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Creativity

The Seven Deadly Sins Issue Autumn 2011


Editor’s Word

A Collection of Cardiff University’s Most Talented Magazine Artists, Writers and Photographers Welcome to the Autumn edition of Creativity, 2011. I would like to start by saying a big thank you to everyone who submitted their work to us in the past few months; I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm, effort and, above all, raw talent that I’ve had the pleasure of coming across. Due to the vast amounts of submissions we received, we were then faced with the challenging task of narrowing them all down. So if you submitted but haven’t been published, that is not to say we weren’t impressed and please, most importantly, don’t give up! We have another issue coming out in Spring and we would love to hear from you again. As for the Seven Deadly Sins, who knew such a specific topic could evoke all ranges of art, photography, prose and poetry. We had dark, lighthearted, comical, colourful and harrowing pieces sent to us, all on one topic. It’s safe to say the Seven Deadly Sins can be found everywhere - you only have to open your mind and look around you. Enjoy

Yaz Langley Editor-In-Chief

Editor-In-Chief Sub Editor Graphic Designer Photography Editor Proof Reader Front Cover by

- - - - - -

Yaz Langley Emma Jarrett Anna Grudeva Lucy Chip Sophie Dutton; Kathryn Maher

To Begin…

Olivia Manship So goes the story once been spoken, seven sins must not be broken… If one breaks his godly rule, one pays the price – imprudent fool. For showing pride in what you’ve got, you face a wheel and wooden blocks. If jealousy’s what gets you down, it’s ice cold water where you drown. You’ll be dismembered still alive, if you display an angry drive, Whilst lazy folk don’t have it great, they’re thrown down in the pits with snakes. For greed you will be sure to boil, in cauldrons full of burning oil, The gluttonous, the greatest load, are force-fed rat or snake or toad. The final sin – of lust, desire – will leave the sinner choked in fire…


Madhan Ramachandran


4

Nadia Rehman


LAY DOWN YOUR BURDENS ALEX CALVIN The sunset paints the sky crimson across the dusty plain. Sinking towards the ground, the light bends the long shadows of the trees and lampposts, extending and warping them like Pinocchio’s nose. They stretch until night comes. The whiskey by her side tastes awful, but she is not sure if that’s just her taste, or if the whiskey really is bad. She takes a sip. It burns, but she forces it down, feeling it in her stomach, warming it up. The chair rocks back and forth again and she goes with it, crossing her legs and letting her body sway. She closes her eyes and imagines she is on a swing. One that her dad would have pushed her on when she was young, but it’s been so long since she saw him. The wind picks up, catching the iron-gate and making it creak. They need to buy some oil, but never do. Much more pressing things to buy. The last time they went shopping it looked like the most random assortment of items: various flavours of ice cream, energy drinks, bottled water, mild painkillers, vitamins, several cans of soup, and cheap alcohol. The cashier gave them the strangest look. Inside the house he screams and moans. He’s been like this for days. She went through it all a few days ago, her body a dictionary of scars and wounds. They are scattered across her body like fairy dust, settling at random points and glistening, deadly and telling. The first time had been painful; the needle poised centimetres from her flesh. It was not like the films, or the books. She had not been pressured into it- she wanted to try something new and different. It was her idea. Life was dull. They were bored so they fell into something darker than your regular consumerism addiction. And for a few years, from this hole they had been watching their world fall apart. The powder bubbled and spat in the spoon. Then it was ready. Soaked into a cotton bud, sucked up into the syringe, now touching her vein, inside

her vein, sucking blood out into the syringe, a dragon or supernova floating, pulsating in the syringe. She said she was ready, and he plunged down, sending the poison into her. She was crying, but then the warmth and euphoria hit her. Moments later she was sick. Touching the scars on her arms and legs, she was scared at how routine all that had become. How easy she had ruined her life on a day-to-day basis, but also how boring life became. She had dreams once. After that, she had need, and life itself became dull. She went through it all. He watched and through her pain she could see his terror; he would have to go through this soon. He held her hand as she threw up and spasmed, doubled up in pain. No, not pain. Her body was just learning to feel again. Nerves long dead and drugged at the tips of her body came back to life. She curled her toes in agony. She remembered the first time they made love, before the drugs. Her hands pressing against his back as he moved in her. The gasps. Him on her lips. His lips all over her curves. Her toes curled up as she saw the beautiful colours every woman deserves to see, but many do not. That amazing rush. She bit her lip as the wave hit her. Oh he loved her so much, and she loved him too, but that was then. This was before the drugs. Now she could not bear to see him in this state. They had been through too much. She imagined the interior of their bare flat, naked from where everything of value had been sold off to pay for other habits. She imagined the space behind the door, under the letterbox. So many letters. So many how-are-yous, where-are-yous, what-are-you-doings. Sometimes she thought about running again. This time alone. She had come this far. She takes another sip of whiskey, savouring the taste, and stares into the sunset. She smiles. Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from all your worries.

