Writing Activity – Write A Story Together

15 Jun

Hello members!

For our next activity of the group we all would be writing a story together.

We have mentioned in the first line of the story and you have to send in your responses to this line to go on with the story. After you email us your responses, we will post up our favorite and then the procedure would go on until we have our ending line.

So, here starts our story:

It was the one thing he coveted the most…

Remember, the last day to send in your first response is 24th June!

 

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Interactive Session 10

17 Apr

Hello Members!

Welcome to the tenth round of the interactive session. In this session we have works by Kieran Owl, Natasha Pasch, Catherine Schythe, Souradeep Roy and Michelle D’Costa

Don’t forget to post in your critiques!

1.Love is no door mat.

-Catherine Schythe

 Kim is in love with a man that doesn’t treat her they way she desires to be treated; she is torn between her emotions of love and anger.

 Kim: Why that rechart bastard!!! He always expects me to answer to him whenever he wants!! And what do I do?? I go ahead and answer! I’m like that little soft, sweet little girl that just does whatever he wants. Argh! I get so annoyed at myself! He has a way with words you know, all soft and sweet and loving, but when it comes to doing things I want, he’s always too busy. Can you believe that?? Too busy to answer my texts, too busy to answer my calls, too busy to go out when I want too, too busy for anything! Do I look like freaking door mat? Do I have a sign on me that says walk all over me? Geez, he makes me mad (squints her eyes as she says this), and do you know what I do? Turn into freaking jelly at the sound of his voice and go “oh ok, no worries, when you can, I love you”, (in a soft sweet tone voice). I feel so stupid! But ohh I love him (pause), he can be the most loving person anyone can meet. I melt when he messages me or sends me flowers. His beautiful looks leave me looking like a little girl all soft and sweet, who’s got a teenage crush on some guy. (Smiles). But when he doesn’t reply? (angry look again) rage, absolute rage, my system is like a red dragon, steaming from all places, (exaggerates hand movements) all I need do is spit out the fire and burn him to a crisp! Do you think I’m losing the plot? No, seriously, be honest with me, because maybe I am, anyone would feel the same way right? I mean who puts up with this shit? Just wait until I see him, I will tell him what manipulator he is and hopefully even slap him!!! I don’t care if I’m cringing inside to hug him and tell him how much I love him. I won’t fall for it, no, no, no, I won’t! I will stand my ground, like a good strong woman who fights for her rights, even if his beautiful sky blue eyes are just hypnotizing me , no, no, no, I will fight it. (She walks up and down really fast, breathing heavily). (Phone rings) Is that him on the phone? (Stops and looks).

2. Prisoner of Pain

– Catherine Schythe

 Sarah’s daughter has been sentenced to jail; she is struggling in coming to terms with the sentence and how this will affect her granddaughter’s future.

Sarah’s daughter has been sentenced to jail; she is struggling in coming to terms with the sentence and how this will affect her granddaughter’s future.

Sarah: I don’t think she understands the severity of the situation; she hasn’t reacted to this whole situation at all!! It’s almost like everything is normal, and it isn’t!! She’s being sentenced to jail!! Why? Why did she do that? Why? Does she not know the damage this has caused to everyone affected? Let alone how this has affected her future and Angela’s?  I’m heartbroken; the last thing I ever wanted was to see was my daughter been charged for murder. (Breaks down in tears). My baby girl ruined her life!! Why? Why God Why? (Puts her hands to her face). She’s a criminal! A bloody criminal! Her poor daughter, she’s only 7 you know! Now she has to grow up knowing her mum is a criminal and will have to visit her in prison! This is a nightmare, a blatant nightmare and I wish I could wake up and it would be all over, but it’s not, it’s my horrible reality. How do you explain to a little girl her mother killed her dad? How? How does a little girl process such horrible information? I need help to deal with all of this. (Takes a breath and pauses). If I don’t get help, I’m going to go down too and I can’t. (Pulls out a cigarette and lights it). I’m responsible for poor little Angela now, she is my little angel to look after. I will look after her and give her the best I can. I wish I could turn back time and maybe I could have done something to prevent this, but I can’t! (Sighs and shakes her head as she smokes). Stupid, stupid girl! Life will never be the same, we will never be the same.

3. I have lozenges for you

-Souradeep Roy

 
I have lozenges for you
In ripe mango and unripe mango flavor.
Made by a New Delhi company.
One full packet with four lozenges
Of ripe and unripe mango flavor
Costs just two rupees, two rupees, two rupees.
Buy one and if you like it
Take many more home.
One packet two rupees
And three packets
Just
Five rupees, five rupees, five rupees.
When you have one in this heat
Inside this bus compartment
You’ll feel you’re having real, ripe mangoes
In a mango orchard.
And if you don’t like it
Throw it out of the window
And don’t pay a paisa.
 
How many packets do you need?
One packet two rupees.
No, I can’t give it for a rupee;
This is a New Delhi company product.
Three packets will cost five rupees.
 
Lozenges for you
In ripe mango
 and unripe mango
 flavor.
Made by a
New
Delhi
company.
One full packet with four lozenges
Of ripe and unripe mango
flavor
Costs just
two rupees, two rupees, two rupees.
Buy one
and if you
 like it
Take many more
 home.
One packet two rupees
And three packets
Just
Five rupees,
five rupees,
five
rupees.
When you
Have
one in this heat
Inside this bus
compartment
You’ll feel
 you’re
having
real,
 ripe
mangoes
In a mango orchard.
And
if
you
don’t
 like
it
Throw it out of the window
And don’t pay a paisa.
 

