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2013

[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

Contents Foreword

Page 3

The Vapour –Sophie Findlay

Page 5

Nothing – Lauren Kang

Page 8

Halcyon – Serin Lee

Page 10

Misconceptions – Eunice Cho

Page 16

Undercover – Yunhyuk Kang

Page 20

Lifeless – Sarah Kim

Page 22

To Fall – Tabitha Kim

Page 24

Boom! Cover! Run! – Daniel Bang

Page 27

Restavek – Alexandre Rotival

Page 31

The Prison – Hyong Min Kim

Page 33

The Crow – Madeline Sargent

Page 36

Skinny – Claudia Lui

Page 38

Blood Oranges – Michelle De Bruin

Page 42

My Wife – Brian Kim

Page 45

Succumb – Esther Jin

Page 48

The True Pain – Rukmini Menon

Page 51

Love – Anika Huibers

Page 53

The Mission – Matthew Chung

Page 57

Father’s Happiness – Tina Inada

Page 61

Home – Yunsung Kang

Page 63

The Walls – James Oh

Page 68

“Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

Nature vs. Nurture – Sean Park

Page 70

Escape – Paul Kim

Page 75

Memories – Julia Kern

Page 78

The Innocent Tree – Alex Kim

Page 82

Truth Behind The Life of A Doppleganger – Lydia Yang

Page 85

Good Night – Daniel Hahm

Page 88

Memories – Caroline Sohn

Page 91

Choice – Shin Chul Moon

Page 92

My Dear Friend, Max – Eunice Ra

Page 96

Secrecy – Zoish Dubash

Page 98

Fate – Chloe Findlay

Page 104

A Universal Mistake – Amy Lee

Page 107

New York – Paul Yoon

Page 111

Runner – Sean Ma

Page 113

The Crash – Marcus Costof

Page 115

Darkness – Barbara Leger

Page 117

Façade – William Pena

Page 119

My Infinite Love – Antonio Garcia

Page 121

Black Rose – Michelle Yun

Page 124

The Lost Soul – Anna Lee

Page 128

The Moment- Tamara Evers- Thomsen

Page 130

1…2…3 – Lala Migliardi

Page 132

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

Zombies –Jung Kwon

Page 134

Secrecy – Juna Jang

Page 136

The Mysterious Escape – Bhumika Bhatia

Page 139

The Secret – Sophie de Boer

Page 142

Ice-cream – Jacqueline ValentineRamsden

Page 145

Invisible Man – Kinga Gross

Page 148

Manipulated Boys – William Byun

Page 151

The Unseen Shadows – Brandon Sohn

Page 155

The Secret – Jessica McLaughlin

Page 158

Charms – Erin Schamp

Page 160

The Story of My Life – Megan Loney

Page 162

The One Who Wrote “Happy Birthday” – Emmy Weaver

Page 165

Fading Star – Maris Jolink

Page 167

Dr. Alice Lavina

Page 171

Foreward “Secrets” 2013

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2013

[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

Mrs. Claire Olivier It sounds horrific to think that many children have to choose between food and school books but this is the reality for many students in developing countries. In response to the generosity shown by our community in supporting the “Bee Key Stage Three!” campaign, the students in year 8 and year 9 decided to write an e- book of short stories so that they could raise money to buy books for disadvantaged children in Dumaguete (Philippines). Some of the stories are a bit dark and I was tempted to censor them but I felt that it was more important for the students to feel comfortable discussing adult issues with their parents and teachers and if I prevented them from writing about certain topics, it might prevent them from expressing themselves freely if these issues were ever to arise. Another reason why I allowed them to include controversial material was because they had been encountering some of these topics within literature. Shakespeare’s plays often deal with murder, mental illness, racism and betrayal. For these reasons, I allowed the students to explore these themes (within the safety of the classroom) but I do not feel that this book is suitable for younger students. I would like to thank everyone who has made this project possible but certain people deserve a special mention: a) Juna Jang, Julia Kern and Hyong Min Kim for designing the book cover. b) Sally Corben for editing the covers c) Vincent Olivier for assisting with editing. d) Katie Findley for IT support

I hope that you will enjoy the book!

“Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

The Vapour Sophie Findlay M y hands were registering the rough surface of the un-sanded, ancient mahogany desk as my heavy eyes adjusted to the black darkness that was so opaque, it was deafening.

T

I was already late, and now I was just wasting time - precious time! “Clang!” My pencil jar was on the ground, rolling aimlessly in circles at my feet… I lunged forward, opening the window, then whipped around, launching my weary body towards the bed. Just as my head hit the limp pillow, I heard the door creak open… Perfect timing. Sister Gonzaga poked her head sharply through the crack of the antique door and the peeling wall as if she were standing outside the door waiting for me to make a move so she could pounce like a feral cat. Her large bright eyes scanned the room, as if her whole life she has been training to catch someone like me. She muttered something under her pungent breath before stalking to the window and placing my pens back in the jar. My toddler trick worked. In The River no adults have an imagination so of course Ancient Sister Gonzaga blandly thought that the bitter breeze had nudged the pen jar over. By the time she grumbled her way out of the room, my eyes had been adjusting to all the looming features in the room. I inched towards the window, snatching my flash watch seconds after rolling out of bed. I slid the rusty window open with a squeak and clambered out the window, landing gracefully on the roof. I crawled along the line of the roof, inspecting the beautiful dim glow of lights in the distance: The Vapour. The Vapour was separated a long time ago by a vicious disease, in addition, they isolated themselves and eventually the disease dispersed into the air like… Vapour. There are myths that they supposedly have dark eyes and hair, which is the complete opposite to our gleaming blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes. You would have thought that one thousand years later the two tribes would re-unite but if you met one… It was “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] punishable by death. Sometimes I wonder if it was more than the disease that separated the two tribes. Once I made it around to the broken pipe, I made sure the light on my Sprinters were green. If they weren’t green then when I jumped off I would be dead as…well, dead. I zipped my jacket up tightly so that it came all the way over my mouth. I breathed heavily, inhaling the raw and icy air. I took several steps backwards so that my back was compressed against the wall. I took two elegant strides before leaping into the cool night. I stretched my arms out, flapping them violently like a young bird in flight for the first time. As I neared the ground, I checked the light on my boots to make sure it was still on. Even though the light was on, I feared the worst as I become frightening close to the ground. “Whump!” Once again, my Sprinters didn’t let me down. I was dangling... upside down, swaying ever so slightly in the breeze as I lifted my body so that I could grab onto the upper windowsill of the storage room, before kicking my feet with great effort as if to kick off my sprinters as you do on a cold winters day before climbing into bed with a mug of hot chocolate. I hit the ground with a slight thud before glancing back up to where I jumped. I crawled silently through the remote village, keeping my head tucked and eyes alert in case there were any late night strollers. Once I reached the masses of bush, I boosted up the 18 th row of Stella bush, sliding my body under the miniature opening that only I could fit through. After plucking myself of bush I gawked at the enormous line of trees that stood ahead of me. Here we go. I started off at a jogging pace and gradually started accelerating, lengthening my strides with each step. After 3 meters my Sprinters kicked in, at first there was a jolt as always, I turned into the forest and started whizzing through the tangle of roots and earth. Now, I was undoubtedly going more than 100km an hour, dodging bulky stumps and trees. As the cliff emerged, I lowered my knees, turning my body sideways to run along the cliff line. It was an exhilarating experience, running along the edge.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] I was too preoccupied by my racing emotions to notice the crumbling rocks coating a piece of precarious patch of land. Once my foot struck the ground like a match, it was just a matter of seconds before I would fall to my death. “Get out of the way!” I shut my eyes, flailing my arms out in front of my shock stricken body, fear splattered all over my pale white face that glowed in the pearl moonlight. The crouched body rose, gasping hysterically as I descended… However, slowly turning with every precaution in the world, limb-by-limb, emerging from the death black darkness. The figure stumbled backwards, crawling frantically on the dew wet grass, ripping tuffs by the roots. I sheltered my face, pulling my stunned body into a tight, fragile ball, preparing myself for the immense impact of whatever lay below in the sea of darkness. I caught a glimpse of the unidentified body throwing what seemed to be a metallic coloured blanket seconds before my body would liquefy from the increasing velocity of my deathly plummet. You would have thought that my Sprinters would help, but they must have been knocked, killing their safety bug when my foot fell through the rugged surface of the cliff. I landed on the body, tumbling down the hill in a tangle of arms and legs. I was determined to know who this frantic stranger was that had saved my life with the elastic, metallic blanket. I grabbed the shoulders of the body, putting a stop to the endless toppling. Once I steadied myself, I pulled up the figure, ripping off the hoodie. I squinted at the figure... trying to make out the dim features (which was hard to do in the middle of the night.) I stared into the eyes… The dark... Cold eyes... Of a Vapourian.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

Nothing Lauren Kang

She could see his face: his beautiful, smiling face. The sun’s radiant beams caressed his figure, as he stood there, laughing. She could hear his voice calling her; no other word sounded sweeter. His name softly escaped her lips, and she started to run. She could smell the dewy grass and the potency of the pine needles as she rushed by. The air was clean and the gentle breeze wisped her face. She could feel his arms embrace her, and his body was warm and strong. Suddenly, she saw nothing. She heard nothing. She smelled nothing. But she felt something. The excruciating pain of a piercing knife. He could see her face. He smiled, but his eyes couldn’t lie to her. Dread and anxiety overwhelmed him, and his heartbeat quickened. To ease his apprehension, he tried to laugh it off, but the act of deceit deepened his guilt. He longed to hold her again, he longed for the smell of her hair, and his heart ached for her vibrant presence. He loved her, and knew what he had to do. Then why was it so hard? He could see her running to him, hair dancing in the wind, face glowing with beauty. It was just like the dreams he had of her, reuniting after the long, lonesome days of summer. Only now, he knew that his dreams would soon be haunted by this day. As she flew into his arms, he embraced her for the last time. He would miss this. He would miss her. Suddenly, her body froze. She grew rigid, and her hold around his neck grew limp. She slid to the ground, clutching her wound. She looked up at him with distorted confusion, and she finally closed her eyes. The pain portrayed on her face ripped apart his soul. He was shaking uncontrollably, and the knife slipped out of his hand. What had he done? He fell to his knees, and rocked back and forth as the tears rolled down his cheeks. He wept as he moved his trembling hands above her body, tracing her outline. He gently kissed her forehead and whispered, “Please. Forgive me.” “Please…” Her weak cries of pain drifted helplessly through the wind, as she lay there, dying. “Someone – anyone – help me!” Her frail voice echoed through the dark cave, and the cold pierced at her bare, naked skin. Sweat dripped down her pale, quivering face, and it silently fell into the pool of blood next to her body. What happened? She could feel the physical pain, but her heart grieved with greater intensity. And “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] then she remembered. At the thought of him, she cried out in deep remorse, and his betrayal burned a deep hole in her soul. He watched her where he knew she couldn’t see him. He had carried her body to the cave they found three summers ago, carefully hidden away in the forest. He knew they would be looking for her, and the cave was the only safe place. Her delicate body was curled into a ball, and she shivered violently. He wanted to explain everything, but he didn’t know how to. As he watched her, her eyes fluttered open. Her normal, dazzling eyes were replaced with dead, mournful souls. She desperately cried out for help, and his guilt incessantly tugged at his conscience. Explain everything to her. She’ll understand. With this trivial reassurance, he stepped out of his hiding place. Then, from the shadows, she could see his face. His cold, merciless face. The flames danced furiously against the shadow of his figure, as he stood there, staring at her. She could hear his voice calling her as the wind howled in grief and remorse. His name tasted sour in her mouth, and she started to grow dizzy. She could smell the thick blood, caked over her trembling hands as she tried to sit up. Blistering pain impaled her every cell and she screamed in agony. She could feel his hands scornfully stroking her face, and she whimpered in fear. As he bent closer, she could see the glistening tears stain his dirty face. She wondered at this baffling sight... As he approached her, she shrunk away from him, her eyes similar to ones of a cornered deer. His heart broke again at her fear of him, but he needed to tell her. He knelt down, and gently caressed her dirty face. He had ruined her. He was fully responsible for her murder. He was the one causing her all this pain and distress. She viewed him as a monster. Guilt overwhelmed him yet again and tears poured down his face. The hatred in her eyes softened, and she gently whispered, “Why are you crying?” He looked at her with such deep sorrow, that she was drawn aback. “Because I love you.” She remained silent. An unspoken tear slid down her face. “They were going to torture you. I told them torture was unnecessary. They told me that if I killed you, I could keep your body.” There was a ghostly silence. Then she started crying. He wanted to comfort her, and tell her everything would turn out fine, but how could he? He was the reason for her pain. He was the reason for her death. “Please forgive me.” He knew his request was an impossible one, but he would never be able to live knowing she hated him. He looked at her again, and her face was pasty white. She was losing too much blood. Delicately, she placed her hand on top of his, and her eyes sparkled lovingly. Her last words came out in slow gasps: “I… forgive… you… and I… love –“ Her speech stopped, and her hand fell from his. She could see his face: his beautiful, smiling face. The sun’s radiant beams caressed his figure, as he stood there, laughing. She could hear his voice calling her; no other word sounded sweeter. His name softly escaped her lips, and she started to run. She could smell the dewy grass and the potency of the pine needles as she rushed by. The air was clean and the gentle breeze wisped her face. She could feel his arms embrace her; his body was warm and strong. Suddenly, she saw nothing. She heard nothing. She smelled nothing. She felt… nothing!

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“Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

Part 1: Kaitlin Abbey The drowsy heat of summer settled on our skin like a damp, mouldy blanket. We heard cars honking groggily in the distance, and the birds called out to each other in garbled, slurred chirps – almost like drunkards. The heat had taken its toll on everyone. Kaitlin, the innate rebel, had decided to spend the entire day out on the school roof, where the sun pounded down on us mercilessly and left us feeling woozy. If I were to describe her, I would tell you she was the kind of kid that teachers always loved at first because she always wanted to “try something new,” but inevitably all the faculty (PTA moms included) were frowning at her by the end of the year because, by then, she was trying everything else there was to try too. We lay sprawled out on our backs, arms dangling precariously over the edge of the old five-story building. A lot of the roof’s paint had chipped over the years, and its biting stench practically sizzled up from under the cement from the heat. In contrast, the tall, leafy trees circled us above in swirls of different shades of green, leaving us in a sort of private forest glade that smelled sharply of pine. The dilapidated world lay below us as we lounged around, or tried to. You know how when you take too long to fall asleep in the hottest months and always end up rolling yourself to a new side of the bed every few seconds because of the heat? We didn’t even try – the entire surface was already a bed of coals, there under the harsh glare of the sun. Kaitlin loved it. She revelled in the self-torture found in the subtle art of ‘auto-barbeque.’ Of course she did - it was something new. As for me, I can barely remember thinking anything at all in such a heat-drugged state, but I do distinctly remember being able to smell my own skin cooking. I guess the whole feeling of lying under the sun was…nice, though: in a twisted, masochistic kind of way. You might as well have given us two spokes and a grill so we could have roasted ourselves properly. Nah, I’m kidding. There was never such a thing as spending too much time with Kaitlin Abbey. I saw two rows of pearly whites with a generous gap in the middle flash me a smile, and I grinned back. “Secrets” 2013

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Part 2: The Gift After spending some time like this, Kaitlin creakily propped herself up on one elbow, her forearm tanned in the front and pale in the back, and took out her Princess music box. It had been a birthday gift to her when she was younger, and, when left alone, looked like it was for the ‘princess’ it was supposedly given to. It had the whole package: dancing fairies, glitter, and generous amounts of pink, and it was about the size of a Rubik’s Cube. It had once played fitting repertoire, too (Disney Princesses), until one day Kaitlin’s uncle Tom visited the house, shaking his head in disapproval and took his Craftsman toolbox in one hand. Somehow, in that afternoon, by dismantling the box and reassembling it with a new, familiar head-nodding rock tune, I think he instilled two important things in his niece that day. The first was her undying love of ‘good’ music, the second, her sole ambition in life: to never pass up a dare or challenge, no matter how big or small – whether it came in the form of helping Sid the hamster break free from the confinements of his cage (3 rd grade, she was convinced of animal abuse) or licking the icicle on Mrs. Gleason’s car when the kids dared her to; of course she couldn’t get it off her tongue, so she just broke it off the rear view mirror of the red Toyota and marched home with it, sticking her tongue out in front of the fireplace to melt it off. When she first told me the story about her box, I became hopelessly attached to the thing. Over the next eight years or so (we met in kindergarten), Kaitlin ended up telling me the story about five hundred odd more times, and I helped her embellish it each time with increasingly fantastical details. By now I’m sure her uncle Tom coexists in our minds as some kind of omniscient tech wizard that bestows supernatural characteristics on people – Kaitlin doesn’t really remember him either, because he died suddenly soon after he ‘fixed’ her gift. Kaitlin started toying around with the box, and I studied it closely as she did, which wasn’t unusual. However, she caught and held my gaze, looking at me almost calculatingly. That was unusual. Kaitlin’s eyes were not the soft, sea-green kind people could dreamily stare into all day. They were always slightly closed, like the eyes of a cat slinking around in the alleyways with flattened ears, almond-shaped and sharp and wary of those strange creatures that fed him leftover tuna sandwiches on some days but chased him around with bats and frying pans and the like on others. They were an emerald colour, and had a steely glint to them – she knew they made people uncomfortable and didn’t really like looking people in the eye unless she was studying them closely to judge which part of their face would be landed with a hefty punch. Naturally I thought she’d been acting strangely, but what she said next completely threw me off. “Hey, Will, d’ya want this?” I first stared at it, then up at her, blankly. I blinked. I knew I hadn’t heard her correctly. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] “Come on,” she said, “I know you have your eye on it. It has a good secret and everything, but I’ve just explained it too many times for it to be fun anymore.” My mind was waterlogged. In the next two seconds, it had already had a heated conversation with itself. Is she out of her mind? I’ve asked for it before, but we both know it’s hers. It’s the only thing Tom left behind. She’s feeling generous. Why turn her down? Especially on a day like this? You’re not serious. You could fry an egg on the sidewalk in the shade. You could also have it raining buckets of fish. It is monsoon season, you know. You’re not having it. That’s final. “Um…” I started to say. I thought her eyes had burned a hole right through my face by then. “Okay,” I finished dumbly, and my hand eagerly darted out for it. In retrospect, I’ll be the first to admit that the most diehard Disney kid probably contained themselves better at Disney World Orlando than I did at that one moment.