5


MOTHER ENVY CLAIRE FINNEGAN At my mum’s house we are woken at nine, given Harrods Morning Blend tea to drink, and told what a lovely day it is. At your mum’s house we trundle down into the kitchen at midday, one o’clock, two, and create a make-shift breakfast of whatever can be had – yesterday’s curry, an apple, a can of tomatoes. The sunlight filters in softly through your blinds, warming my salty skin. It always feels strange to me that we eat breakfast standing up, sprawled about munching, while your cats nudge our ankles. Back at mine, the breakfast table is laid neatly, and the dog is nestled just as neatly underneath it. Your mum sighs at the cats, and then piles their plates high with whatever we’re having. A subtle wink from her tells me that she heard us last night. Her eyes are sparkling, happy. At my mum’s place, I would have bitten tight onto the corner of my quilt to keep the joy from escaping my lips.

I AM OF THE SEVEN ALICE CRABTREE Oh, how they weep for you.

6

Cry for you, fear for you, hurt for you. To that I say you are worthy. As I stare at you now, through silver-dipped glass, I see your beauty. I see your skin, like mountains before me it rolls; those soft contours constructing each crease and each crevice in the vast structure that is your form. It is a thing of beauty, an embodiment of glory. Oh how your mouth oozes with the yearning for another opportunity as you think of your last endeavour; of how the flames licked that rotating meat so gently before your eyes. That first bite, as your teeth crunched through the iridescent outer shell before piercing the soft skin that lay beneath; the juices lubricating your mouth and fuelling your senses with such sweet nectar. A moment of ecstasy. Those thoughts begin to boil inside of you, erupting in a wave of lust so strong your body trembles with impulses of desire. Your heart, oh how it aches; your stomach, oh how it growls like the fiery beast that lies within you. You must stop, they tell you. You’re going too far, they cry. None of that matters now. All you can see is the glorious trophy that lies in your hands: rich, sweet meat. Once it’s gone, all that consumes you is the thought of your next meal, your next delight, your next trophy. They can continue to cry for me, weep for me and fear for me, for I am of the seven. I am all that they entail, within me rests the pain and suffering that’s locked away beneath dusts of shame inside us all. What strength there’s left in me shall rise and rise again until all are but shadows beneath me, and to that, my friend, I say I am worthy.


Kathryn Maher


ACEDIA STEPHEN PHILLIPS

8

The coach startled slightly as it descended on to the motorway junction. The passenger jolted out of an unsatisfying accidental nap, his neck aching and eyes not yet adjusted to the fluorescent sporadic flashes of lamp light. Above the incandescent trail, the night sky hung loosely, starless. The air was empty after the burden of a full moon; now the hollow stretch, no sickle could be seen. The window was partially emblazed with a semitranslucent symbol bearing the coach’s name, partially obscured by the other passengers’ condensation. The passenger watched apathetically the sights that flashed by, as half-lit as the lights that pierced the skylight. The motorway stretched above Hammersmith in dusty dawn; the occasional billboard floated past, slowly enough for him to catch a glimpse of the image but too fast for text or meaning. The odd skyscraper and office building, patterned by the dim hazy grey dawn. One or two office lights were on. The same billboard passed again. It is 04:36.

listlessly across a series of indistinguishable stars crudely speared with photoshopped lines that led to comments and descriptions of their trappings. The woman at the table could not afford these extravagent treasures on her salary. In the background, a shaft of midwinter daylight sliced the dust in an insubstantial beam through which the occasional particle of dead skin meandered. Beyond that, her daughter ran into the kitchen gleefully in a pink dress, tiara and sash. The woman at the table did not look at her. The daughter was unaware, unlike her mother, that she would not later in life become a princess. The clock struck four or five. Nobody counted the chimes. The radio talked to nobody at all. Another woman sat in her car, immobile. A significant number of traffic jams were caused by cars slowing down to look at a road accident. The woman was unaware of whether there had even been one. Had she’d known there been an accident, she too would slow down to look, vaguely glad that the person entwined with engine was not her son, daughter, husband, father, mother, cousin. Et cetera. She would not have known the person crushed. A rolling advertisement hung on a bus stop called out to nobody in particular.