4. A Mortal 

-Michelle D’costa

 I try to beat the sun
In crossing the sand
 
Pleading it
To be submissive for once
 
And the greedy foam
Of the water
From lapping
Little shells, homes
Into its hungry mouth
 
Wanting it
To downplay its mightiness for once
 
I try to follow
Little pigeon foot prints
Hoping
I can achieve something
You haven’t even tried
I fail miserably
In all the three
But none make me feel worse
Than when each alphabet
Of my name
Is washed off
From the shore
I try not
To feel insulted
But all my previous failures
Now seem minuscule
When I know
That even if I had won
My name
Will only be known
For that split second
Before it’s washed away
By You

5. September 16, 1982

-Natasha Pasch
Why does this exact moment seem so blurred, withdrawn, and non-existent? My own thoughts are escaping me. This cold chair lingers and is immobile– never changing.
 The sheets at home, crisp and white like summer’s country fields–they smell familiar. This pencil, short and stubby like the rest of the warriors aligned on the back panel of my desk. *sigh*……
Clenching my fists is just the first, until my face pours and drains with the red. Then will I know my frustrations have got the best of me. GRRRRRRRR!
I am too angry and worried to cry. I sit in panic, twiddling my thumbs, and feeling as if my head will implode. This weathered away coffee shop has become my home over the past few years. It is safe.
It has become ever so hard to write these days. I have been gone for too long, but I need a rejuvenated start.A NEW CHAPTER —goddamnit. I slam my fists into the cherry wood.
No one is here this early, so no strange looks point towards me.
Looking back.Which was only a week ago.
Flashes gone but taxis, streetlights, beggars, choosers, wanters, posers—it NEVER ends.  Why would I want that life? Do I want that life? This decision between needing and wanting.For what?—Money. That is it.
Money rules the world.At least mine.
If it were up to me, I’d go anywhere, but here or there. Perhaps it would be nice to travel to a new land. See and immerse myself in cultures —my body lifting and becoming a new.
Why do I fucking do this to myself!??
EVERY.TIME.
I question – overanalyze—stir in my bed—break shit—dance all night—eat my feelings.
All for what?
Escape—
 Chaos equals hiding in my tortoise shell. I WANT—wait—NEED to get away from the winding destruction of the last 2 decades. So, do I choose money and experience for the familiar? But when the familiar strains- there is only one answer right?!?!
 Right?
 I hope YOU are listening. Just please listen to me because no one else will. No one wants my thoughts. Struggle is just the body being weak and damned.
Please, will someone wait for me…..Because that is all I am asking?Hoping.
 I need a partner —partner in crime. I just can’t do this on my own —
I just can’t —
 So I write this hoping that it will be found. Found by another lonesome, disheveled, fucked up human being as myself.
I just want to be me.
 Contact at 620-435-7631                  The name is Rose.
 I walk out of the coffee shop. As the bell rings, the door slowly comes to a close. I wonder what is to come next. 
 

6. Graveyard of Goodbyes

– Kieran Rundle
 Spin me a dress
of crimson black lace
from a black widow’s web
of elegance and grace.
 
Let my feet be bare,
yet drenched in velvet blood,
that leaks from my wrists
congealing like mud.
 
My hands remain clenched
like they’re clutching the fear.
And where nail meets palm
is a ruby silhouetted tear.
 
Reveal my hair in curls
and a bun atop my head.
I was beautiful then
so I’ll be exquisite dead.
 
Don’t force my eyes shut
for their blue ice shall char you.
And perhaps when you’ll see them
and wish your tainted words true.
 
Make up my face
to its peaceful perfection.
To never reveal a flaw
death was the only direction.
 
My voice drowned with the lies
that I told for protection
against the monsters in my past
and the ends of the inception.
 
Polish me a casket
of gleaming words in oak.
And my truths shall all hide
for of them I never spoke.
 
Line it with silk
woven from those long ago.
My wearing of lost ghosts
is much more than a show.
 
Sing me a ballad
that my loved ones wrote.
A song of their perceptions
of my loss of all hope.
 
Leave the lid to my box
open until the last second.
They made me their doll
and to death I was beckoned.
 
They wanted me perfect
with an innocence like light.
But everyone who gazed upon me
shoved me into the night.
 
Mama forgive me,
but your baby had to go.
I love you and forgive you
I was never good enough, you know.
 
Daddy forgive me,
your little girl had to pay.
But I love you and forgive you
for all of those silent days.
 
Then at a razing pure sunset,
slide me under the earth.
There will be crying and smiling,
for I’m now gone from the hearth.
 
Shovel the sorrows tenderly,
and leave me close to the ground.
Not content to witness this party
but consoled with hearing its sound.
 
And though I may not move,
know that my smile tries,
for I have finally welcomed
my graveyard of goodbyes.
 

Writing Activity- Dramatic Monologue

30 Mar
Hello members! 
 
First of all our winner for the last activity which was a critique round – Serena Cooke! Congratulations Serena!
 
and now for the next activity, you all have to write a Dramatic monologue!
 
What is a monologue?
 
A monologue poem voices the feelings and intents of one character to an implied audience. It can be comic, but most are dramatic. In a monologue poem, there is no dialogue, and the poet takes on a persona and develops the fictional identity. The goal is to provide a peek into the character’s pure psyche and let the reader do the interpreting. Poets well known for their monologue poems are Robert Browning, T.S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath and William Shakespeare.
 
Tips for writing a Dramatic Monologue:
 
1.Read dramatic monologues. Shakespeare wrote a lot of them.
2. Develop the character to whom the monologue belongs. The better you develop and understand this character, the better your monologue will turn out.
3. Choose a subject that is very important to the character or something that happened to them.
4. Choose powerful adjectives and words for this monologue. Consider using metaphors (within the scope of the character).
5. Incorporate pauses, sighs, and body language cues to emphasize certain parts.
6. Edit and reread your monologue for improvement.

 

The last day to submit your entries for this activity is 10th April. The entries have to be emailed to us at miracle.ezine@yahoo.com with Miracle Bond written in the subject line.

 

New On-Board Rules

26 Mar

 

It feels really nice to start the group again with a revived enthusisam, new members and ofcourse some new rules!