Part 3: Sunset The sun slowly turned a deep fuchsia, and started sinking under the horizon. It orchestrated the slow migration of colours throughout the sky, dyeing the clear expanse in rich tones of magenta and pleasantly light shades of oranges and reds. The lights cast a faint glow on our faces, flickering softly as if they burned from a candle wick. However, as the remaining sunlight faded from the sky a dark cloud began brewing across Kaitlin’s features. Afraid to look at her directly, I watched her carefully out of the corner of my eye as she absentmindedly opened two soda cans, eyebrows knit closely together and brooding sullenly. I wondered if she was regretting giving me her toy, and began thinking to hand it back. She stared at the cans for a long time after opening them. One was Welch’s grape soda; the other, Cherry Coke. Slowly, she handed me the grape soda. I took it from her and didn’t think twice as I downed the entire can as soon as it reached my hands. The tart fizz of the drink made the flavour burst onto my tongue, immediately surging through me and jolting me awake from my muggy stupor. Soon, we were both on our feet, rejuvenated and considerably more energetic. Kaitlin got up and meandered over to the edge of the roof, peering downwards onto the dimly lit sidewalks with familiar intrepidity. However, I couldn’t help but notice that her eyes had a stranger look in them compared to when she’d looked down during the daytime. A “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] few hours ago, her eyes had flashed with the same childlike curiosity I’d grown to know from all these years. Right now, they bore a more knowing look, as if they knew exactly what dangers lay below. Naturally, she was a bit eerie to watch; her face wore all the tiredness of a war veteran while her body remained coltish and full of vigour, pin wheeling itself forward and hurling her crumpled can into the sky until it disappeared into the sunset as a mere speck in the distance. Feeling overly conscious of these things, I looked away, but back again after a moment’s pause – and voila, she had returned to her old self, now stretching her arm back again to outdistance her can with my own. I soon dismissed the strangeness of the few past seconds without a second thought, and it flew away as hard and fast as the can that left Kaitlin’s fingers, whistling in the air from sheer speed. We circled the roof, trying to pump the blood back into our legs, and kicked empty plastic bags and other bits of litter around the wide cement space. Kaitlin soon picked a third can and deftly swung it into the pleasantly cool summer night, which was now marked by a faint darkness enveloping the streets. She then pivoted on the corner of the building, wobbled precariously but regained balance, and proceeded to tiptoe along the roof’s edge with the same grace as that of a tightrope walker. Kaitlin was brave, but not to the point of being driven by stupidity. She was careful to hold her arms outstretched in a rigid ‘T,’ slowly making her way along like a scarecrow. I watched on and amusedly considered joining her from a safer distance. The storm clouds had now left from her eyes, and all the muscles in her face loosened in relaxation. The only part of her face that didn’t share this new easy look was her hair, which blew around her face in the gentle night breeze. However, after only a few minutes I found myself lying on my back again, slowly relapsing into lethargy. I guess Kaitlin and I weren’t made of the same stuff. I could feel the brief spurt of energy I’d gotten from my soda draining from me, and I felt my muscles start to rapidly unwind like viscid, melting honey. Immensely drowsy, my eyes grew heavier and any thoughts swimming in my brain began to slip sluggishly into distant fuzz. My head spun. There was a brief pause as my head leaned down to rest against the cement. However, as soon as the cool, hard surface brushed against the tip of my ear, my stomach suddenly recoiled violently, sensing that something was very, very wrong. I snapped to attention and looked up as quickly as I could. Suddenly, I saw her. She was standing a bit too closely to the edge, peering over, her gaze followed by her body, which leaned slightly forward. She was treading that fine line between intrepidity and an idea far more sinister in nature. I thought it was too close, even for those without any fear, the most fearless of all…but only until I realized that Kaitlin Abbey was without fear. She was completely and utterly fearless of what awaited her. Below. “Secrets” 2013

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The wind whipped our faces harder now, sending our hair flying upwards in a dizzying myriad of tresses. It sent her a message of encouragement; it jarringly forced a moment of cruel enlightenment on me. I suddenly thought back to when our arms had been held over the edge of the roof, dangling midair as our minds wandered to what I now realized were very different places. We’d both felt the adrenaline, only mine had been the mere thrill of being so high up. Hers had been the thought of wondering what it would be like to touch the ground from such a height. Kaitlin began taking careful steps, dancing around the building corner and occasionally teetering from a gust of wind. My body was beyond dysfunctional at this point; it had stopped responding ages ago. I realized that Kaitlin was going to play a game, even as she started to draw her last breaths. Her steps grew wilder; her arms abandoned their fixedness and swayed about like two windmills. The strongest gust of wind yet swept across the roof, managing to shove me a few inches forward and picking up bits of leaves and old paint as it crossed the ample space. I knew this one would be the one that would take her down. Our eyes met a final time. Hers no longer had a cutting edge, instead, they were dulled by a sadness that came from a story she’d kept down, a burden she had never thought to lift – a story which, I realized, would never reach anyone’s ears. With a nearly superhuman strength I snapped at my arm to lift itself and reach out in one last effort, even though it felt as heavy as lead. This was the hopeless moment where I knew there was no time, but wanted to think for just another minute that there was no time to lose. The wind blew one more time, impatiently, and the garbage strewn across the roof blew once more in front of my eyes, obscuring everything in sight. And in that one moment, my friend was pulled down into the dark depths below - taking with her a secret that would whisper from her grave until the end of time…

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

Misconceptions By Eunice Cho It was a Friday afternoon, when it all started. Grinning like I’ve just had a meal, I followed the ordinary routine into the door, inside the house, into the kitchen and into the refrigerator. There was no afternoon snack set on the table waiting for me- which meant mum wasn’t at home. Ooooh. Mum’s in trouble with the boss, I assumed. Being on my own at home was a precious privilege and I had no intention of wasting any second of it. Suddenly, a brilliant idea popped into my mind like a light bulb. “No one” meant “no eyes”,” no shame”. I glided deviously over to my sister’s drawer and ‘coincidentally’ came across what seemed like the” No! No Peaking! Ultimate Secret! Love Letters”. This was the pleasure of life. My eyes twinkled with vast interest and my grin went hooking on my ears as I flicked down the cheesy pages. Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep... All of a sudden, there was a phone call. I shrieked. Maybe it was doing the bad things that caused me to overreact. It was ‘just’ a phone call. I lunged over to the kitchen floor, where I found my phone buzzing hysterically next to a piece of abandoned Oreo crumbs. It said ‘Unknown Number’. But I wasn’t stupid enough to imagine a stranger stalking down on me; I couldn’t see a reason for it! I picked up the phone casually.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] “Hello?” There was no reply. There was no one there. I hung up, irritated by an unknown thing. As I turned back to continue with the letters, a message popped up. It couldn’t get happier than this. Having fun peaking on the love letter? Your mum’s unusually late... I hope she’s SAFE. The ends of your days aren’t far away. I will kill you.

Someone was watching me? I could feel the cold blood creeping under my skin … I stood there. Frozen. Blank. Shivering. I didn’t know what to do. Suddenly, the cosy rooms resembled an eerie night underground car park. I kept my mind straight and organized to deal with the outrageous situation. I locked all the doors and windows and ...oh no! Mum! Hastily reaching out for the keypad, I dialled mum’s number, digit by digit, shuddering. I had my fingers crossed. No reply. Again and again. No reply. I could feel my head going dizzy and my mind going pale. Whatever was happening to my life right now, it only emerged to me as a drama. Outside of reality! I couldn’t believe it. Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep... Oh my. ‘Unknown number’, it said. After considering whether picking up this call had the possibility to terminate my life or not, I said “hello”. “Hello? Is that you Rachel? Hey, I’m using the work phone. I’m gonna be late because of the work and our boss...” And the rest, I didn’t bother hearing. She was safe. Maybe I should have believed my assumption in the first place. Anyway, I had to report this… -----------------------------------------------------------------------------“I don’t understand...” her voice faded with a little tremble. I was facing her now. “Oh, you don’t understand? I don’t understand why you would do such thing to me. Thanks for stabbing back. You’re a great friend.” “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] I caught her words; she wasn’t worth enough to be listened to. A few hours ago, I came across the most devastating news ever in my school life. A defenceless friend, whom I trusted for life and a stalker and a blackmailer who nearly had my soul out - they were the same person! Skye. My emotions towards a certain person could not transform in greater contrast than this. I didn’t get why she would do this. But before I had the chance to confirm her ridiculous behaviour for certain, rumours have already been spread over the entire school. I reported the message and they had found out who sent it- and I could not imagine her sending me blackmailing messages. It was Skye. She was tearing up. I left her- collapsing. Soon, she was getting bullied and I was rising up. My life was filling up with blossom and bliss. People were supporting me, and forgetting a tackling, self-lowering friend wasn’t a big deal at all. Well, that’s what I thought. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------It went like this for about 3 weeks. Skye was ...not exactly bullied, but no one cared about her as a person anymore. And the whole thing made complete sense. It was her problem. Well, that’s what I thought. And one morning, she was out of sight. At first, people didn’t even realize, but I knew. Honestly, I didn’t like it. To admit the truth, she was also the one who made me more popular as the school started feeling sorry for me and supporting me. And now, she was gone and there was no one to humiliate- to make myself feel better. I needed her. Whatever the reason was, I just had to find her… -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Then, I came across a note. I found it lying there cold and all lonely, praying for its life that someone would notice it. But the poor thing had no power to become a loudspeaker. It had to just wait and wait...waiting for the world to do something about it. The note was left by Skye. I read it: If anyone cares for my existence and has the heart to come and stop me, it won’t be too late. I’m on the school roof. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

Don’t do this. I called out in my mind- hoping a miracle would occur and someone would get me to her. At that moment, I realized that she was going through very hard times and I didn’t even have a clue. I was so stupid. Then, a thought popped into my mind- that perhaps it wasn’t her to come up with the idea of blackmailing that one person she trusted, and turn herself into a the worst enemy. I remember- she was always a caring friend. I should have been thankful. I’ve been so mean to her and ditched her in a second. I should have trusted her. Now I think back, she did so much for me. If I wasn’t a monster to let her go and take her life, I had to run now. Huff Huff Huff huff… I could feel the heaviness on my legs and soon found them collapsing on my knees. I was on the roof for once. But Skye was out of sight. I was too late. I crept over to the edge of the roof, in the pace of a collapsing building. Tears dripped down my face, burning my heart with its saltiness. Bitterness! I was such a horrible friend. All that memories we had together...how could I do this to my best friend? It was all my fault. Skye would not have blackmailed me. All that time I cursed her and laughed at her, she was praying that I would realise the truth. Someone had forced her to blackmail me. Someone had planned all of this. I felt myself heating up with uncontrollable anger…until I hear her voice! As I turn back to leave the daunting rooftop, she pushes me. Pushes me off! Before I know, I’m falling… I close my eyes.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

Undercover Yunhyuk Kang

Here my body lies. In a hole that nobody cares about, I lie motionless like a rock. I have spilt too much blood with my hands to live so it was a good thing that I was dead right? Or was it? My mind raced with questions unanswered for all of eternity while my body lays motionless. I pray that one day, these questions will be answered and I will be put to rest but until then, the darkness in me lives on… WWII, Dunkirk. My job: translating, fighting, and getting all my men on board the boats while gunships ahead are shooting at me. I could speak fluent English, French, German, Russian and a bit of Polish. I saw my men slaughtered by enemy gunfire, my friends being blown up and zippered by enemy gunfire. I was in shock, my body was shaking and I need a moment to myself when a lieutenant from the Nazis charges at me with nothing but an empty Luger pistol. My instincts kick in but the shock gets to me first. I hit the ground at a speed so fast that I could almost dodge the rain. An enemy jet comes flying at me and I immediately look for cover and “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] realize that there is only one thing that I can use: the Nazi lieutenant that was beating the living soul out of me. I grab his leg and twist it until the leg snaps. He immediately drops to the ground and after this action, it is a piece of cake. I look to my right and see that all the boats are gone! I didn’t know why until I heard them. Around 10 000 men were chasing the boats from my left. I panicked. I didn’t know what to do but it seemed like my body did. I raced for the dead lieutenant’s body and I started to undress him. I took off my uniform and I put on his. I could walk now so I carried the body and disposed of it in the ocean. The soldiers finally caught up with me and before I knew it, I was being questioned about the body that I threw away. I replied that it was an enemy soldier that had tackled me and that I was too disgusted to let the body even lie on the ground and surprisingly, they bought it. I went to a German outpost following my “Soldiers” and I soon found out that I was one of the puppet officers. I quickly read my enlistment form and it read “Nikolai Federov, Russian defector and German lieutenant.” I called for somebody to fill up my canteen but nobody really moved an inch. Some people snickered and others just ignored me. I decided that I needed to get back to Britain or at least Russia but first, I needed to get in a battle at a safe distance and in order to do that, I needed people to not only recognize me but to also fear me. I therefore did not hesitate when I had a chance to request a change of role from front line to interrogator (I realized I could be extremely nasty to prisoners which could get me somewhere). I waited and waited with no sign of any reply. I started to think that I was not trusted by the Nazis because of the Russian background but my luck held. Finally, I got a message from a general that stated that I was changed to main interrogator. I was so overjoyed by this that I didn’t notice that everybody was looking at me while I was literally cuddling with the letter. For them, I was just acting like a stupid Russian but, for me, it was hopefully a ticket home. *************************************************** I called a driver and I drove to the interrogation centre. I walked in and checked in. To my surprise, my entire schedule was full. I ran down to the room, stomping down the hallway like a dinosaur. I slammed the door behind me and I started my first day interrogating - little did I know that it would also be my last! Hour after hour, minute after minute, I was screaming at the top of my lungs getting information out of Russians, English, Americans, and the French. I was clearing out when I saw one last person being forced onto the interrogation chair: my best friend. I walked up to him

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] and he started to yell out things out at me but before he had the chance to blow my cover, I pulled out a luger pistol and put a bullet in between his eyes… I didn’t fire just one bullet that day. That second bullet drove straight into my skull and I fell to the ground motionless forever. ************************************* So now you know my story but do you get the meaning? I had seen a man get slaughtered and I had undressed a Nazi officer to go undercover while there were Nazis running in my direction… I had also put a bullet into my friend’s skull. So was it a good idea to have pulled that trigger? Should that bullet have been released? There are more questions that enter the atmosphere of anxiety as former ones leave. That’s just war isn’t it? The ones that we cry for just slowly disappear from our minds as they are clouded out by thousands of others. I’m not even sure if they take the time to bury us all and even if they do, who is “they”? Questions just keep coming. So it seems like I will not rest in peace. None of us will. At least no human will.

