Sep 30, 2010

Class Test 1

Write a dialogue between two unusual or eccentric characters meet for the first time. 

By Pooja Lakhwani

The flap of the tent moves and you can sense her standing outside, her wild black hair flying and forming a mist around her. You can feel her hesitation, the ongoing battle between her heart and her soul but you aren’t nervous - because you know she will give in eventually. Soon, she draws apart the tattered cloth and enters inside – just like you saw it.

"I knew you would come," You say, you eyes focused on the crystal ball in front of you.

"Who are you?" she spits out angrily.

"I'm the one who will lead you to your true destiny, but you know that already. It's time you accept it,"

You look up and she is standing in front of you, her scarlet red eyes piercing in your crystal blue ones. She seems to be drinking in your appearance, trying to consume all of you in a mere glance. You appear eccentric to her - a male gypsy dressed in frock and frills - but you know she is no ordinary woman either.

"Destiny?" she lets out a mirthless laugh, “You will lead me to my destiny?" It's not a question - It's a statement. She thinks you're a fool but you know better.

"You are no ordinary woman Astoria. Bizarre things keep happening to you, don't they? That's why you sought me out, to know what exactly is wrong with you,"

She looks away, color rising to her fair cheeks and you know you have achieved your first victory.

"They told me to seek you, to search for you - but now I think they were all fools," You can feel the vengeance in her voice and you can see that she has been picked out by the Greater Gods carefully. She slams her hands on the small wooden table behind which you are sitting and you can feel the energy radiating out of her.

"You know you're wrong. You can feel that yourself,"

"I don't know anything anymore. I don't, I don't, I don't! I don't know what’s happening with me, I don't know what’s wrong with me!" She screams. "The moving objects, the voices in my head, the screams of the dead, the blood on my body - I don't know anything about them!"

You wonder how long she has kept this inside her - probably a long while, you guess. Yet you remain seated, unmoved by her yells. She doesn't seem to like your response, you notice, her eyes turning blood shot at your calmness. You wait for a while and then get up from your broken chair, standing in front of her, your six feet towering her.

"You know the answer to your questions Astoria. It's inside you - you know it,"

You want her to figure this out herself - because it would make things much, much easier that way but you would have to help her, you know, make her think, make her aware.

"If I knew it you idiot, why would I come to you?" she asks, furious. But her tone doesn't affect you - It's normal, you know it. Every witch reacts the same way in the beginning because it takes them time to figure out their true fate and waiting never suited them.

Sep 27, 2010

Subliminal Message?

Hi guys!

Considering the fact that this blog has gained quite a number of followers now, I'd like to use this opportunity to blatantly advertise the blogs of several Lyceumite bloggers. So here we go:

Ali Umer (A2) OkaySoThisIsMyBlog?
Amna Chaudhry (A2) Bourgeois Pigs and Misguided Rants
Anam Abjani (A2) World According to Anam
Asad Zaidi (A2) Quill Emissions
Maliha Ali (A2) Maliha A's Blog
Nida Sohail Chaudhary (Ex) The Bohemian Chronicles
Rahomie? (A1) Trying To Escape Reality and It Sounds Better With A British Accent
Sadia Khatri (Ex) 50, College Street and Nuclear Battery
Sana Jatoi (Ex) Subconscious Escapism and Return of the Jaahil
Zaariyah Bashir (A2) Peanutprongs

A Madman's Monologue

By Asad Zaidi

Oh, so you want to hear my story, too? I must admit I grow weary of telling and retelling this tale to people like you, you smartly dressed women with your incessant understanding nods and your constant scribbling in your notepads, and the way you send me off once I'm done to the dark room without windows. It amuses me how every time I talk to you people, I am later subjected to a new kind of 'treatment therapy', as you call it.

But since I have nowhere better to be...Very well then.

I haven't truly been alone in a long time. I hear voices, you see. And quite companionable voices they are. They can be a tad unreasonable at times. For instance, right now they insist that I put my hands around your neck and wring the life out of you. Quite unreasonable. I cannot do such a thing in this straight-jacket anyways. 

Forgive me for losing my train of thought...

And so these voices...They have been with me, guiding me, for as long as I can remember. Before I realized that others could not hear them, I made the mistake of telling my family about them. Horrified, my family handed me over to the local Church. The Church, of course, knows none of the love and compassion it preaches. I was beaten. Brutally. Nearly to death on a number of occasions. What unpleasant days they were. 

Soon, however, I learnt to pretend not to hear those voices. By the time I was deemed worthy of being part of society again, I was no longer as boy. I found a job waiting tables at a rather fancy restaurant. It was there that I met... her. What a pretty little thing she was with her vivid green eyes and that jet black hair. She became an obsession. I followed her home once and, after that, spent many nights watching her sleep through her bedroom window. 

Now this young girl, my precious, she lived with her father and what a horrid, nasty man he was, always drunk and mumbling profanities. He would hit her sometimes and she would cry herself to sleep and I would watch. 

But then things got out of hand one day. She was screaming and he was roaring. She cowered on the floor as he stood over her with his leather belt in his hand. In an attempt to save my precious, I smashed though the window, ran inside and killed him with a blow to the head with a vase. I still wonder why that vase didn't break...