First of all we want to welcome our new members:

1. Gaurav Mishra

2. Nikita Parik

3. Mark Potts

4. Michelle D’Costa

5. Souradeep Roy

6. Nefyn Edwards

7. Anitra DeLorenzo

8. Catherine Schythe

and here are the new rules:

– Every activity of the group will have points to give away. Every piece that a member submits will reserve him 2 points while every critique will reserve the member 2 points as well.

– We will have a record of all the points that a member has attained and the end of every 6 months, the member with most points will get a little gift pack from us.

– The member who misses three consecutive activities or two consecutive interactive sessions would automatically be replaced by a new member unless he/she informs us about their reason for absence.

-And the last and the most important rule, don’t forget enjoying all the stuff and have fun with all the activities!

We hope you all enjoy the group!

P.S A new activity will be put up by the end of this week.

Interactive Session 9

12 Mar

Hello Members!

Welcome to the ninth round of the interactive session. In this session we have works by Orpheus Nery, Katie Randall, Kieran Owl, Shreyas Tripathy, Serena Cooke and Natasha Pasch.

From the next activity, we are going to have some new members in the group with some new on-board rules to make the group more lively and creative.

As for this activity, there is just one rule:

The person to give the most critiques comments would win a copy of the latest issue of the Miracle e-zine. Best of luck and get on critiquing! 

 

1.Together You and I – Katy Ribar

 

There came a day, when the seasons chanced

A day when two paths crossed

In the richness of life they conformed to one

The other never knowing of the yearnings of the past

 

The sun set sail across the sea

The birds flew anew in the deep blue sky

It was the solstice of the new

The flowers blossoming fresh

For me, for you

To the ambiances that we dance

 

All the souls that he creates

And the paths that migrate intricately

To find myself in your dominion

It is with great solace I behold you

 

For now the darkness no longer fades

The sun, the moon and stars transport in your eyes

A wealth that does not dishearten

For a purchaser of love fairs no price

 

There are many pages yet to be written

For a sky spills bright with many stars

The path we have chosen

Together you and I

 

2.Sky High – Serena Cooke

 
 Dreams culminate
                                                        Talents are squandered
Honour dissipates into the skin
Achieve just for the sake of approval, their pride in you
All the while
Lurking in the others’ eyes
                                                                        The green of malice covets your prize
Leave their spite at the crossroads
Speed on through the traffic lights of their lives
 
 
And rise

 

3. Two Heavens – Orpheus Nery

 

At the peak of the highest mountain in Bukidnon, the Philippines, there lived a boy named Uwan. He was of the Higaonon tribe. His father was in-charge of delivering goods from the town—kilometers of slippery, dangerous slopes away—to their place, and Uwan would go with him and make friends downtown. Two days per week, they would walk for eleven hours, vice-versa. One of the friends Uwan made was with Angelo, the son of their governor. Angelo’s family was rich: they had a television and a computer, things which were new to young Uwan’s eyes.

After about a year, both of the boys became best friends. One day, Uwan saw a singing child actress on the TV. She was the most beautiful person he had ever laid eyes on, and had the most beautiful voice. She was Korean.

“Ah. Bom Sunkyu,” said Angelo upon seeing Uwan staring at the telly with his jaws on the floor. “Yes. Dream, my friend. In your dreams is the only place you’ll meet her. She’s from another planet.”

And so Uwan dreamt. The girl’s image was fixed vividly in his mind: those eyes which darted to yours with electricity, that smile, face, and her body in those beautiful dresses. Uwan would ask Angelo for photographs of her, bring them home with him, and never stop dreaming. Sometimes, Uwan would only go to his friend’s house to watch television.

For years he dreamt. That was all. His father was no longer the person in-charge of delivery, so his visits to his friend became seldom, so did his time seeing the then attractive teenager Bom Sunkyu he had been admiring. At the pinnacle of the mountain where he lived, Uwan would cure his loneliness and longing by composing songs and poems inspired by the Korean girl. They were very beautiful, his compositions. They ought to be published, said Angelo, when he had the chance to read them.

When he reached adulthood, he became realistic and stopped admiring the angel from another planet. He had had a girlfriend, who was also from his tribe. He told his girlfriend she was his inspiration in composing those songs and poems, which was far from the truth.

 

Meanwhile, in Korea, fans of the nineteen year-old superstar Bom Sunkyu were intrigued at why she never had had a boyfriend, as titled men from different countries were courting her.

“I believe that one must search for his or her searcher, because it is in this way that you may truly find who is for you,” she said during an interview. “I have learned from a friend how to understand myself, how to listen to what my soul speaks of . . .”

“‘One must search for his or searcher.’ But, Ms. Sunkyu, don’t you believe opposites attract?”

“That only works in Physics,” Sunkyu answered. “For example, the opposite of happy is sad. What if you’re always happy, and you see your partner always sad? Do you think your relationship would work out? What I mean is, both of you must be neutral and feel mutual.”

“Whoa. You seem to have much knowledge about love, having had no boyfriends ever since. Why, Ms. Sunkyu?”

She laughed. “I’ve learned these from a website full of poems. They really speak to me. They tell me how to find true love. And mine is not in this part of the world, I learned.”

 

In Bukidnon, Uwan was having those dreams and nightmares in his sleep. Was it because of his nervousness about his upcoming wedding? He needed someone to talk to, so he went to Angelo and told him of his dreams—dreams from his past.

He thought about things very hard. He had written songs and poems of how people could find their true love, but how came he never found his? The love he and his girlfriend had was a one-way process: only the girl loved. He decided to find and seek again.

“Where are you going?” asked Angelo upon seeing him carrying rucksacks.

“To the airport.”

“What in the name of Hell will you do there? Are you going abroad? Why so sudden? And for God’s sake, the airport is six days from here!”

“I will not go abroad,” Uwan assured him. “I don’t know what I will do there. I just feel like going there. Angelo—this is what I have to do. This is what I’ve been writing about my whole life! To follow what I feel to do.”