The phantasmagoria of barely perceptible sights stirred no reaction in the passenger. He closed his eyes. The punctual glare of neon pierced the space of the carriage and subsequently pierced the thin skin of his eyelids. He kept them closed. Regardless of him, the city lumbered It is another time completely, Piccadilly Circus blazed into a dull implacable roar. with advertisements, rolling on the billboards. The building on which these were attached was not used for It is 04:37. any other purpose. A young man, sweaty and flustered from a journey on the Tube, scrutinized with a numb, Three or four miles away a woman sat down at the cold intangible pang of rancour the logos thrust at him. A glass dining table. The room was bright with the win- yellow arch forming an M; the stylized lettering of a tery sun, barely able to show itself above the horizon. Cola product; then an electronics company; all entirely This gave the room a miasmic, unreal faintness like that recognizable yet completely devoid of meaning. Semanof an old photograph. The woman at the table was tic satiation. A double decker ambled past, blocking his unaware of this. She read a magazine concerned with periphery. This too carried a T-bone shaped advertisethe clothes, wrongdoings and relationships of celebrities. ment. He looked through it. She herself was not a celebrity, but vaguely wished to be one and had done for a while or so. Her eyes darted Elsewhere, an older man slept in front of the glare


of the television in a dark room. The news presenters spoke to nobody at all monotonously, listing the day’s tragedies and travesties and the next big thing to fear. Scaremongering and bored. His mother had told him as a child that the devil’s hands were idle playthings. As an adult, he did not care for euphemisms. He was also unaware that this was no longer true, and that hyper reality had surreptitiously permeated his life. It was not his fault and was too. Beneath footage of an arson attack, attempted terrorist attack, a brutal assault in Manchester and a reminder about a Panorama on poverty was a computerized digital clock. The man continued to doze, limp in his armchair.

It is 23:16. Across the street, another old man languidly smoked a cigarette and occasionally glanced at the street below, a blur of taxis and fuzzy faces. Now it is 23:17. Below, a tourist glared at a multifaceted street sign, unable to decipher it. Elsewhere Piccadilly Circus blazed in the background. Nobody stopped for long to look. It failed to arouse excitement. And as things fell apart nobody paid much attention.

Jaz Cottam


10

Roisin Alldis


THE DEADLY SINS HELEN CAMERON T he way you hold yourself exerts such pride, H ow I wish to you I never lied. E very person you cross is filled with envy, D esirous for your appearance, just as some poor women do a Fendi. E ach time I think of you I feel the pull of gluttony, A contrast to you who wants anything but me. D evotion to one single person must epitomise lust, I s this all worth it, is it a must? L eft with this thought in mind I turn to anger, Y ou leave me in the dark like coat on a hanger. S o here I am engulfed with feelings of greed, I n which I yearn for you, the one I need. N o hope in sight I turn to bed like a sloth, S o here I am, left dazzled, like a light to a moth.

11

BUILD ME A HOUSE OF ROSES FFION THOMAS The pricks will make me bleed. Give me all you think I want, I live with nothing I need. Buy me clear cut diamonds, And I’ll beg of you a wreath. I wear Bluebeard’s choker, Ruby red around my neck. I’ve met the bloody chamber Where my body will lay in death. This ancestral sword glistens as it blows. And a blood red river, From the pearl of my neck will flow.

Tell me that you love me And feel me cringe to your touch. Tell me every birdsong’s for me To see me cut my ears off. If it is my smile that keeps your heart beating, I’ll frown until it stops. This ancestral choker glistens as it bleeds. Its cut is a constant reminder, Of when I brought you. To your knees.


SEVEN STEPS FREDDIE ROCHEZ You treat it as a game. A skipping game. A little dance, a little journey.

colour of blood. The colour of Wrath. The other side, and all is Peace. Too much, though. Too scared to defend yourself, or too proud to pick up a weapon and fight. Seven steps; seven chances. Seven opportunities to fail, Or simply complete apathy. Steady yourself. Find the and fall into sin. Only one chance to win. balance. Keep going. The first step, and you are self-aware. Proud. The first sin, the original. You are above everything and everyone, greater than any creature that ever walked the earth. But then you lean a little to the side, and everything changes. Pride leads to a fall, and then to humility. Perfectly humbled, you look out at a universe in which you are nothing but a tiny speck clinging to the side of a tiny world. How could you have ever thought that you were important? Forget it. Take another step, move on.

12 Courage. The drive to stand up for yourself, to protect those around you. Too far to one side, and it’s the Beth Congdon Hogg

Another step. Gluttony, and the hunger’s so great in your belly that you can barely think. Visions of tables laden with food swim before your eyes, but you barely have the strength to lift your obese arms up to reach for them. The other side, and nothing’s changed, it seems. Still the burning hunger, the desire for food. But now there are no plates of food, no sumptuous banquet spread out before your eyes. And your body, once swollen with fat, is now skeletal and wasted. And all because of your own temperance, your self-denial. And again, nearly half way.