Oh, right. I suppose you'd like to know what happened next. I walked over to my precious and held out a hand to help her up. She didn't take it. She just looked at me and then at her dead father and then back at me. Oh and the look she gave me! It was as if I was some demon and not her saviour. I could not take that. Suddenly the voices I had pushed away for so long returned, louder than ever.

"Kill her," they instructed.

And so I did.

And that is my story. 

Sep 26, 2010

V Files - Chapter 3: Undoing Knots

By Sama Khawaja

‘So what we got, Keido?’ Gear inquired. Keido continued to type away on the massive computer system in Vice’s department for information, research and reporting; or Omega for short. Surprisingly enough,Keido was in charge of it.
‘Well, you guys got what we AIMED for. Sort of,’ Keido answered as he tapped a few keys on the sensitive keyboard, his face bathed in the blue of the screen.
‘Whaddaya mean ‘sort of’??’ Tito demanded angrily.
‘Welllll, we know the GroundUnders are up to something,’ Keido remarked as he ruffled his mane of shaggy flaming red hair. ‘But the government is not aware of it as we thought. In short, we’re back to where we started.’
‘Damn it!’ Tito groaned and covered his face with one hand.
‘Where did those creepy things come from anyways?’ Adriana said with a shudder.
‘Due to my brilliant hacking skills,’ Keido boasted and Adriana rolled her eyes. ‘We found data on them in the Hova Project side files. Apparently they were failed experiments that should have been disposed of but somebody had been collecting them instead. Wonder what they were doing near our branch in Tallow…’
‘Wasn’t that chip supposed to explain that to us?’ Destiny pointed out.
‘Well, I can’t seem to find anything on it!’ Keido snapped.
‘Maybe we got the wrong chip,’ Gear suggested.
‘I told you we shoulda gone for the vanilla chip!’ Tito groaned again.
‘The mom had placed the cookie jar too high on the shelf,’ Adriana pointed out.
‘Huh?’ Keido uttered as he paused to stare at the group in confusion.
‘It’s our code, Keido,’ Adriana sighed. ‘It means that security was tight and the chip was still a few floors above us when we were detected.’
‘I told you we could have come up with better codenames,’ Destiny muttered.
‘HI EVERYONE!’ a bubbly voice crackled over the speakers in the room. ‘Guess who’s here?!’
Everyone groaned.
‘Just spill it, Chi!’ Tito growled impatiently. ‘What is it this time?!’
‘Well, you guys aren’t going to believe this butttttt…’ Chi sang and then paused for dramatic effect. ‘Will’s back!’
An excited murmur broke out among Vice Lethal. Will was gone to research on ‘family matters’ as he put it and nobody expected him to be back after only three days.
‘And that’s not all!’ Chi continued excitedly. ‘He’s got something REAL IMPORTANT to tell us in the Zeta! Well, what are you waiting for?? You know how he is!’
The Zeta. A crucial room despite it lacking any pizzazz. All it contains are wooden crates for seats and faint yellow lighting. When the whole of Vice entered the room, they found William standing in front, arms crossed over his stark white shirt, his crimson cape draped over his shoulders and his revolver tucked into his belt. William always liked to dress elegantly. It revealed how he wasn't exactly part of this century.
Destiny glided in and settled her place in the corner, far from everyone else. William observed her with his large blood red irises. Normally, people would shudder when they see William’s eyes. After all, it’s not everyday one sees red eyes. But Destiny was one of the few who wasn’t perturbed. She grew up under that gaze as she had trained to be a part of Vice and now, it has a comforting intensity to it. Rumour has it that it was an aftereffect of the asteroid crash.
‘Sup, fool,’ Tito greeted William.
‘So what is it? Everyone’s here,’ Gear drawled.
‘River isn’t,’ William said curtly.
‘When is he ever? Come on, Will, I'm holding in hyperness and it’s getting hard!’ Chi whined as she bounced on her feet.
‘I heard about you mission. Useless, wasn’t it?’ William said coolly.
‘Keido’s still working on it,’ Adriana said defensively.
‘How sure are you that it will be worth the trouble?’ 
William gave her a side glance and she was silent. He then reached into his trouser pocket and pulled out a nano CD the size of a pine nut. He opened up one of the boxes to reveal a hologram projector and popped the CD into it. The CD was flooded in light that then shot out to project a 3-D view of a laboratory. Suddenly, images of horrible twisted human beings limped onto the scene and began to wreck havoc. Destiny squinted. For some odd reason, the laboratory looked familiar.
The creatures cackled and toppled filing cabinets before the film finished.
‘What was that?’ someone inquired.
‘That was proof that the GroundUnders are after something in the Hova Project,’ William explained. ‘In a secret side project that is.’
‘William,’ Destiny asked hesitantly as she stepped out of her corner. ‘Whose lab was that?’
‘My father’s old laboratory,’ William answered. He paused and then added as an afterthought, ‘And his partner’s, Alicia Crescent.’
‘Alicia…’ Destiny murmured as the room began to spin.
‘Destiny?’ comes a soft voice and the blurry outline of a woman comes into view. The whirlwind ceases and Destiny can get to her feet, crying.
‘Aw, honey, what’s wrong?’ the woman asks soothingly.
‘Mage…Mage was playing rough and he didn’t let me come help you!’ Destiny sniffles and wipes her nose on her sleeve.
‘Baby, that was sweet but Mage is right! You didn’t need to come. Dr. Templeton was there!’
‘But…but you screamed!’ Destiny stammers.
‘But I’m fine. See? Now come here,’ she says and spreads her arms out. Destiny steps back. Something is really wrong and not…right.
‘Samuel,’ Alicia whispers nervously.
‘Yes, Alicia.’ The mysterious man appears behind Destiny and stuns her in the neck with a stun gun.
‘She won’t get hurt if we keep doing this, will she?’ Alicia whispers.
‘She won’t, Alicia,’ Samuel assures her. ‘It’s alright. It’ll all be over soon.’
‘Destiny,’ Alicia murmurs softly. ‘I’m so sorry.’
‘You got that, Dee?’ Tito boomed.
‘Huh?’ Destiny looked up to see that William had disappeared and in his place, Keido was giving orders.
‘See,’ Chi chimed in. ‘ Keido walked in saying that according to the chip, there was a secret project carried out in Tallow that was abandoned years ago. The same place as Will’s dad’s lab! Will suspects that the creepers will be back since they are looking for something important so you, me and Tito are supposed to go and get it before they do! Keido said it was a file called the November file or something like that!’
‘Where’s Will?’ Destiny inquired.
‘He’s already off to more research,’ Tito thundered as he clamped Destiny on the back and almost sent her sprawling. ‘And we’re off on our OWN hunt, Little Dipper!’
‘Oh, joy,’ Destiny groaned as she rubbed her sore back