“Before you embark on this journey,” said Angelo after a long moment of silence, emotional for he might not see Uwan again, “care for a cup of tea, my best friend?”

Both of them talked for hours. About everything and anything. Angelo mentioned that he posted Uwan’s songs and poems on the Internet, told him a good number of people really liked them. Uwan was surprised, and thankful as well because he was able to share the words of his heart. After tea, he had to go, to find his one true love once and for all.

When Uwan finally left, Angelo made another cup of tea for himself and turned the television on. Bom Sunkyu was being interviewed. My friend would have loved to see her for the last time, even if it was only on TV, he thought.

“So, Ms. Sunkyu,” the interviewer was saying, “is it true you’re leaving the country by Saturday?”

“Yes.”

“Can you tell us why?”

“For vacation? Or let’s just say my heart tells me to be there.” She laughed. “Remember, search for your searcher.”

“And where is this place you’re planning to go to?” asked the interviewer, intrigued.

“In the Philippines.”

Angelo spat all of the tea from his mouth.

 

4. Liverpool – Katie Randall 

 

Liverpool was a town of freaks. It frightened you, as it did me.

Quasimodo lurched in dark shadows whilst tramps fumbled with

melodeons and grinned with no teeth. You could have sworn you

saw a man with no trousers and gypsies in bells danced on the streets.

We gripped hands as we hurried towards the dock, the black water

swelled to greet us, and the wind slapped our faces. So we hid and

found somewhere to eat. Klemzer music blared and lurid green light

dazzled our eyes. Satanic waitress’ had apple red lips, and your

brilliant ambers were bewitched as they tormented me. We realised

the emerald glare was not from Liverpool’s circus lights but me.

Meat, red and dripping was sliced before us, then to our disbelief!

Chicken hearts. You fed me from your fork, Beelzebub’s or some sort

of magic otherwise but I could not swallow. It was as you implored me

not to spit it out, you gagged and gagged again, repulsed just the same!

The station, Liverpool Lime Street, was exactly what its’ name depict.

Bitter, the start and end of our trip you wished, but no, we ventured on. 

 

5.Tick Tock – Natasha Pasch

 Pendulums vibe, like the ticking of a clock.

Counting till the death parts us

Running out as thoughts race

Repetition and eyeball spasms rotate

So coo-key, they roll back in the flaps of flesh.

Head shaking and trembling back and forth

Have I gone mad or is this normal?

Paroxysm overcomes my body and does not release me.

The twitch of a cold finger lies on a dark wood table.

A spotlight flickers on-off-on-off as the moist skin filled with wrinkles comes into view.

 

Wrapped up tight in this mummified state seems ever so common, yet I was just put in this suit.

I appear and look down at the sight I see.

 Cream-colored straight jacket succumbs my inner body.

What have I done to end up in this moment?

A shameful situation for all to know, all to see, and all to comment.

The whispers, the stares from guards.

Do they think I am psychotic or am I just like everyone else?

Am I a drone to this society and well-being?

Shivers crawl down my weak thin spine.

I wonder how much time I have left.

 

I feel like dyeing.

It would be easy.

Almost too easy.

Maybe they are testing me and analyzing my every move.

This darkness, hollow and dense.

Running for miles, a never-ending tunnel of destruction and grief

My eyes water and begin to spasm again, rotating and developing into white sockets

 

Here I lie suffocating within the time of the never ending chime of this clock.

Till’ death is around us do we realize what we could have become, what we could have changed, .how we reacted and what decisions we could have made?

 

The last breath we breathe is the beginning to the end.

This decomposed body rings and jolts remembering those chimes as if the soul still hears, but the body is limp.

Not an inch of movement, not a sound.

 

The soul hears all.

 

6. Amidst The Mist – Shreyas Tripathy 

1.     Introduction

 

Routine… This was the word that had been permanently etched on the back of my mind for the last five years or so, “Same old, same old” had become my favorite phrase and work… well, it can never be much of an excitement anyway. It seemed as if my life was a long lost race and I was living to make sure that I reach the finish line in order to take away my participation certificate. No drive, no reason, no hurry… What could inspire me to live my life in a more, say, a better way? Yeah, that’s about right; nothing. Living in a small, quiet town with hardly any population didn’t help the cause either. My friends living in the bigger cities and the sub-urbs constantly complained about the noise, the traffic, the life being a rush, a race, no peace at all and so on , but from where I stand right now it seemedlike a “not so bad” kinda prospect. But then there’s always the saying that the grass seems greener on the other side so even that might not be the “perfect” life after all. So here I was, no choice, no options, just living a lonely, lonely life.

The slow-moving week finally gave way to a lazy but a definitely faster moving weekend. I woke up late. The sun was high enough in the sky for the time to be around 11a.m. I brushed my teeth, freshened myself up and sat down infront of the T.V. while emptying a box of cereal into my mouth.The hours ticked by fast and before I could realize, the clock took the opportunity to point its little finger at 4. That was the final indication of the fact that one-fourth of my weekend was over and that I had to wash my clothes and take a shower. With these routine works done, now was the time to sit and do absolutely nothing. I sat down on the couch and let myself drown into the rather disturbing silence that was looming large all around the house. Then, suddenly my meditation was broken by my cell-phone.

“Hey, what’s up buddy?” the voice of my co-worker and friend Jon came through the phone.

“Nothing much, you know, the usual meditation on the couch, staring at the walls and wondering why I was still alive kinda stuff. What made you remember me?”

“Work, obviously”, chuckled Jon.

“What work?”

“Boss just called. She said that the guy who was supposed to be joining last week, finally made it. You are supposed to brief him on what he’d be doing here and hand over those files she gave you last week.”

“Oh, come on! Is this how I am supposed to spend my weekend? Explaining our new co-worker what he was supposed to do in the last week which he missed for, God knows, what reason.”

