog called Cook, Rejoice, Repeat at careening headfirst into thick, dense briar patches. rebeccainpoland.blogspot.com. Over the next Her long, flowing locks have inspired much twelve months, she intends to continue submitting jealousy in the female population. In the future, her work to journals and agents, as well as Lorenza hopes to spend a great deal of time applying to be a writing concentration student at strolling around sunny warm beaches and reading WWU and finding a publishing internship for the books under gently waving palm trees. If this fails, summer. She resides in an unheated house in the she has her heart set on becoming an Walla Walla Valley, along with two roommates archaeologist. and an itinerant ant population. She currently works as the head copy editor and This I Believe Cilla Henriette was born in an Indonesian family Committee chair at The Collegian, the student with mixed religious and cultural backgrounds. newspaper of WWU. Her innate curiosity of cultural richness and diversity has brought her to live in Singapore, The Trisha Bhattacharya is a creative writer born in Netherlands and now India. She works for Innate India and brought up amidst varying cultures and Motion, a brand development agency that helps geographies. Travelling and reading are some companies building more meaningful brands for of her interests in addition to creative writing. people and society. She feels fortunate with the Her repertory of educational qualifications opportunity to meet people across ages and include: creative writing at Oxford University, places around the globe through her job. She is online program in short story writing and poetry intrigued with real human issues and inspired to from Stanford University. Her contribution within voice these out through her writing. Cilla came to the sphere of creative writing spans - fiction, Oxford to expand her imagination and become a poetry and selective journalistic art, literature, better writer. culture, travel features and articles for print and online. A travel feature written by her about Oxford was published in Hans India, a print

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CONTENTS
2 Foreward to the Turl Times James Edwin McDonough V How the Grinches stole my Christmas Carolina Amoroso Fabric Dipti Anand Scratch Sheila Armstrong Eva, Tom and the Peacock Janet Barr Kuntalam Vidya Trisha Bhattacharya Daydreams Rebecca Brothers Backwards Wafik Doss (Fiko) Prima Ballerina Assoluta: The Dream Dance Jackie Lee King The Third Row James Edwin McDonough V Harvest Sean McIntyre Of Chicken Soup Calvin Sandiford and Zsuzsanna Peterka BACK PAGE:THE NEXT ISSUE

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Turl Times Volume III Issue 1 January 1, 2012 ISSN#: Pending Inquiries: Turl Times On The Grass LLC Publications P.O. Box 329 Beverly Shores, IN 46301 Editor & Publisher Jackie Lee King Assistant Editors Carolina Amoroso Dipti Anand Amy Lovat Images & Artwork James McDonough Cover Photo Ashley McMillan Coat of Arms Jackie Lee King James McDonough See Back Page for Image sources

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Turl Times On The Greass LLC Pulbications All Rights Reserved 2012 The Turl times is a Private Newsletter distributed, via the Internet and print, to the students of the 2010 Oxford University Summer Creative Writing Program.

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Turl Times

Forward to the Turl Times


James Edwin McDonough: U.S.A. Charlottesville, VA starting to recognise within each other a kindred spirit and, like the Mayan saying En Lakesh, in the eyes of another we see ourselves. Our efforts are not going unnoticed and we are rebuilding. Discovering what is relevant and ignoring what is redundant in our lives, we are stronger. As our surroundings undergo change, we too. We all do our parts to make the best of it, and our efforts can inspire. You all certainly inspire me and I continue to learn from the reflections in your writing. Everything we do matters. A smile, a touch, and glance, and a kind word. The heights of harmony are induced by our intentions through thought, word, and action. What is it? I do not know. All I know is that I am always making mistakes, that I need reminding, that whenever I think I have made progress something comes my way to humble me, that I am a somebody worth being proud of, worth being loved, that this life is but a passing shadow, that life is something that should not be taken for granted, and that we all have opportunities and choices that can affect the world in mysterious and significant ways. We are all a part of it. We are in our dreams. As we are. We become awake. Sometimes un-dreaming ourselves to sleep through each day as fast as possible. Why? To feel alive in the getting-it-over-with routine. I live in irony. Words are just too limiting. Great tools but dull and unsatisfactory in their estimations. There is so much more information in a touch or a look or a gesture. One does not need to speak in order to be understood. It takes a patience or a willingness to listen to this kind of language. How much more time do we spend listening to ourselves than observing the intricacies developing around us as it does naturally within life? I am a different story to the life running in my head. Please do not let me forget myself. What an exciting time to be alive! Everything is changing around us. The world takes on their dreams to change everything around us. And we are taking part of that change together, by proxy, in this publication. As the outside so the inside. There is a great separation and a great coming together. Many people are There are several events and experiences that inspired me to call on this theme Dreams. One was a documentary I saw a couple of months ago. The other is in my friends who like to discuss their dreams. It continues to manifest in reoccurring conversations revolving this topic, which I now cannot avoid but acknowledge that they keep coming up for some reason. In paying closer attention to my dreams, I am learning to feel awake in them just as much as you would feel awake in life. Many of you could, legitimately so, call me laconic, or, as my affectionately given nickname James in Wonderland implies, somewhat air-like. Yes, I am lazy and in my laziness tend to fill vast spaces of emptiness with more vacuous words and vapidity. Filling the void, paradoxically. I feel that in some ways life does this to dreams. In an attempt to fill it with nonsense they become crowded and jarring. Imagine yourself, whole as you are, but without any sense or orientation. Devoid of the sense of smell, taste, touch, hearing, seeing. None of it. Where are you? What do you feel? Think? Who or what are you? You are in a place of imagination no doubt. There is really no where else to go. To dreams! In a simpler life, aware of but not inhibited by post-modern sensibilities, one finds a Tabula

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Rasa of the mind one that can be written upon by a conscious and self-directed intention and will. I recently watched a documentary Our Generation regarding the Aborigine community in Australia and how their land is being stolen away from them more and more as they are forced to live in smaller and smaller legal reserves. What struck me was the Aborigine leaders quiet outrage and at the same time what their wisdom traditions teach them. They believed that as the Western culture takes over, their dreams are being invaded. It was not our dream to have this world imposed upon us, paraphrasing one leader. I believe we have something valuable to give to Western culture, but we are being discarded. How can we teach you if we are not heard? It is a one-sided relationship. He makes a strong call for responsibility on both sides of his divided country and is currently in a large battle over access to clean water, food, and shelter. Not quite unlike many others in their respective lands. Government initiated and sanctioned human rights violations occur on a daily basis in our own home countries. We do not have to look very far to see examples of subtle xenophobia and exercises in fractional generational genocide. Wisdom traditions teach us to listen to our dreams and to the nature around us in order to find lessons that are deeply personal and self-affirming and self-actualizing. I believe a great power can be derived from such awareness of ones self and surroundings. If only I could listen more! I believe that it is an act of healing and that we are able to heal the fissures formed from cruelty and unfeeling. Love and Empathy, I feel, is the closest we can get to another living being.

Of course there are many ways, paths, to whatever it is of importance that you make for yourself. I see dreams as a compass, a subtle significant indicator of what your subconscious picks up on your behalf when you are too busy using your rational mind. Sometimes information becomes translated into peculiar messages that can then be used to inform ones actions. Dreams are also more than that. As my friend Ed used to say, Trust your gut. I intend to keep trying. My friends, I welcome you for this new years publication! I am thankful for your work, perseverance, and presence. These days are fun and I am happy that we can share something of our selves and learn more from one another. In this form, through publication, we are able to give freely and I hope that this experience continues to build upon itself. Days are going by, and I am dreaming more. I try to remember them, this dream, and in this remembering I seem to forget as well. Sometimes I forget to remember. I hope to be reminded more. Dreamtime is something we share. It is a place of sharing. As we are. Thank you all for being a part of it. James Edwin McDonough V Time moves faster as we grow; There is a bend in the course Ahead a shortcut to mend The hours lost in transience.

Image Credit: Back Page #1

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Carolina Amoroso: Argentina Buenos Aires

You know what? Youre right. Thats exactly what Im gonna do, I added guiltlessly. So, fine by me, be the hostess. Agreeing was some much easier, but I knew in the end the whole thing would come back to bite me. And so the countdown to C-day began. Mom worked tirelessly, doing both the usual and the unusual. Watching her sweep floors, polish silverware, go to the supermarket and cook were nothing out of the ordinary. But there were also those details she always complained about because they usually went unnoticed, like filling ice tray after ice tray in the hope of accumulating a safe number of ice cubes for the long night that awaited, or doing grocery shopping in three different places, because the quality of their goods and prices depended on what you were looking for. On the big night, moms frenzied ranting was luckily- repeatedly interrupted by the equally pesky ringing of the doorbell. Not that I suffered as much as the door mat, which had to endure the thirty-five pairs of feet a couple of bootees, some flip-flops, a few loafers, many stilettos and the occasional walking stick that trudged over it. It was quite the sight: in they marched, with the hordes of food to cater for every taste, the legion of bottles, enough to keep the average man in a drunken stupor for an entire week, and a cornucopia of presents carefully stashed lest the children found out the perpetual Christmas lie. Reluctantly cast in the sous-hostess role, I had already been notified of my share of responsibilities for the night: and make sure you use the same silverware for all three tables and do let me know if the tablecloths should have some spots and fold napkins like swans and place glasses face down we dont want them to get dirty before dinner and speaking of glasses you are to make sure they are topped-up without fail and I stopped listening after that. So that I did, all through dinner - no easy task with three tables teeming with guests. While everyone downed the excessive intake of food with a choice of water, diet Coke, regular Coke, juice, beer, champagne, red wine or white, I decided to look away from the blotted stomachs for a while and set off to the living room to stealthily place the gifts under the Christmas tree. To my surprise, there seemed to be a few bags only. Knowing my extended family and the extent of their Christmas shopping lists, I knew this couldnt be so. What I hadnt realized was that within each bag there were dozens

How the Grinches stole my Christmas only fifteen days to Christmas Eve and no-one has offered to host, said my mother indignantly as she cut another bite of her perfectly roasted mutton and slowly deposited it in her mouth, holding the fork with her little finger up. Again, grunted my father monosyllabically. I think I will have no choice but to offer to do it myself, she added. What part of we are a thirty-five people who live in eight perfectly fine houses implies you have no choice but? I pressed. I could have known what she would say for the next fifteen minutes without hearing it. But, oh yes, I had to hear it. What am I to do if no-one offers? Someone has to! And besides, whats it to you, if youre not going to do anything but sit down to dinner, eat and disappear? I always envied her masterly ability to throw jabs at me regardless of the topic being discussed, where the conversation was going or who else might have deserved critique more justly. It always went back to me somehow.

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others. I felt like a magician, endlessly pulling things out of a bottomless hat. By the time I was done, the foot-tall tree was buried somewhere underneath the heap of bags of every color, shape and size. Troubled by this sight as well, I decided to go back and made it just in time for the toast. Our midnight exchange of good wishes was muffled by the ear-splitting fireworks that went on uninterruptedly for over an hour, making my poor dog hide under the couch thinking that WWIII had broken out. My niece was so dazzled by the bright sparklers her not-as-bright brother was playing with that she got a little too close and ended up with a burnt finger, just one of countless cases of Christmas folly in the face of fire. After watching kids and grown-ups alike engage in the Santa wild-goose chase, though not so much of a chase when some had to stop to catch their breath every couple of steps, I looked around at everyone positively beaming at their new items and I couldnt help but ask myself if my cousin really needed another Barbie doll, or if my dad needed a twenty-eighth tie. I wonder how long it will take for the former to become the Golden Retrievers new chew toy, and if my dad will ever wear the tie before using it to gag my mom so that she cant read him the total amount due of the credit card bill. I was pulled out of my reverie by the sight of departing guests, and I was left with the carcasses of a night of excessive feasting, metres of wrapping paper that rolled like tumbleweed through my backyard, and empty pockets. The so-called season of joy had passed me by, and I was none the happier. *** So what do I dream? I dream of holidays which dont make animals suffer, of selfless deeds and of the realization that there is no better gift than giving to those in need.