Sep 23, 2010

The Hotel

Assignment: Write the opening chapter of a novel called 'The Hotel'. Introduce the reader to three different characters who do not know each other as yet but will do so later. In your writing you should try and establish differences between them and possible reasons why they might meet. 

By Amber Raza

                       Crystal had never travelled before. She had always wanted to, but the demands of her business had always kept her busy. She had seen all there was to see in her hometown, the sights, the lights, the food and the men. Especially the men. Sometimes she liked them, sometimes she didn’t. But her answer was always yes. There was a lot of competition in the city, and her ‘boss’ did not like that at all. Lots of younger, prettier girls running around the streets of Bangkok was not very promising for the business, and this displeased him. Crystal knew better than anyone that when the boss was displeased, it meant that someone usually got hurt. That was why Crystal needed all the clients she could get.

                        So she hiked up her already short skirt, checked her makeup in the side view mirror of a car, and as she made her way to the hotel bar, she hoped against hope that tonight’s client did not have any weird fetish..

                        Michael lay slumped on the counter at the hotel bar, a shot of whiskey clutched tightly in his hand. His eyes were blood shod and swollen, and he struggled to down the glass that would help him enter into a state of blissful oblivion, far away from the unbearable pain of it all.

                        “Hit me with another.” He slurred to the barkeep, as he sensed the presence of someone sliding into the stool next to him. He smelt her before he heard her, so overpowering was the smell permeating from her. As the aroma of the cheap perfume invaded his nostrils, he was taken back to the night he had spent in the hospital, with his wife. He had hoped and prayed that all was not lost, but the doctor’s solemn response had shattered his soul forever.

                        “We tried to remove as much of it as we could, but the cancer had spread too far into her bones for us to be able to do anything. I suggest you say your goodbyes.”

                        And he had. He had bade her farewell, as if to a friend who was going on a long journey, and in some ways it was. He had kept a strong composure throughout the entire ordeal; he hadn’t even shed a tear at her funeral. But after it was all over, and the looks of pity were no longer thrown in his direction, he had locked himself in his house, and allowed himself to wallow in her loss. He had sat and he had cried. And when there were no more tears left inside him, he had decided to head down to a bar and drink himself into a stupor to help drown out the pain he was feeling.

                        And now, as the memories of his wife hit him from all directions, and he felt the half healed wounds begin to open up again, he drank. Another and another. As he lay there, with his head on his arm, and his vision slightly blurred, he was able to make out her long legs from the corner of his eye. He knew it was going to be a long night.
                        The arrival of the scantily clad woman had hardly been given a second’s glance by anyone, especially since they were in the city of Bangkok. Her presence had barely been acknowledged by the man sitting next to her, and the people at the bar were mostly involved in their drinks. Save for one man. One man sitting quietly in the shadows, to whom the woman’s presence had not gone unnoticed. One man who had stayed sober the entire night because he knew that what he had to do that night would require him to be in control of all his senses. He had to be careful this time. The police had already begun an investigation on those three girls that had gone missing. He knew that it was only a matter of time before their bodies would be found. Oh yes, he needed to be very careful this time.

                        As he watched her long legs, and the way she used her long red fingernail to stir her drink, he heard the sound of the laughter that had always haunted him. The sound emanating from a woman similar to her, laughing at him, his impotence; relishing at the sight of his humiliation. She hadn’t been laughing when he had grabbed her throat in a tight chokehold. And she was most certainly not laughing when he had dumped her lifeless body into a dumpster in a dark alleyway. The other two girls after her hadn’t laughed at him. But he knew that they would have eventually. They were all the same. Better to not give them a chance. So they had to go too. And besides, he liked the power of being in control, it gave him purpose, meaning. He watched as the man and woman downed their shots, one after another. The other people in the bar were starting to clear out. His time loomed nearer.

                        He decided that if the man had not risen and left before the bar had emptied out, he would have to be taken care of too. There was no use taking a risk and leaving a potential witness walking around, no matter how drunk he was.