“Why? What “special” things did you have in mind?” the taunting voice of Jon echoed in my ears.

“Nothing much, ok, nothing at all, but still… I mean this isn’t right. Screw her. Anyway, where does he live?”

“In the South Colony, you know the one by the Fog Lake? He is staying in lodging 108 there”

“Yeah, thanks by the way. Hey! Wait a second. Why did she call you if she had to inform me? She could have called me straight away.”

“Yeah, about that … Umm, I am going off to my girlfriend’s to celebrate her birthday, so I had to put the burden on someone else. And who could be better than my buddy, right?”

“You jackass! I’ll not forget this.”

“Neither will I. Thanks buddy! See ya.”

“Yeah, sure … Bye”

2.     The Peacock

 

As I had mentioned before, our town was a small one with less population, but still there were a few unexplored territories for me; one being the South Colony. The Fog Lake was famous for the ever-hovering fog over the lake’s surface, as the name suggests. It was the landmark of the town that no one could miss. The low lying mist round the area kept it cooler than the rest of the town all around the year. The South Colony was the first colony to be built in the town and now with most of its residents gone due to various reasons, that colony was undergoing the process of metamorphosis. Most of the houses were already turned into lodgings and the rest were being renovated. I had never found this part of the town cheerful and hence avoided coming down here.

As I approached the lake, I started regretting my foolish decision of not carrying my coat as the chilly mist made me shiver. I crossed the lake with my hands clasped close to my body trying keep myself as warm as possible, but a bunch of files made that a little difficult. The mist hung low and heavy over the lake as usual and I could see about ten or twelve people standing around the lake pointing towards visibly nothing and admiring this unusual and rather creepy climatic condition of the place. Then I entered the South Colony, it was my very first time here. I could see workers and lodge owners all around the place trying to get the renovations done as quickly as possible. I enquired a worker about the location of Lodge 108 and he pointed me further down the lane. And there it was, Lodge 108.

I was welcomed by the receptionist as I read out the name of my new co-worker from the file in order for her to fetch him in her register. As she searched for him, I looked around the lodge. It was beautifully decorated with a huge chandelier hanging right in the middle of the waiting area. The reception was well lit with the wooden counter having intricate designs and a beautiful lamp sitting in top of it. She then directed me to a room on the first floor. As I climbed the stairs, I realized the patterns on the walls and the window panes were old, indicating the fact that these lodges used to be houses earlier on where families had lived for long times. I arrived at the first floor and knocked on my new co-worker, Peter’s door.

*

Dusk had descended upon the lake when I exited the lodging. Even though the weather had become colder and gloomier, I felt warmer and happier inside thanks to the chat with Peter. Not because he was highly entertaining, but because it was a welcome break from my ridiculously monotonous life. I thanked my boss, Jon and Peter for this change. As I crossed the dull lake I could still see people around it, but this time they were couples. After having a lovely evening together, these lovebirds were snuggling back to their nests. For a person like me, who had never felt this “love”, seeing those couples should mean nothing. I mean, at least not like Jon, who after a big misunderstanding with his girlfriend had a falling apart. He would start shedding tears when he saw a couple. That can never be the case for me, and anyway, I had never felt what they say, “the upsurge of feelings” on seeing a woman. No, not until now…

I checked my watch and it was only 7 o’ clock, so I decided to while away a little time by having something to eat and sitting by the lake on the benches. The area near the lake which was not swampyhad been turned into a park by laying down a stone path, a couple of fancy bushes, some benches, a few fire grates and some snack stalls. I bought myself a nice warm burger and sat down on a nearby bench. The park now was almost empty this being the transition time when the couples would leave and mostly families would come out. With no one to look at, my contemplation shifted to the raging fire that was keeping me warm. Then I saw it, saw the beauty that I had never seen before, felt the rush of feelings I had never felt before, and almost instantly I knew that I had fallen in love!

She was standing on the opposite side of the fire in a beautiful peacock blue dress. The embers of the fire complimented her bright blue dress and at the same time blurred her face to a certain extent. I got up from the bench to get a better, clearer view of the angel that had melted my stone heart. She was beautiful, yes. She had the most perfect, cute little face I had ever seen; innocence written all over it. Nothing around me seemed to matter anymore. All I knew was that she was there across the fire and I was here, rooted to the spot, unable to speak, unable to blink, unable to think of anything else but her. And then the fire suddenly grew violent and rose higher breaking my eye contact with her. I moved away from it and tried to locate her again, but I couldn’t. It was as if she had disappeared, as if it all but an illusion. But no, it wasn’t. She was definitely there; I saw her and felt what I had never felt before.

It is true then! Love does happen at first sight…

3.     The New Life

 

Walking back to my house wasn’t easy. Whatever happened at the park, by the lake had shaken me to the core. My ideals had been proven wrong. I was no longer the man who never believed in love, no longer a man of cold logic. She had turned my world upside down. Now all I wanted was to see her again, all I cared about was her. Was this some kind of an addiction? I didn’t know yet, but I was about to discover that soon.

I wasn’t able to sleep that night. I twisted and turned, rolled from side to side, punched the pillow into different shapes and sizes but I failed to catch any sleep at all. “Counting sheep might help…” I thought to myself, and closed my eyes trying to imagine sheep. But all I could imagine was her and her alone. Now I was well and wide awake. Even the clock went to sleep and it took hours for it to move a minute ahead. Somehow midnight finally gave way to dawn and I was up striding in my garden wishing it was a Monday so I could get ready and go for work. Somehow I passed the day and the noon. The moment the clock struck 4, I was out of my house walking briskly towards the Fog Lake. Yes, I guess it was an addiction after all. It was like using a drug not knowing whether it is helpful or harmful, you feel great at the start but the side-effects kill you slowly, eat you inside.