Dipti Anand India New Delhi

Fabric I like the word, fierce the way it aligns itself with nakedness and solitude: a fierce nakedness ... a fierce solitude ... and I like the way it holds the word, fire. - Ian McCallum one I am holding on to a long long long thread long, so long, longer than the distance between us and the more I pull, the more comes ripping out of my heated hands, clumsy fingers interlocking with a slight tickle when I run the thread through and through hands that find all this much heavier

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than expected - this long long long thread that smells like nothing tastes like nothing but hard plastic, so easy to hold so difficult to let go

showing me a window outside my spread for the moments you are inside my head.

four I will write about the last autumn leaf hanging flimsy by the last tendon, dying to escape amongst the fallen wallflowers who have given up for the season I will write of the gray plastered over flattened skies, obscure and blocked like my mind from last nights miserable sleep I will write for the pillows resting against French curtains on windows, waiting for a lost lover to nest amongst them before the clock strikes too late I will write in the darkest of places, of vaporous feelings attached to ball and chain, coming and going as slowly as the willpower it takes to control them I will write from the void that grows from not writing anything at all, eclipsing the true intent of my heart -- lost in the fervor of making words that become yours

two I stole the pencil surreptiously that she, younger me, had lost her love for scribbles. Romances abandoned for being too petty, melting over the landscape with words of a higher power, brilliant brushstrokes of a steady hand growing in search of water, fluid and cool, to wash, wash down the imagination with a big gulp of reds, yellows-colors of the sweet personality building itself up with words.

five Theres an urgency in my senses that befriends the impatience of a fresh new day, so time can transcend yesterday into today, and I can look back knowing everything I could not have known had I not lived the moment Running around with capriciousness that grinds like gravel, hard at first then softening into a powder so easy to grasp if only the will to hold surpasses the shyness to approach me I saddle up with assorted feelings that break into me like the crispness of the first compliment of the day, warm and strange but alerting the mind of the good that is yet to come I will write this as an afterthought.

three One day I knew your smell and I liked the smell of your skin. Someday well work together well in the warm embrace of the blanket were in. A gentle plea from avocado tresses meets my flatness with surprise, and as your fist forcefully presses you quietly spring me into life. The secret lullaby of your mint breaths that conceal stories of shadows, you litter a little trail of hints and wherever you go, your reader follows,

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Sheila Armstrong Ireland Sligo

scratch. And so you scratch. Gently, at first. Surely your clumsy fingers can draw out the poison, but no. Harder. To continue, to the topic at hand: For you are not one to leave a book unfinished, oh no. They are only words, and words are your friend, and friends are your words. You fly through chapters two, three, four, five, skimming over the paragraphs, for that vague sense of unease you began with has become not-so-vague at all. Rather, it is coming into focus - the lens adjusts as it takes root. Your gorge rises. Imagination, quite sure, quite sure. But swallowing will not clear this tightness, nor this itch. You scratch at your eyes again, but the pain swells twofold for every fingernail you claw across your raw and tearless brow. A break, your body cries, take a break! Leave this behind. Close the covers, leave no bookmark. Leave it under the bed to gather dust with the rest, with the words that were not remarkable enough to endure. Put it away, away, away. Yet you persevere. Why not? A book can cause no stir, no ripple in the wider scheme of things. Yet you do ripple. Waves of blood wash up from your feet to come to rest on the top of your brain, joining the rest and adding to the weight that has suddenly appeared, building and swelling behind your eyes. Turn the page. Scratch. The next few chapters are hard, the pressure builds and builds, but you must finish. Scratch. You enlist your index finger to help you wade through the words, clawing at each sentence; a frustrated toddler again. The pages bleed ink; your fingers scythe through the words and leave raped and abandoned phrases in their wake. Yet the ink is red, not black. Curious. Scratch. The pressure builds, you must hurry. Pages fly, you fly. Everything is frantic, frantic, no time to pause, to consider, just scratch, and go, and scratch, and run, and Relief. Sweet relief. The final chapter is here, and it is but a page long. You gaze at the block of type as a whole, unwilling to begin dissecting the words just yet; revel in the moment of success. But your eyes ache still. Scratch. Again. But the end, the end Something bursts - a rupturing abscess, releasing the steam and screams that had been building up, and up, since the very first sentence. Darkness. There is a whistling in your ears. How distracting. But the itch has passed. The words have vanished too, washed off the page by a sea of blood. Vexsome, vexsome. So close to the end, to the who-knowswhat sort of revelations. But perhaps the darkness is better.

Scratch It is not one in a thousand, it is simply one plucked from a thousand; nondescript, stale. The cover is bright unbearably so - slashes of colour that spin and intersect in vicious angles, then spin off into their own personal futures. It hurts the eye to follow, leave them be. The title is illegible, in stark, dark red, hidden behind the joyous loops and swirls of the blues and greens and yellows. They seek to bury it, bury it alive, drown it in the saccharine sweetness of colour, make it lose its way along the rainbow trail. Odd, but no matter. The dedication page is blank. No one to thank, it seems. But the peer reviews are good, adjectives sliding into their quotation marks like obedient dogs, slinking home late at night to gaze up at you beatifically. You do not notice their bloodstained gums. The first page does not disturb, simple random strings of words; amino acids creating endless chains of DNA. Nothing remarkable, nothing strange, nothing strange. But a pulsing behind the eyes begins. Barely noticeable, surely not worth throwing two ether-drops into a glass to sizzle and melt. An itch, even. By the end of chapter one, the words have passed straight through the mind and left but a faint, tacky, sweetsmelling residue. No matter at all. But the itch has become a

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Janet Barr Australia Melbourne

straps of her seat belt. Emily, six years and three weeks old precisely, has graduated to a booster seat while her younger brother remains tethered in a more elaborate affair. Not long now, says Meredith. Im hungry and Im hot, adds George. Just a few more minutes kids and youll see the sign for Port Campbell. Ice creams and cold drinks coming up, says Adam glancing in the rear vision mirror. Young Emilys sun-tanned face has turned an ominous pallor. I think we might just pull over at this lookout, says Adam as he signals to Meredith to take a look at their normally garrulous daughter seated directly behind her. She turns to view the sickly child. Id pull over now if you can, says Meredith hastily as she leans forward slightly to check the road behind in the cars side mirror. Too late. The spray of vomit is broken in its trajectory by the headrest on Merediths front seat, sparing her back the full force of Emilys undigested lunch.

Eva, Tom and the Peacock [Based on a true story: The Wreck of the Loch Ard] A high sun sparkles the blue-green sea as Adam glides their new Audi four- wheel drive around sweeping curves on the cliff top road. His fingers tap lightly on the wheel in time to an Irish jig bouncing the airwaves from his ipod, now blue-toothed from his iphone through the cars speakers. Techno head Adam is in seventh heaven. Hows the quality of that sound, eh? says Adam to Meredith who is lost in reverie beside him, her head turned toward the sea. Mmm? The radio? Oh yeah, its pretty good isnt it? she replies still looking out across the great expanse of ocean. How beautiful is that sea today? she muses. Im hungry Mum. Im hungry for ice cream, declares a small voice from the back seat. Eyes barely open from sleep, three year-old George peers hopefully through the window in search of a shop. To his dismay its all ocean to one side and low, scrub-covered hills to the other. When are we going to be there, Mum? I feel sick, moans Emily as she squirms uncomfortably beneath the

Dad!

Oh spew, yuck! exclaims George. Stop the car

Only two vehicles sit empty in the car park above the Loch Ard Gorge baking in the early afternoon sun. Though a good three to four hour drive southwest of Melbourne, the distant tourist stop is usually filled with cars and buses, large and small, at this time of the day. Surrounded by coastal scrub and stunted, wind ravaged trees that afford scant shade; the bitumen surface of the car park is now soft under foot from the heat. Keep your sandals on kids. This bitumens melting. You dont want it sticking to your feet, believe me, says Adam as he lifts George from his seat across to the gravel verge. Holding her breath, Meredith, peels the soiled and smelly clothes off herself and Emily then deposits them into a large plastic bag kept in the car for just such occasions. Carsickness and Emily are no strangers on long trips, especially along the Great Ocean Road that twists and turns around the rugged coast and meanders through the towering eucalyptus forests of the Otway Ranges. The cool and relatively calm water in the gorge below beckons.

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Well wash these clothes tonight when we get to the hotel, love. Theyll be good as new in the morning, Meredith reassures Emily whose face has recovered her healthy glow. Adam cleans the car as best he can with wet wipes and an old towel. Ill get the interior done at the carwash in Warrnambool, says Adam. Leave the windows down, says Meredith. The smell in there will put anyone off nicking it. Adam concurs. Come on kids. Lets get down to the beach for a dip. Hat on George, were going for a swim, mate. Adam plonks a broad brimmed hat on the mass of dark curls at his knee before hitching the red-faced boy up on his hip. Adam, I hope its safe to go in the water down there. This is a pretty wild stretch of coast, says Meredith, dubious but desperate to get the smell of vomit from her hair. Well be right. Its as calm as a millpond today, he says reassuringly. Ill let you know when I feel lucky and it isnt right now, thats for sure, says Meredith as she takes Emilys hand. The four set off along a forked gravel path to a steep set of timber steps leading down into the gorge. They pass a sign marked cemetery pointing to the west. Whats a cemetery doing out here in the middle of nowhere? says Meredith. Well have a look on the way back, when weve cooled off. Might be from the wreck of Loch Ard, suggests Adam. I thought, except for Tom and Eva, all the passengers and crew were drowned, says Meredith. They might have recovered some of the bodies, says Adam. Who were they, Mum? asks George, bouncing on his fathers hip as they approach the top of the steps. Ill tell you that story after weve had a swim, she says, hesitating on the top step. Meredith looks down into the gorge where a small stretch of soft sand, washed by

gentle waves, marks the entrance to a shallow cave at the head of the gorge. I dont feel sick any more, says Emily, brightly, as they descend the steps. How good is this? says Adam as he shepherds young George through the cold water rippling over their feet. Meredith pauses again, staring out to sea. It's hard to imagine that stormy night, when was it, 1878? All those poor people, just a day away from Melbourne after months at sea. So close. What dreams, eh? Yeah, a watery grave here wasnt one of them, thats for sure. Youve got to admire them. They knew the risks, says Adam as he lowers his hot body into the cooling sea. Just shows how desperate they were for a better life, doesnt it? says Meredith. Who were they, Mum? asks Emily as she dances about in the shallows. A long time ago there was a sailing ship called the Loch Ard. It was bringing people from England to live in Australia. On last day of their long voyage they went to bed on board the ship, excited to be arriving in Melbourne the next day. The fog was very thick that night so they couldnt see the lighthouse we passed back down the road. The ship sailed too close to the shore and got washed onto those rocks out there near Mutton Bird Island. It was the first day of June so it was cold and windy with really big waves. Not calm and beautiful like it is today, says Meredith as she dips hear head back into the water. Were you born then, Mum? asks Emily floating on her back. Long before I was born, darling. It was back when ladies wore long dresses and couldnt swim like we can. Why couldnt they swim, Mum? asks George splashing into the water beside Emily. Because they didnt think it was the right thing for girls and ladies to do back then so they didnt teach them how to swim. Keep an eye on the kids, Adam, says Meredith as she pulls her wet hair back and plunges in again, taking long strokes to deeper water.

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I can swim and Daddy can too, cant you Dad? pipes George as he flops about in the shallows. Sure can, mate, says Adam. Lets go and have a look in that cave. Itll be nice and cool in there. Meredith! yells Adam, Im taking the kids into the cave. Get em out of this hot sun. Okay, Meredith calls back from fifty or so meters out from the beach. This is Tom and Evas cave, Adam tells the kids as they clamber gingerly over slippery rocks at the broad entrance to a high roofed cave. Come and sit here where we can see Mummy swimming and Ill tell you the story of Tom Pearce and Eva Carmichael. George sits between Adams bended knees, his small hands laced around his fathers sand covered ankles. He leans against the taut, cool abdomen; the little boys damp curls resting just below Adams broad chest. Emily drops the thick strap of seaweed she has dragged up from the waters edge and takes a sentry like-pose on a flat rock nearby. You ready? asks Adam. Yeah Dad, they reply in unison. It was a dark and stormy night begins Adam. No it wasnt, Dad, Emily interjects, a stickler for detail and accuracy since she learned to talk. Mummy said it was a foggy night. Correction. says Adam, It was foggy that dark and stormy night when a big sailing ship called the Loch Ard came too close to the rocks just over there. Adam points to a craggy rock face just beyond the narrow entrance to the gorge. The captain and his crew tried to turn the ship around in the dark but the wind and waves kept pushing it against the reef. They tried to get the passengers into lifeboats but the wind and waves bashed them against the rocks too. By the time the sun came up, all this water in the gorge was crowded with smashed timber from the ship and all sorts of stuff theyd been carrying on board. What kind of stuff? asks George, biting into the banana Adam has extracted from their daypack. Trunks of clothes, broken cups and plates, pianos

Pianos? exclaims Emily doubtfully. You cant take a piano on a boat, Dad. she says with all the authority of a six-year old. You couldnt get them here any other way, love, he says. No aeroplanes back then. Everything had to come by boat and they loved their music like we do. So they brought out their pianos, and sheep, cows, horses, chickens; all sorts of things. There was all this stuff crowding the water, where Mummys swimming now, and Tom was the only sailor washed into the gorge who managed to swim ashore. When the sun came up he heard another person calling out for help. It was Eva Carmichael who was clinging onto a piece of wood that had kept her afloat in the night. Tom was very brave. He swam out in the wild surf and pulled her into the safety of this little beach. Then he helped her into the shelter of this cave and covered her with branches of leaves that he managed to break off the bushes over there to keep the cold off her. Tom had no idea if anyone lived in this far away place but the brave lad, he was only eighteen, same age as Eva, scrambled up those cliffs, there were no steps back then, and went in search of someone to help them. Emily and George sat in rapt silence as their father recounted the story that had entranced him as a boy. Toms luck changed when he came across two men riding horses along a track not far from the beach. The land had already been turned into a big farm for sheep. The men stopped mustering the animals and while one man rode back to the homestead a few miles away to raise the alarm about the shipwreck, the other went with Tom back to this gorge to help Eva. When they got down here to the cave they couldnt find her. She had woken from a deep sleep and heard strange noises that she thought might be Aborigines. Shed heard stories in England that there were wild Aborigines in Australia and she was frightened they might hurt her so she had scrambled out of the cave and hidden under bushes up on the steep slopes of the gorge up there. The children sit, wide eyed, as they look up the towering sides of the gorge. Meredith is visible some distance out, her languid strokes parting undulating waves with ease. I want Mummy to come back now, Daddy, says Emily. She stands and yells out to sea, Mummy, Mummy come back now. Daddy, you yell at Mummy to come in now, she says with mounting anxiety. Shes all right, love. Shell be back in a minute. Mummys a good swimmer. The best bit of the story is that they found Eva and took her back to the homestead called