                        The man’s fingers itched to wrap themselves around the woman’s soft neck. At last, he could take it no more. He got up from his seat in the corner, and lightly patted the bulge of his revolver, hidden deep inside his coat. He slowly edged out of the shadows, and made his way to the counter. The time of reckoning was here.


By Shanzae Asif

I hear him bellowing commands in the corridors, in my room. I hear every word echoing through the walls and I can’t escape because no matter where I run, every sound reverberates in my head. It haunts me and follows me everywhere screaming drill instructions menacingly. Sometimes, I hear the deafening exploding of bombs. Screams and shots being fired everywhere and it all returns in a flash. Blood. I bathed in it yesterday before going to bed but I guess I forgot to turn the tap off as my bathroom floor was flooded in red. Well, I’ll just use it to paint the walls of this room as they look pretty bland any way.

Most nights, I hide myself under the covers, nearly suffocating my breath to elude him for he might hear the sound of me breathing. I lie frozen like a rock, not moving an inch because he might sense me. The putrid odour of piss and the damp mattress make me nauseous under the sheets but I have little choice. If I move the sergeant will find me. He patrols the corridors all night, waiting for sounds he might catch, poor souls to take back to the war. That bastard rejoices in death, I once saw him make love to the corpse of a Vietnamese whore in Saigon. I know he’s come to take me back but I won’t go. I won’t go back to hell. I won’t go back to Vietnam.

I feel strangely light headed right now, there’s a new voice which seems oddly familiar. Oh it’s Major Richards, finally! I know he’ll protect me! Old Richards is a good man but how did he find me? He’s shouting my name; he will save me so I must do as he says. I must lock and load my rifle. I must shoot myself now.

Sep 18, 2010

The Hotel

Assignment: Write the opening chapter of a novel called 'The Hotel'. Introduce the reader to three different characters who do not know each other as yet but will do so later. In your writing you should try and establish differences between them and possible reasons why they might meet. 

By Dhiya Sumar

He stumbled through the glass doors, gasping as the cold air hit him. It smelt like coffee. And leather. And that undefinable, universal hotel smell. Catching his breath, Ali scanned the lobby for the elusive chrome lifts. His eyes had made it about three-fourths of the way around the room when he spotted a sight so bizarre, he silently wondered whether all the running had left minimal amounts of oxygen to be supplied to his brain. In front of him, swaying in AT LEAST five inch heels was a chandelier. One of those gaudy, shiny ones made of plastic. It took Ali a full ten seconds to realize that the chandelier was actually a woman covered almost completely in diamontees. It took him another ten seconds to realize she was heading to the lift, and if he didn't get a move on he would have to wait for the next one. Galvanized into action, Ali lurched forward, him eyes on the chandelier-woman. Hardly noticing the man he bumped into, Ali muttered a hurried apology and dashed past him.

Zahir reeled, the breath knocked out of him by an insolent man, who hardly stopped to say sorry. Muttering admonitions under his breath, Zahir pocketed his key card. Jerking his red wheeler around, he headed for the lift. He spotted that rude man again, dashing into the lift at the last moment, apologizing again.
"Uncouth idiot." huffed Zahir, twitching his mustache and giving his wheeler a hearty tug. " No manners"
Already out of breath, Zahir hoped the ignorant fool would have the courtesy to hold the lift for him. Zahir knew he had seen him. He could see the mans eyes darting to the numbers on the side of the lift, and then to Zahir. uncertain.  Quickening his pace, Zahir crossed the doors of the lift with a satisfied smile on his face, It was only then that he noticed the third occupant of the lift: A tall, extremely beautiful woman, who had an air of importance about her.

The little placard above her head said six people max, and Zoya quite thought the addition of the last man fulfilled that quota. His belly took up most of the space in the elevator so that she was squished into the corner with her back to the cold glass mirror, and the numbers on her right. 
"Uh... which floor?" She enquired, pressing the big bold number three for herself. The thin man, so jittery he couldn't stop moving, looked up and nodded at the illuminated number three. The lift started moving with a shudder. The big man took a moment to reposition his bulk so as to see the keys. 
"Third floor!" He declared, yanking his belly out of a tight spot between his wheeler and the elevator door. 
Zoya sighed quietly. It was just her luck, living on the same floor as these eccentric men. After an eternity the lift pinged, releasing her from her prison. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the thin man trying to maneuver around the fat one, eager to get into the hallway. Join the club, she thought, patiently waiting for the fat man to reposition his wheeler and get a move on. Finally emerging into the hallway Zoya slowed and eyed her key card, the thin man trotting past her. Room three-one-one. She looked up and spotted it to her left. But the thin man was already there. Confused, Zoya hurried on. He was opening her door- to be polite? But he didn't know her room number. Or key card, for that matter. Hearing the big man exclaim from behind her, it hit Zoya in an instant. She let out a string of un-ladylike curses, imagining the elevator ride back to the lobby.  

Sep 16, 2010

Assignment: Describe a room in a way that the mood of the character is highlighted. 