I reached the lake and walked straight to the bench I was sitting on last evening. To my relief it was empty. I sat down and looked at the grate. This was where a great fire was dancing freely and violently last night and now it was nothing but wet pieces of burnt out cinder. Was the girl an illusion too? Did she die with dying fire, and is now nothing but an ashen memory in my head? No, no it can’t be. And even if it is, she will rise again, come here again. When the fire burns at its prime tonight, she will be there shining and glowing in its reflection, radiating her beauty. And I will be there, soaking it in, quenching my thirst, putting off the fire that is now burning me inside.

Darkness slowly descended upon the lake and everything around it. The phoenix fire arose once again and I waited, waited for her… And then she came, tonight she was the fire itself. She wore a nice sunflower yellow dress with orange and red frills and walked gracefully across the edge of the lake. Ah… that mesmerizing beauty, those graceful strides. My eyes feasted upon her and I felt my heart ponding against my ribs, almost wanting to burst out wanting to have a look, a peek at her. I know not for how long she was there, I know not for how long I was there because all my senses except for my eyes had gone numb. My arms, my legs; all dysfunctional, my ears listened only to the drumming of my heart. And then she was gone, again, as if in a puff of smoke. I intuitively turned around to check on the fire in the grate… it had been put off, and somewhere deep inside I already knew this before I had even seen it.

*

Weeks rolled by, much more smoothly and easily than before. Jon kept on asking what had happened to me, he could notice the change, the glow, the power of love that I was radiating. I never answered him, rather I mocked his foolishness.

“What do you mean I look different? It’s just that I decided to live my life to the fullest. Rather than sitting alone in the house, I started going out to the lake. What’s so different about that?”

“But you hated going to the lake. You didn’t like the mist and all. Are you meeting someone?” his concern turned into a wicked smile.

“Seriously? You think I have a girlfriend or something? No way.”

Every day now I would walk down to the lake, and watch her. Appreciate her beauty, thank her sincerity and have the time of my life. But I was still the same, still alone, incomplete. I decided to talk to her. Tonight she was wearing her peacock blue dress again. I approached her hesitantly.

“Hi”, I said. She turned around, her eyes delusional, as if she was still in her own world of thoughts. Then she snapped out of it.

“Hello” she said. Her musical voice echoed in my ears. Beautiful ! I thought, she’d make a good singer. How I’d love to hear her sing. Then I could just sit on the bench and hear her sing, forever…

She bent her head to the side, as if trying to look into my eyes, trying to figure out my thoughts. I suddenly realized I was delusional too. “Hey, I… I am Eric. Hi !” I stuttered and extended my hand. She took it, shook my hand with a smile. I tried my level best not to think of how wonderful it felt; the touch of her hand and her radiant smile.

“I am Audrey. Do I know you? I… haven’t seen you around here.”

“Oh ! No, no, of course not. I was, umm, sitting alone here… an… and saw you were standing alone too, so I thought you might like the, umm … company.” Words stammered across my lips.

“How nice of you, I’d certainly love the company.”

And I lead her to the stone path in the park and we started talking.

“So, do you live around here?” she asked.

“No, actually I stay in the West Avenue. After work I just come here to relax. You?”

“I am new here. I live in the lodgings.” She replied.

“And what brought you here?”

“Ah, well. The lodge actually, my grandparents owned the Lodge 101 and now I do.”

“So you inherited it”

“Yes. And I work from home, actually I work at home; I am a writer. So I decided to move down here, renovate the lodge and work. I like it here actually; the peace here helps me concentrate.”

“Writer, huh? Nice, I’d love to read your works sometime.”

“Well, it’s not that great. So do not get your hopes too high.” Then she checked her watch. “Oh! It’s getting late. I should be going. Thank you for the company. See you again someday.”

“Sure, no problem, I enjoyed your company too. See you around, bye.”

4.     Unpleasant Uncertainty

No one knew about my new friend, my love. She and I spent hours chatting in the park every day. Routine? Yes, it may be but I didn’t care about the redundancy anymore. We talked for hours about different things; my work, our town, her writings. Nothing was bothering me anymore, not the silence of the town, not the hollowness of my house and surprisingly not even work. But there was one thing, Jon. He was always worried, always hysterical, always prying on me trying to get my secret out of me. But I didn’t give in and give up my secret, I stayed strong.

But just when you think that the cogs in your life have settled in and are well oiled, a gear gives in. It stops working and the machine, your life, breaks down completely. Our boss, Lynda lost her life in an unfortunate accident while returning from her parent’s house. A truck carrying logs of wood lost control and the straps tied to the logs broke letting the logs loose on the highway. Lynda was unfortunate to be just behind that truck and her car smashed into a log and she died on the spot. No matter what we said about her behind her back, we missed her now. The whole office mourned her death and decided to have a ceremony to pay our respects to her and everyone else that lost their lives in that tragic accident.

It took us over a week to get over her death and fall back into our routines. The agency sent over a person to take charge as our boss. The office didn’t feel the same anymore even though our new boss treated us well. The air of loss still lingered over everyone’s cubicle. This event had brought my park visits to a halt, and now I missed her. So, I decided to pay a visit.

I left for the park at around 6 in the evening as the sun started setting. I sat at our favorite spot and waited. The snack stalls started selling, and their owners lit the fire. I looked up trying to catch the glimpse of the first stars as the light was fading. My wait was getting longer now, the sky was now inky blue in color, and the stars were bright and clearly visible. Then I looked at the moon, tonight it was a faint crescent peeking through light floating clouds.  I checked my watch and it was twenty past seven already. “She never used to be late…” I thought to myself. And I waited and waited … Finally I got up as the watch ticked eight.