Desire’s next. You land too far on one side, again, and suddenly all you can do is want. For a moment, you stop being a person, and all you are is a set of hands, grabbing at what others have. The green light pours through you, green-eyed monster. For a second, it feels like you might fall, but you steady yourself. Lean a little to the other side, just to see. Now the hands are all around you, catching and snatching. Taking everything you have, because you’re too Charitable to say ‘no.’

way, to feel it’s opposite. Somehow you manage, and the world around you because a maddening, deafening roar, a swirl of endless colours and emotions. In that moment you know that you could see everything, do anything, be anyone. But you also know that it can’t last. The light burns so bright that it can’t help but burn itself out. And what would you be left with, then? Nearly at the end, one more to go.

Another.

Finally, Love. Indigo light. A shift to one side and it darkens. Heat and intoxication; Lust. The smell of sweat; Greed, Envy’s twin. Once again, everything is want. A the feel of flesh against flesh. Balance yourself. Warmth thousand treasures, gold and silver, pearls and jewels. and joy, a gentle embrace. Now a bit further. Cold and Palaces, rich foods, servants, beautiful women and hand- Chaste. Rose coloured light fading to a white so sterile it some men. It’s all yours. But it’s not enough, and it stings. Perfectly pure. Perfectly alone. never will be. All you can do is want more. The other side, and all is giving, until there’s nothing left. Find the One final step, and it’s done. balance; give and take. Look back on the stones, wait for the judgement of Another step, another sin. the others. All light fades, all energy disappears. Sloth. Indifferent, uncaring, you can barely manage to lean the other Did you do enough?

13


A DIFFERENT GENERATION DOM WOOLER

14

Avaritia They say the pursuit of money is the root of all evil but I’m not so sure. My mate Alastair works in the city. He’s got himself a shagging massive house in South Kensington, a Jaguar, a flat in Italy and an Italian wife to boot. I’m sure as he sits in his roof garden sipping his Heineken, reading his copy of the FT and surveying the city he doesn’t think, “If only I had a little less money”. This said, when I went to his wedding in Rome all his friends seemed like tossers really. Different generation, perhaps. Ira I had a violent altercation with a chap in a public house once, true story. Through therapy I eventually realised that it was actually his beverage, but at the time I think it’s fair to say my reasoning seemed cogent enough. It bloody hurt my hand too. There’s something very prosaic about pub fights these days. Once upon a time it was all honour, moustaches and fisticuffs then off to Jonty’s for a spot of brisket and a stroke of an obedient black Labrador. Different generation. Invidia I’m no regular Brad Pitt, I’ll happily concede that. However, one can’t help getting a frightfully bitter taste in the mouth (also a sign of renal failure) when one sees some jumped up yahoo called Freddie promenading about the place with a beautiful young lady. Immediately you know your life would be inexplicably improved if only you could pilfer Freddie’s missus and have her as your own. What happened to the days when you could have a bloody good joust to see who was worthy of Freddie’s missus? That’d knock the inane grin off his face. Along with his actual face. Different generation, I suppose. Gula Any bastard out there who tells you it’s possible to live off crisps and chocolate is a barefaced liar. I tried this concoction one afternoon. Sainsbury’s had some kind of offer on crisps, so I set about purchasing two large

bags of said crisps and then proceeded to buy a bar of Cadbury’s too. Several hours later my head was spinning and all I could think of was my parents with their ration books and their disapproving stares as their son and heir sunk his last crisp and then vomited all over himself. That’s the post-war generation for you. Acedia If there’s one really crap thing it’s those times that you decide to sleep during the day. You feel tired, perhaps you’ve had a long day playing polo, or maybe you were up the night prior playing backgammon, so you creep into your bed and close your eyes. Then...well, you know how sleep works. Anyway, you wake up several hours later, head pounding, mouth dry and feeling more sleep deprived than you did before you followed through on your poor decision. Makes you wonder how the War generation manage to have afternoon naps. Superbia Is it effeminate for a chap to use moisturiser? I dare say it isn’t but Ian told me otherwise; he said several things that suggested I liaise sexually with other men. I countered this by asking if it was wrong for a man to take pride in his image. This seemed to shut Ian up for a while. I should probably mention at this point that Ian is a dog. I used to cherish him, but since the stem cell debacle he’s become a right grumpy old man. Different species, different perspective. Luxuria “The system works!” I shouted excitedly to myself in Fortnum and Mason as I received a text from her saying she would in fact like to accompany me to dinner. I knew what followed dinner would be a vacuous exercise in lust, especially since she was really self centred and I couldn’t be bothered (didn’t have the balls) to tell her it annoyed me. Then another text, this one throwing the whole thing into disarray, and suddenly all I wanted was for her to be right here with me right bloody now. With those red lips, soft brown eyes and those legs – good grief those legs...