By Amber Raza

The walls of the tiny room seemed like they were going to cave in on me. The tall closet
leered at me from the corner, its mouth open wide, as if waiting to engulf me in the black
darkness within. The ceiling felt like it was going to press down on me, and I watched
as the blades of the fan above me loomed nearer, slicing at the air around them. Slice.
Slice. A tiny stream of moonlight crept in through the open window, causing the branches
outside to cast shadows on the wall in front of me. Two long claw-like hands reached
towards me, as if waiting to embrace me in a chokehold.

Black abyss underneath my bed softly called out to me, daring me to crawl under
it and experience its majestic beauty. The clock on the faraway wall ticked loudly, each
tick echoing around the quiet room, and I watched it in the same fashion as a man on
death row might watch it. Watching and waiting for something terrible to come. Outside,
all was quiet. It was as if the creatures outside had sensed the arrival of some ancient evil,
and had decided to flee. Any noise was better than this; the silence felt like it was going
to suffocate me. I felt my ears start to bleed, as they strained to hear something, anything
from the outside world. I watched, huddled up in the corner of my bed, as the darkness
slowly began to pour in, until I felt like I would drown. The room filled up to the brim,
and I waited for it to enter my mouth, my nose and my eyes. I was choking on the
blackness, entering into a world of no return.

Sep 14, 2010

V Files - Chapter 2: How It Starts

By Sama Khawaja

Children’s laughter rings out in the garden.
A soothing sound in the usually quiet countryside of Tallow.
Destiny toddles over to a beach ball that is practically hidden by the long, swaying blades of grass. A shadow suddenly hovers over her childish form and she looks up to satiate her curiosity.
‘What are you playing, Destiny?’ the shadowed man asks her in a husky but gentle voice.
‘I’m playing with my friend Mage. He likes to play catch but he can’t catch the ball so I always have to get it,’ Destiny pouts. The man scans the horizon.
‘Where is Mage, Destiny?’ the man asks, seeing that no one is within range to be considered a person.
‘He’s here, silly, he just likes to hide,’ Destiny laughs. She stops giggling almost immediately when her sight blurs and a migraine begins to surface. She clutches her head and teeters to the side.
‘Is something wrong, Destiny?’
‘N-no. Just…dizzy,’ she slurs. Suddenly, the sound of glass being shattered resonates across the garden followed by a shout. The man looks up sharply to a pretty little cottage on the far side of the lawn.
‘Alicia!’ he cries out in alarm and sprints towards the cottage. Destiny attempts to follow but she trips and the ball rolls away from her. It suddenly stops, standing stock still, as if taunting her to come get it. The light breeze has picked up speed now.
‘Not now, Mage! I don’t want to play anymore!’ she cries out and tries to get up but the breeze transforms into a gale, pinning her to the ground. Dirt and grass envelope her, swirling around like a tornado.
‘I can’t play, I can’t play!’ she screams, throwing her hands over her face.
‘Dee! Hey, Little Dipper, come in! Destiny, can you hear me?!’
Destiny snapped out of her reverie to hear Tito bellowing in the headset over her ears. She wasn’t surprised that she could still hear him over the whirling blades over the chopper she was in. He was always the rambunctious sort.
‘Little Dipper to Grizzly Bear! What’s the emergency?’ she answered calmly after she pressed a button to activate her microphone.
‘Get down here STAT and get us out of here! We got the chip!’
‘The chocolate chip or the vanilla chip?’
‘The one that will get you to start moving and get us out of this hellhole!’
‘I still say we could have come up with better codenames,’ she muttered as she flipped to ‘Manual’ on the aircraft.
‘What was that??’
‘I said meet me where they launch their private jets!’ Destiny said quickly and maneuvered the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior through the thick fog that spewed out of the mouth of the volcano, Mt. Ougi.
She delved deep into it until she spotted a platform that jutted out from a cave on the side. Destiny took the chopper into a nose dive before she pulled up just in time to see her team racing down the cave passage. That was when she noticed the robotic dinosaurs hot on their heels, snapping hungrily and their eyes glowing red with hate.
‘Wow! Tito, why didn’t you tell me you guys got caught sneaking around! I would’ve hurried over faster!’ Destiny commented and grinned at a heavily panting Tito, Gear and Adriana. She jabbed a button to open the side door and the trio clambered in, practically collapsing as they did.
Said dark-skinned thug just glared at Destiny as Gear made his way to her and removed the headphones from her head to place it over his own.
‘Hope you didn’t damage my Sheila!’ Gear snapped. ‘Now get out of my seat! I wanner try some new gizmos I’ve rigged my baby up with!’
‘Aw! No fair, Gear, you never let me drive her!’ Destiny grumbled but obeyed.
Gear ignored her comment and flipped a switch on the headboard as he swiveled the chopper around to face the dinosaurs who growled menacingly on the platform, angry that they couldn’t reach their prey.
‘Try these babies on fer size, ya cruddy snappers!’ Gear hollered manically in his Southern drawl as he pressed a button on the steering bars. State of the art M195 automatic guns popped out of the sides of the helicopter and trained on the creatures. The guns started to pump lead so fast that by the time everyone on the aircraft blinked, the dinosaurs were reduced to riddled sheets of metal.
‘Mission accomplished, YEE-HAW!!’ Gear hooted and pumped a fist in the air. Tito and Adriana laughed at Gear as he steered them homewards. Destiny smiled. But her thoughts were elsewhere.

Sep 10, 2010

The Hotel

Assignment: Write the opening chapter of a novel called 'The Hotel'. Introduce the reader to three different characters who do not know each other as yet but will do so later. In your writing you should try and establish differences between them and possible reasons why they might meet. 