Lifeless Sarah Kim

It has been a year. Yet, I still remember it like yesterday. The scene repeats itself over and over again when I close my eyes and the painful sorrow pierces through me like that exact day the day that changed my life completely around into misery. It was a rainy day when you left me alone! The words that you stuttered to me were shocking and painful. As the small umbrella dropped helplessly onto the wet sidewalk, my heart stopped. You had fallen too! It was silent and I couldn’t breathe as if I was drowning. I shook in fear as I bent my knees and my tears fell along with the rain. I pleaded with you not to leave me. Everything was “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] impossible to believe. Are you happy? Now that you left me? Somewhere far away: a place that no one knows on this rainy day… Ever since then, I write a letter to you with no address. Like that blank space on the paper, my life is so dull and meaningless. I don’t go outside anymore because I have no destination and every second, every place is bitter without you. But today, today was different. The sky was mucky gray like my heart and it was shredding tears like my eyes. As I walked outside slowly and weakly like a child learning how to walk for the first time, the little rain drops shattered on me like stones. The drops gave me pain and scars but on the other hand they wash off my worries and fear of people looking at me crying. The cold constant drops mixed with my hot depressing tears. My steps took me to the bus station and body waited for the blue bus that took me to the place where we first met. My numb fingers were frozen and loosely gripped the side bar as I got on the bus. I immediately searched for a shady corner seat so no one can see me without you. As I sat down in the very back, I couldn’t help myself giving a hard bitter sign noticing many people that looked like me back then. They laughed and talked. Out of loneliness, I looked down at my hands that lay so lonely on my lap without gripping you. I walk to the store where all your friends stood. I think my patient have come to an end while waiting for you. I’m so sick waiting for a phone call from you, a phone call that will bring you back to me. It doesn’t matter who calls, even a stranger, as long as it can bring you back. However, the truth is I am so sick of waiting for you, so sick of feeling lonely, so sick of worrying I’ll never see you again. I don’t think I can wait any longer. I never thought I was this weak but with human flesh and a human body, I have come to an end. That is why I came here today - the store where I first met you! Now it is the place where I’ll meet the replacement of you, your friend that is identical to you in many ways but I know he will be the same as time goes by. I know now to be careful after the mistake I made by losing you. If we ever do meet again, my hopes are that you are happy with someone else. Not me because I’m over you now! Goodbye and thank you for teaching me so many things… Goodbye, my first smart phone. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

To Fall Tabitha Kim Nothing. I see nothing. But I see you… Why are you crying? Don't. Please. I'll tell you a story. A story that will bring you back to me. A story that cures. Once upon a time…there was a boy. There was a girl. What created them and what destroyed them was a horror. It was a killer. It took her away and left him alone to suffer his merciless life. The killer cannot be seen, nor can it be heard. Dangerous and threatening… the killer…it is love. ****************** “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] "Hey can I borrow a pencil?" A flash of blonde. "I left mine at home!" A sparkle of blue eyes. "Is it okay if I use yours?" A symphony of light laughter. As I handed her the pen, two things happened. Her face lifted as if she was the happiest person in the world. The second thing? Well…I kind of fell in love. It was insane! Alison Turner. The name made me bump into people in the hallways and walk through the wrong corridors. Hair, eyes, laughter…the first things that ever made my heart skip a beat like that! She had imprinted my brain with her thoughts. Her eyes appeared out of nowhere, giving me a playful glance. The sun seemed to shine brighter that day, creating a beautiful golden blanket over the town. But not quite as beautiful as the gold that shaded her forehead, drooped over her shoulders and hung loosely down her back. My heart thudded as if it would burst out of my ribcage. "Uh..you wanted to ask me something?" She saw it coming. These 6 months hadn't been spent hanging out together for nothing. My words were stuttered and distorted, but I knew she could hear them. "A-alison...Will y-you go out w-with me?" My face scrunched up, preparing for the obvious slap that was going to leave its mark on my pale cheek. But no. I could hear relaxed chuckles and smiles in her voice. This time when my heart pounded against my chest, I loved it. And the more beads of sweat there were on my forehead, I endured it. And the uncontrollable shaking seemed to be fine. Yet, I was terrified. Because she didn't know my secret…because she said yes. Bipolar. I was nine when that word started dominating the whole of my life. It conquered the mind and body of an innocent child and turned him into a monster. I couldn't go outside to play like other boys. Nor could I go on field trips or try out for school plays. It wasn't my mother. On the contrary, she encouraged me in these things. No, it was me. I restricted myself. I was a freak. I could feel it within the sympathetic stares of strangers; the sugar-coated kindness that I could never settle to; the countless number of useless, repetitive therapy sessions. Sometimes I saw and heard things, and believed them. I would be happy and, the next moment, I would attempt suicide due to depression. Uncontrollably bawling my eyes out? It was okay because I was used to it. And them. Who, you ask? These were nice “friends” that kept me company and I could converse with them. They gave me advice on what the world really was like, and I kept them updated about my constant, repetitive life. They comforted me and were always there when I just needed someone. And most of the time: I did need someone. As I approached my dormitory, there was a familiar uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. It was coming back. I grunted in annoyance and pain, already starting to register a palette of colours filling the dark room. Colours that weren't supposed to be here. Shapes that did not exist. Or did they? I didn't know. I couldn't tell… “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] The diamonds engraved in her delicate face gazed back at me. How the moon seemed to be at the perfect angle so that it would reveal the soft slope of her nose; the tinted rose of her full lips; the long eyelashes that cast a light shadow across the smooth surface of her cheekbones. Flawless! Completely, utterly flawless! My mind was racing and I couldn't think of anything. She seemed to notice- so she intertwined her fingers with mine that were now shaking up an earthquake. A gentle chuckle warmed my ears, which were connected with a wide grin. And then…it stopped. Thinking about it now, it's quite comical. How I used to detest the smell of lilies; she made me love them. I would never go near bakeries; she made me love them. The colour blue with brown? It seemed disgusting; but she made me love them. The second Spiderman movie seemed too boring; but she made me love it. Ketchup on my chicken seemed crazy; but she made me love it. She made me love a thousand things. But I've made myself love her. I needed to get away from her! My brain was already converting the bright lampposts into anonymous aliens and the cars nearby were transforming into prehistoric creatures. My lungs were suddenly filled with poison and there was a lump, the size of an apple, in my throat. I was mentally screaming at myself - screaming at myself to stop. I could even hear their voices bellow to me. 'Run, you fool! Don't lose her!' I knew, at that moment, they were right. I couldn't afford the loss…the pain. And then it happened. If my tears would somehow turn into flowers, I would walk in my garden for eternity. Her body was still warm, which was probably the result of me embracing the empty shell without a soul. The walls seemed to press down on me and accuse me of everything. I was blaming myself too. And so were they She should have listened to me and left...it would not have happened if she had just left! I sharply untangled my fingers from her delicate throat and they immediately seemed to turn numb with cold. Before I sprinted down the dim lit street, time seemed to freeze and slap me in the face. Hurt? Confused? Anxious? I couldn't identify the main component of the complex jungle of emotions that were depicted across her face. But that was the worst part. And then I never turned back… If only I had turned back that day. I would've held her in my arms so tightly…I would've repeatedly said I was sorry. Now, there is a worn, soft blanket to replace her dear hugs. There is now dim sunlight to replace her extraordinary radiance. Her smile is trapped in a picture frame, and not widening as she sees mine peek out the sides of my lips. The muffled sound of her yawning against the white pillows is now replaced by the medicine shift of the irritating nurse. She is somewhere far away…maybe even with them but all I know is that she is far away. And that could not ever be a good sign. She couldn't understand…but could she? I questioned myself once more before reaching my quivering fingers for the phone. Again, I reluctantly put my hand down and the mental “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] war continued. My secret. My secret. The whole point was to keep it to myself and no one in this world would know…but she was a part of me. Like my brain or heart, she was a vital portion of me and I could not imagine surviving without her. My hands were steadier now, but still shaking, as the pale fingers were beginning to clutch the phone's handle. My weapons were on the floor and I was waving the white flag. Checkmate. Sometimes, she comes to me. And I can just make out the faint murmurs in the distance: Why are you crying? It's okay. You can cry. Everything will be alright in the end. I'll tell you a story. A story that will warm the block of ice replacing your heart. A story that cures. Once upon a time…there was a boy. There was a girl. There was them. No. There was us. What created them and what destroyed them was a saviour. This merciful creature cannot be seen, nor can it be heard. It can only be experienced. But the presence is unmistakable. Sometimes, I admit, it can be painful. But righteous, just and generous! This angel... This light, humourless chuckle of hers… This thing called fate!

Boom! Cover! Run! Daniel Bang The day was bright and blazing with exuberance, as everyone in camp was celebrating the triumphant victory of Busan. ”Dylan, how about a cold beer to revive your spirit?” I yelled as we were shaded under the serene umbrella of trees. We were lying on the floor, discussing our future life plans in the heart of Seoul (after the war ended). “Hey Dylan, do you ever think about our future?” “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] I was captivated by the genuine thought of families, children, new responsibilities, a wife, or even a job… All of these thoughts emerged and disappeared as I pondered deeply on life. After a while, we decided to return to our camp and have a couple of drinks to honour our great victory over the communists. I recall we were near the perimeter of the camp - a bit past the heavily barb wired fences - when suddenly I screamed... “G-g-gre-GRENADE! KICK IT!” Those last two words: KICK IT, were the two words I should never have said... I should’ve known! How could I be so stupid and foolish to say that! The two seconds that the grenade was inactive, I should have been able to process that it was going to explode any time. “G-g-gre-GRENADE! KICK IT!” I shrieked as I jumped away. “Quick!” he exclaimed, as he made the motion to belt it away. Hastily, I jumped the other way - as I realised what I had just done... BOOOM. In a flash, the grenade exploded as shrapnel flew across. I felt a few pieces of the grenade rip through my flesh as I lay prone. An extremely deafening sound emerged that made my hearing seem a little rough for a while. Then, an extremely thin piece of shrapnel zoomed past me, as another hit me straight on the side of my head. I could sense the blood trickling down my head and I was feeling a bit unconscious and confused. As soon as I snapped out of the daze I was in, I remembered that a grenade had just gone off. “Dylan, what happened?” I shouted into the blurry ambience (the grenade had created a dusty surrounding). “Dylan, answer me if you can hear me!” I shouted repeatedly until the dust had settled and that’s when I saw... An unidentifiable body was lying on the ground, like an inanimate doll. What must have been the face, now seemed like burnt ash. The face looked disorientated, as though the grenade had melted the different parts. Both legs of the body had disappeared and the arms had been severely burnt. A crimson substance was gushing out of his stomach, rapidly creating a circular pool of blood. I spotted a tiny piece of paper - buried heavily by the remains of the leg and the dust. Slowly, I bent down to pick it up. As I got hold of it, I flipped it around and blew the dust away. That moment, is the moment I fear most now. The dust had blown away, and the picture was revealed. It was Sophie and baby Billy - Dylan’s kids. Suddenly, I “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] striking realisation had hit me... the unidentifiable, burnt and unrecognisable body was Dylan. Without hesitation, I cried at the top of my lungs for help. Shortly after, military commanders and officials came rushing in towards me. I informed everyone around me that a grenade had appeared out of thin air, and exploded. However, my sixth sense told me that I was missing a vital piece of information. I also told the officials that the deceased body was private Dylan Rogers. Suddenly, all the sorrowful emotions bombarded me, as I was asked to step aside from the gory scene (by the military officials and doctors). As the memories of Dylan’s scorched body flashed through my mind, I quietly sniffled to myself, “Revenge is... sweet. A decision must be taken...” ********************************** ““Daniel, they found them! They’re in our custody!” Nick shouted across the canteen. Everyone stared at Nick as he panted his way through the lunch throng. “They finally caught them!” He had finally reached me as I replied, “Who’s them? Caught who?” I didn’t really care: who they caught, our progression in the Korean War, or anything really, after Dylan’s death. Again, Nick exclaimed, “We caught them! The people who threw the grenade!” Immediately, I dropped my cup of coffee and flew to the interrogation room. As I arrived at the interrogation room, I bolted through the door and spotted two masked men sitting on the chairs. Commanding officer Richard Holts quickly glanced at me and ordered the guards to immediately take me out. “Get him out of here, now!” Commander Holts yelled. One of the masked men replied “I’m guessing that’s the survivor, the killer.” I had no idea what he was talking about but before I could ask, the door slammed shut and I was thrown out of the room. The following night, I couldn’t sleep as the “masked man’s” words haunted me continuously - “I’m guessing that’s the survivor, the killer.” I questioned myself, how am I the killer? So I decided to find out myself. The next morning, around 7 o’clock I soundlessly crept into the interrogation room, as the door was unlocked for a peculiar reason. The two masked men appeared to be sleeping, but I couldn’t tell as the bag disguised their faces. I approached the man who talked to me yesterday and quickly removed the bag from his face. He woke up in a startled manner and stared into my eyes. He started to relax and then chuckled at me. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] “So you finally came. We haven’t told your commanding officers what happened back when your friend died. We thought you would have the courage to tell them the truth,” he whispered to me. I was puzzled and still had no idea what he was talking about. “What in the world are you saying?” I asked him. He replied, “I guess you don’t remember what happened then, after all, the grenade must have affected you in some way. Well I’ll tell you one thing: you shouted something to your dead friend that got him killed! Remember now?” Vague memories were coming back… Dylan went to kick the grenade. However, I still couldn’t get hold of the main memory that is always on the tip of my tongue. What could I have said that got Dylan killed? All these questions and puzzling memories got me confused so I banged the table and shouted, “TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED!” The masked man jumped on his chair and woke the other masked man up as well. The first masked man quickly motioned me to come closer and whispered in my ear “Quickly, I can’t tell you what happened in front of the man next to me. Knock him out, then I”ll tell you. Just do it.” I was desperate for answers, and didn’t know what else could be done. So I punched the half-awake man back to a deep slumber. The masked man then said “Thank you. I have reasons for not being able to talk in front of him, but that’s not important. I’ll just tell you this... as I threw the grenade to the commanding officers’ tents, it deflected off the wall and rolled next to you guys. I saw you and your friend run away from it rapidly, but you shouted ‘Kick it’ and your friend reacted. He slid towards the grenade to kick it but unfortunately, the grenade exploded as he was an inch away. Sorry.”

I was completely speechless. The missing space in my mind was now completed, I had forgotten that ‘I’ was the reason why Dylan died. If I hadn’t yelled at him to kick it, he might’ve survived. I was completely speechless. I loitered around camp; pondering on nothing. My mind was blank - dead blank! I excluded every thought that pushed through my thoughts. The inner essence of my dear soul had been shattered - the moment I heard that I killed Dylan. My life was destroyed, crumbling in shame and agony. Betrayal rushed through my head. All I could think of were my faults, and what I had done to Dylan’s family. He had two bright and beautiful kids waiting at his house, for the return of “the brave hero”. I didn’t know what I could do to stop these corrupt and despairing thoughts escaping me. Out of haste, I ran to my room and searched the drawers and cupboards. Soon, I found my gun - Dark Angel. Dylan and I had named it ‘Dark Angel’ together before we “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] defeated the North Koreans. I clenched Dark Angel in my hand. Sweat was pouring down my head and anxiety pierced my soul. Slowly, I raised the gun into my mouth. I could taste the metallic and bitter barrel on the roof of my mouth. Trembling, my slippery fingers wrapped around the trigger and the guilt silently vanished…

“Restavèk” Alexandre Rotival (Field notes: June 13, 1963) Trapped in a paradise. Halfway between heaven and hell. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] The scent of cut sugarcane permeates my ever orifice. I begin to see them. Dark figures against the shining glare of the cane stalks. At first there are few. They begin to grow in numbers. The light slowly builds over the horizon. I make out a third colour, staining the figures that lay by my feet. It drips: thick like molasses in the humid morning air. It flows from every surface. The blood of the innocent… St. Dominique is no more. On this rock blood is spilt like water. Without care or a nod to consequence! When it flows we look away. Mother, brother, sister, Child… The pain grows silently, morphing like a butterfly in its chrysalis. When the sadness goes it is replaced by horror. Then ever so slowly it turns to primal anger. It tries to break loose. It refuses to. For it knows that the final step in this painful cycle is death. Death in the name of retribution! Death in the name of a cause that has turned on its people: Death in the name of Papa Doc! Freedom for our Haitian brother! Freedom in the name of our enslaved forbearers! Freedom for every man, woman and child to follow!

ϕ Fear. The scent of fear and paranoia is ever present among the sickly sweet odour of the Pétion-Ville gardenias. The only sound emanating from the dense walled compound is the frantic shredding of possibly incriminating evidence - so much so that the nervous sweat can be felt through the thick walls. Suddenly a dog barks. “Petit-nègre!” As if on cue a child’s dark figure emerges from the emerald tinged darkness. I pause unaware of what would ensue. Watching in disbelief as I have done so many times before,* solemnly swearing to myself that despite the pain and heartbreak that so surrounds this time I will soldier on with the hope that one day we all might realize how far we have strayed from the path of honest freedom, the oath that so many before us have tread and in their turn “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] fallen from: Castro, Bolivar, Khrushchev, the liberators so drunk with power that they slowly became the inhumane captors that they fought to overturn. Slowly the urgent screams and groans of inhuman violation give way to primal cries of a child who has lost his innocence. With a final cry of independent protest and a sudden flash of ebony and crimson the life of another “restavec”, another relic of an antiquated society that refuses to change, but continues to die off slowly ends without so much as a tear. The empire of Duvalier; an institution built on the bones of the oppressed. St. Dominique. Land of Sugarcane and tears; An inferno masked by the lures of paradise.

"La wout pou paradi kòmanse nan kote mò yo ye." “The path to heaven begins in hell.”

*(I see a mother watch helplessly as her son is slaughtered by the sons of freedom, the children of the revolution – The liberators of the Haitian brotherhood.)