I decided to pay her lodge a visit, finally. I walked briskly as I had to get back to my home too. I entered the South Colony and walked straight into the alley where the Lodge 101 was situated. And there it was, Lodge 101, surprisingly immersed in complete darkness. In fact most of the alley was dark, except for the Lodge 108. I stood there not knowing what to do. Where could she have gone? She knew no one else in the town and never said that she was going out. But yes, it was true that I had met her over a week ago. I turned and started walking back towards my home with a heavy heart. ”I miss you so much right now. I miss your voice, your laughter, your expressions, your face, your company.” I said to myself.

The next day was no different from the last one; same sad work, same sad faces in the office and the same alone me in the park. Where were you Audrey? She didn’t turn up the next day either, or the next, or the next… I got worried. Where could she have gone? I cursed myself for not asking for her phone number. I grew restless thinking of the possibilities, of the good ones and the bad ones. “That’s enough”, I said to myself and called Jon.

“Hello?” Jon answered the call.

“Jon, could you come to my house? It’s urgent.”

“Why? What happened?” I could hear the concern in his voice that I hadn’t heard since Lynda’s demise.

“I’ll tell you once you get here. Please, could you come?”

“On my way.”

It took Jon hardly 15 minutes to reach here. He hurried in, put his arms on my shoulder as if consoling me, and asked, “What happened?”

“Sit down.”

I brought us a couple of beers and sat down to narrate the tale of Audrey to him. My chronicle wasn’t concise, nor was it to the point. My focus had shifted from me meeting her to her beauty and my feelings for her. He didn’t object my drifting away and started enjoying the tale. But I realized my mistake and shifted my focus from the tale telling to her going missing.

“She isn’t there in the lodge. It’s been a week now. Where could she have gone? I am worried. I need to know where she is.”

“I have never seen such a girl in the park before. Are you sure you aren’t exaggerating her beauty?”

“No! But that’s not the point. She’s missing. Will you help me find her or not?”

“Ok man, calm down. Come on, let’s go talk to Reese; you know the guy who looks after the whole South Colony?”

We got into Jon’s car and drove towards the South Colony.

5.     The Disappearing Mist

We reached the head office of the South Colony. Jon went to the receptionist and asked for Reese. The receptionist directed him to a corner office. We followed. Reese was an in-charge of some sort who kept the details of the ownership of the now-turned lodgings. If someone wanted to buy or sell these lodgings, they could do it through him.

“Hi Reese, how are you doing?”

“Oh, hey Jonathan, I’m good man. How are you?”

“I’m doing fine, but my buddy here needs your assistance. Eric, meet Reese. Reese, this is Eric.”

We shook hands and I tried my level best to produce a watery smile. We sat down and Jon asked for information about Lodge 101’s owner.

“Well…” Reese opened a huge file. “Lodge 101… 101, ah! Here it is. Why you want to buy it?”

“No.” I said. “I am just looking for the owner, if you have a contact number or something?”

“Ah, yes. Mark Roger is the owner and he lives in Stratford; about 50 km from here. Here’s his phone number.” he turned the file around and handed it to me.

I was stunned. Mark what? I was almost ready to here Audrey. My hands didn’t move. I couldn’t take the file. Jon did.

Mark Roger, you say?” asked Jon, equally stunned.

“Yes, he owns this lodge. You don’t remember the famous Audrey Roger? That’s the women who developed the park around Fog Lake.”

Reese’s words hit me like a rock. Audrey Roger? Why yes, I knew who she was. She had died of old age a couple of years back. Her son Mark then inherited her property in the South Colony but he never stayed there as worked somewhere else. Reality dawned on me and I lost touch with reality just like the day I had first seen her. I got up from the chair and slowly moved out of Reese’s cabin no caring if was rude. Jon will clean up after me; he owed me one after all. In fact it was all because of him that I went to the park at the first place.

I walked out of the office and stared at the misty road ahead, closed my eyes, took a deep breath and opened them again. The view started clearing up and the chill in the air stopped affecting me. I abandoned Jon and his car and walked on the empty road that led to the park. Isn’t it amazing how our mind works and plays tricks on us?  All I needed was a little push and my brain did that for me. It let me fall deep into my imagination and create the girl I always wanted to have. I brought her to life and my mind did not intervene; it let me live my dream.

A perfect plot it was, wasn’t it? A girl named Audrey, the only name of a girl I ever knew except my boss’ and my mother’s. The meeting place, a park that was the baby of that girl. Her address never really mattered did it, when I was busy drowning myself with overflowing love for the lady. My natural instinct being to keep her a secret from my friends and co-workers helped in keeping the plot alive for long. Perfect! But only till a life changing incident took place that shook me to my core and threw my mind off-guard.

I smiled to myself mocking my stupidity and complimenting my mind’s intellect. I sat down at our favorite spot and looked at the fire that had helped in creating the perfect illusion. Then I looked up wanting to count the stars and meet the moon. But none were present. It seemed as if the clouds that fogged my mind had cleared out and were now fogging the light. I hoped I would make it home in this darkness of the night and not collide with another dream and fall face-first to the ground.

 

The Critique Round

6 Mar

Critiquing is a very important part of improving your owcar writing. Giving constructive critiques to others can help you improve your own writing.

Giving the right kind of critique takes some effort and thoughtfulness. If you’re taking the time to give someone feedback on their creative writing, either in a class, a writing group, or one-on-one, you want to give feedback that will help that writer develop his or her strengths. And in doing so, you’ll be developing both your critical thinking skills and your skills as a writer, too.

For our next activity of the group, we are going to do a critique round. All the members have to send a piece of writing to us and by the end of the week we will post them up on the next interactive session where all the members are supposed to post constructive critiques on each others’ works. The person to give the most constructive critiques will receive a copy of the present issue of Miracle e-zine.

We have also noticed that some members have repeatedly missed some activities and interactive sessions, so we have decided to give their place to new members. If you have not been an active member of the group till now, then this activity is your chance to keep your place in the group!

Interactive Session 8

4 Mar

Bonjour!

Welcome to the eight interactive session of the group. We had a lot expectations from the last activity but we didn’t received many submissions. So if you still want to submit your work, you can do so!