By Asad Zaidi

There was common courtesy and then there was taking things too far. Walter had had to stand there and shake hands with each of the hundred-odd businessmen as they had filed out of the conference hall. His cheeks still hurt from maintaining his smile all that time. But then again, he thought, with great power comes great responsibility. What a pity such fine words had been wasted on a comic book. 

Walter ran a hand through his short-cropped, prematurely graying hair. His mind was wandering; he was exhausted. But the meeting was over. It had been a success. Perhaps now he would be able to look in the mirror again without seeing dark circles around his steel gray eyes. 

He unbuttoned his coat and loosened his necktie. He was informed by an electronic voice that he had reached his floor. Walter Bishop stepped out of the elevator and out to the bar of the hotel. Tonight he would treat himself to a drink or two. 

Walter set aside his glass which was now devoid of champagne. Wearily, he surveyed the crowd at the bar before sighing in distaste. It was the typical 'posh hotel' crowd. The men all wore Armani suits and sported Rolexes on their wrists and the women... Oh, the women. Inches of makeup plastered on their faces, they displayed an offensive amount of skin and wore enough gemstones to feed a small town for a whole week with. Obviously, none of these people had started from nothing, from scratch. Obviously, they did not value hard work and the wealth they possessed. Sighing again, he let his eyes wander across the bar once more before he made to leave. They were met by those of a woman. 

She was breath-taking and it was electrifying, the eye contact. She really was beautiful and it was all natural - she wore almost no makeup save for the lipstick that painted her lips scarlet. Black locks of wavy hair cascaded down to her shoulders where in blended with the black dress she was wearing. It had a high neck, Walter noted with approval. Here was a woman with some dignity, some self-respect. She smiled serenely at him and raised her glass, first at him and then to her lips. 

His heart fluttered. Clenching his fists, he made an effort to resist the sudden urge to smooth out his hair. Indecision tore at him. He could not make up his mind. Should he go introduce himself?

A man glided over to the woman, wineglass in hand. Walter saw her hair be tossed aside as she turned to face the newcomer and saw her dark eyes widen as they fell on him. Where she was beautiful, he was handsome, in that boyish, carefree way. And he was tall.

Walter's insides squirmed in frustration. 

"Damn tall people," he muttered. He needed another drink.

On an important night like this, Monica Fairstone would normally have politely turned away any 'distractions' that chose to seek her company. This man - Daniel as he had introduced himself as - was an exception, however. He was gorgeous. She had lost all her focus as soon as he had approached her with his twinkling blue eyes and perfect white teeth. 

Conversation with Daniel, however, was rather dull. He liked cars. He liked them a lot. The young man went on and on about his personal collection. Obviously, he was from a wealthy family. 

"And so this new Porsche I am looking to get soon..."

Monica glanced back at the man she was primarily interested in, only to see him glowering sullenly at her new companion and looking rather quite drunk. Interesting. Maybe she could use this situation to her advantage. She drained her sparkling water.

"Sweetheart," she said turning to Daniel. She lay her hand on his arm and smiled up at him. "Could you get me a drink?"

Once he was out of earshot, she whipped out her phone and dialed a number. 

"I have our man where we want him," she said. She paused then, listening. "I understand."