Perhaps, tonight, they will come for me too…

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

THE PRISON Hyong Min Kim As I regain consciousness, I look around my surrounding. I am lying in a cold, dark room. The room is a very tight cube- the floor is covered with a soft, pink, linen sheet that makes a crassly squeaking sound whenever I press it. Instead of walls that might constitute the sides, there are brownish-white bars planted to the floor that form a wall around the chamber. I can barely stretch my legs. It’s so very uncomfortable. I detest this room very much. Is this a prison? I think it is. As if proving my prediction correct, the bars are built in so closely together that my body cannot slide through. Waves of past memories wash over as I ponder deeply. I remember being submerged in a warm, red chamber full of sweet-smelling liquid. Within the moist membranes I floated around all day, a pipe attached to my stomach replenishing me. The chamber was nothing commodious; I could barely move. Nevertheless, it was the sanctuary I was so enamoured to; my encompassing bed. It was the only world I knew… I knew no further, nor did I wish to. Then, one day, as I was resting comfortably as ever, a very sudden and surprising thing happened. The world seemed to churn and distort. The walls began squeezing me. As more and more pressure built up, the liquid I had been bathing in for the past 9 months drained away. As I thought I was about to get squashed under the extreme compression, the floor, which I had been sitting on, collapsed under my weight, and I dropped down below. The next minute, the comfortable chamber was gone. I was no longer enwrapped in the soft membrane. I will never forget finding myself shuddering amidst the new, sudden, cold air- The sudden glare of light that blinded my eyes! The painful sensation as a silver blade severed the food pipe and detached it away from me! The dizziness as my huddled body was tossed over restlessly from hand to hand! I remember crying all my sadness and fear out to the strange, new, unknown world. I simply could not comprehend their effervescence and exuberance in catapulting me into the air and dangerously catching me in this uttermost and egregiously dangerous manner. The giants, upon prying me out of my home, have confined me to this room. Since then, my freedom is defunct, in which action they feel no contrition whatsoever. “Honey, the baby’s woken up.” “Oh, no! He was asleep a minute ago...” “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] “Maybe the milk we fed him was not enough to satisfy his hunger.” I feel a soft, squishy object pressing against me. I turn my gaze and see that it is a bear. A companion at last! I say hello with relishing ebullience, to which it returns not a sound. I poke it. It does not budge. It is only then that I realize that it is dead-no longer alive. Those ruthless, brutal giants! They have killed it. I realize the bear is not the only victim. Next to it lies a Panda on its side- likewise, dead. Besides a kangaroo, a monkey, and a miniature elephant, there is even a human, just like me. All dead! Victims of the merciless giants. I am the only survivor in this prison, surrounded by lifeless beings that once roamed around freely, just like I did. Desperately, I look above. The ceiling is open to reveal dark emptiness beyond. Nothing but a single void is silhouetted against the darkness. I look closer. A pair of lifeless, ghastly eyes stares back. The wide-spread arms, the protruding mouth, and face contorted and twisted in pain corresponds only too well with the rope that suspends the creature by the neck- the rope that ebbed away its breath bit by bit and sealed its fate… “I think he likes the new stuffed animals.” “He’s even trying to talk to them.” “Wonder if he likes the new bird mobile we put up above him?” I may be the next victim. Death might strike any time! “What’s he doing now? With all my effort in vain, I slump down, a feeling of helplessness washing over me. I feel the red monster of anger growing inside me. It roars and thunders, urging me to let it out. I give way. In one last cry, I scream my anger out- the anger of being imprisoned, the anger of being so weak… The anger of stolen freedom!

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

The Crow Madeline Sargent “Sir-ple-“ The bullet pierced my heart. Falling to the floor I took one last glimpse at the killer. Blue eyes, sandy blonde curls, and strong build. Oh, and one last thing… a tattoo above his right eye, aligned with a purple scar. The scar I had given him; slashing his face with a knife. My chest is wet. A sticky red substance covers my hands and shirt. I reach for my head only to smear the liquid across my brow. I try and ease myself up, only to find I am drenched… in blood. I lie on the floor positioned in a pool of blood: my flesh stained from the liquid. My vision: blurred. My head: pounds! And then my chest burns. And the pain increases each second. I look down to find a dagger wedged behind my ribs. My wound is fully exposed. I pull it out… or try at least. I try and pull again, only to increase the pain, and the burn screams. Eventually I pull hard enough to slide the sharp tool out of my body all covered in gore. I collapse on the ground, gasping for air. I tilt my head and catch a glimpse of my surroundings. Through blurred vision I manage to make out a table with a mug full of pencils. On the table sits a photo frame but the front of the frame faces the window. I then notice two chairs opposite the table. My taste buds start to taste sour and my tongue becomes slippery. At first it feels like I am coughing up spit but then it starts to gush. I lean over letting the fluid slide out of my mouth, dripping from my lips. I purse my lips… a sour taste is taking over my taste buds. I have nothing left. Then I hear footsteps. HOPE. A large figure appears above me. The smell of cheap cologne makes me cough. I shriek. I knew that smell well enough to recognize him. I had smelt it countless times… “Careen!” The figure knelt next to me. “Stay with me.” The figure begins to come into focus: dark brown hair, olive skin, piercing green eyes. The opposite of the killer. Miles was dark and Crow was pale. Crow’s eyes had pierced my heart before he left (the same feeling as the bullet penetrating my skin). Then I start to remember… He had come into the school and pops rang out over the bell. After the first pop, I heard a shrilling shriek. My body went numb. Then I decided to do what I thought was smart. I ran.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] I ran to the nearest class and told them to exit the window due to the school being one level. I then ran to the next class. I threw the door open yet found no students or a teacher. Alive. All were lying on the ground. Eyes open and scarred with horror. Thoughts kept running through my head. He’s here for me. Me. Then it all starts to disappear… I’m still lying on the ground with Miles kneeling above me, tears dripping off his chin. “Careen, please! Stay with me! I… I love-“ The sound of desperation causes a tear to slide down my cheek. The words are not finished. I catch one last glimpse of the place I am so fond of…I hear the children’s laughter... the sound of lunch boxes clinking against the tables. The smell of pencil shavings. The taste of coffee in the lounge. Everything comes back to send a chill down my back. Then it I start to drift – but not forever. I start to remember again. I kept running. Another pop. Another shriek. I turn round and he appears from behind a class; eyes stricken with cruelty. My eyes meet his and then he starts to run. But not away. Instead he runs toward me. Before I can blink I am pinned to the ground. ‘Crow! Stop. I can seek help for you.” ‘No! You’ve already done enough.’ Then I do what I think is best… Due to carrying a pocket knife around in my back pocket (I knew that one day he would find me!) I try and edge my left arm from his grip. ‘Crow, you can have what you want. Just let me sit up and explain.’ Crow’s eyes are still stricken with murder and violence. He slowly releases my arm and then I do what I think is safest. ‘Alright. Here this is now –‘ I fling the knife out of my pocket and swing it at him slashing a line across his chest. He bellows and reaches for me. His fist collides with my jaw and I stumble backwards. I try and regain my balance but his weight too heavy. I fall on my back but manage to roll sideways when Crow dives for me. I immediately stand up and ready myself with knife in hand. Crow slowly regains his footage and dives for me again. I swing the knife and him and manage to swipe a clean gash across his face, connecting with his eye. His face is then red and wet. Then I run but it is too late. I hear another pop and collapse on the floor. Crow steps on my chest and takes the knife from my hand stabbing into my chest. ‘AHHH!’

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] A smirk spreads across his lips and the figure begins to become unfocused - disappearing into a dark broad figure trudging down the hallway; shoulders low, chin pressed to the floor, and heavy breathing…

Miles is still slumped over me tears now pouring down his olive skin making it shimmer. ‘Why? Why …did you… leave me? I trusted… you and you left.’ ‘I tried.’ ‘No. I was… starting to fall..-‘ ‘Fall?’ My eyes slowly close, taking with them one last glimpse of his hazel eyes, dark skin auburn curls, and the smell of cheap cologne; my soul dying without him. I reach up and find his cheek with my hand. My vision has completely gone. “Miles, take this with you.” I pull out the microchip from my locket and Miles slides his hand underneath the necklace. “Is this what Crow was looking for?” “Precisely.” “Careen he came for this.” “I... know... but this is in your hands now not mine.” “Careen! You don’t understand I cannot complete the mission.” “Don’t worry every plan has worked so far. Even the plan of me leaving you.” “Are you saying this was meant to happen? Your wound and the students?” “Even by taking lives away... we are saving lives.” One last tear slides down my cheek and I try and seek hope from him. Miles needs it.

We will all desperately need it!

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

“Skinny” Claudia Lui

Fat - it's all I see in the reflection. Rolls of fat; like layers and layers of chocolate dumped upon each other. My ribcage; nowhere to be seen. It's lost... In the thick layer of fat that covers my bones. The demon haunts my thoughts. It hisses. It screams, "Stop eating! You're already fat enough." It's all I hear: in my sleep, on my walk to school, when I'm eating. Especially when I'm eating! "Put that fork down," the voice says. "Put. It. Down. The food will make you even fatter." I tried to ignore it - I really did. I was able to conquer it the last time. But it’s winning. It is as it’s driving over me. Me: a small mouse. The demon: a monstrous truck. The voice keeps coming back. It’s so loud I can't even hear my friends speaking sometimes. So I listened to it. But it's so hard. I'm just so hungry. My stomach aches and whines for the nutrition it will not receive. My hair slides out in clumps. I feel like passing out all the time. "Just eat," you might advise me. "It's not that hard." Oh, but that's where you're wrong - it is. The satisfaction I feel when I skip a meal… it's addictive! It feels as if the fat is vanishing... Vanishing into thin air! Even the thunderous sounds coming from my stomach are pushed aside and ignored when I think about how soon it will be when my collarbones and hip bones protrude. "You don't look well," Chelsea observes, "Are you alright?" No, I'm not. I can't even get myself to swallow a piece of fruit. "Yup! Just a little tired, that's all." I practically shove the words out of my mouth. I don't want Chelsea to know. This will be my little secret. An uncomfortable silence clings to the air as Chelsea raises her eyebrows in disapproval. She knows I'm lying. "Alright then," she carries on with her writing. I watch her move her pen with ease, letting the writing flow and allowing it to continue; just like I used to let myself eat. When we were children, Chelsea and I used to skim through my mother's Vogue magazines. The endless pages of flawless people remained in my head for days. I'd “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] dream about them; think about how I could look like them. Then, I figured it out - the reason why the models all look fabulous is because they were skinny.

skinny |ˈskinē| adjective ( -nier , -niest ) informal (of a person or part of their body) very thin For my eighth birthday, my parents bought me Party Barbie. I carried her around as if she was my baby. I'd come home from school; groom her hair, change her into exquisite clothing, then lay her down in her Barbie bed and watch over her. She was just so beautiful. I tried to figure out why, when it hit me again... She was skinny. skinny |ˈskinē| adjective ( -nier , -niest ) informal (of a person or part of their body) very thin The first time I ever heard the voice was when I was the summer I turned fourteen. "You're fat." It started off with small comments like that - "Your thighs are too big", "You need a thigh gap", "Boys only like skinny girls". Like each small coin adds up in a piggy bank, these small comments accumulated. And it felt as if I couldn't handle it anymore. I needed to be skinny. skinny |ˈskinē| adjective ( -nier , -niest ) informal (of a person or part of their body) very thin Eating became a sin - I'd wear hair ties on my wrists and snap them against my wrist whenever I thought of food. I wasn't able to take it after three days or so, and after a few days of starving myself, I'd binge. I'd stuff my face with anything I could get a hold of. From peanut butter to chocolate, from chocolate to ramen noodles, the range of foods I'd binge on was endless. The thing that hurt most was that no one in my family even noticed. I knew I needed help. I just didn't know how to ask for it. In addition to the beginnings of my eating disorder, my mother took her life that summer. My father became extremely quiet and his corny jokes came to a halt. My older brother cried himself to sleep every night. There was no room for me, the eating disorder freak. What kind of person would I be if I dumped my issues on the remainder of my family? They were already hurting enough. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] Following my mother's death, my father took our lost family to my grandmother's beautiful beach home. Everything there was beautiful - the sand, the clear blue water, the crispness and cleanness of the white paint layered over the double floored house... but it reminded me too much of my mother. Photos of her childhood were framed everywhere. My grandmother's face was an exact replica of hers’. I had to get out. That's when I met him. He grew up and lived in the small area around the beach all his life. The paleness of his sun bleached hair caught my eye immediately - and I guess that sadness that engulfed me caught his attention. "My name's Charlie," he flopped down on the sand next to me, his hair dripping wet from swimming in the ocean. "I have nothing to do so I just hang out here." "I'm Tanya," I replied. It puzzled me - out of all the other thin and ravishing girls at the beach that day, he chose to talk to me. “I’ve never seen you before. Did you just move in?” Charlie seemed eager to talk to me. It was a strange feeling because no one wanted to talk to me. The aura of pessimism that I brought around with me made people feel awkward and uncomfortable. “No, I’m staying here temporarily with my grandmother.” I was able to tell that he was disappointed with my lifeless and unfriendly answer. So I forced a smile. And Charlie smiled back. We ended up spending the day together. I wondered if he had friends and why this gorgeous boy would choose to talk to a lonely and confused girl he had found sulking on the sand. Day after day, we met at the pier. I enjoyed Charlie’s company because he was kind. And kindness was exactly what I needed. We met so often that my grandmother started to question me and tease me about seeing him. Sometimes, Charlie would bring food with him...food that he’d offer me and I’d immediately decline. Charlie was easy to talk to. I was able to confide in him about the guilt I felt for letting my mother get away. “I wish I knew how to help her,” I recalled. “I didn’t know her condition was that severe until it was too late.” I felt a teardrop leak out my eye and I quickly looked away in an attempt to wipe it off my face, when Charlie gently turned my face towards his and kissed me. A soft, gentle, innocent kiss! My first kiss! I could never forget it. “You know, I can spot an eating disorder,” Charlie claimed. “My sister had one for so long that I memorized all the symptoms that the doctor warned my parents about: refusal to eat, hair loss, extreme sensitivity to the cold, low energy and emotionless...” Yup, I thought, sounds just like me. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] “Your sister had an eating disorder?” This surprised me - I sometimes hung out Charlie’s older sister, Jen, as well, and she always seemed so carefree and secure. I didn’t know she used to feel embarrassed every time she ate something. Or that she used to feel like a failure for eating something every few days. I wanted to know more. “How’d she get better?” I asked. “She asked for help,” he replied. “I went with her to the doctor and then we went and told our parents together. They were supportive, too... Jen’s way better now.” It was then that it occurred to me that it was possible for my negative feelings towards food and my body to stop. I didn’t say anything to Charlie yet - I wanted this to be my secret. But as all secrets eventually come to an end, so did the secret of my eating disorder. I only managed to keep it a couple more days after Charlie told me about Jen’s results. I wanted to get better. And I did. Charlie took me to the local hospital and I was told to explain everything to Doctor Marks. Doctor Marks called my father and assisted in telling him the truth about my eating habits. My father’s heart-broken face reminded me that I never wanted to hurt him again. I was on the road to recovery. That was two years ago. Today, I am sixteen. Today, I have an eating disorder. It has returned. Today, Charlie is no longer with me. I told him never to contact me again when I found out that Jen never had an eating disorder. Charlie had simply made up Jen’s story to get me to ask for help. “Please, Tanya,” he begged, “I’m sorry I lied. I noticed that you flinched when you were around food. You never ate. I was worried and I knew you needed to get help. You needed it!” I told him I didn’t forgive him and that I could handle things myself. The reason didn’t matter to me, he lied. Today, I miss him. Today, I still have Charlie’s phone number. I know he’ll help me - I need his help. I dial the digits. It rings. And it rings. I wonder if he remembers the summer mornings, the evenings, the kiss. “Hello?” A familiar voice answers his phone. “It’s - it’s me, Tanya.” I almost forget what I wanted to call him for when I hear his voice. It has been two long years… “I need your help. Please, Charlie, it’s come back. I can’t get myself to eat anymore.” “Tanya, I thought you were okay, I thought...” He sounds confused, still upset, even, about how things between us turned out. “I thought you could handle it.” “I couldn’t,” I confess, “not without you.” love |ləv| “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] noun an intense feeling of deep affection "Some say love, it is a hunger, An endless aching need." - Bette Midler

Blood Oranges Michelle De Bruin There she sat, pale yet beautiful, arms outstretched, waiting for me to come - to join her. Even though her hair was tangled and her skin translucent, she still was the face of beauty. I admired her perfection until I noticed the rise and fall of her chest – she was breathing and I wasn’t. “You’re alive?” My question hung in the dry air, begging for moisture – enlightenment. I knew she had heard my question as her response was given by her sinister lips, penetrating my flimsy core. Streams of syllables sprouted from her mouth, trickled down her dainty chin and methodically dripped on the beaten floor. The slow sound of her sanity abandoning her ignited the hatred and madness which now blossomed in her malnourished brain. Her eyes swelled up with tears commemorating all the forgotten memories, promises and hopes we had once dreamt together with open eyes. All she wanted was to be loved and cared for, but, she did not understand. I only had one true love: my magic HEROin. “Speak to me!” The words were unleashed before I could barricade their path. Her bewildered stare turned towards me and all I could hear her mutter was one fatal word: why? The intense apathy, which lay behind her eyes, appeared in distorted fragments that clouded my vision. I gasped out for air, ravenously eating up the oxygen that had been branded with freedom. I could feel my lungs rejecting the precious gift it was presented with - it was as if the oxygen which flew with such grace was no longer compatible with my distressed and vital organs. Panic swelled in my core when I realised the inevitable: I was drowning; without water! A burning sensation boiled inside my chest, overflowing until it coated my body in a thick, impenetrable layer of smouldering ash. Everything I touched was a victim of my wrath, “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] deteriorating until it was nothing but a pile of burnt tears the objects had wept. I was invincible, a monster of malevolent design; no one could hide from me. Not even the ones I had loved. In the near distance, a fluorescent light switched on – she could have done it. The ground began to shiver as a lost, decayed city was rebuilt – she could have remembered it. The sun and moon embraced in the barren sky, setting it ablaze with the many colours that had once existed – she could have painted them. She could have done everything and anything had I not shared it. After all, it belonged to me: beautiful, crystalline and white. The sudden drip of the leaky faucet awoke me from my reverie. Vibrant flames and soulless ash which had dwelled in my world ceased to exist. They were gone – much like my mind. This was yet another side effect of my devoted affection towards my one true love. Even though the undying pain of what I had done pumped through my veins every second, this method of medication seemed to sooth it. It worked – nothing more, nothing less.