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Glenample which we passed back on the road just before you were sick, love. She was looked after by the family there until she was well enough to go back to her Grandma in Ireland. What happened to all the other people on the ship, Daddy? asks George handing his father the banana skin. Thats the really sad bit because only Eva and Tom survived the wreck. All the others drowned out there in the sea. I dont want to be here anymore, Daddy, says Emily standing up. Im going to get Mummy. Meredith has turned and waves as she bodysurfs the rising swell back to the shore. Daddy told us the scary story, Mummy, about the Loch Ard crashing on the rocks and all the people drowning in the sea, says George running into Merediths wet arms as she emerges dripping from the water. That was gorgeous out there, exclaims Meredith as she whisks her hot again son into her arms. Oh, feel you little man, youre all hot again. One last dunk before we go, she says as she falls back into the shallows with the giggling child. I hope they dont have nightmares now, Adam, says Meredith as the car slows to take the turn into Port Campbell. Strapped securely in their seat belts once again, with windows down to clear the nauseous air, Emily and George have recounted Adams tale in breathless detail. Na, theyll be right. Good to know these things. Make them appreciate the life weve got, says Adam. Bit young yet, perhaps? Enough that we should appreciate it, says Meredith. What happened to them, Mummy? What happened to Eva Carmichael and Tom Pearce? asks Emily. Everyone thought they should get married because brave Tom had saved Evas life after all her family, except an older brother who wasnt on the boat, had drowned in the wreck. But Eva wanted to go back to Ireland to live with her grandmother. A few years later, Eva married a Mr Townsend. They lived in England and had three sons. Tom got married too and he had two sons who became sailors

like their dad so it wasnt all sad. Did Daddy tell you about the peacock? asks Meredith. No, they chorus. If we get to Warrnambool in time, well go to the special museum about ships in the olden days and youll see photos of Tom and Eva and the real porcelain peacock that they found washed into the gorge, still safely wrapped in its special crate. What sort of peacock, Mummy? asks Emily. Porcelain, darling. Its a very beautiful statue of a peacock, made especially for a big exhibition held in Melbourne when it was very rich from all the gold they found here. Can we have an ice cream first, please Mummy? pleads George from the back seat. Sure can. Icecream coming right up, says Adam as he steers the vehicle into an angle park opposite a row of shops fronting the sheltered the bay of Port Campbell. Two hours later, the car undergoing the deluxe clean, inside and out, Adam and Meredith wander about the old and new buildings of the Maritime Museum with the children. Emily presses her nose against a tall glass cabinet, dazzled by the rich colours of the porcelain peacock that glistens beneath the museum down lights. Its so big, Mummy. Are peacocks really that big? asks Emily. They are when perched on a rock like the one theyve made for this bird to stand on. Its made like that so we can see its beautiful tail hanging down. I think if theyd made it with its tail fanned up, like peacocks sometimes do, the porcelain would break because it would be too heavy, you see? says Meredith, as taken with the beautiful Minton sculpture as the child. Thats what Im going to do when I grow up, Mummy, says Emily. Im going to make beautiful things like this peacock. Thats a good idea, says Meredith. Lets go and see what those boys are up to. Meredith and Emily find Adam and George sitting at an outdoor table on the caf terrace. Beyond a vast

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adventure playground the ocean sparkles in the late afternoon sun. George is demolishing his second icecream for the day. Another icecream? exclaims Meredith, Adam, he wont eat any dinner at this rate. Relax! Were on holiday. Hell be right, wont you, mate? Growing boy; hell eat whatevers put in front of him, wont you, buddy? George nods enthusiastically. Emily climbs onto a chair beside them. Im going to make beautiful things when I grow up, Daddy. Like the peacock from the Loch Ard. You like that, do you? Its pretty special, isnt it? To think it survived the shipwreck with only the tip of its beak chipped off, Adam remarks. And Im going to make beautiful icecream when I grow up, says George waving his chocolate chip cone in the air. Thats not a bad idea, says Adam. Thats a good plan, I reckon, cos everyone loves icecream. Got a business head on you, like your old man, says Adam with a wink.

Meredith snorts. Give it a rest, Adam. Hell end up with a big head, like his father, if hes not careful, she teases. I cant stop thinking about the life those people dreamed of when they sailed away from England all those years ago, says Meredith, still standing. Dashed on the rocks, they were. With a loud sigh, she sits on the heavy timber table, her feet dangling off the ground, as she ruffles the hair of husband. It makes you think of those poor asylum seekers arriving up north on leaky boats today. Just as desperate for a new life, muses Adam. I agree, says Meredith. Except the Aborigines werent locking our ancestors up in remote detention centres and taking an age to process them. No, says Adam, might wish they had done now. Not in their nature, Adam, says Meredith. No, he says. Doesnt say much for ours, does it? Adam looks at Meredith. No, it does not, she says, looking out across the distant sea.

Image Credit: Back Page #2

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Trisha Bhattacharya Kolkata India

inside the cottage and from the graveled narrow streets outside lit their faces as they spoke to each other. But why? Anusuya said. We are not allowed entry after sunset, when some of the sacred rituals begin, Guarika said. But I will be allowed inside, Anusuya said, her eyes twinkling. I have no doubt that you will be, Guarika said, smiling. Since Utsav has taken a liking to you. Anusuya smiled sweetly at her friend, whose eyes glistened with astonishment. Her own almond eyes were brimming with hope, in response. And I must see him before I leave. Mihikas marriage ceremony is complete and we have to leave Belavadi in a few days. Just dont go tonight, Guarika said, worried for her friend. It is quite dark outside. Ok, I wont, Anusuya said, smiling at her friend. I do know Utsav and you are friends, Guarika said. But why are you so eager to meet him? Anusuya laughed and touched her friends hand in reassurance. Utsav appeared in my dream yesterday. He asked me to come to the temple before I left Belavadi. How can he appear in a dream? Guarika said, amused. He could have told you all this personally, a few days back at the wedding? Utsav appears in my dreams sometimes, telling me secrets of the temple, the ancestral rituals, Anusuya said, going back inside the cottage and bringing out a small diary in which she had been noting some of her dreams. He showed me scrolls written by the temple priests a hundred years old last night, in another dream. I even noted down some Sanskrit hymns he has shown me. I dont believe you, Guarika said, looking at the notes, recognizing some she had seen as a young girl when her mother had worked in the temple for a few weeks. This cant be, he is not supposed to show these to you, someone who is not from any of the main old and traditional families of Belavadi.

Kuntalam Vidya The wedding shamiana stood still, around the dark, crimson-bricked cottage, in a kaleidoscope of florescent ethnic shades, in rectangular, square and spherical patterns. Anusuya had come to attend Mihikas wedding with Guarika, who was her best friend from college. Mihika and Guarika were sisters. The two friends were in a small townlike village called Belavadi, in South India, which was Guarikas ancestral hometown. The flames from the holy fire in the towns main temple could be seen from their cottage, and the smoke flowed into the night sky, like an incorporeal mass of grayish powdered glass, shiny and sharp. The cool and fragrant air of its relic-hills lent Belavadi and its numerous temples a beatific and magical presence. It was a sanctuary for the devoted, and a souvenir of the erstwhile India, perhaps not as much in ostentation as in human faith and unconditional human bonding. Anusuya, you mustnt go to the temple so late at night, Guarika said. They were seated inside their cottage verandah, farther away from temple. They faced each other. Lights from

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Anusuya thought of the dreams; she initially hadnt believed in them. But on being told by Utsav himself some days back, she had eventually believed him. He was the son of the head of the Belavadi temples, and town trust. He was not a priest, but worked on the administrative side of things and belonged to a wealthy family in Belavadi. She had trusted him since the first time they had met. And how does he travel in dreams? It is logically not possible! Guarika said. But he did, Anusuyas expression changed from gravity to bliss. To prove that it was indeed him, he showed me the hymns and told me so many other things. And you do know I have never spoken to him on a mobile, because I am not carrying one in Belavadi. I do know that, but you dont know him well, Anusuya, you havent even met him that many times, Guarika said, her nose puckering. He has never really left Belavadi, except for studies for a few years earlier. Hes kind to me, Anusuya said. Didnt you see how he gave me special prasadam from inside the temple the other day? It was simple prasadam, Guarika fumed. What is so kind about that? He was being nice to me. Have you ever seen him handing out prasad to anyone else? No, I havent, Guarika said, frowning. I was so pleased! Anusuya said. Isnt he beautiful? Guarika pursed her lips. Utsav was about six years older than them, and perhaps one of the only really educated men in Belavadi. Beautiful? I thought you would use a word like handsome? Like the light of the sun. He is beautiful, Anusuya said, smiling. Anusuya, I am taking you back with me tomorrow, far away from this place, Guarika said. He is not of the city, Anusuya. We have to go back to Bangalore soon and continue our studies. Anusuya glanced at her friend. Her left eyebrow rose in surprise, heavy kajal smudging the area beneath her eyes, like she hadnt slept in days. We are leaving two

days from now. I must see him again, some way, she said. There is a yearly annual dance at the temple the day after tomorrow, isnt there? What about tomorrow? Guarika touched her friends cheek and forehead and checked her temperature. Winds from surrounding hills carried soothing sandalwood and rose essence to them on the verandah. Anusuya released a sigh in happiness. No, he is not in Belavadi tomorrow, she said. He is going to a nearby town, and returns on the day of the festival. He told me that he can meet me only during the festival. You dont understand. If I dont go today then I must dance at the festival, Anusuya gasped. In a dream he told me that Id get a special blessing if I danced at the festival. What? Guarika said. Please dont ask me to come along, Anusuya. I wont, but I must dance, Anusuya said. I dont know the local dance form of this village. Who will teach me Guarika? Guarika grew still, surprised by her friends behavior. God, Anusuya. You cant learn the dance in a day. What will I do then? Anusuya felt sad. Please help me. I do know someone who can help us. We must go to the tribeswoman who lives on sitara hills close by, Guarika said, looking back at her friend gleefully. She could help us. She knows magic. Anusuya embraced her friend in delight, and dreamt that night again. Utsav again asked her to come to the temple and not forget him. Early next morning, Anusuya and Guarika left for the hills, where an old woman with flaming red hair greeted them outside her hut. Her eyes were brown, and her lips were red from chewing beetle leaves. The tribeswoman looked at the girls inquisitively. The tribeswomans eyes became lighter, in knowingness, as sunlight pierced the cloudy sky and fell gently on Anusuya and her friends faces. Guarika spoke to the woman in Belavadis local dialect, explaining why they needed her help. However, Anusuya had earlier asked her not to tell anyone about Utsav, so Guarika did not mention him. The wise old lady told them that her name was Purvashi maa and that they could address her as the other villagers did. She took them inside her hut, and sat them

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down on the floor. She also took the money Guarika offered her. Guarika continued translating everything the old lady said to Anusuya, while Purvashi maa reached for a silver box under a teakwood cot that she quickly clutched to her bosom like a prized possession. She reached for a crimson velvet pouch sitting inside the box. Inside the crimson pouch was a single sea-shell, pearly and white. Anusuya eyed it with interest, and wondered if the shell would metamorphose her into a danseuse overnight. Her heart ticked like a sweet cuckoo bird inside her chest. In the city, she would never have believed something like this, but Belavadi was a magical town. Utsavs appearance in her dreams, everlasting sandalwood and rose aroma in the wind, and the calm and warmth in the eyes of the village residents urged her into belief in magic. Guarika translated Purvashi maas message, as the wise old woman continuously smiled, knowingly again, at Anusuya, who sat, staring at the shell with awe and wonder. Her almond eyes flickered in the streaming sunlight inside the hut. Anusuya, this shell is called Kuntalam Vidya, Guarika said. Guarika listened to the old lady and repeated after

On the day of the dance, in the evening, Anusuya went alone with some other dancing girls to the temple, where she had to ask one of the main dancers to let her join them. She performed before them, and they loved her. It was seven in the evening. The blackish-grey stone-temple was lit with ornate chandeliers, almost a dozen, quickly following each other across the deep-stone ceilings; and the side-walls were embellished with multicolored hyacinths, gladiolas, roses, and jasmines, which were tied into ribbons and garlands, floating from the upper storey walls; almost touching the cool marble flooring beneath. The aroma of sandalwood incense floated through the air and entered Anusuyas nostrils. It was warm inside, as all the haveli-styled windows were locked, except for a few titan entrance doors. Everyone was seated on red woven daris, spread across the length of the temple floors. The recital began. The red and cream lehengas and saris glimmered in the lights from the pendent. The women had covered their faces, in sequined and mirrorwork dupattas(s), a kind of wide and long veil. Anusuya stood in attention, as she watched the other dancers sway to the music, as it began playing. Miraculously again, the mudras and movements of the dance came to Anusuya with ease and she danced gracefully along with the others. No one recognized her, because the duppatta covered her face. The dance continued for a while, before night fell and the temple lights, all of a sudden, went out. Unintentionally, perhaps, someone had forgotten to arrange emergency lights for the temple. The light from the moon could do little to light up the main hall. Stay seated, Utsav said, repeating in English after using his local dialect, a voice Anusuya very clearly recognized from under the duppatta. He spoke in English, as he did at events so that outsiders understood him. Everyone waited patiently for a while for the lights to come on, but a loud noise inside the electricity room created a sudden commotion within the temple, and some people started running outside. Anusuya tripped as a burly figure hurried past her. She winced in pain; she had hurt her ankle. Before she could stand again, strong hands picked her up and took her to a nearby room. The aroma of sandalwood filled her breath with sweetness. A few candles were lit in a corner of the room. This was perhaps the room of the temple dayimaa, because she heard a firm male voice speak to the lineation of a plump female figure seated on the cot. Anusuya found herself lying next to the seated dayimaa, who smelt of cinnamon, mint and cloves.

her.