The Outsider

       By Sama Khawaja

My name is Malcolm Malestorm, behavior analysist extraordinaire. Haven’t heard of me? Remember the novel ‘Big Foot Meets She Foot’? The one that became a worldwide bestseller? I don’t think I need to go any further to say who the author is.
My field of study is not taken up by many. It is not easy to cover as it is quite extensive and complicated. Hence I am considered an expert in this area.
My job is to reveal the truth about tribes and species that go unnoticed in the world. Mankind sees them, acknowledges their existence  but fails to understand their way of life. That’s where I come in. I feel it is my duty to analyze these creatures and create a window for mankind to reach out to them. After all, it’s the least I can do.
I have discovered a new breed just on the edge of the West Coast. They are unlike any species I have ever seen. They dress peculiarly, eat bizarrely and even talk in a tongue I have yet to come across. They will be my new project. Scientists have yet to decipher their way of life and if I am able to crack the code, I will be recognized globally; perhaps even getting the chance to meet the President of USA. I must do it.
I am lucky to have access to one of their kind. I have already observed them from a distance but today, I will follow one of them and try to collect as much information as I can. But they must not know that I am following them otherwise who knows how they will react. They might not be so flattered to be studied so intently. So I must remain incognito in my research.
I have managed to infiltrate one of their habitats. It is a wasteland with trash and bizarre objects cluttered everywhere. But the creature is unperturbed by it. Perhaps it is used to being surrounded by mountains of useless junk. Or perhaps it is because it spends most of its time worshipping. These creatures are very devout worshippers f their God. They are constantly standing before it, staring intently as if hoping to receive a revelation of some sort. They always perform a ritual in front of their God in which they apply all sorts of paints on their body parts and adorn their skin with glittering ornaments. Some even paint their hair different hues! But I have yet to see their God. All I know is that it is hidden in a flat plane board they have propped up in their homes. Someday, I will venture out and see what their God looks like. But not today. Today I focus on them and their pattern on a normal day.
I am lucky for the one I am studying seem to be preparing for a special occasion. It had slathered on a horde of paint on its face that you can barely tell if it’s still its face. It then changes into a special attire which reveals most of its skin and body. It stuffs its pouch with weapons and stalks out of its home. I should be more cautious in following it for it might notice me. I trail it to a huge gathering where it meets not only its own kind but another larger and tougher species. My heart palpitates. I have stumbled across a battle between two species and I can be in grave danger!
But they do not attack each other immediately though. They just gibber in an incoherent language for at least an hour. It is then that I realize that this not a battleground but a mating zone. My specimen has paired up with one of the other and is uttering high-pitched squeals, probably to attract the other. The other grunts and fondles its hair. Finally, as if satisfied, the two embrace as if sealing a bond. My specimen squeals and rushes to its tribe, tittering away. The others join its chant and start to drift away to my subjects abode. Curious, I follow, determined to know what they will do next.
These creatures are bent on performing rituals for everything for right now, they are preparing for one. A few have gone to worship their God, applying dyes to their lips and mated specimen. Another has begun to play a beat from a strange instrument that is emitting a warbled chanting. Everyone else has joined in the chanting now. The sound is so piercing I am surprised my ears haven’t begun to bleed yet.
While still singing, they each take a goblet of a jet black liquid that is foaming at the top and sip it in unison. One of them utter a sentence, a prayer perhaps, and the others scream in mirth. Perhaps I can understand their language if I am a bit closer. I carefully crawl across the littered floor when some object stings my palm. I cry out in pain and realize that I had been stabbed by one of their body ornaments they leaving lying around as booby traps. But that isn’t the worst part. They have heard me.
Their heads turn so suddenly in my direction that I gasp in fright. My body has broken into a sweat and my heart has leapt into my throat. They look angry and have spring to their feet as if preparing to attack. I don’t know whether I will live or die. Perhaps this might be the end for Malcolm Malestorm, prestigious behavior analysist; winner of the Pulitzer Prize; author of the number one bestseller ‘Big Foot Meets-’

‘Malcolm, what are you doing in my room?’ Clarisse snaps, her eyes narrowing. ‘Are you spying on me again?’
‘Your little brother can be so abnormal, Clarisse,’ Jessica comments with a roll of her eyes as she applies eyeliner while looking in the mirror.
‘Tell me about it! Mom! Can you please tell Malcolm to stop sneaking around my room! I have to get ready for my date with Jeremy!’ 

The Hotel

Assignment: Write  the opening chapter of a novel called 'The Hotel'. Introduce the reader to three different characters who do not know each other as yet but will do so later. In your writing you should try and establish differences between them and possible reasons why they might meet. 

By Lamia Fahim

 "I know how your parents died."

  This was the last thing Tyra expected to read when she collected her letters from the New York Post Office that morning. Shock forced her down onto the plush leather couch. Her long-fingered, white hands shook as she reopened her eyes and continued to read.

  Sophia had fainted.

  She unattached her rosy cheek from the linoleum table, where it was plastered a few moments ago. She rubbed the moisture out of her eyes and picked up the letter again, her oval-shaped face turning pale as she read onto the next sentence, and tried to ignore the first one which kept attempting to rearrest her attention. She tuned out the Melbourne traffic and continued:

  "It does not matter who I am. All that matters is that you finally find out the truth, which I am going to reveal to you at the time address listed below. It is a matter of great urgency and I urge you to trust me..."

  "...although I know it is difficult, almost impossible for you to trust a complete stranger, but think about it. This is the only hope you've got," Elizabeth's pale-blue eyes widened as she read; when she read the first sentence she dismissed it as a hoax, but, unable to curb her curiosity, she continued to read only to face the unbelievable. 
London was just waking up, she could hear its impatience; the cars honking, the men shouting, the women trotting on their stilettos.

  "Meet me at Le Grand Hotel, Room 333, Milano, Spain at a week from today," the letter continued, "At four in the morning, Spanish time. Don't be late."

  Elizabeth flipped the letter upside-down, eyes scanning for a return address, but to her dismay, did not find anything. Incredulous though she was, she knew she was going to land on Spanish soil, very, very soon...

  Nathaniel stepped out of the limousine into the cold, bitter wind onto the pavement leading upto a massive, spectacular establishment, a sign flashing the hotel's name in a phosphorescent display of neon lights. He gathered his winter cloak about him and sighed heavily, his breath blowing out in a gust, forming a mist before his face. He wished he had chosen something more inconspicuous. Oh well, it was too late now. He hurried inside to the receptionist and conversed quickly in Spanish. He paid her lavishly and she slipped him a key. He scurried off, leaving the receptionist with a gleeful expression on her face as she quietly pocketed the money. Before slipping the key into his pocket, he rechecked the three-digit, gold-engraved numbers on it religiously. The key read "333." He continued pursuing his way to the elevator...

  As he shut and bolted the door behind him, Nathaniel exhaled in relief. He hoped nobody had followed him. It was not his safety he was concerned about, he knew he was as sure as dead; he broke the bond, after all. He turned around to be stunned by the sight of his own reflection in the jewel-encrusted mirror that stood opposite the room: he looked pale and anxious, like a rabbit frightened out of it's hole, sweat beaded his forehead and his bushy, black mustache and hands twitched; he could not stop fidgeting.