15

Kathryn Maher


Peter Hong


ENVIED LUST EMILY HALE

18

Princess Phoebe had always been radiant. She was bright in every single way, from appearance to intellect. In contrast, her older sister Princess Rhea - pregnant for the third time by her scoundrel and bore of a husband - was not quite so radiant. Phoebe was adamant she would never be married in such a manner. She brushed her golden curls over her shoulders, and readjusted her dress. ‘How do I look sister?’ Phoebe asked, beaming down at her. Rhea glanced up from her book, to survey her fair sister. ‘As beautiful as always. Now where are you meeting this time?’ Rhea questioned, trying to seem uninterested. ‘Behind the old library; no one goes there anymore,’ Phoebe said with a secret smile. ‘I must hurry, thank you for not telling father.’ They bared each other farewell, and as soon as Phoebe had left, an ugly grimace formed about Rhea’s face. How she hated her sister; floating around with every man after her, whilst Rhea did her true duty as a royal, and suffered the existence of her chosen husband. She had bore two sons already, but still Phoebe was their father’s favourite. How that was to change. Phoebe had made a terrible mistake in starting an affair with a lowly servant. He was extremely handsome, but still a servant nonetheless. Rhea had thought that she would give him up, when the King had started organising Phoebe’s marriage to the Prince of their neighbouring realm, as he would surely not take her knowing she was not an innocent maiden anymore. Yet her sister was vain and naive, and she had not stopped her foolishness. Rhea stood up and fastened her cloak around her, before heading out of her chambers. Her father, the King, was in discussions with his knights on new defences for their kingdom. She prepared herself, before bursting into court and collapsing to the floor weeping. ‘Oh my Lord,’ she whimpered. ‘Explain yourself daughter! What troubles you in this manner?’ the King demanded.

‘It is our dear Phoebe. I have heard terrible things! I heard the servants talking: one of their men is to try to take advantage of the young Princess. He has been trying to seduce her for weeks, my King,’ Rhea lied and sobbed. Her own husband frowned at these accusations in the background; he had always been taken with Phoebe. The King had only distress and orders to give. He demanded Phoebe be brought to him straightaway. ‘Sir, she mentioned something about the old library only moments ago. Perhaps this is where the fiend plans to seduce,’ Rhea continued. ‘If this servant has laid a finger on my daughter, he is to be killed on sight!’ the King demanded. The court was emptied apart from Rhea and her husband. ‘Why have you done this to your sister?’ he asked his wife quietly. Rhea stood up, regained her composure and snarled: ‘It is time she grew up and suffered as I.’ Phoebe and her servant lover Aston were hauled in front of the King. ‘Why does the servant still breathe?’ the King demanded. ‘Father please,’ Phoebe begged. ‘Do not hurt him.’ Aston was pushed to the floor and to his knees by the knights who had him restrained. Phoebe floated next to them in clear distress. Aston knew he was going to die. The King was known best for his temper and anger;], especially when his daughters were involved. Yet it had been a risk he had been willing to take for the power and money that such an involvement could bring. The P princess was superficial, and had been easy to charm. Phoebe watched in horror as her father unsheathed his sword. ‘You have taken advantage of my daughter and you will pay servant,’ the King informed him, and he slowly cut across the servant’s face. A gasp escaped Phoebe at the disfigurement, as he cried out in pain and blood trickled down his face. He


was repulsive. She took a step back from the scene. ‘He does not deserve the honour of dying from my hand,’ the King announced. ‘Take him outside the castle walls. Hang him.’ The knights dragged him out of court, and Phoebe was instantly at her father’s feet. ‘My lord, I do not know what overcame me. Please sir, punish me as you must,’ she cried. ‘Rise daughter,’ the King told her. ‘The servant tricked you. I warn you to be more careful of your acquaintances in future.’ ‘Of course father,’ she replied. ‘You are wise, and I shall always heed your advice.’ He nodded to her, before leaving the court. Phoebe turned also to leave, when a young man caught her eye. He bowed low to her. ‘Princess Phoebe, please grant me permission to introduce myself,’ he asked of her. ‘Of course,’ was her reply, for he was the most handsome man she had ever seen. ‘I am Drake, the King’s boarding officer,’ he informed her. ‘You look after the boats,’ she confirmed. ‘Yes, my lady, perhaps you would like to join me for a tour. As a woman of such beauty, I am sure you would appreciate other beautiful things.’ Phoebe accepted his invitation, and was very certain that this time she would not be disturbed. Yet watching in secret as always, Rhea would never allow her sister such happiness.

19

Peter Hong


THE JUSTIFIED VANITY OF ISABEL She stood before the large mirror, oversized in such a small room. The yellow light was focused on her face, casting a ghoulish mask over her features. She studied herself critically, turning her head from left to right and raising her weary skull to see her cheekbones. She had been so beautiful...once.

large powder brush, her whole visage made lighter than it should be. She rouged her cheeks trying to reinstate the lost rosiness of youth. She painted her eyes to look like spiders, lashes stretching in the shadows, like scars over her cheeks.