Kuntalam Vidya means deep knowledge as expansive as the sky. Take this and sleep with it under your pillow tonight. When you wake up, the dance of the exquisite village belles will come to you. Anusuya placed the singed pouch inside her turquoise crispy-jute handbag, peering for a second at the captivating cover of her bag, a block print of a regal elephant glimmered under the silhouette-outlining of stitched matt round-sequins, as if it was protecting the precious ingredient inside the bag. Anusuyas eyes traveled from Guarikas embonpoint pinkish face to the paler and angular face of the tribal wise woman. Later she touched the wise womans hand in gracious acceptance. Thank you Purvashi maa. Purvashi maa stepped back inside her hut after she showed them the way back. A slanting roof stacked with hay and brown grass, stood witness to their return from the old ladys house on sitara hills. Anusuya did as she was told. She kept Kuntalam Vidya under her pillow. Miraculously, everything Purvashi maa had said came true. The dance of the temples came naturally to Anusuya.

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Take care of her, Utsav said. Anusuya recognized his voice. Who is this girl? The lady in the room spoke sharply and with authority in return. She is not one of the dancers, how is she dressed in that ensemble and with whose permission? Anusuyas ankles hurt. She felt her lips with her tongue, and they hurt too. They were bruised and slightly swollen from the mild fall. Fortunately, the lights came back on just then. Anusuya smiled lightly as she opened her eyes slowly to the sharp glare of the room lights. Utsav was at the door, his face radiating an inner glow. His eyes were dark, but she could feel a strong inherent kindness emanating from him. His golden traditional attire, merged with the cream walls of the dayis room. No she is not, but she is very lucky for us. She stays, he said. I will be back after I check out the sound in the electric room. Anusuya closed her eyes, and the pain in her ankles increased slightly. However, her mind was glued to the voices she could hear outside the room; Utsavs voice specifically, commanding others, telling them to find the source of the noise. The scent of mint wafted from one corner of the room, as dayimaa got up and strapped Anusuyas ankle in a large cool-to-touch leaf. Her fingers were nimble and firm, and, as if by magic, Anusuyas pain vanished. Ten minutes later, a young girl ran into dayimaas room. It is the peeple tree serpent, Kuntalam has returned. It wanted to eat, so she entered the electricity room, and broke one of the main light knobs. What wonderful news, Dayimaa yelped in joy. We are indeed blessed. Kuntalam? Anusuya gasped, thinking of the white shell that the tribeswoman had given her. What serpent are you talking about? The young girl rattled off in delight. Kuntalam is a hundred year old serpent, and is a granter of knowledge, Vidya. Her mere presence can spread the light of wisdom in every soul. She has been missing from this temple for years, but with your propitious arrival, she has returned. Anusuya smiled. The young girl clasped her hand and kissed it. She is considered very auspicious for our village, and everyone wants you outside, now.

Soon dayimaa joined the young girl and kissed Anusuyas hands. Anusuyas cheeks grew warm. We never thought we would see her again, amidst us. You made it possible my girl. Please forgive me. Your presence brought Kuntalam back! Anusuya believed in the belief of the villagers, and therefore was not surprised by the turn of events, as she herself had been privy to the miraculous effects of the magical shell Kuntalam Vidya - the wise lady - had given her. The young girl and dayimaa suddenly stepped away from her, as Utsav entered the room and helped her back to the main hall. He whispered a few words into her ears before putting her on a chair, from where she could see the happy faces of the villagers and tourists and Kuntalam, all brown, majestic and glorious, coiled atop a lowered chandelier, looking back at her, almost at eye level. The townspeople and some villagers were screaming in joy inside the temple now. Praise Utsav for bringing the girl here. She is very lucky for us, said an elderly temple priest. She has brought knowledge back to us. The priests heaped gold filigree and silver coins at Anusuyas feet, and gave her their blessings for bringing Kuntalam back. Anusuya smiled at everyone while her ankle began to ache again. She bowed to all the elders in the temple. Her face was glowing in all the adulation and in his presence, and her eyes misted over. She was happy to be with Utsav, but she understood that she was not one of them, at least, not yet. She looked at Utsav, who was looking at her, a smile curving his lips. Utsavs response was a quick and an understanding nod. Guarika was called, and she took Anusuya away, half reluctant, back to their cottage. However, Utsav did not leave the temple premises to see her off, when Anusuya and Guarika drove away. In the morning when Anusuya woke up, she remembered Utsavs voice, and his smile. Return from the city later, he had said to her in a dream earlier in the night. Anusuya grabbed Guarikas arm in joy and told her the message she had received in her dream. He asked me to return! Guarika scratched her head, and pranced around the room, packing their clothes quickly into a large bag. It was time for them to leave for the train station. Yes, he must have. You brought his precious Kuntalam back, after all, Guarika said, laughing. He didnt even see you out to your car last night.

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No, dont say that. He was quite occupied, Anusuya said, glumly. There were more than a hundred people inside the temple. Right! Guarika said. Anusuya bid adieu to Guarikas family, and left a package with Guarikas mother, for Utsav. As the car moved away from the village, onto a broader pebbled road leading to the station, Anusuya looked back at the temple, and her smile faded somewhat. There was no one at the gate today. Utsav was usually at the temple at this time of the day. Guarika was also looking outside the car window at the beautiful rolling hills of Belavadi. Suddenly, Anusuya saw him, approaching a temple boulder, watching her. He smiled and waved at her. The excitement inside Anusuyas heart eclipsed the earlier sadness completely. He continued waving slowly at her. Anusuya felt lighter and stronger than she ever had in a long time, as she waved back. Kuntalam Vidya, the shell, had perhaps done some extra magic for her, she thought, smiling to herself. Anusuya had left Kuntalam Vidya for Utsav in the package along with a letter. He would understand its importance upon seeing it, she thought. Their bond was unconditional. She would return soon, she had told him in her letter.

Rebecca Brothers U.S.A. Oregon

Daydreams Once upon a time, there was an English major who went on to library school and lived in a one-room apartment in the worst part of town until she was seventy-six. Then she died and nobody knew about it until she didnt come to work on Monday. Some days, Im sure this is whats going to happen to me. I have eighteen months left as an undergrad and still no guiding vision for my life. Its a pity I dont want to teach, as thats the major draw for most English majors. If I liked teaching, I could travel the world. I could get a free trip to Korea and teach cute dark-eyed children and dress up in a hanbok on holidays, a blond wannabe Korean. I could go to Afghanistan and teach war widows in burqas how to read. I could go to Botswana and teach under a tree and wash my clothes in the river. But I dont like teaching. Ten months in Poland solidified that fact. I worked in a preschool three mornings a week and taught English in the afternoons, and while its true that I never dreaded my classes as much as I thought I would, its also true that I never let myself stop and think about it much. I lived hour by hour, never letting myself fully

Image Credit: Back Page #3

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enjoy the weekends and holidays because I knew what would come after them. I remember the day Obama came to Warsaw. I had the day off, so I took the 41-minute train trip into the city and followed the cordoned-off roads to Palace Square, where the meetings were being held. I hung around and covertly watched the security men as they watched me equally covertly. When it became clear that Obama would rather continue meeting with world leaders than appear to an adoring audience of one homesick American, I poked around Old Town a bit more, enjoying the feeling of security brought by the English-speaking, off-duty Secret Service men also strolling the cobblestone streets. I went down to the Barbican with its itinerant artists and crumpled Roma women sitting on the bricks, cradling still children and accepting pennies with a quiet dignity. I found a small outdoor caf with white tablecloths and cups of snowdrops on each table. I ordered lentil soup and grilled chicken salad with crusty bread, and I took great joy in eating as slowly as I pleased. This was no sandwich gobbled in the five minutes between classes, no bowl of cereal before work, no omelet thrown together from what was left in my fridge. This was the meal of a real woman, eaten to the beat of umbrellas snapping in the breeze and horse-drawn carriages clopping by and shop signs creaking on their hinges. There were school groups lining up for ice cream and cobblestones dipping down to meet the drains and waiters pacing in long white aprons. There were pigeons cooing on the tile roofs and the old pump in the square groaning as tourists tried it to see if it still worked. I was an independent woman that day, in my new haircut and halting Polish and table for one set with pepper grinder and vinegar and snowdrops. But I do not like teaching, so unless I discover oil in my backyard, the world of Old Town Europe is more or less closed to me. *** Once upon a time there was an English major who married the governor. She never had to worry about the heating bill and she would periodically appear in a sweater set to smile and wave. Last week I went to a Christmas party. As a guest, not as the music or the help. I wore jeans and a pea coat, and I went with other jeans and pea coats. We drove up to the house through a low gate and a curving drive, and I told myself, What a lovely house, then realized I was looking at the garage. They had a sitting room and a TV room and a drawing room, all on one floor. They had a breakfast nook and a formal dining room and two staircases to the second floor. I looked out over the back yard and saw one gazebo,

then another, then the pool, and thought of my own nonjudgmental cinder-block bomb shelter with its ant problem and broken curtains. My link to this world of multiple chandeliers and a guest book, none of it meant ironically, was a friend from work. We met because we both knew how to use semicolons in a series. We became friends because we were both militantly proOxford comma. I was at his house that night because we both found humor in a typo on a cereal box and bet each other Triscuits over points of grammar. If he goes as far as he would like, all the way to neurosurgery, he will be the final member of his family to become a doctor. In a family of four, there will be four M.D.s, and I cant help but think that an English major would have no place in this world of autoclaves and bone clamps and catecholamine over breakfast. He is married to his OChem book and utterly faithful to his virology podcasts, and I do not think all the organ music in the world would be enough to divert him from that. And that is what I know: Buxtehude and breves, kennings and Keats. I cant say much about biogenic amines or Peyers patches, and this is what he knows. There is a picture of him at age nineteen, giving a presentation in Munich. The slideshow is paused on a slide detailing something molecular, and I can understand about one word in four. We are from different planets, him and I, and we have found enough common ground for work and friendship, but not much else, so far. This is not about him, so much as it is about what he represents. I do not think I am destined for chandeliers. I will leave them for someone who knows ketones, not just key tones. *** Once upon a time there was an English major who knew what she wanted out of life and went looking for it and found it and lived happily ever after. There were no food stamps involved, ever, at any point in her life. She was fictitious. *** Once upon a time there was an English major who did not know what she wanted out of life, but knew how to look for it, and found that the search was enough. Some people treat English majors as though theyre Victorian women or Afghan women: They make it plain to us that there are not many options available to us after

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graduation, and the best one is marriage, with teaching as a close second. If we take too long to decide, we will end up as spinster aunts in attic rooms. If I want to stay sane, I will have to refuse to believe that. Success begins with believing that you can beat the odds. I cant wait around for anyone to decide my life for me. I cant crawl around and be surprised when Im kicked. Ill have to move forward without fear and not stop for anything. *** Once upon a time there was an English major who had no idea what to do with her life, past writing. But that was all she needed to make a home out of a room or a mansion or a cinder-block icebox. It was all she needed to find the humour in food stamps. It was all she needed to take a hell and turn it into something she could cry over when she left. Reading broadened the outside world, and writing handled the inside. She lived in the middle of two complete worlds, and that was enough.

Wafik Doss (Fiko): Egypt Cairo Syrup

Backwards

One day my body Lay in a tinker Box. With a golden Cross, and Tears of passing. I saw my mother there. She knew. A thousand times Ive seen my death. A thousand times Ive lived to tell the tale. One day I stepped onto a Sea-less shore, Licked your footprints off its sandy floor To quench a thousand years of thirst, Alas, it did not fill me. It knew. Image Credit: Back Page #4 A thousand times Ive seen my death. A thousand times Ive lived to tell the tale.

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To you I am a myth. A legend. More real than unreality. More unreal Than the dreamers dream. I stand before you now, but do I stand Before You? I am the Dreamer I am the Dream One day I tread on broken tears And heard each moan with my own tongue. They spoke to my soles. It whispered a thousand mens shredded dreams A million tattered hearts, and a single smile To comfort the chill of their corpse. They knew. Ive earned my place among your soles. One day and many more Ive spent Sulking, weeping, wailing! Spent, For a stolen chance to repent Or a fleeting kiss to relent But never once could I miss Your fading touch, even though it came in the scent Of an Afterlife. You knew. Ive earned my place among your soles. One day one hour one night! In a stillborn hearse, Ashes to Ashes, dust to life, I was born. Alas, then if I had known what was to know.