In this session, we have works by Kieran Rundle and Natasha Pasch in response to the latest writing exercise. Enjoy and don’t forget to post your views!

 

1.Discovery, February 18th – Kieran Rundle

 

From the minute, oh so many weeks ago, when I first saw Lorenzo, I knew it was impossible, this could never work out, but yet he called to me. So soft was his voice, a faint whisper of the wind, the flirty song of a wind chime, and the call of a dove. He was patient and dear, and everything that calmed and healed the ache in my heart.

“Isabel!” His caramel eyes gazed so dearly at me when I opened the thick door to my chambers. “Isabel, I have been sent to inform you that dinner is in an hour.”  His gaze dropped, the lightness gone, and I knew why.

“Right.” I sighed, a dinner with my betrothed. We usually ate together, but I longed for those teasing nights of flattery when I feigned ill and snuck out onto the grounds for an evening picnic with Lorenzo. “I had best begin to choose a dress.” I turned and walked back into my rooms, leaving the door open.

Lorenzo stepped in behind me, shutting the door quietly, and followed me into my dressing room.

“I detest these rooms; they are much too lofty and big for one person.” I sighed, walking around my bed and clicking the handle to my closet open.

“That is the way of the manor, my lady. The money is shown and revered, just to be flaunted and put on a pedestal for impressions.” He shrugged, standing behind me.

I twirled around to face him, and he caught me in his muscled arms and gathered me to his chest, “Let’s escape together, tonight, now! Let’s escape my marriage, let’s run away! We could go over the mountains and through the valleys until we find a new town and can start a life there.”

There was a pause as he just held me, but then his wise voice spoke, “Oh my dreaming, sweet, and bright Isabel. You know as much as I that my master would never allow it. He would find his bride and then post me as a kidnapper.” 

“We could make it work, we could change the world.” I turned my head to look up into his round and thoughtful face, with hair the color of firewood falling lightly in sprinkles over his forehead.

“Besides, he gives me work, you a home, and has been good to us. He’s not a bad man, he is kind. He places the bread on my table, and he offers up a life.”

“Not the life for me, oh, my heart is with you!” I fluttered.

“I know, butterfly. But I could never give you the life he is offering.” He leaned in.

“The life my parents want me to take.”

“The life you should accept gratefully.” He leaned in and kissed me passionately, then released me, “I shouldn’t have done that,” and turned to walk to the door.

“Don’t go.” I pleaded after him.

“Isabel,” He didn’t turn around to me, “When I was sent to tell you of dinner tonight, I told myself I would end this, end us.”

“What?” I recoiled in shock; it had been going perfectly, what had I done?

Lorenzo sighed, “He knows.”

I shook my head, “He would have mentioned it.”

“No, but it is no longer safe for us to be together. I never meant to do this to you, sweet one.”

“Do what to me?” I retorted, running up to his shoulder, “I never lived before I met you.”

“Isabel, accept the life that you deserve, the life he is giving you, and the one I could never offer.” He kept walking.

“I don’t want that life!”

“Do not be selfish, take it. You deserve it, you were born for it. I am sorry I was in the way.”

“Lorenzo, why? What is going on?” I gasped.

“Isabel, I am sorry, but this cannot go on. I am in love with you, and cannot bear to be away from you, but I mustn’t be the one to stop you from your future.”

“What-”

He raised a gentle hand in the air to cut me off, “Goodbye, Isabel.” He opened the door out to the corridor and then turned to face me, “Dinner is in an hour, my lady.”

Tears gathered in the corners of my eyes, but I refused to let him see them when he was acting like that. “Tell your master I will be there, happily.” I turned on my heel and shut the door in his face, ignoring the flash of unguarded pain that had come over his face when I spoke.

I wilted, sinking against my door, my legs crumpled, sobs broke forth from the back of my throat and echoed through my emptiness. This had not been how our meetings had been, they had been soft and intimate, but that was simply cold. Why had he just flipped on a dime, did the master really know about this? Was I going to be pushed from the manor?

I couldn’t let him just walk away like that, I couldn’t let him leave, I couldn’t just say goodbye like that.

Tear stained and sodden, I wrenched the door open and gazed down into the corridor, “Lorenzo?” I called. “Lorenzo!”

“Looking for someone?” A cold voice chilled my spine.

I spun around, red eyes and all, and found myself staring straight into the uncaring eyes of the master.

“Hello, I, eh, was just, uh,” I stumbled over the words and he just smiled a grin that stood the hairs up on my neck and spine and I knew it was the smile of a predator who caught the prey.

“On your way to find Lorenzo.” He finished my sentence.

“Yes, I had to ask him if it was a formal or informal dinner.” I caught myself.

“And you were crying because. . .”

“I was very stressed about it, because I have to impress you and I was worried I would dress wrong.” I knew it was unbelievable, I didn’t even believe it. But I didn’t care, I had to find Lorenzo, and I had to find out why he had ended our small infinity of a love.

“Oh, it is informal.” He turned to walk away, but then looked back at me over his shoulder, eyes holding an icicle of a menace and a threat. “And you need not worry about Lorenzo, he’s being taken care of very well.”

 

2. Un-forbidden – Natasha Pasch

 

Tension stirs in the night.

Vicarious atonement for passion,

You are not a ghost, but real.

Real to me, beating hearts I can feel,

You are still tangible.

Effervescent bubbles pour over my skin.

 

We can dream, but only together.

We can soar, but only in hand.

We can weep, but only once.

 

We cannot believe this is reality.

I wish to be a phantom, as you are.

Graves touching, skies singing lullabies,

The trees harmoniously rustle.

We only wish to feel each other,

For the last time.

 

AllI wanted was your love,

But they snatched it away.

 

AllI wanted was your marriage,

But they killed my dreams.

 

Lorenzo, oh Lorenzo

Your eyes will be my only love.

Your death is just the first step.