It was pure perfection. The damp, bleak room was a holding cell for all imagination which had once been discarded by their creators. It poisoned them with its sweet, intoxicating smell that made it unique in a questionable way. All that entered would never see the glorious scene of day break, feel the salty breeze of the ocean swim through the open skies, nor hear the endearing sound of young, innocent children laughing. It was so simple yet it made you wonder…

Was it really worth it? Questions flowed through my mind like silver humming fish sprouting from clear, crystal water. Every crevice of my tired brain was filled with the pure, knowledgeable substance. I had every single possible answer to all my dilemmas begging for opportunity at my stubby fingertips. But they hid, undisturbed, in a battered, brown, paper bag in a form of something painfully familiar:

Medical ‘sugar’! The sharp pin-prick of the needle victoriously defied all blissful thoughts that remained in my shattered mind. It wrapped the cold, transparent night around me until I felt my whole body pulse relentlessly. My only pathway to freedom was to allow my liquidized heaven to be released from its begrimed, cylindrical prison. A convict of mass murder was let loose on a crowd of unsuspecting hopefuls – capturing, or overpowering, anyone who tried to hinder his path. I was a fallen angel, altered by the impact of his fall…

Forever changed. The growing rhythm of the pouring rain grew stronger as I regained my consciousness - I had entered my false domain yet again. I could feel the moist, coarse surface of the soil, which slept underneath my beaten body, swim through my twig like fingers. The tranquil “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] water appeared to erode away all the vigilant layers that surrounded my infected core, drowning my thoughts, hopes and dreams until I was empty – bare. What it didn’t take, ridiculed me until I felt like a pawn in a game of destruction. The aim of the game was simple: erase myself from existence until I was nothing. Nothing but an empty shell waiting to be filled. I would remain vacant – incomplete - for eternity.

Past, present and future. A fresh, sweet smell awoke me from my deep slumber - the smell of blood oranges. I opened my fatigued eyes to see a pale, stunning face looking sombrely into mine. She had finally found me. Her green eyes were so vibrant that she would fool any individual that believed she was still awake, alive. I could smell her severe scent masking something incredibly revolting - it wasn’t divine fruit, it was oranges masking the scent of:

Blood! As my eyelids fluttered closed, I could feel a familiar explosion of heat erupt in my left arm. Startled, I opened my eyes to see a blood stained needle sleeping in her shaking hands. Her piercing eyes became blurred with tears and her long, curly eyelashes caught the escaping droplets. One thing was outspoken: her lips. A blood red mouth grinned jubilantly across her face as if she had conquered the Earth and its every inhabitant. I felt as if the world around me was being swallowed - taken away unwillingly. The only thing I could remotely sense was the movement of her lips and the sound that managed to escape them:

“Nothing...”

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

My Wife Brian Kim Every day is the same. I wake up, go to work, and go to sleep once more. I have been programmed like a robot… ever since the incident. I want to go try to live again, and then I remember her. Trying hard to forget it, I find it hard to socialize with the people around me. They look so peaceful….. On days off, I spend money to relieve stress: indulge in alcohol, smoking, even gambling. Look at me. I’m the epitome of sorrow. I want to go back to the days, where I existed. Where my life actually mattered - the time when she was with me. The words that come out of my mouth are here, written on this piece of paper, but I feel more agony than you can imagine. My days are now spent alone, in an old dark house. My heart calls out for her, but there is no answer; a stage performance with no audience. I’ve never felt so hopeless…… One night, when I was too angry and drunk, I couldn’t take it anymore. I decided to take the car and drive myself to my death. I thought to myself, “This is it”. I felt too much pain to go “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] on. I drive and I see a tree. Seeing it, I drive fast towards it, but in fear I begin to slow. I think to myself “No you idiot! Keep going, so I can no longer live in sorrow!” I begin to accelerate. My heart pounds at an alarming rate, and my mouth slowly cracks into a smile. CRASH! ….Now, I see the reaper. He led me to a place - a place where I could meet her. There she is: on top of the hill, where we first met! I run with a burning passion in my heart. There was no one that would’ve stood in my way in this moment. My arms reach out for her, my wife. Tears stream down my cheeks and all I can say is, “Honey I love you! Don’t leave me!” She answers with a “shhh” and puts her finger on my lips. “ Brian, you must go out and live your life. “ “But my life is nothing without you!” “Your first few months are going to be tough. You must go on through life and not look into the past.” “You’re all I need! Please! Please….” “Your time is running out. Thank you for coming through this way. I shall always love you and be with you” “I….will….too, Axelle…..” I couldn’t say anymore. I was crying bloody tears of sorrow and I couldn’t think anymore. I just held onto her tighlyt and didn’t let go if it would kill me. ********************************************** `When I woke up, I was sleeping on a soft, but thin bed. 2 sheets were on me, and I was connected to a nebulizer. The room was a bit dark green, and an apparatus of medical equipment were scattered on the desk. The light from the windows of the room blinded my eyes, so I closed my eyes for the time being. A few minutes later; I saw a lady which I assumed was a nurse walk in. When she saw me wake, she took off the nebulizer and told me this: “You will be able to leave in about 30 minutes.” After, she covers the windows with blinds and walks out the room. I just thought about what happened. Was it all a dream? What happened? “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] Shortly after, a boy from the hospital walked in. he was crying. I asked him, “What’s wrong?” While sniffling a little, he managed to get out the words, “I saw my friend die.” The situation was very new for me, for I really didn’t talk to children much. I knew I had to be nice, even if it wasn’t my business. “Listen, I know it’s tough in this world, but you have to move on with your life, start a new adventure. Remember kid, don’t be sad because it ended - be happy because it happened.” And then it hit me. It was so obvious that I don’t even know how I missed it. What I’m telling this boy is what I should’ve known ever since my wife died. I began to shed a tear a bit, then a couple, and after, I was crying. Not because I’m sad, but because I’m happy. I’m happy that it happened: My amazing wife, Axelle. Without hesitation, I opened my wallet and there was our wedding photo, and under the photo, it read: “I love you.” I just stared at it for a while, and said out loud “Thank you. Thank you for all the years you were with me.” ********************************************* I just finished packing our bags. We are planning to move now, to a better city, with breathtaking views. We drive to car into the countryside. I can’t wait to see the memories I’m going to have with him. I hope he will forgive me for all the years I left him with her family. “Are you excited about our new house?” I asked him. “Yup!” he said. We finally get there, and I get off the car. He follows after me into the house. He walks a few steps, but he trips. I guess he hasn’t perfected walking yet. I pick him up and carry him into our house. I see a huge smile on his face, which resembles me. This is when I start a new life with him - A person to live with and to give a hope, my pride and happiness. My son, Edgar.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

Succumb Esther Jin I had pleaded. Begged on my knees, for I had known no shame. I had picked at the chains until my nails had grinded away, my spindly fingers cloaked in countless flecks of dim rouge. I had very much longed to escape with the rest of them - to escape ‘The Judgment’. Thirst was a desire now - a passionate craving much like love- an unsatisfied greed that engulfed my starving soul. I was condemned to solitude, my eyes forever lost in a pathetic stampede for survival. My eyes! How much I missed them so. My sight – they had taken it away. How much fright I feel without it, you could not perceive in a lifetime. Pitch black. How the panic infects my mind, you would never know. My sight and my ragged voice had all ebbed away into utter nothingness. You would never know... But it had only been a day…the short, tortuous heat of the sun, then a grim night of furious gales and distant howls from the wolves of the wild. If God refused to accept the sacrifice of the people, the beasts from afar would. Death was not very far from me. I knew. It had been ever so true to me, unlike my own people. Chained to the altar like an animal, my subjects had abandoned me, hoping God’s haunting rage would be quenched by human offerings. Was I a mere tool unto which anger was unleashed? I silently prayed for a quick and painless transition to my grave. I felt my knees already giving way, prepared to bring me down with my stubborn honour – the only part of me that still held. Where was God? Take me now. Take me away. Mercy. *

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] Of course, mercy and sweet goodness in this time came with an extortionate fee. As I arose with much trouble at the dawn of the next day, I could not bring myself any higher from the ground than a resigned kneel. A fit of mad shivers racked my brittle frame as the gales built up power and force, reinforced with icy cold drizzle. I strained my keen ears for evidence of nearby human activity, but was rewarded instead with the bloodcurdling howls of the predators that roamed the land. With the breeze seemed to come the magnificent war cries of soldiers who shared my Azrian lineage. Although developing a strong, sturdy bond of relentless hate for others of my kind had come naturally following my detainment, it had been impossible to let go of the slim hope that my kingdom would savour victory against Crucia. The war that the Azrians would fight would be more bitter and bloody than most, and I could not help but wonder how our soldiers would fare without someone to lead their way. For five years, the Kingdom of Crucia, snarling at our border, had prepared for war, threatening our freedom. I had once been hailed as the Crown Prince, the King’s precious heir. With Mother, Father, and Eliz dead, how long would the Azrians last? I grimaced as a particularly malicious gust of wind tore across the landscape. How long would I last? The Judgment Storms were already brewing about the land, yesterday’s sticky heat having vanished without a trace. “Earthquakes and fires will follow the storms and the violent winds,” Havan, my tutor, had warned. “But after three months of absolute and fatal terror, it will all be over.” But he was dead, too. Every single individual who I had valued over my life had been murdered. I should have been thankful for not having shared their fate, but now I felt that a split second of lacerating pain would have sufficed for whatever sin that I committed to have been left behind like this. With the screaming of the wind finally came nightfall. I could feel the blackness through my lifeless eyes. The rain began to plummet down harder, and the once dainty slivers of water developed into sizeable droplets that dug into the skin. Despite the stinging pain, I could not help but display a triumphant grin as I gratefully embraced the merciful weather. I knelt on the hard cobblestones, and, with rather frightening enthusiasm and jubilance, drank from the heavily watered ground. The darkness was slowly dominating the land, and from all the nights that I remembered from my distant past, I knew that Azria’s moonless night was the darkest of the most vile, starless nights you could ever find. My blindness would not compare to the empty horror of the villagers of Edom, who had waded their way through the bewitched darkness to escape the terrain just a few nights ago. The wild beasts of Azria prowled around with the black curtain as cover, although I had never seen them quite reach the altar before they were spotted and slain. The creatures’ fear of the area was the only hope that I clung to for survival--I did not plan to see through a violent demise. As I was being lulled to another night of fitful sleep, a flash of light danced across my incapable vision. Thunder boomed from afar, and I was drenched in bitter cold rainwater in a matter of seconds. Even if my eyes had been functioning correctly, I would not have been able to make out my own arms and legs, flailing, floundering. Miniscule waterfalls cascaded down from above, filling my mouth with sweet, lukewarm water. It was an abhorrent experience. When the glowering skies soon perceived that I could take no more, the ground, the illnatured earth, began to shudder. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] The madness of it all triggered my once well-contained fear. In a moment of absolute panic and alarm, I attempted to wrench the chains from the altar. A maniacal laugh trespassed my lips into the outside world, but I was simultaneously wincing from the piercing pain that jolted through my arms. Slowly, I traced the thin crevices in my skin that had been created by the chains; they were filling up with blood. The ground rocked harder beneath my stumbling feet, and my heart gave a frightened leap as the chilling cries of panthers and wolves surrounded the area, mingling together to create a truly horrific symphony of eerie, depressing music. I wanted it to stop. I wanted everything to stop. I knew I would not last. Deafening explosions surrounded me as the shaking of the ground began, increasingly, to resemble an earthquake. Dust filtered through my blank eyes, clogging in my throat, throwing me into a painful fit of coughing. In a split second, the altar was in pieces. I let out a cry as the fragments sharply prodded my back, grazing the skin. The Columns of Rotunda, Azria’s pride, had been encircling the altar--now I heard them crashing down. With all the strength that I could muster, I let out a devilish caterwaul. I had asked for mercy, but never had I begged for cruelty. When a tumultuous and most unwelcome crash followed a moment of strange silence, I found that I could not feel my right leg. I blanched, realising the situation. I realised, but could not bring myself to believe--my lower limb was under a pile of unimaginably heavy stone. Psychological awareness led to the beginning of unearthly pain and agony. But I was free. Without a second thought, I wrenched myself from under the column that had pinned me down. There must have been suffering involved in this process, but there was not any that I perceived. As I stood up, I barely winced. However, I had been kneeling for too long. As a spurt of paraesthesia shot through my shaking knees, I felt the feeling in my legs return. With the severity of my injuries came a rush of overwhelming hurt and pain...not again. But never mind the injuries. How could I sit still with freedom just around the corner? I stood. I ran. I stumbled. I ran. I fell. I got back up. I ran. I couldn’t see. I was afraid. But I ran. I ran on. Then, I stopped. I stopped running. I couldn’t go on. I had to go back. That was when I knew. I still cared for my people. Even if they stoned me to death, I would still love them, I would still care. That was what it meant to be King. With King Laos dead, I was the new king. They were my people. I was their King. With renewed power, I slowly retraced my steps, forcing my resisting body to cooperate. Where was the altar? I got down on my hands and knees, groping around. After minutes of snagging the air, I finally reached out and felt the sharp remnants of the fallen altar. I knelt, and remembered those precious last words that Master Havan had choked out before he had challenged death: If only the people would learn of the importance of repentance and sacrifice.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] If only. In the last few days, I had asked forgiveness for my sins. I had pleaded to God. However, I did not think my people would. That was why I had come back. Forgive my people, God. I ran my fingers across the soft stone of the altar. Forgive my people. My tears were no secret now. I smiled and rose, stepping up onto the shards of marble that lay on the ground. That was where I genuflected, the fragments of the altar cutting into my knees. It stung, but I was not shaken. I took a deep breath. I was here to give my people what they had needed all along. Sacrifice. This was it. This would be my grave.

The True Pain Rukmini Menon

What is real pain? It isn’t what you find in an injury. The true pain is found in happiness … feeling a way that you know will never happen again. Thinking back and knowing it will never follow you! Never be with you! I feel true pain in this room. A room so bright and clean, blindness is overwhelming me. True pain is more than a feeling, it’s an experience you will never forget. In the corner - a figure? Could it be? NO! Why did they have to see me in this state? Warm tears shower me but they’re not mine. Tears burnt me like acid but not on my hand but in my heart. I could just close my eyes but it would add more pain and by now the pain was too harsh, watching your love ones breakdown in tears … why? Because of YOU. Tears blurred my eyes as a man’s voice called out, “ Sir, can I talk to you for a minute?” Why did they voice sound familiar- too familiar. Oh… it was him! He who put me in this bed! He who wanted me to die -but couldn’t go through with it. He who said he was helping but I knew he couldn’t wait till I was gone. Was he going to do something or was this a trap? Battling with the wires, I broke free. Wobbling, I ran and then finally decided to crawl, dragging my body using my hands. I came to a halt! My eyelids flickered … then Darkness. ...with crowded streets and strange faces! Corn dog! Cotton Candy! The rest was blurry. The whole place was quiet, so quiet that I could hear my heart beating. I can’t tell you where I was “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] for peculiar reasons. There was Sparks flying and a show. So called freaks, all lined up in cage while the rest watch and laugh. One stood out in particular. Everything was normal, except for one thing: his eyes so beautiful and bright, changing in each phase that the whip told him to do. No one knew this but I could see it in his face. Blue, he was frightened, Red, he was angry, green, He envied the rest, white, he was confused, then black he wanted to be normal. It was simple but strange. “Strange”. He hated that word. “Fun”. He didn’t understand that word. “Special”. He loved that word. “Paranormal”. He was that word … but I was too! I woke up to those eyes today. I stared at them. White. I looked away but then sat down. “What?” I screamed at the person. “You tell me!” my reflection replied. “I don’t know what happened…”I started, not realizing that it was me, “Except for the fact that he is gone…” “ No, He isn’t gone. He’s still here.” said a voice behind me. A frown grew over my face. “You’re sick”, my brother told me. “What?” “Yes, you’re going to stay here for a week…” His eyes flickered from blue to black…it wasn’t every day that he let his eyes change. “He was here!” I said knowing that “he” was a scientist. “Yes, but you know that, right?” my brother replied impatiently. “You told him!” “Yes!” It was all over; I turned back to those eyes I saw in the morning then realized that it was just my reflection. A sigh came from behind me and I knew what he meant by “you’re sick”. ‘I was going insane! My brother was turning me into what he wanted to be … normal. He forgot about how it was our secret and I realized that we would be lab rats. They would find out, test us then kill us then look for more but for now they only thought that we were the last. The world would be in Chaos, innocent people taken for testing. I went to my backpack which was on the coffee table, ready for the end. I took out the purple vial. Poison, the purple liquid sloshed around as I poured it into 2 cups. My brother drank first, not wanting to see me die. Putting it to my lips, I hesitated and the door opened and I was knocked to the floor! I sucked the spilt poison and closed my eyes. Darkness!!! Purple meant understanding. Watching up front, I decided that now was the time. Purple was the colour he wanted to see. Purple was the colour I showed him. Just a glance; a shove and a quick dash! The steps he took to be with me! The last ones of our kind … Or not!