Jackie Lee King: U.S.A. Michigan City, IN

Prima Ballerina Assoluta: The Dream Dance After hours of dance, she secludes to the welcome warmth of a shower. Discarded is her warm-up gear as she lets the water peel the waves of fatigue off her body. The water is a tad hot, but it feels good over her aching skin. Its been a long day and she dreams about the comfort of her sheetsto be nestled in their folds. Hes heated the towels, which are placed on the counter next to the shower. The swelter from the shower contrasts the dry terrycloth robe, giving her skin a sensation of torridness. Her body reacts in a shudder of exhaustion and partial exhilaration as she towels herself dry. She exits the bathroom contained in steam. Her skin still radiates the warmth as she sees that hes laid out silky things. The cool contrast from the material piques her skin and finds that she is flush and anxious. He is in the other room, so she drops the robe and takes time to admire her figure. They say the life of a dancer is a short one, but she has extended it further than imaginable. Though she is presumed to be past her element, she still retains a youthful stance that implies she has years to go before she hangs up her slippers. She moves around in front of the floor-length mirror and takes inventory.

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She is a ripe embodiment of style and grace and gazes lovingly at her body. She sighs at the sight and thinks, not bad. Modest in her assessment, she knows that anything that she may curtail he looks at with enrichment and delight. She picks his favorite scent and begins to work the oil into her thirsty skin, taking her time. An aroma of delightful food wanders into the room and she knows that he is in his own ritual of culinary delight and wonders when they will get around to enjoying the food. She moves around the room, as the warm-up has passed and the true dance begins. Sitting on the edge of the bed she spends a few moments on her feet. She can feel a shiver working its way up her calves and twitches a bit when she encounters a sore spot. Its not a pain that she minds. It has come out of hard work and she feels an accomplishment from its presence so she digs deeper into the muscle to coax out the ache. Working her way up she has now covered her legs with the sensual oil and briefly presses her hand, open palm, to the incline of her thighs. She thinks of him and how hes still a mystery to her, but time will out all his secrets, while she still retains most of hers. She takes in the smoothness of her skin and remembers the last time that they were together. Availing herself to more oil, she bathes her belly in its essence. She is starting to lose the heat from the shower so she takes extra time to caress the beginnings of her curves, imaging his hands. They have the strength of a blue-collar occupation, but retain the elegance of a wordsmith. Now, working on both arms, she feels a sense of anticipation wondering when he may return to her room. She has still not dressed, and the more interesting applications are coming up and she doesnt want him to miss it. She completely immerses herself in the reflection, with her back to the door, and hears him coming down the hall. She sees his reflection in the mirror, but pretends not to notice as she rubs the last of the oil on her other curves. She closes her eyes for a moment and feels his gaze upon her body; any chill that was in the air evaporates with his eyes on her skin. She lavishes in the sensation and feels an even greater warmth returning to her body. She lets out a breath and looks back at him over her shoulder and says, Ready soon, as he nods and walks back into the kitchen. She loves it when he doesnt speak. She is on a primal level and wants to pursue it with vigor. Finishing up, she dresses in the silks and gazes at her image. The material hangs playfully upon her body and she feels renewed by the sensation. She begins sending thoughts

in his direction that she knows hell feel. He noticed a wave of sensation coming over him; it is a delicate distraction in the midst of cooking. There is a silence in the houseshe wants him now. The silk is doing subtle things to her skin and she wants a more powerful sensation. She let out a sound that she knew would travel directly to his mind and with that she beckoned him to her. He is at the door, gazing directly into her mischievous eyes, feeling her radiate. The sensual nature of her walk strikes him still while she places a luxurious kiss on his lips. They were full and tasted like fine Bordeaux; its crimson staining his lips. Tonight is all about Lotus, she says, So pace yourself, its going to be a long one. Dinner is ready, he says. But her response is, Heavens in here. *** She meets him at the bedroom door, turns around, and reaches back to tug at his tie. Pulling him gently into the room, he stumbles a bitbrushing up against her back. She loves it when hes a bit awkward. It lifts the serious air about him by removing the mystery of where his mind may be. She is on his mindhe is in the moment and not a million miles away. She stops midway in the room, turns and places her hands upon his broad shoulders and motions him down so that he sits at the edge of the bed. She turns around again and sits very gently upon his lap, wondering what her next move will be. And there it is, the patio deck. It is like a small stage, just past the curtained glass doors. He had installed a motion sensor light just last week, but she wants to test it out now. She looks back at him with her stay gaze and gets up and walks over to the CD player. She had brought her rehearsal music home, and was planning to work on some choreography the next day, but now would be a good time for her to plan her moves. She bends down, facing away from him, to secure the music from her workout bag, taking her time so that he can enjoy the outfit that he has picked out for the evening. His gaze never ventures from her body. She rises up, and places the CD into the player. The music already has a thirty second intro edited in for a performance, so she has time to dim the lights in the

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bedroom, open the glass doors, and exit though the sheer drapes that coincidently match the material of her ensemble. She is careful not to set off the sensor upon her exit, waiting for her light cue to begin the dance. The song, Mississippi, by Train, starts to fade up and she gingerly extend her leg into the path of the sensor, triggering the mechanism for the light. For fun, he has installed a blue bulb for the deck. He told her that he wanted to spend more time outside in the screened area, for writing, but didnt want the glare of a floodlight to dishevel his process. But now, this was her stage, and the blue illumination is great for viewing silhouettes though translucent drapes. The gentile rise of the music inspires her own movements as she goes though the beginning positions as if she were stretching the muscles out for a long performance. There is a slight breeze in the air, and the smell of fall is entering the scene. A crisp, yet smoky, bouquet fills the space as she takes more broad movements around the deck. She can barely see his silhouette though the veil but feels his powerful gaze upon her. The blue light makes the contours of her body more acute against the dusky sylvan background. She is becoming drunk from his attention. He could be anybody, in the darkness, looking upon her body, but she is choosing what they see and when they see it. It can be one man, or a room full of people, where a hush has come over the crowd, and all of their attention is upon her body. She is now feeling the pulse of the music surging though her skin. The music is taking her though carefully planned movements and is now evolving into an organic progression. She fels her bodys rhythm, and if something entices her, she wants to explore all of its subtleties. The chill of the night air is gone and now she is feeling the warmth of her own efforts as well as the knowledge that he is following every move she makes. She finally understands what her friend tells her about stripping, and how the feel of someones lust, restrained, made her want to become brave in showing her body. Her friend says, that the attention that they pay her body is much more enriching than the tips they leave. She wonders, Should I strip for my man? Would that be some sort of fantasy for him? The dance is changing, and she can feel her arousal simmering up within her. She is moving her hips slower and more assured. There is no pole to dance around, but there are several floor to ceiling pillars around the deck that are conducive of a few playful moves, but now there is an urgency in dance. She wants to up her game and to make him sweatstarting to perspire herself.

The silks were now getting in the way. She is making little turns and pivots so that even the more minute muscles were getting a work out. The camisole is still giving her the sensation that she needs as it begins to do its magic on her top curves. It caresses her now excited breasts by entrapping them at different angels, showing off cleavage. She is now starting to run her hands all over her body and feeling such an intense hunger. The top is over stimulating her, but she wants to be more enflamed. Turning her back on him she bends down and lets the flimsy material slide along her upper torso, over her head, and lets the spaghetti straps pass gently upon the ground. Her panties cling tightly to her bottom as she feels the material tighten around her frame. She wonders if he is experiencing the same sort of garment restraint as well. She laughs a little to herself and then begins to slowly elevate her body into a normal alignment, feeling each muscle and bone shift into a perfect stance. Damp with perspiration she slides her underwear down to the floor; they were starting to not cooperate with some of the choreography. The song finishes and she enters back into the bedroom though the soft veil and stands before him. If you wanna touch the sky, better learn how to kneel, she says, standing completely naked before him. He takes his cue from the next lyric of the song, and kneels down in front of her thighs. She can feel his warm breath upon the gentile folds between her legs, and she takes a broader stance before him so that he can experience her excitement.

Image Credit: Back Page #5

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James Edwin McDonough: U.S.A. Charlottesville, VA

I work at Lloyds in central London and deal with pooled loans. Funding. Borrowing money from one place at a lower interest rate than what we lend it out for. I was a good seller and made 10 million Pounds for the firm this year. Im not too bad off but expect a good bonus soon. Seriously, whats 40 grand skimmed from 10 mil? Barely half a percent. I had only taken 10 days off this year, out of the 35 I was allowed, and was told by my supervisor to take an extra week for the holidays. So I decided to visit my family in Sweden. Anna. That was her name. Anna Lindberg. Over the years she became close to our group somehow. I think she was much older for her age than we gave her credit for, and I believe she was held back a year for emotional problems or something like that. She had warmed on the outside and been more party going than expected. We welcomed her in the sense that she was fun and would make out with us on New Years when the other girls from our class were too busy with older guys who wore baggy jeans and had bought all the booze by paying off an old supgubbe who usually waits outside of Systembolaget for kids like us. Those teens were the ones with the free homes too. Where their parents went, I never knew.

The Third Row They say the theatre is haunted. I received a phone call from my grandmother who invited me to see a play at Storkyrkan, a cathedral turned theatre in Stockholm. Even though she knew the old stories quite well, she hoped I was interested. Of course Id come. I was too young to know the stories very well. I think my grandmothers generation regarded them as a form of entertainment that past generations made up to pass the time. While you waited for a carriage or something like that. I wasnt interested in the stories. I knew one of my classmates had gone to the theatre. A girl, about twelve or so, who adamantly claimed that it was bewitched. None of us believed her. She was always a pasty, thin girl. A scrawny, shivering, little thing with long blonde hair. We called her spket. The ghost. We werent very friendly children growing up. No matter how fancy ones education, being in middle school, we were terrible to each other. But that was another time. I had since grown up to know the world to be a very gray place guided by opportunists. With little to offer other than what was either found by chance or taken by force.

Poor Anna. We lost contact with her after graduation when suddenly, I heard, she lost grips with reality and checked herself into a mental institution. Well. It was probably a good thing. She mentioned something about seeing her dead parents. Sometimes I think we kissed her just to shut her up. She was beautiful but she never saw that. One day I invited her to come to my place. Nothing seedy. Just to hang out, watch a movie. I hated her so much I loved her. But I couldnt tell her. She was too far away. Personally. I was from Liding and she was an lnder, a creature from the North. It wasnt a race or class thing. It was almost the difference between a fish and a toad. They share the same background and relative history but can never accept the other. She showed me her diary. I found out a lot about her and how little she got from the boys she went after. I dont think I ever told her much about myself. I just tried to sound grown-up and gave her advice about being strong and independent while she played Bittersweet Symphony. I was clueless sometimes. Well. After I arrive in Sweden I get a phone call from her and I realize how much has changed. Its been at least 10 years. She was let go by the mental institute and she says she does not regret anything anymore and that I will not hear from her again. I ask her how and where she is

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and she mentions something about how sunny it seems. How warm the winter is this year. And it is so warm it is like summer. It feels like a dream. Im not sure what to say, Im so awkward. I never know what to say. Unless its about work or politics or global matters, the rest escapes me. So I listen and just watch a magpie hop across the lawn. Its true, there was just one day of snow so far, and this is unusual when the last two years we had meters of snow and it was so cold that people were fighting each other to get on the buses. Strange, lovely Anna. Poor thing. But shes right. Everythings changing. Even I, without any real reason, am still holding the receiver as she carries out on the other line about the weather. I feel like Im holding on to the last remnant of a human being, and that it might as well be now that I do this because I should give comfort to someone at least once in my life. Im not heartless. I just didnt pay much attention until now. She mentions the winds will pick up. That the storms are coming. That time and space are confusing and people who are confused did not know they were confused and were merely pretended nothing was happening. She says the night will become more and more bewitched, and that she is going back to the theatre and then nothing. I dont hear the receiver hang up or that familiar dead beeping that follows. Just a sudden stop in sound. I keep holding the phone waiting on the line for what seems a minute or two, still watching the magpie as it scuttles and races other birds. Hopping gaily as they do, like small children. I think she must have either found peace in her life or completely lost it. Either case didnt mean much to me. She didnt sound troubled on the phone. But thats how it is, isnt it? They always sound calm and collected. Like someone whos accepted death. Not that I know anything, but I can imagine it. She was so sweet. Her lips stretched out like a cats and she had such a full set of teeth that felt like a hug when she kissed you. I hang up the phone. I live in a nice spot near Gamla Stan, the old city, a top floor apartment wound up among the uneven stone streets. Founded in the 1200s or something like that. Id go to the theatre the following day. But tonights a small reunion. I walk out to the pubs, just a few steps away. She was right, its warm.