Then she turned to the mirror again. The woman in All around the room stood half-lit sepia toned pho- front of her was not the woman in her pictures. Not tos of a vibrant woman with red hair and bright anymore. The chemo had taken her bit by bit. eyes. Once cherished, all the half caught moments silently jeered at her now. The closest to her held Then she turned to the bed post behind her, and the red headed woman smiling and half laughing sighing lifted a wig of red hair. She pulled it over in some half remembered cafe. That woman had no her shaven head and, with barely any hope left in cares. No fears. And little did she know, no future. her bones, she turned back to the mirror and tried a sorry half smile. Now in the sickly light, she matted herself with the Then, Isabel cried.

20

Jo Osmond


BOOT BOY CATRIONA CAMACHO Dip the cloth, wring it, take a pinch of polish and rub in small circles till a dull shine appears on the toecap. The method gives the correct gloss the patrols require on parade. He hates the way it gets under his nails. He’s kept them square-cut and scrubbed since his teens, a working pair of hands, yes, but always lily-white. Only the polish was cloying, and cakes underneath his fingers in a way no amount of work with a brush could remove. Boot boy. Of course that isn’t what his card said, that was ‘post-graduate seeks light house-work for funding’. Short, sharp, and to the point. It is rigged to appear all over the students’ main frame computer, and pinned on the notice board in the Centre’s grey canteen. But he doesn’t feel it when he sits on the basement steps of the Alpha-grades’ houses, with their parade boots scattered about him, or when up to his elbows in filth scrubbing the food injector systems, or ironing uniforms again and again to get the creases just so.

He is shamed most of all at the end of the day, when he scuttles out of the houses of Earth’s higher echelons with the scent of polish and grease cloying in his nostrils, and even the Delta Transport drivers do not see fit to spare him a glance. He might wear the drab brown of a Gamma-grade, but one day, he’ll be more. He is a scientist, has been since his teen years, during which he forfeited companions and drinking and women, and shut himself in the Centre’s laboratory. The years scraping by on protein supplements and vitamin capsules to save every Credit for his tutelage. One day the coverall on his back will be the bright blue wool of the Clinician grades, with their chauffer driven Transports as they are taken from Centre to Centre, their many society privileges, their high Credit allowances. The cloth has grown dry. Sighing, he dips it back in the water and turns back to the pile of boots, only to pause when he realises the toe-cap is so bright now he can see his face in it.

A RARE ADMISSION OF ANGER LAURENCE ASTILL WRIGHT/ANON She has cut herself just on her left cheekbone and she is so very hurt. Lain buried for ever so long, wallowing in black earth. The anger swells, it is so foreign to me and you are the only one who has ever made me feel this way. Swollen to bursting. I am transformed, a grotesque man, a depraved son. I long to smack my head against the walls of this house until the blood drips from my eyelids and stains the magnolia wallpaper you both took such irritating pains to select that year. Only the right shade will do, cover the walls of your gin soaked hovel with this inoffensive flowery white. The scream of her sorrows

terrifies me, and as I wake and rush upstairs and find her cut, cut by your clumsy fist, I wish I could drown myself in all of those tears. I want to cut off all of my digits with your butcher’s knife and throw them up into the watching sky. To be paraplegic, unable to throw a kick or a punch, unable to take the fall, able to fall to the floor and not get back up. But when you walk from me I would follow, I would flail and cry and shout at the balding back of your head. I would, if ever I felt strong enough to, raise that saucepan and dent your fucking face.

21


An Atheist’s Sins David Tiereny

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Forgive me lord For I have sinned, Bring me atonement, Descent from the clouds, Rise from the ashes, A heavenly song? No bell to hear? Nothing to fear? I’ll carry on Evoking tears. For now as atheist I don’t care, I’ll assure the others Pure despair. With gluttonous wrath I’ll let them starve, And will feast Upon their scars. Steal from the poor, Rape the poorer, And stand above them Apathetic new ruler.

Some will cry With tragic fear, That he will come, And smite with spear, Envious of faith Too proud to hear, But not to leer Snort and sneer. A Hellish hymn of fear: “Faithful fools,” “Christianity’s tools” “Won’t damn the cruel,” “For in the end,” “Black sky will fall,” “In dirt grave” “We all shall crawl,” “Tall and small.” “Saints and sinners” “Buddhists and killers” “And that shall be all,” “The earths just a ball.” “No one’s a winner”

AN ATHEIST’ DAVID TIER

Forgive me lord For I have sinned Bring me atoneme Descent from the clo Rise from the ash A heavenly song

No bell to hear? Nought to fear? I’ll carry on


HEIST’S SINS D TIERNEY

23

Forgive me lord or I have sinned, ng me atonement, ent from the clouds, se from the ashes, A heavenly song?