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

Love Anika Huibers I toss and turn all night. I can’t stop thinking about her (Caroline). Her long,curly black hair and appealing dimples… “NO!” I tell myself. I can’t like her. She is the biggest loser in the school. If people find out that I have a crush on her, my reputation will get ruined. Argh, can’t anyone like anybody for who they are? I am so sick of hiding this secret. I know what I’ll do!!! I will ask my older sister (Amelia) for advice tomorrow. With that I fall back to sleep... “Hi Mom, hi Dad, hi Amelia”, I joyfully state the next morning. My mom and dad turn to each other and give each other ‘the look’. “What?” I nervously ask them. “What’s going on Peter?” My mom asks me in a weird way. “Wh-what do you mean?” I stutter. I give Amelia a look that asks for help. “So, did any of you guys have any interesting dreams?” Amelia changes the subject. “Actually, I had the weirdest dream,” I begin, “I was dreaming about a gir- um about great monsters. Yeah, that’s what I was dreaming about. Monsters that save the world!” I lie... After that I think, I really have to train myself not to mess up.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] ************************** “Oh that’s right! We have the poems that we have to read out loud.” I exclaim to Tad, my best friend at school in english class. “Good morning class.” Mrs. Rakochy states. “Good morning Mrs. Rakochy.” The whole class recites in union. “Today we are reading aloud some poems,” she continues, “First up is Andersen, Peter.” That’s me! I walk up to the front of the class… “The poem that I chose is called “Love”: Love is not a thing to understand. Love is not a thing to feel,” I look up and catch Caroline’s eye. I feel the blood rush to my cheeks, “Love is not a thing to give and receive,” my voice is shakey “Love is a thing only to become and eternally be. By Sri Chinmoy.” Everybody applauds and I head back to my seat.

On the bus on the way home I think about Caroline. I have to ask Amelia for advice but what if she laughs at me? I question myself: isn’t she my bigger sister? Doesn’t she have to show me be being a good example? Yeah!!! I could back myself up by telling her that! Maybe it won’t be that bad. When I get home, I see Amelia in the living room with my parents. I take a deep breath. “Amelia, I need to speak to you.” I whisper to her. “What do you want?” she exclaims in a loud voice. “I need to speak to you in private”, I whisper to her. “Oh” she answers back lowering her voice this time. “Come.” I say to her signaling the way to my room. I get nervous and sweaty. You can’t do this! The devil blurts out. Yah you can! My angel exclaims. Yes you can! I murmur to myself. I open the door to my room, let Amelia in, close and lock the door to my room. “Um...I have to tell you something.” I nervously declare. “Sure. I’m here for you.” Amelia calmly agrees. WOW!!! I thought that she was going to be very mean to me! “Um, well... you see I have been having trouble with something.” I blurt out. “Oh no! are you being bullied?” “NO!” I scream covering my mouth right after noticing that I made a huge mistake. “Your friend?” “No!” “Your teacher?” “No!” “Oh I know! Is it a girl?” Amelia questions with a smirk. I can feel the blood rushing up to my cheeks as I try to hide them. “Aha! It is a girl!” Amelia shouts with a smile from ear to ear. “SHHH!!!” I exclaim with my eyes as big as an owl’s. “Opps!” She whispers covering her mouth in alarm. I hear my father’s footsteps. “What’s going on?” My father asks behind the locked door. “Um,” My sister continues. “There is this new game that we play in school that we have to guess what the...you wouldn’t understand. You’d have to be in school to understand it.” “Ok. Whatever you say...” My father murmurs. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] The room is silent. I look at her and she looks at me. I frown at her. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to say it that loud and plus I think he bought it,” Amelia proudly states. There is another silence. “So who's the lucky girl?” Amelia breaks the silence. “What? Oh. Um...Caroline” “Why is that a problem?” “The thing is...um, she is kind of...” I struggle to admit it, “She’s not at the top of the food chain.” “Oh, now I get it. Is this some kind of ‘if I like her, my reputation will get ruined’ type of thing?” “Well”... “Yeah it is.” Amelia interrupts me. “Well, I don’t really like to put it that way, but that’s not the point. What would you do in a situation like this?” I ask her. “Believe it or not, this has also happened to me once,” she reluctantly admits. “I just went with what my gut told me to do. I asked him out.” “Really?” I question in surprise, “How did it turn out?” “I am going to let you figure out how it usually goes.” Amelia decides. “But”... “No buts”, Amelia interrupted. Why does she have to be that way?

When my sister leaves the room, I get on the computer. Peter’s awesome: Hey bro Tad 1234: Sup? Peter’s awesome: i hav 2 confess something. Tad 1234: what Peter’s awesome: its about who i like. Tad 1234: ok? This is going to be harder than I thought. Peter’s awesome: umm... Tad 1234: I also have to tell u something but you go first Peter’s awesome: Ok Tad 1234:... Peter’s awesome: I like Caroline Tad 1234: well i don’t see any reason not to like her. That put a smile on my face. Peter’s awesome: What were you going to say? Tad 1234: Nothing Peter’s awesome: oh ok. what should i do? Tad 1234: Ask her out!!! Peter’s awesome: really? Tad 1234: yah! i won’t think any less of you! Peter’s awesome: ok! thnx man! Tad 1234: No prob!

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

When I get to school, I head to Caroline. I am so nervous. “Um, hi Caroline” I greet her. “Oh hi, Peter” She squeaks. “Sup?” I ask her. “Nothing much.” “Do you want to go out with me?” The words slip out of my mouth without me knowing. “What? Like on a real date? YEAH!!!” she squeals. “Oh ok,” I say with a grin on my face, “How about Friday night?” “Sure!” She smiles from ear to ear. When I walk into Maths class, I see Tad smiling at Caroline and she is smiling back at him. What’s going on? After Maths class, I talk to Tad. “Hey. What’s going on?” I ask him. “What do you mean?” He asks with a puzzled face which I might say looked really real but I know it isn’t. “Come on man you know what I mean. You’re hitting on my girl!” I blurt out. “No! You don’t understand I-” I storm away before he could even finish his sentence. I don’t speak to him for two weeks and finally I decide to say something. I get on the computer. Peter’s awesome: Hey Tad 1234: hi r u still mad at me? Peter’s awesome: idk Tad 1234: i’m telling u i wasn’t hitting on your girl! Peter’s awesome: then what were you doing? Tad 1234:you will think that I am lying but i am telling the truth. I was happy for you to be with her and she was telling me how happy she was. I would never hit on your girl!!! Peter’s awesome: Oh really? sry. Tad 1234: ok Friday night... Ten minutes after I get to the cinema she gets here. It starts to snow right after she comes out of the car. She has a beautiful dark purple dress with a small black sweater on, her blue eyes are beaming and her eyelashes are starting to get white as the snowflakes fall on them. I will remember this moment for the rest of my life...

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

The Mission Matthew Chung BANG! The explosion emanates from all around and despite the fact that I’m about 50 yards away, I felt the unmistakable feeling: the shockwave that’s so powerful it knocks you back slightly; the fierce heat -like torrent of hot flame flowing towards my face and the unmistakable sound which leaves ringing in your ears for hours after. Bushes all around me burst into flame and the tropical canopy seemed to scatter embers from their branches like rain. GO! I felt my brain tell the rest of my body. It kicked itself into overdrive, diving forward and sprinting through the smoke and through the giant steel doors that blocked my access to the military fortress. In mid run, I reached into my pack and hurled a big package with a detonator

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] on it. The package flipped through the air a couple of times; the electromagnetic sensors instantly attached it to the great flat steel slabs. My body ached, my lungs burned for breath and the smoke was not helping. The humid air condensed my breath in front of my face. Fighting through exhaustion, I hurriedly yanked the thick rubber mask over my face and threw myself into a roll, tumbling behind a giant pile of crates. I took cover behind the furniture; crouching under a cornucopia of credenzas as I counted down in my head: 3…2…1… I heard a muffled boom, and the screeching of steel as the great steel doors were ripped off their hinges. I removed my hands from my ears. Besides a slight ringing and being a tad disorientated, I felt fine. I rose from the mass of charred wood scraps. The furniture had shielded me amazingly well. I then jogged to the remains of the door. The part of the door the package attached itself to… was completely disintegrated. There was nothing left. Zero. Zilch. Kaput. The remnants of the door were drooping over in a fashion that I can only describe as… droopy. The intense heat had literally melted the door to look like water in midflow. I was tempted to just stay and examine it, but I had a mission. I leapt over the sizzling remains and ran for the fortress itself. The fortress was HUGE. A grey block of concrete, cement and at least 20 meters of thick steel along with the best technology on the planet! I decided from here on out to use the explosion as a diversion and just sneak in from there quietly. I felt the metal soles of my combat boots slide smoothly and silently along the crumbly ground, my face in my mask was heavy with sweat and lack of good air. Cracked pieces of the fortress’ great outer wall lay in debris. The air was thick with the hot, sour smell of electricity. The ground was caked with seared crumbly bits of the wall that crumbled off the huge sizzling blocks like crumbs from a cake. I ducked under the cover of the smoke and crawled in between the rocks. The rocks and smoke would not only hide my heat signature, but also shield me from cameras and soldiers coming to investigate.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] Sure enough, as I thought it, I heard shouts of alarm as soldiers came to investigate. A few were pointing their guns in different directions, while others were kicking at the burnt remains of the door and the wall. Others were trying to salvage what they could from the crates and furniture where I had sheltered from the exploding door. I went prone. Dropping down on my stomach, I inched along using my arms and legs. From what I could see, the soldiers didn’t have much in terms of equipment: a Kevlar vest each, pistol, M80 automatic rifle and a few grenades. None carried a gas mask as I did now, so they couldn’t come after me without being suffocated by the thick black fumes. I soon reached a pile of rocks big enough for me to stand and still be shielded from the smoke. I sat, peeling the heavy mask and face wrap off my head. Sweet air filled my lungs and I felt better. I pulled my locater out of my belt. The screen said I was only two meters away from the vent, but I had to keep my strength up. It wasn’t often that I could relax on a mission for an hour or so but I knew I couldn’t stay that long if I wanted to. I donned the pack; mask and face wrap, and put my water bottle back along with the locator. It was time to get moving again. I was never a stealthy person, but I established the slow tread I had used ever so many times on missions that had strictly forbidden confrontation. Soon enough, I had found a vent. A heating vent by the looks of it, and obviously being out in a tropical area it was very much useless. I pulled a crowbar out of my backpack and jammed it into the one of the slits. There was no need to worry about noise as the rocks and smoke would help muffle it. I took a deep breath, gripped the handle, and wrenched. The vent lid came off with a loud shriek of metal. I climbed into the hole and pulled the vent back into place; sealing it with a special issue tube of adhesive specifically used for stealth ops like this one. I crawled through the ducts; every now and then looking through the holes to see what room it was in. I followed the instructions: Laboratory – go right, training room – left. Finally I came to a stop at a room with a giant computer and screen in one corner. I observed the room. 10 Heavily armed soldiers were patrolling with automatic rifles I felt myself grin with excitement. This was where the real fun began. I chucked a grenade to either side of my place in the vent and covered my ears… An ear splitting boom rocked the facility. I felt my body fall from the vent. I landed, rolled and got to my feet. The 10 soldiers circled me. I observed them in a split second. These men were still shell shocked and perhaps a bit disoriented by the blast. They didn’t even have their guns “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] up yet! I took my chance. I drew my platinum handgun. I couldn’t kill on any circumstances. I was however allowed to…incapacitate them. I fired off 20 rounds in a circle, disabling all their rifles and pistols. They did, as any proper soldier would’ve: they dropped their disabled weapons and pulled out all sorts of melee weapons: knives, coshes, wire garrottes. I immediately put my hands up for combat. That is where the fun started. One man took his chance. He stepped forward to throw a right hook at my head. I ducked and grabbed his arm. Twisting his arm, I spun around, causing him to flip onto his head. There was a crack and I knew he was down for the count. The next man hurled his wire garrotte at my neck. I dive – rolled forward - flipping onto my back and firing a round at him arm and leg. He clutched his arm as he sank to ground in agony. The next man attempted a knife throw at my torso. I jumped to avoid it and front kicked him into a table. He skidded over in a heap. I spun round and performed a devastating roundhouse kick, smacking the side of my foot into the temple of another one of my assailants. Unconsciousness was immediate. He toppled over into a box of glass bottles and fell. Crash! The room seemed to rain glass for a second or two. The next 3 came at me in one go; their meaty arms open to engulf in a bear hug. I processed the situation in a second: if they got me in their clutches they would probably have me die by asphyxiation – suffocating. I needed to get out of their little circle before the 3 burly men crushed me. I kicked off the wall for extra inertia, ramming my shoulder into the middleman’s stomach. He sprawled onto the floor and I tumbled away and got to my feet. I knew security would arrive soon; I had to end it quickly. I drew my pistol, inserted a new clip and in 5 successive shots, sent the rest of men to the floor. They moaned loudly as they all curled reflexively into balls. I pulled a decoder out of my backpack and placed it on the big computer’s dashboard. It whirred and blipped for about 10 seconds and the two words flashed on the screen: Computer Hacked. I typed through the files found what I was looking for - enough evidence to keep these terrorists away for a lifetime: blueprints for bombs, orders for weaponry, drugs, food, supplies. But best of all, the 20 bank accounts all containing a bare minimum of 20 million US dollars each. It was tempting, but I knew it wasn’t mine to keep. I pulled out my laptop and downloaded the files into it. Then I quickly put the bank account with the largest amount of money under my name and sent the other 19 trillion US dollars to various charities all around the world. Every well-known charity in the world just got an anonymous donation, the charities stretching from world vision to amnesty international. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] The blaring of sirens cut through my daydream. A mechanical voice said the base was to self – destruct in T-minus 30 minutes. I shoved the laptop into my pack, pulled in on, and sprinted for the door. I rugby tackled scientists and soldiers aside as I sprinted for the door. To stop was to die. Apparently everybody else knew that too as they weren’t making any effort to stop me. I swerved a corner, away from the frantic mob, and found an emergency roof exit. Perfect, I thought. Before I ascended the ladder, I heaved a giant metal canister out of my pack and onto the floor. I kicked it away. I rolled down the corridor, being herded by many in the mob. I climbed swiftly up onto the roof. I saw the edge and knew the mission was almost over. The climb had taken at least half an hour in my opinion. The epiphany cut me short. Half an hour, 30 minutes! This thing could explode any second! I set off in a sprint towards the edge of the wall. I felt the ground begin to rumble and the base literally began to crack. I hurled myself over the side of the building and began falling to the ground. Teeth gritted, I pulled my goggles on and reached to my pack, feeling for a small red handle. I yanked it. PHOOP. The parachute billowed out of my pack and I swooped back up into the air. I guided the parachute via my handles over the exploding fortress and down into the canopy of the forest. My parachute drifted. Down into the thick canopy and the foliage…I pressed a button on my headset. “Base”, I said, “ I have the files, I’m airborne and now flying toward the extraction point. “Copy that,” The colonel’s voice crackled to life in my ear. “Proceed to the extraction point. Good job and good to have to you back” I smiled. Good to be back colonel, I thought. Good to be back.

Father’s Happiness Tina Inada Once, there was a girl. The girl lived with her father and her mother. One day her mother died, because she was heavily sick. That sickness couldn’t heal. The girl and her father cried. A month later, the girl became happy, but her father didn’t. The girl told him, “Are you happy?” “Hmm... no.” he said. The girl thought and said, “Yes! I will travel by myself.” “What? Where are you going? Don’t go!” he shouted. “Don’t worry father. I will come back.” she said and got ready to travel. “Secrets” 2013

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Next day, she got up early. She brought a lot of water and food. She put these in the backpack and she left home. Her father still didn’t get up. Her father got up. “Oh my God! She has already left home. I couldn’t say farewell to her... Hmm what is this?” He found piece of paper. It was from the girl. ‘Sorry father. I want to find your happiness. See you again.’ The girl arrived at one town and she met a man. The man is old, but he wore a suit. “Hello, little girl. Did you come from another town?” the man said. “Hello. I haven’t been here before. What’s famous in this town?” the girl asked. “This is a rich town! Rich people live here.” the man declared. “Is there happiness here?” she asked. “Sure! People are happy every day. You can live here.” the man invited the girl. “It’s ok, because I am looking for my father’s happiness. I think my father’s happiness is not here.” the girl replied. “Ok... We have money, but we can’t buy everything...” The man felt sad. The girl arrived at the next town. A woman greets the girl. The woman is youthful. She has many papers, maybe it is for work. “Hello. I came here first time. What is famous in this town?” she asked. “Very kind people live in this town.” the woman replied. “Are you guys happy?” she said. “Yes! We are so happy, but why do you ask like this?” she said. “Because I look for my father’s happiness, but I think his happiness is not here.” the girl replied. “Why? Why is it not here? If you live here, you will become happy.” the woman said. “I don’t know my father’s happiness, but it is not here.” she answered. “Fine. I wish you can find your father’s happiness.” the woman said. “Thank you.” she replied and left the town. The girl arrived at another town. A boy came up to her. The boy is shorter than her. He wore a colourful character t-shirt. “What are you doing at this town?” the boy asked. “I am travelling for my father’s happiness. What is famous in this town?” she said. “Hmm... I think this town is fun!” the boy replied. “Fun? Why?” she enquired. “Because this town has a lot of parks, entertainment and a circus.” the boy answered. “If we have a lot of parks, entertainment and circus, can we become happy?” she said. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] “I don’t know, but I’m happy, because those things are always next to me.” the boy said. “Fathers like things? I like fami... Oh! I think I found it!” she shouted. “What? I don’t know what you found, but good luck!” the boy said. “Thank you for giving me a hint.” she said and left town. The girl arrived where there is happiness for her father. “Father! I found your happiness!” she shouted. “Your happiness is here!” she said. “Yeah. My happiness is you! My happiness is living with my family!”