I wait for the group of classmates that I havent seen in years. We all go to a moderately expensive Italian restaurant. I order soup because Im not hungry and dont want to seem rude. Everyone orders pizza. I bet were all ordering just to be polite, to have something to do with our hands while we talk. I drink four glasses of wine before the evening is over and decide to call it a night so I wouldnt be hung-over. I saw Anna then. She was so real, tall, pale, and dressed in a long green robe that shimmered. But it couldnt be. I told her it felt like a dream. She said it was a nice day. We watched taxis fill in and out with different people getting ready for a big soire. They were all dressed up in late eighteenth century clothes, classic Stockholm period fashion. At its height the country assimilated French culture. Since then the language has drifted more and more away from its original Nordic roots and remains to be the most altered of the Scandinavian languages. These people arriving in the shiny black and yellow taxis were young and beautifully clothed. I felt terribly underdressed. Even Anna seemed to fit in. I had to change and get away. Anna calmly smiled and said she would see me again. I left without a goodbye. I wake up in a sweat. Its late and the sun is covering my half-naked body in sheets. The damn alarm. It always goes off, but this time I must have slept through it. I check my watch. It stopped working. Its one of those kinetics. Whoever heard of them not working after a year? Whatever. I immediately carry myself from bed. When I follow my usual routine I can be out the door within 15 minutes. I step into the shower and turn the faucet without opening my eyes. I put on BBC while I make breakfast. I touch my iPhones automated app function that dictates my most important emails and then reports on the stock market as I clean up. I love my life. When I put on my undershirt I think of my dreams. It was so real. The people and how they were dressed. I consider tonights event. It takes place at five, which will feel like night-time. I knew it was invitation only. I decide against suit and tie and look deeper in my closet for something a bit more Swedish. We meet near the entrance of the cathedral and I can tell shes so ready for this. Charles! She calls while waving me down from her foldable walker. I bend down to embrace her short, round features. We express God Jul to

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each other and I escort her in. She passes me the tickets and I present them to the doorman. He touches them lightly and his bushy eyebrows rise. Oh, you have nice tickets, near the front! He exclaims and hands them back to me. You are in the right section. He smiles. I nod. I try to say something and change my mind. He deftly twists at the heel and stretches his arm with his palm upward in the direction we are sitting on the other side of the theatre. A beautiful stage had been set, filled with singers and a small orchestra. All the musicians are softly tuning their instruments. No wonder its invite only. I smile, smug, and feel very capable of leading my grandmother to the pews. Row 3, seats 18 and 19, near the end of one pew. I realize, as we sit down, that Im the only person below 40 or 50 here. I help my grandmother take off her coat and she comments on the dcor. The lights dim. Theres a colourful background with tall columns framing stained glass windows illuminated from the street lamps outside. It is all so warm and cozy. Then, suddenly, everyone stands up. I hear it first, the abrupt scootching of feet and clothes and creaking of wooden pews. The King and Queen of Sweden enter. They are followed by a few friends and settle near the middle of the Cathedral 4 meters to my left and one row behind. How exciting. We all stand and bow ever so slightly as they turn to look at everyone and then sit down. They play Bach. I scan the choral group and focus on a beautiful woman with a long, tied-back ponytail. I want to make love to her. I have only known her for a few seconds but I can feel her. She glances in my direction and I believe she sees me. When she grins I think its because Im looking at her. As other singers come to the front I decide I dont want to make love to her. Or maybe I do. The singer looks familiar but I cant place it. Bachs over. The lights dim even more as the musicians leave. Theres a pause, people cough, and I turn to see theres a second level in the cathedral with more people in rows of pews in a half circle around the walls. Amazing. So many people, such a large space. I take off my coat and fold it over my lap. My grandmother and I exchange glances and wink. We never need to say much. There, on the stage, comes a well dressed man and he describes what is to take place. The play is to last 2 hours with a 15 minute intermission. Where they will play more music again. We are expected to not applaud as that will disturb the flow of the arrangement.

I sit back quietly and wonder if Id see the curves and lashes of that striking woman again. I turn the program over in my hand a look at the photographs. Likely. Everyone goes quiet. The lights dim again and I see the familiar face in the spotlight. She floats slowly across the stage wearing a medieval dress now and carries a knife in her left hand. As she makes her way, she cries, occasionally lifting her head to look at what appears to be a moon and then in our direction. She seems to be looking straight at me as if she can see what Im thinking. I feel my heart jump a little. She gives a little smile and exclaims "All for you and then what I retained was this spirit! A cast of flesh no more. Yea, you shadow. I recall your doubts when you made your promise true to me." I remember how long its been. Theatre dialogue always seemed tedious to follow. Even when it was good. I feel my lids sink and she points her dagger at me but I cant care. I just have to close my eyes. I can still hear everything. Maybe Id feel it better if I just close them and then nothing. Everything dark. No. I must harness my thoughts. I dug my index nail into the tender corner edge between the flesh and nail of my thumb. As I opened my eyes I couldnt see her on stage. The theatre was dark and empty and I felt annoyed that no one woke me up and must have missed the first half of the play. The lights on the stage were a low blue and yellow and I could make out a silhouette of Mary carved into the far wall. As I was getting up to put on my coat I heard slow footsteps come towards the stage. I sat back down instinctively and waited. The footsteps seemed to take several minutes until they became a bright clacking of heeled boots. It was the woman I admired. She had changed her clothes and wore something medieval. She stopped in the middle and I saw the daggers hilt shine next to her feet. The woman lifted her dress as she walked over to the edge of the stage. My heart began to beat quickly. Would she see me? Shit. I wondered if I could come up with a suave but non-predatory reply. She seemed to be mumbling in Swedish and I saw notes of tears trembling along the ridge of her jawline. I stayed quiet and hoped my black coat would hide me. She stuck out her head at an angle and looked directly into my eyes. I began to sweat. Its too warm to wear a coat. I told you I would see you again. I heard it come from somewhere but I didnt see her

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lips move. I blinked. How did you find me? She asked. I realized shes much younger than she appeared to me an hour or so ago. Shes about 13 with those typical conical teen breasts pointing out from under her velvety green dress. I sat, shocked, and in a hoarse voice I called back and said Id no idea what she meant. The little girl stepped down from the stage onto the first pew and began crawling over to me. Shes so light and pale with long straight black hair. Its shocking. I thought she mightve been a creature of the cathedral, something left behind and that only came out at night. I couldnt move. My legs wouldnt listen. Her unusually long arms grasped at the heads of each pew as she clambered over them until she finally rested at the third row and sat near the edge a couple of spaces away from me on seat 21. I stared at her with nothing to say. She furrowed her brows like a child does when you ask them a complicated question. She looked helpless and I wanted to cradle her in my arms. I wanted her to feel safe. Her appearance made me sick but I wanted to feel needed by her. I started to hate myself. You have not answered my question, she whispered loudly, smiling. I asked her why shes alone here so late at night. It is not late she replied, can you tell it is still summer and the light never goes down? I began to feel sorry for this person. She obviously wasnt sane. I thought of what to do next but began to lose memory. I found it hard to focus and couldnt tell what time it was. I felt like I was becoming smaller, like I didnt fit into the clothes I was wearing. I glanced at the stained glass but it was too bright to look at. I felt lighter. Happier. I swiveled around and the statue of Mary was still there placidly staring upwards. I considered climbing on to her. Come, she said. I turned around and did as I was told. I followed the girl as she stepped over the pews again back towards the stage.

Do not touch the floor, she whispered. They hear the steps. It is only on the stage where we can be safe. I began pulling off my coat. The warmth seemed to be getting stronger the closer we got to the stage. It felt like an hour by the time we got there. I thought I was going through a maze with her, staying on top of the pews and trying to avoid the floor. Every wooden bench was like a mountain ridge and I had to grasp harder as I felt like I was being pulled down to the floor with every step. I felt like I had magnets under my shoes and I could barely lift them. My hands were weights and I was unable to make a firm grip. I couldnt pull myself up anymore. Hurry! She screamed. She was already on the edge of the stage and had tears dancing in her eyes. I couldnt tell what came over me or what possessed me to keep going but I felt the urgency in her voice and all of a sudden I also felt that I was being followed. Like theres a long arm stretching behind me reaching for my neck. My hairs stood on end and I shivered as something sharp and cold touch my back. I tried shaking it off but it only felt colder and colder on my back. And it kept digging. My face was getting hot with effort and sweating with fear. I thought I may not make it and that whatever it was behind me with its long arms would grab hold and take me back to wherever it was that I want to get away from. I could only hear shrieking and somehow gathered enough will to leap from the last pew on to the stage and I burst out in tears with fright and exhaustion. As I looked up I realized I wasnt almost 30 years old anymore. I was a child. That I hadnt been old at all but I was dreaming it and the girl in front of me was Anna. She and I were practicing for a play and I had fallen asleep during one of our rehearsals. She smiled at me while I breathed heavily. She gently brushed my hair away from my face and stroked it backwards. Her face was neat and glowing silver in the diffused stage lighting. I looked straight into her eyes and could feel her breath. She didnt blink. I felt so hot. I started taking off my shoes and the rest of my gloves and scarf and socks and everything that was too warm. Anna stood up and shook her head still smiling. I said to her, I had such a bad dream. You disappeared and had called me on the phone. I thought I would never see you again, you told me so. You told me I wouldnt see you again and that you had been in a hospital

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for a long time. You were old, and I was old. I dont want to be old like that. Her face didnt change, and her eyes continued to sparkle, but her voice sounded more adult-like. You were not dreaming. I did disappear and I have been here all along. I have been waiting for you to come. Do you remember, when I came to see the play? I invited you. I didnt remember but I nodded my head like I did. You were busy with homework you said, but I saw you, on my way to the cathedral. You were sitting by yourself outside of your house. I could tell you were sad but I decided to go to the cathedral by myself. I sat there, in the third row, just like you did tonight. At first I thought you did not want to come because of all the stories. But then I realized that you were like me, that you didnt believe in that sort of thing, and that hurt me. I sat there alone too and then I remember feeling very sleepy. Then I woke up and I could feel my body burning. I was screaming by myself in this cathedral. That was when I felt these arms coming around my legs and my chest. I ran. I ran as fast as I could and jumped on to the stage. She flicked her hair back and her voice was a little girls again. I have been here since then, waiting for you. Did you notice, did you miss me? I have missed you for so long but I am so tired, but I cannot sleep. She sounded so different. So relaxed. And all I could do was listen. I tried to think back and, yes, I could see it. I knew she had gone to the cathedral and I knew she had gone missing for a few days. I tried to think about my life growing up but I kept blanking out. It was as if time had stopped. But I knew there was more to it. Was she here the whole time? Had it only been a few days? How long was I here for, I couldnt tell anymore. Maybe I had gone looking for Anna. Maybe I found her and weve been together in this cathedral for a night or two. I said we should go home. She stared at me. No, I cannot do that. Why not. Because I am dead.

I felt a prickle in my lower back as she said this. I didnt know what to say. Look, over there. She pointed to the center of the stage. There was the dagger handle sticking out but there was more underneath. I crawled up and stood to get a better look. I saw my twenty-something year old body lying there, bloody and pale with the blade stuck into it. I screamed. Anna began laughing. It is not you, silly. I couldnt stop, I was about to jump off the stage when she yelled. No! She grabbed me and pulled me towards the stage floor. If Im not dead, there, I said while pointing to my body, where are you? I was young when it happened, that is why I went missing. You stay the same when you die young. When you get older, you lose everything. She said this with pity in her voice. I sat back down. It was all too much. I knew I was dreaming even though it was so real. I know, she said. There is nothing you can do. I will still be here when you wake up. But you will never find me. No one did. I have been missing for so long. I shrugged her hand away from my shoulder and began crying. I wont wake up, I said between sobs. Ive been sleeping for so long and now I feel dead and I cant seem to wake up. My back was pins and needles. There was so much heat. I could feel every hair on my body and sweat began to run out from under both of my arms trickling continuously down to my waist. My back was sliding underneath the shirt and I kept blowing my nose into my cuffs. I raised my head to say why are you here then, if youre dead. Shouldnt you be gone by now? No, I have been waiting for you. Wondering if you would come back.

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I considered this for a moment and continued saying its the third row. People always said it was haunted. Youve come to haunt me havent you? Im not dead am I, are you sure? No, she said. But you will one day.

Her smile faded and she raises her arm to touch my shoulder. No, I didnt suppose you would. Are you sure youre alright? My back went hot and prickled again.

I howled under my elbows and wake with a start. I keep screaming in the middle of the performance, just as the medieval dressed woman stabs the Prince protagonist. I blink over and over and suppress my mouth with my hands in embarrassment. I hide my face and notice the lights had dimmed again and that music had already began. I cant tell if this is act one or two. But I know I have to leave. My grandmother grabs my hand. Are you alright? she asks. I didnt realize you were so entranced by the play, I thought you had fallen asleep. I shake my head. I didnt know what to say. My grandmother smiles, Well, it is a good play. Im glad we were invited. I ask her how she got the tickets and she shrugs. One morning, I found two tickets in an envelope by my door. One with the name Anna Lindberg and the other with Charles Lundqvist. I thought, well, there must have been a mistake. And since it had your name. Well. I guess I was a bit selfish for taking it, but Ive waited all my life to see this. I figured if it was meant for you and someone else they wouldnt have put it by my door. Im sorry. Do you know her? My mouth is dry and all I can do is blink and force out a small no, I dont think so.

Im fine, but tired Grandma. Im glad you liked the play. Ive never seen anything like it. She smiles again. We walk out into the drifts of snow and carry our way to the side street past the iron cathedral gates where a shiny cab waits. Thank you for a wonderful evening. Thank you for inviting me. Gott Nytt r. I hug my grandmother and close the cab door after

her.