No bell to hear? Nought to fear? I’ll carry on

Madhan Ramachandran


Kathryn Maher


ONE NIGHT STAND JESSICA First, we take a breath I clench my thighs The tap drips I stir You fall into the arms of that other girl I wash my hands The dirt slides off I stare at lines They stumble across my bare palms The sound of your forced release The sound of my five minutes of fame The sound of the door shutting. You didn’t even ask my name.

LUSTFUL THOUGHTS SOPHIE BANKS Pour your love on to me, Let it sink in, I want to feel it all over me, Let it get within, Let it become a part of me. Let me taste it on my tongue, Let me savour it, Let me appreciate it, I’ll want it again, and again, Let me have it at my whim. Let me hear you say it, Whisper it softly, Whisper it passionately, Let it feel me up inside, Let it be everything I need.

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GLUTTONY RHYS TOBIN Faced spread sat facing an expanse Of life and death and growth cut short. Lashings layered spread thick to cure Glazed insipidity, for more Vast sallow aches. A jellied flesh-dance Springs, intense, then surging then taut. Extenuate exuberance! Lesser to fit in open wide! Strain, sweat, thrust, lunge to rise to stab Empowered! expressive to grab. Exuding globules, desirous tense Before bare groping: drive, take, gride.

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Anticipatory. Filling Fulfillment sweet. Smearing spilling, Melted-gnashing, sucking dripping Fat grease gorge which shines across pores Glistening. Steamy spasms convolute A rhythmic harmony in dispute. A hollow life behind those doors A morale vague and irresolute. Ariana Moschopoulou


HIS SEVEN DEADLY SINS CHARLOTTE KILCAR She is the wrath that boils the blood in his veins. The very sight of her stimulates the convulsions inside, making it unbearable for him to breathe. His hands shake as he thinks of her face, so beautiful and so innocent, hiding the monster that lives inside. She is the greed that drives him. With her on his arm he feels the need for the fast cars, the big house and the expensive watches. He goes to bed dreaming of the wealth he wishes to possess. The thought sends his head spinning into a mad daze, driving him into a state of insanity. He values the price of every item he sees. She brings the sloth alive inside him. He has no will to tell her how she makes him feel, how she makes him question everything that defines him. The thought of confrontation with her makes him want to curl up and die. He now remains so indifferent to the way she makes him feel that as long as he gets to hold her at night and pretend in the dark that she loves him, he can carry on living. She is the pride that is killing him. His need to be more attractive than those around her is murdering him slowly. The vigorous exercise and intake of drugs is weakening the heart that beats solely for her. He ages with every second that ticks by. His determination to fight time diminishes the youthful energy he has left to give. She is the lust that enthrals him. Her slender figure and hypnotic eyes enslave him to perform her every desire. He craves her like nothing he has ever craved before. When he has her it is never enough. He’s always left wanting more, zealous for her body again and again. She is the envy that lives in his eyes. Any man, woman or child that touches her he loathes furiously. She is his and no one else can love her as much as he. They don’t deserve her time, her patience, or even her glance. She is his and only he can love her. She is the gluttony that lines his stomach. He over indulges in his need for her. Every conversation is never long enough, every touch is never fulfilling and every kiss is never everlasting. He is never satisfied and she leaves him always wanting more. She is oblivious to the pain and torment that he lives with. This is because she is unaware of the man that stands at her building door everyday, holding it open for her as she comes and goes. She is unaware of the fantasies he creates about her when he is alone, the imaginary conversations he constructs between them; the passionate nights he has envisioned that never will occur. He watches her, loving her from afar, pain-stricken. She is like a demon, taunting him. He has fantasised an alternate reality that he zones into every night, where they are together and he is the only man in her life. In his dreams he holds her tightly and loves her gently, only to wake to find that she is not there. She is somewhere else in someone else’s arms, unaware of his existence. She is his seven deadly sins.

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THE FACEBOOK PROFILE OF DORY GREY EMILY COPE

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I have never really worried about the state of my soul (who really does?) until recently when the most curious thing happened to me. I woke up in bed with a stranger naked next to me and, as standard procedure dictates, I decided to stalk him on Facebook. However, logging on to Facebook, something very curious occurred to me, looking up from the goofy photo of me grinning in front of Big Ben with my ‘I love London’ t-shirt, was the same me, but in the place of the usually ripped jeans I always wear, my legs were dressed most provocatively in suspenders.

hours). First lust with the suspenders, and I am assuming the reason for the deformity on the end of my chin and the bulging belly peeking out from the bottom of my t-shirt is my disgraceful gluttony last night.