  Twenty-two years, he thought, it had been twenty-two long years that he kept quiet, but no more.
The room was cold and forbidding. He cranked up the heater and sat down to wait. He checked his watch: "2:52 a.m.." Nathaniel's eyes drifted shut, casting shadows on the bags beneath them as he re-witnessed a seen that had taken many, many years ago and that haunted him ever since...

  A piercing scream had been heard. It was a voice he would have recognized anywhere. He ran along the length of the corridor to "Room 333" but he could not touch the door for it was  ablaze. he tried kicking it down but it still held strong, the fire had not melted its iron mechanism as yet.

  "Nathaniel!" the woman called out. "333! Take care of them! 22! Keep them safe! i bind you!"
  The words were meaningless then, but he memorized them all the same. by the time the firemen reached and forced the door down, the room had been charred and covered with soot, black smoke everywhere, with the unmistakable scent of death and the sound of three babies wailing in a far-off corner...

  He snapped back to the present as an owl hooted at the window. He got up quickly and slammed it shut, letting in a cold draft that sent chills up and down his spine. He locked the window. He checked the time again as he sat down; it was now "3:43 a.m.." They would be here soon now. He got up again and started pacing. There would be no more lies.

  Not anymore.

  They have to meet each other. They need to help each other. It is far too late to help me now, but I will not let them meet the same fate...

  They have to be bound. There is no going back now. They have to know the truth, before...

  He whirled around to face the door as someone knocked on it.

Sep 8, 2010


As discussed in class this week, a monologue is a one-sided discussion. It is not a rambling speech but a form of art. Here is a very good example of a monologue. 

Sep 6, 2010

Where Do Babies Come From?

By Annoushka Bayat

Ben casually walked into his parent’s bedroom to and hopped onto their bed as he did every morning. Without looking up from his newspaper, Ben’s father took a sip from his strong, black coffee.

“Morning Benny boy.”

“G’morning daddy,” chanted Ben in return. “Where’s mummy?”

“Right here sweetpea.”

Ben whipped around and found his mother standing at the entrance of the bathroom. He adored seeing her in the lemon-yellow, silk robe. It brought out her milky complexion and her green eyes sparkled, as did his after his bath times. But this wasn’t the time for admiration. He had a serious question on his mind which had, on countless occasions, kept him up to all sorts of times at night – sometimes even past eight o’ clock! Now was the time to ask.

“Daddy, where do babies come from?”



“No! I am so not answering this question! Not now!” Ben’s father folded the newspaper and tucked it under his arm. He shot out of bed balancing his coffee and headed for the door.

“Harold I think it’s time for you to give Ben this talk! I think he’s old enough,” huffed the mother, drying her hair with a towel.

“He’s four!” her husband retaliated.

“I’m four and a half actually,” squeaked Ben with innocence plastered across his face, bobbing up and down on the bed. “Did I ask something bad..?”

The question was uttered with such guilt and hurt that Harold would have been in no better condition if his heart was ripped out of chest and shredded right in front of him. He sighed and at once his wife knew his conscience was broken and crumbled away like a fragile, aged biscuit.

“Okay,” Harold sat down on the edge of the bed and faced his curious son. “Benny…when…a mommy cat and daddy cat love each other very much-“

“But I don’t wanna know about cats. I wanna know about people.”

Ben’s mother could not help but suppress a sudden fit of laughter. At that, Harold clenched his teeth. He knew his wife was laughing at his agony.

“Y-yes I know Benny. But just pretend the cats are humans.”

“Cats are what?”



“Alright so…when a mommy cat and dadd-“

“Do the cats talk?” Ben smiled bobbing up and down again.

“Huh? Umm…Benny…okay let’s put it this way. When mommy and I got married-“

“Wait! Where are the cats?”

“Ben forget the cats for now. So when mommy and I got married, we loved each other-“

“Loved?” Alarm spread across the little face.

“I mean, we still love each other, but it’s like, all mommies and daddies have problems,” he said sighing. He looked down at the bedroom floor, carpeted a soft, peach colour “It’s a natural fact of life. One minute you love each other, and the next-“

“Harold! What are you telling our child?” yelped Ben’s mother.

“Debra, I can’t do this! This isn’t something I can explain!”

“Take it easy Harold. We agreed. You do it for Ben and I’ll do it for Maggie.”

Harold imagined his little two-year-old daughter being told about the process of sex. Shuddering, he faced his son again.

“Okay Ben. I’m just going to get to the point here! When a mommy and a daddy love each other very much, they decide to make a baby. This happens when they are in bed-“

“Or the couch,” snickered his wife.

“Shut up! So in bed the mommy and daddy want to have some fun. And…they…well…the daddy climbs on top of the mommy…and…” he had to pause.

“And they wrestle?” squeaked Ben.

Harold looked up at his son and saw the purest form of innocence he could possibly imagine. He sent a silent prayer to God for providing this window of hope. He had to preserve his boy’s innocence! It was his duty as a father! This is what he was for!

An enormous grin peeled across his face and he sat up right, “Yes! Yes, Benny they wrestle in bed! God sees this as a sign that the mommy and daddy want a baby and He helps them by sending the stalk with their baby!” Pride erupted from Harold’s heart as he conquered this impossible mountain.

“Oh!” Ben shouted with realization. “Does that mean God will send mummy and Uncle Dave a baby too?”