I wave from the other side of the street as they drive off. The wind is in my face and my breath fogs my eyes. I suddenly dont feel very tired anymore. I turn around and feel the squish of melting snow beneath my shoes. I smell roasted almonds as I walk away into the unlit streets of Gamla Stan.

Image Credit: Back Page #6

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Sean McIntyre: Australia Melbourne

Nobody came. Nobody. Yes. Thats true. I guess I could have written it down somewhere. Maybe. But to Harvest. Well I dont know that its something you can learn from a book. The stories used to be handed down of course. From one Harvest to the next one. The next generation, I mean. An apprentice. His or her master. Thats all that was required. A teacher and a willing student. It is I mean, it was - one of those jobs that you had to see for yourself. Learn on the job. To...to. To understand. Understand your part in it. * * *

Let me show you what I mean. Come on, come on. Itll only take a few minutes. Now, see here. Over there. What? You cant spare a few... Jesus. As if that is not the Almighty speaking the truth to me through your mouth. Look. You asked me. Im telling you. You want to know. Im going to show you. Harvest To Dream meant you had to Harvest. But no one knows the first thing about Harvesting, let alone Dreaming. It isnt some kind of government conspiracy. No, Im simply the only one left who possesses the knowledge, understanding or ability to Harvest. It comes down to this: society has lost touch with its roots. It has lost touch with a fundamental trait of what makes it human. Neglect. Ignorance. Lack of appreciation. Thats how a culture generally becomes extinct. Nobody remembers what it was like to Dream. * * * See that young fella seated on the aisle? No not that one. The one in the greeny-grey top, with the black hair. Yes. The one with the head-phones listening to his iPod. Very good. Now, you see that young fella. He carries his iPod everywhere. Everywhere. Whats that? Whats wrong with that? Well nothing. Shush and pay attention. Nothing wrong at all cos he loves his music. LOVES it. Wants to listen to it. Day and night. Day. And. Night. And who wouldnt? I would too. If I could. I love music myself. Love it. Bet you didnt pick that, eh? Well if that young fella had had been born, say, 30 years earlier; if he wanted to listen to music on the train, hed have had to use a transistor radio. Transistor Radio. Tran-zis-tore Ray-dee-oh. Jesus, youve not any idea what that is? Oh my, this is going to take a while. A transistor radio was... Look. It doesnt matter what it is. Was. All I am trying to illustrate is that every generation loves and appreciates music. The way that we listen to it is the thing that has changed.

Hell. It isnt anyones fault. Its not my fault. I just grew too old. I got old and sick. I thought maybe somebody would want to know. I tried waiting for someone. Someone who would want to know what I know. I could have taught them. Showed them.

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Back in his Dads day, that young fella would have also had the means to listen to music all day and all night. If he wanted to. Probably would have too. Probably would have. Yes. But you see today theres a slight difference. Take a young fella of 30 years ago. Lets say for the example; his Dad. Yes, lets see what life was like for the father in this example. He was different to that young fella sittin over there in front of us. Blood related, but different just the same. 30 years ago, that young fella would have got on the train. Just like his son. To go to work. Yes, he wouldve taken the train to work and possibly listened to music too. What do you think of that? Hmmm? Well, yes thats not a stretch at all. In all likelihood, the son could have inherited his love of music from his Dad. I bet you cant tell me what the difference between the two is. Its not that hard. Jesus! I thought youd at least be able to put two and two together. Why are we here? Oh never mind. The difference between the two is this: 30 years ago, his Dad was. A dreamer. He loved dreaming. He didnt know it but he did. Probably didnt know it cos it was second nature to him. To everyone!! Everyone used to dream. Well his Dad, you see, he did most of his really, really important dreaming on the train. On. The. Train!! On the train. Can you believe that? Did he love dreaming? Well I dont know. If I had to guess...hmmm. No. I dont think he wouldve loved dreaming more than say, hmmm, music. No. But this young fella in front of us. He cant dream. Cant. Doesnt want to dream. In fact wouldnt know the first thing about it. And since he cant dream. Doesnt want to dream. Well. I cant Harvest. Why cant I Harvest?! I just told you, man! He doesnt dream. No dream! No Harvest. Jesus. I hope you havent brought a sackful of stupid questions with you. Well be here all night answering them.

So does it make sense in some way? Did I explain it to your satisfaction? Now. That young man travels on the train every day to work. And home again. His ears jammed shut with those little head-phones. Dyou see them? Music blaring into his skull. Day and night. Constantly. Constantly. There is no let up for him. His mind gets no respite. Dyou understand? He has no time to relax his mind. It is constantly stimulated. Repeatedly ad nauseum. Its like his mind is running on a tread-mill that never stops. Never stops. I dont know how his nerves take it. Its sad. Kill him? No, no, no. Not at all. Wont kill me either. But I tell you what it has killed. The Harvest. * * *

Its been quite some time since I was asked to explain it. Lets see. The best way to think of me and my work is that Im a little like Santa Claus. Father Christmas. The Tooth Fairy. Yes. All fine examples. If you were nine years old you would already grasp and understand the explanation. Thered be no need at all for me to go on. Because a child knows. A child understands. Back in the day, a child dreamed almost every minute of their young life. Even when they were awake. Yes. They dreamt of the impossible. The unbelievable. The unimaginable. And they believed it. They imagined it. They saw it. Thats the way it used to be. Oh my dear Lord. It was a thing of beauty to be around, it really was. Children dont dream these days. If they did, Id still be a young man with work to do. Well the easiest way to think of what I do. Rather what I used to do, that is, is this. I was much like Santa Claus. Or the Tooth Fairy. Except unlike Santa I wouldnt bring something to you and leave it. The Tooth Fairy. What does she do? She takes something from you. In a good way. Yes. Me. I also have a job. Had a job. A task. In some cases, it would be a mission. The best way to think of it is this. Its a simple example but it will give you the gist. I hope.

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For instance. What if like our young fella on the train, you were on your way to work. What do you mean Do I have an iPod? Forget the iPod! Jesus! Just listen to me! Now. Youre on your way to work and youre thinking of the day ahead of you. Its a busy one. Thank god you ran the ramp and made it on board before the doors closed. Miss this train and youre condemned to ride a stopping all stations train. That would never do cos today youve simply got to get to work early and... ...and then you notice youre passing through Box Hill, which interrupts your line of thinking because as the train pulls out of Box Hill station, there is a lovely view ahead out to the north. It doesnt compare to the view that stretches out along the beach foreshore between Middle Brighton and Brighton Beach stations. Thats the other side of town. Box Hill has its own a lovely view out to the north just the same. It simply has to be seen because its the best part of the ride. It feels like the day is off to a good start when you see this view. There it goes. Did you see it? Now what were you thinking? Oh yes... Need to get to work early...the day ahead. Should be busy. And then your line of thinking is interrupted again. Nearby, a schoolboy is talking to his school-mates quite loudly and the sound of his voice takes you to an airport. It doesnt matter why it takes you to...look for this to work you have to drop your inclination for logic. Ok, now? Otherwise you might as well turn on your heel and forget you ever found me. Right. So. In your minds eye, youre suddenly at an airport. Can you see what is happening? Can you see? Youre at the airport and you feel disturbed because you know you should be thinking about something important. But what? But isnt it always a nice feeling to be at an airport? Feels like youre going somewhere? Or you could be going somewhere. Anywhere. Where would you like to go? You have your passport in your hand. Who do

you want to visit? And blow you down but is it simply odd that in front of you is a customs desk? Can you hear it? Can you hear it? You cant hear anything yet? No? Ok. Its ok, this is just an example. Well lets say in front of you is a customs desk and what do you know but the sound of a train is ahead of you too. Yes! Ahead of you. A train at the airport. Behind the customs desk. Do you know whats happening? Yes, yes. Youre going somewhere on a plane. Obviously. But you arent are you? Youre actually on a train! On a train! You know what that means? Jesus. I cant believe it, its such a simple twist of

logic.

You are day dreaming. Dreaming. Your body is on the train. Your mind is at the airport. What does this have to do with me? Thats a fair question. Fair question, no doubt. My task is simple. I Harvest the dream. * * *

What do you mean thanks? Thanks and good-bye? Whats wrong with you. Where do you think youre going? Of course were not finished. Jesus, Mary and the saints. You think were done. Were far from done. Oh, arent you just the devils example of whats wrong with society today. You remind me of a White Rabbit. Dyou have to be somewhere. Somewhere you do? Where? Where do you have to rush off to that you cant finish the task at hand. Pay an old man the decency of respect! Dyou forget why you came here? Why you searched me out? Im late, Im late. Yknow, its all I hear. Its all I see! Busy people. They all want to be busy. Busy for the

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sake of being busy. Rushing because they have to be somewhere. Where? Anywhere of course. Why? So you do want to know? Youre sure you dont have to be rushing off on me now. Youre not going to make me take a deep breath with nothing to spend it on? No? Good. Well I can tell you this. Are you listening? People are afraid. Afraid to be still. Afraid to be alone with their thoughts. To be alone with themselves. People are afraid of their own company. People are afraid that if they stop moving or doing for the tiniest, tiniest fraction of a second and actually have the time to reflect on whats inside themselves... Oh, Jesus. For some people that is not a fate worse than death. That is the definition and physical manifestation of eternity in the pits of hell! So they keep busy. They jam their existence with endless activity. Meaningless activity. Look at them there. On the train. An iPod here. An iPhone there. Obsessed with gadgets they are. Killing their souls with them they are. Meaningless I tell you. People dont converse anymore. They speak an endless list of Ive been doing this or Ive been doing that. They need to have something to talk about. To boast about something. They keep busy. And they do it to their kids! The kids have no time to stop and play. No time to dream. Theyre ferried to football training where they can learn to play the flute perfectly while cooking up their own little version of MasterChef for kids. Theyre kids for Gods sake. Let them be. Let them be kids. He wants to spin in circles, topple over and fall on his back in the wet grass. Let him! Hes transfixed by the clouds above him. She wants to rest her hand on her forehead and pretend to be a statue for ten minutes. Let her! It breaks my heart. I love kids. I love working with them. It never felt like a job when I was Harvesting a dream

for a child. They dream in such big bright colours. They imagine entire worlds and create them in an instant. Maybe thats what kept me young all this time. Maybe thats why I aged so quickly since the dreaming stopped. You remember we were chattin about Fairy? Did you believe in The Tooth Fairy? Wonderful. How about Santa Clause? Oh everyone did when they were a kid. Yes, yes. Of did. The Tooth You did? come on, course you

My line of work was a little like those two. Well like the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, I worked hardest when everyone slept. The Tooth Fairy visited little ones and only little ones who put their baby tooth under their pillow. Santa had a bit more to do. And in one night! My goodness. I could never do that. I had a little bit more to do than each of them but basically I only had to Harvest from those that dreamed. A lot of work mind you. But all the same, not everyone used to dream every night. The ones that fell asleep during the day. That kept me on my toes, I can tell you! Dreaming and daydreaming, Harvesting both. I was up to it in those days. Couldnt do it now though. You say, what? What is dreaming? Well I just explained to you... The sound of the train at the customs desk! Oh. Youve got a fair point there I guess. Dreaming happened mostly while you slept. I beg your pardon it did. It most certainly did. Dyou think Old Man Harvest would suddenly take to making up stories in his old age now? Dyou think that? Ah, go on Im only messing with you. Its not your fault you dont know what a dream is. * * *

Thats it. Whats that? I said thats it. I know exactly how to make sense of it for you. Would you like to have a dream?

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No, I know you dont know the first thing about it but theres no rule in my book that says I cant take you through one. Just to give an example, like. Are you ready? Ready? Scared? You should be. Ah, no Im just messing with you again. You remember our young fella on the train? You remember we took a ride with him? Day-dreaming. Correct. You began Day-dreaming. Ah, lovely that youre paying attention. Lets say you were in bed asleep. Asleep like a baby. Dead to the world. You know what sleep is dont you? Youre not one of those reckless types that throw their luck to the wind and scorns sleep, burning midnight oil now? Ok. Well then. Would you be shocked if I told you that youre asleep right now? Right now! Yes! Isnt it something?! It feels like youre perfectly awake. Doesnt it? Well youre not. The only thing different in these so-called modern, enlightened times is that when you sleep, you mind is a blank. Your soul is hollow. Its void. You might as well be dead because the inside of you has been ignored for so long. It doesnt know the first thing about expressing itself. And without that. You are not fully realized. Why? Because youre not living out your dreams. But maybe its a bit early to be introducing that concept. Safe to say, if we ended the lesson here. Youd wake up none the wiser. Right. So.

Are you ready? Well then Im going to immerse you fully into a dream and were going to experience one right now. You remember our daydream? Well lets use that. Pay no mind. You wont miss it. Dont worry about it. So we were at a customs desk werent we? Well lets assume our place at the customs desk again. Were going on a trip. And now were here. Look around. What can you tell me about this place were suddenly at? How did we get here? Its a dream. It doesnt matter. Doesnt matter!! Isnt that the best part of it!? Oh, I love this part. You might experience some anxiety. No actually you will cos youve never done this before. Its ok. Dont worry Im not leaving. Ill be here every step of the way. You wont get hurt. Trust me. It will not hurt to dream. Not one bit. Now. Im going to talk you through it. Youll be able to see it as it happens. Feel everything. But to lower your anxiety. To ease you into it. It will help if I describe exactly whats happening to you as it happens. Ok? OK. So here we are. Were starting. Now. * * *

From the top of a snowy mountain hilltop, you are descending at pace riding rapids of fast flowing water and ice. Youre sliding head-first downhill on an icy run. Your hands are buried in icy snow with water lapping around your wrists and ankles. Youre on all fours. Unable to control your velocity. Youre flying at varying speeds in a welldefined creek. Its scary isnt it? Youre ok. You like being scared. You really enjoy the adrenaline this experience produces. You approach a junction in the creek. It widens into a larger stream. Your pace decelerates. Youve encountered a flat spot where the water is now at a trickle underneath you. It slows your momentum but doesnt cause you to stop.