THE END

Home Yunsung Kang Discrimination. This is cancer to your mind. Like the illness itself, it will grow worse and worse. However, what seems bad can also be the cure… Once you find your real home with your, “real family” your disease will fade away. Your family has gone through the same things, hatred, discrimination, and being left with no choice. The people that are hideous and impure on the outside have the same inner qualities as you. They are just looking for acceptance. Now you both found your home. And nothing will “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] separate you and your family until these words are forced upon you: “You are free now free to go…home.” My name is Mark D’Angelo Martinez and you are about to go through the events that made me a better human being! **************************************** Nothing is more overwhelming than a hoard of people surrounding you and asking questions. The beaming flashes of cameras blinded me as I walked the path into the court. “Mr. D’Angelo, were you alone that night of the murder?” one cameraman asked. Pretending not to notice, I walked along answering the question in my head. Remembering the cold crisp windy night… The first face to come up in my head was my boss Hoyt. Insane person he was. Didn’t care one bit about his men. “It’s all on you,” was the last thing he said to me after the incident. Nothing seemed real when Hoyt butchered the patrol officer (Sargent DW Cunningham was the name). Now, when I step into the courtroom, I will have to face the looks on his family members’ faces as I try to make up as much lies as can to protect Hoyt and frame myself. Why? Because I lost everything and there is no reason to go on in life. “Let it begin, Mark D’Angelo Martinez is your lawyer present?” Throughout the session, I kept having the same flashbacks of the night. To make it clear, it was not my fault, but I had to make it look like it was. And that was the hard part: looking into the eyes of the widowed wife of the deceased Sargent, and telling everyone that I, for no reason, slaughtered her husband. “Well then you’re saying that you admit it was you?” The judge asked when I said everything. Managing to get the judge to believe me, I whispered a “yes.” “Well then the case is resolved. Mark D’Angelo Martinez, you are sentenced to prison for seventy years for the murder of a federal officer. After all the pain I went through two guards took me away… ***********************************

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] Some people have terrible stories from prison. They’ve seen things that changed them forever. For me, as a person with no family, I kind of want change no matter how bad it is. There was a cold misty, but familiar smell as I entered the cell room. The scent was familiar enough to give me a deja-vu moment. Then I realized that this was the musty sort of smell that lurked, as my family along with about five hundred people was crossing over illegally into America hoping for a better life. Even though it was hard and scary it was still one of the only happy memories I had. Strangers worked with each other; encouraged each other; told each other to go on. How there always is a light in darkness... But why is that exact scent here in a random prison with people like me whom are considered animals? Walking into the prison, I was expecting the noise level to be very loud and see prisoners beating each other up. Instead it was just silent. People were eating, some sleeping, and quite a few of them were arm wrestling with each other. There was one thing about this prison. Everyone like me was a Latino. “Seems like you will be staying here for a while,” said the officer who escorted me to the cell. “It would be a good idea to get to know the others.” “Talk in Spanish if you would like, everyone in here will understand, HA HA HA!” The officer found it hysterical, but I did not. When he went off I inspected my cell. There was a bed, a toilet, and a mirror. There was a stench but not as bad as I thought it would be. Maybe spending the rest of my life here would be better than working for a criminal organization, earning $300 month, and being looked down upon the society. “Your name?” A rather young Latino asked. “Who me? Mark, Mark D’Angelo Martinez.””You?” “Hernando Englasa.” So you’re the new guy here eh?” “What happened to you that got you in this situation?” I replied, “What’s yours?” “Oh, you see a couple of months ago I was caught in the middle of a deal. I worked for a gang. But I had no choice. I escaped Mexico by myself with no family, and I needed to get money somehow. When I heard this from Hernando I forgot all of my depression I had in me. “I feel your pain man.” I replied. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] “So what is your story?” He asked again but this time with more impatience. Starting from the escape to America I told Hernando everything. How I had nothing in America, how my parents were killed, and how I ended up in jail because of my boss. After hearing this, Hernando was speechless; he asked curiously, “Why didn’t you confess to the police that you weren’t guilty?” I replied as if he was a student, “You see Hernando the thing is out there, I had nothing. I literally lived in a homeless shelter. Also if I did get my boss in jail, he would himself or use one of his men to hunt me down.” “Hey you two get your butts over here.” said a very ripped man. “That’s Dennis our top dog. Let’s go it’s lunchtime. You should tell Dennis your story he will be fascinated.. *************************************** Walking up to a 6 foot 4 ripped prisoner was terrifying but there was something about this person that did not give me fear. “Tell us your story.” I began and told everyone not only at our table, but the entire room. After I finished Dennis looked at me in awe. “You seemed to have gone through a lot in your life. Alright boys enough chatting it’s eating time.” During the meal, all of the other prisoners told their story to me. And they were all pretty similar to mine. They were just looking for acceptance. Every single meal felt like a Christmas dinner. The way Dennis treated the other men was as if he was a brother to them all. Instead of using his strength for bad, he used it to keep everything in control. During a specific dinner, Hernando asked me, “Do you have any hobbies?” I replied, “Ever since I was a child I loved cars. I did learn about fixing them from a fellow mechanic.”

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] Dennis overheard me and said something that I never forgot even until this day. He said, “Brother, if you ever go back out there, pursue your dream.” ************************************************* It has been six months since I was sent to jail. On September 11 th, 1992 the chief of the police department came in and asked, “Who here is Mark D’Angelo Martinez?” I replied, “I am sir.” “You’re free to go home! We found evidence that it was Hoyt Dragovich that killed Sargent DW Cunningham. Even though you are in his criminal organization, you had recently signed up and had done nothing wrong. Therefore you have no criminal record so we have no choice but to send you home. “Sir, please don’t make me go out there.” “Have you simply gone mad? You are not guilty and you want to stay in jail? Why?” Dennis came over and told me, “Brother you have a life that you’re mother died to give you. There is a purpose for everything. We are one family. But now, you have to go out there and pursue your dreams. I knew that Dennis cared for me so I followed the chief out of the cell room. As soon as I was out, Hernando yelled something, but the only word I heard was “Car!” I knew exactly what he meant. ********************** Once again, I had lost my family but this time I made a different choice. Those scarred, hideous, and absolutely ruined people had given me strength to go on. I used the memories in jail as a battery to keep me going. I remembered what Hernando and Dennis told me. I pursued my dreams and got a job fixing cars. I worked for little pay but I kept the words of my brothers in my head. After 3 years of hard work as a mechanic I got a job at a car company. I did all of this without a degree. Every week I visited the jail and told everyone about my achievements. Everyone was proud and once Hernando started to cry tears of joy over the phone when I had told him about working for a car company

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

I was sent to jail at a point in my life where I had no hope, joy, or even the will to go on in life. However, in jail everyone had gone through the hardships that I had. We were one family, looking for acceptance in the world. They had given me the power to go on in life. Without them, I wouldn’t have pursued my dreams. That is the story my friends of how I, a hopeless person, found my home, found acceptance, and when the day came for me to leave, I left with a smile on my face and pursued my life with the joy that these people - who are looked down upon by society - have given me.

The Walls James Oh May 10th, 2013 “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” ― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

People say life is a brick wall, a mud pit, or maybe a slippery road. Life always challenges you night in and night out. Some say that its challenges are much like mazes: they only last for so long until one mix and matches the components of life. Only a selected few turn out to be successful businessmen and pursue their dream job. Thus, who is the victor and who is the defeated in this incessant race? For me, well… life! Life itself is a challenge and I am ready to encounter the biggest of challenges. There was once a brilliant 47 year-old man. He adored his beloved wife and his only son more than anything else in the world. Unfortunately, he had a very wretched childhood. His dad had died of lung cancer due to heavy smoking and an overdose of ‘bad stuff’. In the following years, his mother went on a ‘business trip’ when he was 5 years old and never came back. Despite his strains and struggles, he had a very cheery, favourable attitude. He won scholarships year after year and won a number of awards through charitable activities. Currently, he is a successful English writer and playwright. There was another man that was raised in the same district. Anyhow, he had a very different family background. His parents were multimillionaires (well, his dad was) and his mom… well she was just there. Regardless of their tremendous wealth, he wasn’t very contented throughout his childhood. He was never pleased with the presents he received, the education, the food and his extravagant life. It was difficult for his parents to put up with him. Therefore, he was abandoned and left alone. Well I am the ‘other’ man. The bright man above, was my father. Losing my father was doubtlessly the biggest challenge that I had to face as a kid growing up. Growing up, I was bullied and excluded from groups for my scrawny appearance and my introverted personality. I never had the confidence to say something or stand up to them. I felt if I was a wasted life. Even so, I knew that I could use these inevitable challenges to my advantage. I devoted a 110% to everything I did. I told myself, “If you’re not going to give it all you have, don’t even try in the first place.” I started from nothing to something in a matter of a couple of years. I started from no supporters and no wealth. More importantly, I started trusting myself. ‘They’ said I couldn’t do it. ‘They’ doubted me time and time again. I was booed relentlessly and was discouraged by many of the people I love. Hence, one thing remains for sure; people will always doubt my attainments and me throughout life. Great success always comes with considerable hatred. In the end, nobody will count the number of times you failed, but your countless successes. As a result, there is one lesson to be learned: Life is way too short for unforeseen miracles or happy endings. On that “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] account, track for miracles, instead of letting them come. Work to pursue your dreams rather than dreaming. For in the end, everything will pay off. Case closed, I turned my life around. I went from being a skinny outcast in school to being a loving father…unlike the second man in this story; the one who should have had it all! Many people ask me what motivated me to be who I am today. Nevertheless, my answer is ceaselessly the same. I, myself am a work of art and art itself. I worked for my current position and withstood the very challenges of life. I am a loving father with three kids and a wife. I am in the midst of the longest career of my life: family. Work will only last for so long, but family lasts forever. Most importantly, I am proud to be myself and not anyone else. Yet, one question remains…. Who exactly am I?

I am anyone that I choose to be!

Nature vs. Nurture Sean Park “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] On a bitter cold winter day, I plopped down on a couch next to a burning fire with a cup of warm hot chocolate. During my pleasant moment of peace, a knock on the front door arrested my attention. As I opened the door, I found myself in front of a young boy. This lad’s clothes were noticeably split apart and torn into rags—either by the effects of stumbling or from falling numerous times on his knees and elbows. In addition, his clothes were stained with mud, giving him a grotesque smell that clogged my nostrils. It seemed as though he had rolled around in a pigpen filled with mud and cow manure. His eyes were red from crying and the tearstains against his cheeks were very visible. Just below his right knee, there was a repulsive red cut that caused a trail of blood to follow behind his footsteps. He limped across the doorsteps and mumbled, “Sir, I apologize for disturbing you, but I am terribly hungry.” I calmly replied, “Do you have a home?” “No, sir” After hesitating, I let the poor boy in. He immediately stumbled into the bathroom, taking his shoes off with a great effort. The sound of running water filled my ears, and I assumed that the boy was taking a shower. Meanwhile, I began making some food for the poor lad. I began to wonder… •

Should I naturally assume that this child has been through tough times in his life and help him?

Could bad people have nurtured this child to be evil on the inside and innocent on the outside?

Should I test him to make sure that he is an innocent person or should I naturally trust him? My thoughts were interrupted when the boy asked for clothes. As a grown man, my closet

didn’t have any clothes that would fit the child. Consequently, the boy found himself wearing the

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] remnants of an old shirt, which suited him quite nicely. A belt prevented his shorts from being pulled down by the force of gravity. I found myself eating small portions of food as the boy gulped his down as fast as a bull chasing a red cape. I was not bothered. After all, the young fellow cleaned his own mess and voluntarily washed the dishes. In fact, I came out of the bathroom to find them placed neatly on the dish rack and him nowhere to be found in the kitchen. I found him sound asleep in the guest room. Thankfully, this gave me a chance to resume my thoughts of this child’s innocence. I had two options: either trust him or test him. My first option was to naturally trust this lad. After all, he was never rude (except when he ate his food with a total lack of manners). In addition, he had even washed the dishes and left the bathroom floor spotless after his long shower. Every part of this kid was a representation of innocence, tempting me to take care of him. However, anybody can act sincerely in the outside, while still having a vast amount of evil in his or her heart. This is where my second option comes in handy. This boy could have been nurtured by his surroundings so I should test him. As an elderly person, I have been through many experiences in life, including overlooking the negative aspects of a person. As a result, instead of a path of happiness, it led me to a path where I was struck by evil when it was least expected, causing me to be very cautious of other people. Therefore, I considered a test such as sending the kid on a minor errand that would ensure the child’s innocence and worthiness to be taken care of. The phrase, “safety first!” is in fact true, which triggers my brain to test this child. Soon. *** As I settled into bed that night, my mind was full of the very words of The Ruthless Oppressor. “(slap) Listen to me very carefully... (slap slap) you are going to “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] infiltrate that pumpkin looking house, and pickpocket his wallet (slap). If you don’t succeeded this mission in a week. You will find your flimsy body strapped on to the floor with a pendulum attached to a razor hovering over you! (slap) Unless you want your flimsy body sliced up into millions of pieces, go pickpocket that fat rat!” After my gruesome flashback, there was only one feeling in my mind—confusion. This elderly man never hurt anyone, which lead me to think why on earth would he deserve to be harmed? The smell of breakfast directed my feet to the kitchen the next morning. As I entered the room, I found myself staring at a plate of French toast covered by the yellow yolk of an egg. This masterpiece caused my body to twitch as the mouth-watering combination of maple syrup, eggs, and toast entered my mouth. In addition, my food was accompanied by a flavourful glass of orange juice. Once again, I remained puzzled. Not a slight sense of guilt was portrayed by this man and he didn’t attempt to harm me at all. Committing a crime against an innocent person was definitely against the morals of my own rulebook. However, the thought of having a razor slice through my body was a threat never to be left aside. *** After providing a large portion of food to this young lad, I decided test the trustworthiness of this boy. The French toast I had donated to him was my last loaf of bread. That being the case, I

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] provided this child with a half dozen British Pounds to allow him to buy two loaves of bread for me. The young lad seemed quite perplexed as I gave him directions to the bakery shop two blocks away. The boy set off to accomplish this errand but his feet were not heading in the right direction, but instead to an old hut that was polluted with dirt and a foul smell. As an old resident of my house in this neighbourhood, I had witnessed just about every change that occurred in this area. However, the contaminated house always remained a mystery to me. After all these years, my knowledge of this area never reached vital information about the hut. Until now, if anyone asked me if I knew the owner of the unsanitary house, my reaction provided one word: cluelessness. The filthy hut had cracked windows, lined up to make two parallel rows around the house. It was accompanied by loose window shutters. Furthermore, the front door dangled loosely on one joint while a wave of graffiti permanently stained the walls. As a matter of fact, this house looked as if a merciless gang had vandalized it. Despite the unwelcoming appearance, the boy slipped inside the dusty shed. Minutes later, the young lad appeared dumbfounded as he crept out of the hut.

*** Fast. I needed to make an excuse fast. First of all, The Ruthless Oppressor swiped the six pounds out of my hands and I still didn’t have a single piece of bread. Secondly, I needed to quickly gain this man’s trust to make my assignment easier. However, before I managed to even step foot in the house, I found my hands cuffed by two policemen. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] I knew that it was finally over…

Escape Paul Kim “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] SPLASH-SPLASH-SPLASH! As I crawl through the cold and quiet night, I stop ... then think. I have a countless number of disadvantages: first I don’t know what time it is and second I can get killed any second. I don’t know where all the guards are and I think I’m going to freeze to death. The night is risky but worth it. I am soaked and scared- with a flash I see a light! I am at my second stop. I hear people talking... BUMP-BUMP - Nervously I look behind I see a large gun facing me- BAM! AAAHHHHH! I wake up in my smelly crib (I call it The Black Hole). “Whew” I sigh, “Good”, now I know that if I went to the second stop I would have my last breath over there. Oops, I forgot to tell you my name! well I really don’t have a real name, but the people in North Korea call me Han. I am 13 years old and I want to go to South Korea. The reason I know about South Korea is because my dad was a soldier and he worked at the DMZ and after 2 years he noticed that everyone else on the other side was always positive. So he tried but was shot by the North Korean soldiers. He was shot because he was running away from “home”. I hate it here. There is only one good man that is still alive now: my dad’s best friend named Gun-Ji Won. I call him Gun-Ji for short. Gun-Ji leads the gangs that control the streets. He is famous for not being scared of the soldiers and also he is very brave. When trouble happens he is always there. I am one of the only people who know where he lives and I NEED him. Now today is a very important day. I am going to ask Gun-Ji if he will come with me to South Korea. If he says “yes”, I will have more protection and experience with me. Gun-Ji works with a lot of people and he works with some gangs from China. It’s all underground business -but we can get guns and other strong weapons. As I go to his house, I see gangsters smoking and they stare at me. They smell like pigs and look like pigs. They have tattoos on their arms and legs. This place is underground and has been improved. I came here when I was a baby when this place was a tunnel, and inside were a few dead bodies and it smelled like vomit. But now it’s a different story. It has been cleaned up and the tunnel has gotten bigger. But still it smells horrible! Then I go in his room and he says: “What do you want?”