Now, this was weird on two levels; one, because me in suspenders is not the most attractive sight, and two, because I have never actually worn suspenders, never mind prancing around in them in the middle of London. Something had happened between going to bed with this stranger and waking up this morning which had changed this photo – and I’m pretty sure I can guess what that was. Sex – yes I said it, sex. But why has this changed my photo? Sex is normal, every student comes home once with a boy from a night out and does the deed, don’t they? Our culture of promiscuity has allowed lust to become a normal part of life, so why am I being punished? Taking a closer look at the photo, I noticed another uncanny change…did I have a double chin? Yes definitely there, under my normal cherry-chin was a definite other chin, an intruder on my face! Now I was seriously freaked out, am I still drunk and imagining things? But then I remembered, my standard after an alcohol binge where I drunkenly stumble into the kebab shop demanding my chips and cheese, with EXTRA cheese and, I hate to admit this, garlic mayo. God, I’m disgusting. I remember my Religious Studies teacher going on about things like this: ‘One day Dory you will regret this behaviour…blah blah blah’ and now, I hate to admit, Mrs. Finnagen was right. My Facebook profile has somehow become a kind of mirror into the state of my soul (which has seriously decayed in the past 24

‘No Mum, I don’t drink too much’

Those blasted seven deadly sins have taken away the two things that make my life worth living; sex and food. I mean I’m not a bad person. Yes, I occasionally tell the odd lie to my parents: ‘Yes Dad, I do hoover my room weekly’

‘It’s funny you should mention ringing Grandma because I was just about to!’ But these lies don’t do any damage, do they? Well they mustn’t be too bad as they don’t seem to have tainted my photo. This fat, suspender wearing version of me is seriously starting to disturb me; what is everyone going to think when they see this? I’ve got to get up and sort this out. Usually my biggest achievement on a hung-over Sunday is managing to stand up for an entire shower, but today I am getting up before I get done for sloth too. Little did I know that the worst was yet to come… Opening my door, whilst trying to stealthily not wake my snoring naked lump of a dad, I came colliding into my very excitable mother who exclaimed (and this still haunts me to this day): ‘You will never guess what happened this morning, it was the most curious thing! I woke up next to your father who was wearing... a pair of suspenders!’ Oh God.


Kathryn Maher


Lady M. - Act V, Scene I JEN BURROWS She’s sleepwalking again, white as the sheets she’s slipped from. Eyes open, nightblind, she spoors the shadows of her mind, treads barefoot on the floor. “What’s done cannot be undone,” she says, retracing her steps once more. “Like the undead,” he murmurs. He watches her from afar – the quiver of her lips, the twitch and falter of her hands. He tries to understand why she lifts her scars, examines them under the light. “The dead don’t walk, can’t talk - ” She says this every night. Her whisperings fill the corridors, the secrets she seeps flood the floors. And still she shakes, mumbles fumbles with her hands. “The blood,” she cries, “oh, the blood!” Her eyes, a knife-thrust - a ghost, cut open.

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In sleep, she sees, dreams too deep. “Often,” the doctor says, “fractured minds make their mysteries known only to the deafness of the dark. God help her – help us all for sins and things I think, but dare not speak.” She goes back to the shadows, the gallows from which she’ll hang. Now she knows you reap what you sow, and it’s better to be destroyed than toy with things beyond your grasp. From crown to toe, God, she knows she’s lost, and conscience is a deadly throne to own when in the end you never can wash the blood from your hands.

Roisin Alldis


NOTHING LIKE LOVE LISA MITCHARD

Consumed by passion, a force of extremity threatening to erupt from your soul in a concoction of fire and flames. Unlike love, with its romantic gestures and candlelit dinners and walks in the park under the soft glow of the morning. Gentle, calm… Lust grasps your heart tightly with both hands, sharp fingernails digging into the body as viciously as they can. Want becomes need, and the power will not take no for an answer. A volcano bubbling beneath the surface, becoming more powerful and ferocious with every passing day, hour, minute and second that ticks by on the clock. Lust is a monster with one goal in mind. There is no foundation to lust, only bare instinct and longing. It is desire exaggerated to the highest height, and then rocketed into space like a firework… It builds and builds and builds, stronger stronger, tighter tighter, harder harder… And then gone.

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OLIVIA MANSHIP Vol 2 Yet what if one commits the lot, all seven of the sins? And how can you decipher where each different sin begins? As long as no-one sees you sin then surely you’re okay? So eat, be proud and lustful, and stay in bed all day.


Next issue's theme will be:

Nostalgic Memories

Please stay tuned to our Facebook Page for more details and the forthcoming creative social in February 2012!

www.facebook.com/ creativitycardiff If you would like to start submiting today our email is: creativity@gairrhydd.com Yaz, Emma, Anna and Lucy

xxx


Creativity Autumn Issue 2011