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You turn right. Youre gathering pace again, can you sense it? Yes! Yes, of course you can. You slide at speed through another wide shute. Descending, twisting and turning. Somehow maintaining balance while still on all fours. You arrive safely at the end of the run. You find yourself in a tourist town. On a holiday? Why not. Didnt you just pass through a customs desk at an airport? Neither cold nor wet, you wind your way through the crowds to cross a bridge. The tributary you have just descended flows busily under it. Dont worry about the why or how. Let it go. Look at it. Can you see it now? Its wider and angrier than the waterway youve just ridden. You discover a track. It bends upwards alongside the fast flowing, fuming water. The rapids are full and turbulent. Shrieks of excitement approach you from below. They are closing on you quickly so you stop to carefully stake out a vantage point because you have spotted a large object upstream in the water approaching. It is a massive rubber tube the size of a life-boat. It flips and flops obediently in every direction the water demands. Its passengers are delirious with happy excitement and joyful fright. You watch them pass. Turning your head to follow them as they disappear from sight, you become aware of a presence behind you. You have been joined by your nephews. As they begin to speak to you, the elder one playfully and innocently prods you. You lose your balance and try to reassert your stance, but you overbalance backwards falling down, down, down into the angry wash of river water below. Sinking beneath the surface, the world is now one of cloudy foam that obscures your view of those above you on the bank. All is quiet underwater. You are lost feared drowned. * * *

breath. Thats it. Slow down. Slow down your breathing. Easy does it. In Out. In. Out. In. Out. Innnn. Ourrrwt. Good. Good! There now. What do you think? Wasnt it wild?! Didnt the air taste fresh. You could see and feel everything as though you were living it. And the water stung didnt it, it was so cold. And the exhilaration as you sped down the snowy hilltop. Wasnt it out of this world?! But it wasnt. You werent out of this world. Dyou you know what you were doing? Dyou what that was? A dream! A dream. Yes. You just had a dream! Your first dream. Oh my goodness. Phew. I have to take a deep breath now myself. My first dream for a while too! Phweew!! Too much excitement for an old man. Too much. But excitement just the same. Oh. Ive missed that.

What did you think? No. No, no. Dont answer that. Just enjoy the experience. Remember it as best you can. Oh youve made me extremely happy. I hope the ranting of an old man who doesnt mess with your memory of it. Oh no. Oh, no. No. No! Ah, Jesus that makes me angry. No, not you. Oh damn and blast I just remembered something. Oh for all the...I cant believe it. Oh no wonder this generation doesnt stand a chance. Not its not a problem its just. Well. Normally. Usually. Well mostly, people dont remember their dreams. They forget them. * * *

Thats a good question. A good question. Well basically it would go like this. You would dream. It was my job to Harvest your dream.

Its ok!! Ok, now! Deep breaths! Take a deep breath. Youre safe. Safe! Open your eyes. See. Another

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What? Well thats it. I would Harvest your dream. Simple as that. What do you mean is that all there is? Are you trying to get a rise out of me? I just told you - twice It was my job to Harvest your dream. But nobody needs me anymore. Nobody dreams. There can be no Harvest. Without dreams. What would I do with your dream? It was my job to Harvest. Thats all. Its is up to the individual as to what becomes of their dreams. But I made sure that their Dreams were safe and looked after. For whenever they were needed. Oh, it was a great life. I made a lot of good friends through my work. It was an amazing thing to witness what some individuals would do with their dreams.

Well thats very kind of you to say. Youd be making an old man very, very happy. I hope you do. I hope you can learn to do it. I hope you do dream. I really do. And often. When you do. Make it impossible. Make it unbelievable. Above all use your imagination. And believe.

Image Credit: Back Page #7

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Calvin Sandiford Canada Montreal

Emotions felt All past thoughts diminished Love poured from her Into his longing soul The brightness of his white shirt The innocence of their faith Came like the sun Glowing from her long plain skirt As it gently shone through Her welcoming smile Content in this feeling He sipped the soup again From this most humble but special meal Warmed him with hunger Fed by her love Their modesty not within desire As he realised he was done

Of Chicken Soup [Editors Note: Co-written with Zsuzsanna Peterka] No, he first thought Not much of a girlfriend Hed rather she was from the land of the engla Hed search for a partner all these years But she is from a strange foreign island of many hills But then, he thought Arent they both foreigners? From their land displaced? She cant even cook he thought again But in the right place is her heart Ahbut what is thischicken soup? As he looked at the golden broth With the lump in the middle He took one sip He was all done And he was done alright As he finally looked at her He saw himself in her loving eyes Sitting in green fields Holding hands

Image Credit: Back Page #8

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Turl Times January Photo from Omnya Attaelmanan 1, 2012

Next Issue Theme: Momentum (2,000 4,000 word submissions) Deadline: March 20, 2011 Publication: April 1, 2012 Introduction: by Sean McIntyre Note on Submissions: Make sure you put your name and title as the first two lines of your submission in the document. Also, if you could title the document with your name and the issue, that would be peachy. Have fun traveling the globe. I bid you a fond greeting from the home office in Michigan City, IN, U.S.A. Yeehaw! Editors Final Note: So much to do! Guest introductions are being set for the next year. Stefanie Sabathy is doing the July 1 2012 issue and Trisha Bhattacharya is doing the October 1 2012 issue. Let me know if you are interested in writing an introduction to the Turl Times. You can set the theme of
Vol. III Issue 1

the issue and in addition to the Introduction you have to submit a piece for that issue as well. We are also looking for guest writers and will be doing profiles on our current writersso be prepared for Carolina Amoroso to contact you for an up close and in-depth interview. Dont worry it will be quick, and shell be gentile with you. And as always, please send us your Bulletin Board items and updated Bios. Thank you all. BBBS-JLK Photo Credits
1. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/junkforcode/archives/2005_09.html 2. http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/miscpics/0/0/2/doc/mp002826.shtml Reproduction rights owned by the State Library of Victoria Accession Number: IAN08/07/78/120 Image Number: mp002826 3. http://kvijayendran.blogspot.com/2008/03/trichytanjoretranquebartrip-dec-9-10.html 4. http://skytalewriter.blogspot.com/2011/04/writing-news.html 5. Kristie Kahns 6. http://weburbanist.com/2008/11/11/enchanting-abandoned-themeparks-theaters-schools-and-pools/?ref=search 7. Jackie Lee King 8. http://twitter.com/jourdanlawlor

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Contributors (Cont.)
David Jeffrey and his wife Annie moved from Sydney, Australia to New York in 2000 when I was posted to work in the Office of Legal Affairs at the United Nations. Our two children, Royce and Ellen, work in the DC area and we have extended family in the Oz and the UK. I sing in the bass section of the Choir of the First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York in Greenwich Village. In Sydney, I hosted a live childrens television program during college and law school, wrote and performed comedy sketches on public radio, and appeared in TV commercials and soaps. In New York I continue to write short stories at present, am a keen cyclist, hiker and swimmer and take improv theatre classes. It has been a privilege and a joy to be part of this wonderful Summer School. Jackie Lee King is an accomplished author, editor and publisher. He continues to pursue his dream of becoming a full time author of short stories, plays and maybe a novel or two. He has studied Creative Writing at Oxford University and has started several publications over the years. A plan is in the works to receive the Pulitzer Prize, but in the meantime he bounces around traveling and writing about this business we call music. From record labels, to concert venues, to the artists themselves, he has spent the past 20 years immersed in this ever-changing industry. As an accomplished author of several interviews and articles that span from Taylor Swift to Skinny Puppy (Currently at 156) he continues to work to promote great musical acts in both Country and Alternative. Some of his articles can be viewed at http://www.a2une2u.blogspot.com. Amy Lovat Ever walked down a dark alley and felt the presence of someone behind you? Thats Amy. In addition to sporadically stalking and killing strangers (or, at least writing about it), Amy loves editing. She first realized this love of spelling and grammar when she was six. She stole her best friends writing book and vandalized it with a red crayon. She remembers the rush, followed by profound contentment. Amy is a self-confessed grammar and punctuation freak and one day hopes to make a career out of correcting the mistakes of others. Either that, or stay a Uni student forever. In the mean time, she takes photos of Public Spelling Mistakes at http://public-spellingmistakes.tumblr.com. Amy is currently finishing her Honours thesis in Creative Writing at University of Newcastle, Australia, and is deciding whether to finish that dreaded Law degree, or pursue a Doctorate in Creative Writing. She spends her time oscillating between writing, traveling, working in a cafe, teaching ballet and Pilates, and blogging about the awesomeness of Newcastle at http://novocastriantourist.wordpress.com. James McDonough is compiling a book of English and Swedish poetry titled Not About You under the pen name Edwin Oak which will be available in May 2012. There is a Facebook

page and website www.edwinoak.com with more details and poems. Sean McIntyre is Based in Melbourne, Australia Sean McIntyre employs obscurity and compelling story structure to create personal essays, short stories, plays and film scripts. Exploring themes and issues through human behavior, Seans work is at its best when he examines the questions his observations raise. His goal is to create a discussion that draws the reader or viewer into an experience they will enjoy, question and feel satisfied by. As well as acting and performing in theatre and film, Sean McIntyres plays have been performed in Australia, Ireland and the United States. Amanda Redinger was born in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Her primary job at Oxford this summer was writing everyone else's bios for the anthology, while almost never doing any of her own work. Camilla Mrk Rstvik is 22 summers old, divides her time between Student politics, Art and Architecture History studies at the University of Oslo, traveling and drawing princesses. Enjoys anything Alice in Wonderland, aesthetically pleasing and/or Spanish. Dislikes waiting, nonvegan food on the vegan-menu and British Boy Bastards (a rare, but terrifying breed) She is also known as Always-in-a-dress, Norwegian Ninja and Princess. Stefanie Sabathy who is also known as Steff has studied English and German, taught at the University of Mexico City and is now teaching kids and teenagers in her hometown of Vienna, Austria. She loves traveling which has brought her to remote places in Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and the USA and to many cities in Europe like Amsterdam, Paris, Rome and Berlin to name but a few. She has been writing since she was little, has studied Creative Writing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champain and has done workshops at the Vienna School of Poetry and the Scuola Holden in Turin, Italy. In the summer of 2010 she attended the Oxford Summer School of Creative Writing and she is deeply moved that within this circle she now has the opportunity to publish her stories in The Turl. Calvin G.W Sandiford was born in Montral, Qubec, Canada. He obtained a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from the McGill University. He read law and was granted an Honors degree in Law from the University of Wales, UWIST. He is a member of the Honorable Society of Lincolns Inn. He was a tutor of law at the City of London Polytechnic in England. He has written on a constitution for the Nlaka' Pamux of British Columbia. He read and received a Masters of Laws in Maritime Law from the University of London. He has sat as an Arbitration Judge. He retired as an Officer from the Canadian Forces in 2010 having served in all three branches twice serving overseas in accordance with Canada's NATO obligations. He was awarded the Canadian Forces Decoration. He has attended the University of

Oxford, Exeter College where he undertook a creative writing programme As head of The Sandiford Group he is spending his time post the military representing authors and publishers, as well as reading and writing fiction and nonfiction and lecturing on constitutional law issues. He is also a member of The Independent Press. He enjoys spending time with his son in Germany as he re-entering the practice of law in the United Kingdom. Sheeba Shah is a published writer from Nepal. I write fiction. My first, LOYALS OF THE CROWN, is a historical fiction dating back to the 1840's. My second, BEYOND THE ILLUSIONS, is a spiritual fiction that describes in detail and rather dramatically the intensity of belief in Kali worship in India. My third and the latest is called FACING MY PHANTOMS. This novel is seen from the perspective of the bewildered mind of the chaotic youth during the Maoist insurgency period in Nepal. It too is a period novel as it keeps skipping time from the 1940's to 2001 and there after. Aggie Stachuraa; misses y'all! Oxford seems like a happy dream. Publication-wise, it's been a good fall; I've had work published in Hint Fiction, Fifth Wednesday Journal, and The Sun. But four months of full-time work plus graduate school have left too little time for new writing. Now that my work hours have dropped and I'm between semesters, I'm in a much better mood. Laptop + cafe + writing time = happy gal. Danielle Williams is currently sipping wine and listening to music trying to figure out how to define myself in a hundred words. I suppose the word that defines me most honestly is: searching. I am searching for a way to connect what is inside me with the world outside me. Often times, Im bewildered by how our world operates, and more often, I feel very alien. Im on the outside observing and noting observations. My noting methodologies include words, drawings, videos, performances, and conversations. But these are things I do, not who I am. I suppose, most honestly, Im still searching for who I am...

Turl Times 2012


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