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] “I want you to come with me…” With a sigh, he mumbles, “I’ll think about it.” Gun-Ji is really too special to go with anyone but then “think about it” is a good thing for me. Then I have to walk back home. As I walk back, I hear a bicycle behind me. It circles around me and the rider has a grey jacket and a very dark hat. It stops with a high pitch brake. It’s Gun-Ji. He smiles at me and says “I’ll go with you.” My head stops…. I have never been so happy in my entire life! YES! I can’t believe it! “Ok, so when should we go?” “Tomorrow, at lunch, I’ll meet you here.” “All right!” I remark with excitement.

As I go to the dark hole, I am so nervous that I can’t sleep. So I pack up my things and look at my mirror. Then I tell myself that it is okay and I will get there. As I lie down I think about many things like what it’s going to be like. Afterwards, my eye-lids close…

During the course of my walking to the stop where we agreed to meet yesterday, I have been thinking about how the journey to South Korea will go. I see Gun-Ji sitting down on the freezing cold snow. He looks prepared and ready for this journey.

“So, what are you waiting for? Let’s go,” remarks Gun-Ji.

While we walk together, I thank Gun-Ji for coming with me to South Korea. I notice that Gun-Ji is carrying a pistol. We finally get next to the gate to South Korea around 11:00 pm.

This is it. What I have to do is go through these fences first with Gun-Ji. I get on my belly and start crawling on the floor. Gun-Ji is going in front of me with a knife. I don’t know what “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] he’s doing but it looks like he is poking the dirt with his knife. I am freezing … we see a light and it is a strobe lighter! Gun-Ji goes next to the river side so I follow him. With the speed of light, he jumps and slides on the river ice. As I follow him, he trips me and we hide in a large frosty and spiky bush. The bright light goes towards the river. I don’t move a single muscle and Gun-Ji has a hard grip on my hand.

We hear the soldiers and they are all preparing for something. As we go through, some fences I hear the electric fences rumbling. Then we quickly move to the side of the grey and scary fence.

Slowly, we crawl like crabs to a fence. Without any warning, Gun-Ji SLAMS me onto the electric fence and points his gun at me.

Gun-Ji gives me a ugly smile and says, “ I am a North Korean SPY”

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

Memories Julia Kern Tick! Tick! Tick! The time went past, faster and faster. I walked around, knowing that I wouldn’t find it. It’s gone! Gone forever! And yet, I still searched - I searched for hours. My heart beat faster as the time went by; I started to lose hope that I would ever see it. I knew I wouldn't; yet something made me continue to search. Every step I took became harder, my body started to feel stiff, and even with all that, I didn’t stop. Then suddenly, I collapsed to the ground. I just lay there in sorrow and pain. “Is there anybody there?”’ Nobody replied. I sat there in the cold, alone. No one came; no one tried to help me. I called out again, “Is there anybody there?” Still... nobody replied. I felt lonely, scared and forgotten. I felt as if no one cared about me. No one loved me. Then suddenly, I heard a soft voice, “Hello? I heard someone here. Are you there?” I jumped to my feet and staggered towards the voice. As I came closer, the voice continued, but slowly started to fade. “Hello? Are you there?” Then after that - it disappeared! Right when I thought I had reached the voice. But then... I realized that it was just my mind playing with me.

I felt anger building up in me. I wished... I wished that I could just go to wherever I came from. I called out one last time, just to check. “He-” “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] I stopped in my words; something had tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and saw what I was hoping I would find. A person. I asked the person where he came from. He just stared at me. I asked the person his name. He just stared at me. “Get out of here,” he suddenly exclaimed. I looked down and I started to get suspicious. “What’s with this person?” I asked myself. When I lifted my head, he was gone. No. It can’t be. I had just lost what I had been looking for for hours.

I knew that if I just stood there, I wouldn’t survive, so I continued searching. I snuck around for a while, when out of nowhere a bright light blinded me. I crept closer to it. I wanted to know what it was. When I reached it, it looked like some sort of a gem. I stared at it - I wanted to reach out and grab it. I examined it carefully, going around the gem about ten times. At the very bottom of the gem, there was some very small writing. So small, that I had to practically push my nose up against the gem to read it, but right there, I was able to read what was written on the gem…

‘A person’s memory, shall be held forever.’

“What does that mean?” I thought. I decided that I would take the gem and carry it around with me. It might come in handy for something, maybe as a good luck charm? I slowly and carefully started to pick up the gem, but as soon as I lifted it, the ground started to shake. I screamed. I screamed loudly. I looked up and I saw the ceiling of the cave coming down towards me, and that was the last I saw...

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] When I opened my eyes again, I found myself in a place with lots of electrical and fancy looking gadgets. I took a second or two to explore the place, when a familiar looking person came into the room. I watched the person, as he walked around the room picking up things and putting things down and pressing buttons. I started to become so curious; I got up and followed the person around the room for a while. But then suddenly, he turned around and I jumped in fright.

I scanned the person from head to toe. Instantly, I noticed something in his hands. A gem; similar to the one I took from the cave. A thought hit me: maybe it was the same gem? I quickly checked my pockets... it was gone. He must have taken it when I was knocked out. I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed when he was walking around room. I examined the gem in his hands again, but this time I saw that there was a string through the gem. He carefully placed the gem over my head and then I realized that he had made it into a necklace.

Then all of a sudden, I get this tingly feeling running through my body. My mind went all blurry; everything that happened in the past seemed to be fading... I shook my head to try and bring the memories back. A few seconds later... they were gone-gone forever.

My mind was completely blank; I peeked down at the gem around my neck and noticed that there was something sparkling inside. I thought for a moment that something tried to enter my brain, but I didn’t know what. I examined the gem and whatever was inside. Then I notice a quote at the bottom of the gem, ‘A person’s memory shall be held forever.’

“Maybe...” I thought, “That’s it”.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] My memory was probably in the gem, locked away - forever. I would never get it back. I would never be able to remember all the good and bad memories that I ever had. That’s it...

Later in the day, I had been released from the place with all the gadgets and electrical stuff. I ended up in a place with soft golden coloured sand and a cold splashy ocean. At least... I think it was sand and ocean. But I wasn’t sure - because of my memory disappearance. I didn’t know what to do at this point, slowly yet carefully I crept around the beach, watching everything below and in front of me. At one point I wasn’t watching where I was stepping, so I landed on some glass. I scarred my foot. I sat on the warm sand and waited for something. I don’t know what I was waiting for but I was waiting. I called out to see if anyone was there,

“Hello? Is there anybody there?” No reply. I thought for a moment... it all felt so familiar, like - it had happened before.

Déjà vu.

Maybe it all has happened before.

Wait...

It has - I know it has.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

The Innocent Tree Alex Kim On the day of Adam’s birth, a miniscule tree sapling was planted in our backyard. Nobody knew of its existence; nobody knew the cause of its existence; and nobody knew the reason for its existence. Nobody had planted it. It was simply there, born from the unknown places of oblivion. The sapling was an infinitesimal seedling, which struggled to cling on the last of hope of life. So weak, so sparse, so feeble was its trunk, a single touch of wind would snap it into two. Its roots, no thicker than hair, held onto the soil, claiming that last piece of life that was left inside it. And yet, nobody was to realize how dangerous, how perilous, this small matter of life would be. Except Adam. ***

My juvenile mind was always full of wonder and curiosity. For some particular reason, my inquisitiveness took interest in objects that I saw every day. Each subject of attraction was a firecracker that brought into existence hundreds of blazing questions. And comparable to that firework display, my questions diminished away into the deep, dark depths of oblivion, almost immediately after revealing their existence to the world. Always strict about everything were my parents. They were strict about asking no questions. They were strict about going beyond places that were not our house. And they were strict to other people too; prohibiting strangers, limiting guests and banning other children from having any sort of contact with me. So I was constantly alone, having no companion to talk or play with. As a result, boredom, weariness, and loneliness became the daily routines of my young life. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] As the days of my youth strolled interminably on, thirst for knowledge continually multiplied like a virus in my body. Questioning and exploring were the only ways I was able to kill my excessive time, as a century treacherously existed between each tick of a clock. A beautifully styled mansion with extensive ornamented gardens was a perfect place for a small child to explore. Covered with golden shades of white yellow, our mansion was an object of splendour and grandeur. More than five stories, it was, and spacious enough for a whole tribe of elephants to live inside it. Adjacent to this huge golden masterpiece, a sparkling field of green rested, overlaid with cheerful droplets of a rainbow. Active life was found in every spot of the garden; glittering sunlight was found in every spot of the garden; and comforting ease was found in every spot of the garden. A broad smile lingered on my face whenever its beauty was revealed to my eyes. The walls, however, restricted the area of the garden. The walls, with its stature seeming more than 5 feet high, stretched and divided me from any additional freedom. My expectations of the land beyond the walls were more than just delightful and charming. I imagined a ground engulfed with the lights of heaven, and with much elegant life and colours than the ones in our garden. But I expected. It must have been a day in April. The bitter cold of the freezing winter had finally worn away, and the cosy temperatures of spring were finally restored. This meant that the garden is finally accessible to me again, for the first time in several months! This exciting, this stirring, this thrilling exhilaration of mine drove me out into the garden, without a warning. As usual, the warm sunlight gloriously rested upon me. As usual, the garden glistened, full of life and colour. As usual, a broad smile separated my face into two. But all of a sudden, I noticed something different. Something that was never there, never noticed…It had never existed before. It was a tree - an apple tree! But it was not just an apple tree. It was standing silently in the corner; its menacing height cast a huge, dark shadow over the cheerfulness of the garden. Many active creatures in the garden were silenced and became inactive. Many of the flowers were not radiant with their pleasing serenity anymore. The prodigious plant grinned at me, ominously, as if it was expecting something drastic to happen. For some reason, my muscles automatically reacted to climb up the tree. They refused to stop or to act in accordance with my brain. Instead, they seemed to act in accordance with the apple tree. My arms and legs heaved me up the tree, moving like a steady machine. But as I got higher and higher, blood began pumping in my whole head. Time suddenly slowed down. What seemed like ten seconds was merely one. Each time I reached for a new part of the tree, my blood began pumping harder, determined to reach the uttermost levels, if necessary. My whole body began shuddering as I climbed further, shaking, and trembling, and dancing. Soon enough, the poundings in my brain was beyond the limit of what I could endure. I became incapable of hearing anything except the sound of my blood pumping “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] all over my body. Then I was unable to hear anything at all. Sound was blocked completely from entering my eyes, deafened by extreme anxiousness. Not anxiousness of excitement, but anxiousness of fear, horror, and terror. 'What was it that made me feel so horrified, so terrified, and so petrified?' I asked myself, 'Where was all the thrilling exhilarations of the world beyond the garden?' But there was none. After what seemed like 15 hours of torture and fright, my muscles gave one last heave up onto the top of the wall. Cautiously balancing myself on the wall, I finally looked up to take a glance of the world I had always imagined. It was grey. There were trash and ash heaps everywhere. Stooped creatures of the same ashen colour wandered about, looking under the heaps as they did so. Each of them had a crooked smile, and I could examine how deformed they were, under their torn pieces of clothing. Then almost instantaneously, one of the horrific monsters grabbed another, and tore it up into pieces, and bit into the corpse with its excruciating teeth. A dark pool of blood oozed out of the dead corpse, and its killer gave me a sinister grin. I had seen nothing like this in my life before. Such drastic views were never exposed to my innocent eyes. Now here I was, completely stunned and petrified by it. I was starkly unable to move, hear, smell, speak, and see. My whole body had stiffened into cold ice. Slowly, I began to lose control of my balance on the wall. My head slanted slightly forward, and there I went, flying thousands of yards from the sky. Before I knew it, I crashed onto the ground with full speed. But I felt nothing. And as everything was darkening, I saw the vile, bloodthirsty creatures rushing towards me with an ominous smile on their face …

*** Several years passed. A girl was born. Her name was Eve. On this day of her birth, a miniscule tree sapling was planted in her backyard. Nobody knew of its existence; nobody knew the cause of its existence; and nobody knew the reason for its existence. Nobody had planted it. It was simply there, born from the unknown places of oblivion. The sapling was an infinitesimal seedling, which struggled to cling on the last of hope of life. So weak, so sparse, so feeble was its trunk, a single touch of wind would snap it into two. Its roots, no thicker than hair, held onto the soil, claiming that last piece of life that was left inside it. And yet, nobody was to realize how dangerous, how perilous, this small matter of life would be. Except Eve.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

Truth Behind the Life of a Doppelganger Lydia Yang If fate wants you to meet someone, you do. It’s not something you can choose or reject; it’s something that just happens. I guess that explains that day when I saw him... or it... or me. Destiny has a strange way of turning up. It leads you to the strangest meetings. So when I saw her, or it (or me!), I blamed it on my exhaustion and ignored it. After my shift at the Medical Centre of Boston University, he brushed passed me. The sudden jolt, the burst of energy, caused me to stop and turn around to look at... me. What I saw, was nothing I ever expected - a pair of deep-blue large eyes, with long eyelashes! Those eyes… Mine! On my way home, tired and exhausted, after the days of sleepless work nights, I thought she was a hallucination. I saw her, ignored her, and tried to walk past her. As our shoulders brushed against each other’s, electricity shot through my cells, making me slightly explode from...something! I turned to see perfect brown curls. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] Same as mine! After the initial shock, and the momentary eye-contact, we froze. He stared at me. She stared at me. I ran away, like I always do in difficult situations. Just like I did last year, when my parents got a divorce, like I did when my boyfriend broke up with me, and like I did when I stopped trying and became a nurse when I failed to become a brain surgeon… She turned and ran away. I continued to stare and when I was able to turn away, I thought about what to do. As I drove home, I thought of a plan - something I was always good at. Just the way I helped my parents stop their divorce, the way I solved the problems between my girlfriend and got married, and how I chose a different medical path as a cardiac surgeon when I failed to become a neurosurgeon. Full of fatigue, I walked into my house. “Honey is that you?” At first, I thought she was my mother, the woman I am living with after both her and my relationship failed. Then I realize this is not my house. True, the security code, the scent of lavender, and the colour scheme - purple and gold- are same, but it definitely was not my house. Then, I see him; the glimmer of him, me, in front of me. Tap. I turn to see my mother. “How was your day, Charlie?” I am back in my house, safe from everything, except my mind. As I walk into my house, I noticed something different. Even though the scent of lavender was present and the gold lamps shone brightly, it felt different, and somehow similar. “How was your day, Charlie?” My mother’s voice. But this was something I could not hear, because my mother was in Hawaii, with my father celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary. Then, I see her; the glimmer of her, me, in front of me. “Honey, is that you?” My wife’s voice wakes me from the dream. I am back in my house, more interested than before to find out what is happening.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] After the scary confrontation, I started seeing him in my dreams, in my house, with my family, where I was supposed to be. The more I saw him the crazier I got. The sound of his voice was so similar yet scary. His expressions were mine but it didn’t show my thoughts. She appeared everywhere; in my dreams, in my house, with my family, and with me. It felt like she was a part of me, someone I could trust. Her voice filled me with pleasant wonder, and a strange familiarity. Her face, reflecting min, showed my expressions and my thoughts. Two weeks, have pasts and I still kept seeing it, and I came to a conclusion, to follow him, and put an end to this nonsense. Thus, on a busy Friday afternoon, I waited outside the Boston Medical Centre, for him to come out. When he did, I dragged it to my house, took out my gun, and pointed it at this other me. “You know, I researched about our situation. You may think that I’m the doppelganger, the bad one, but you are wrong. We both can be the conscience and the evil. If you kill me, you are the evil one, and if I kill you, then you are the conscientious one. There is no happy ending to this. Only the evil lives.” It said. Then it hit me, He wasn’t my doppelganger. I was his. The expressions that I saw on his face, verified the fear, shock, amusement and somehow relief, that went through his head. I knew, because those expressions were mine. Staring at the other version of me, I hesitated. However, as a grin slowly appeared on his face, I closed my eyes and fired. “Bang!” As I opened my eyes I felt the pain. I felt the hole in my chest, I saw the gun in my hand. At last, I understood what it truly was... I was her. He was me. We were one, not two. The pain spread through my body as I breathed heavily. “It’s all over,” she said. “I know,” I agreed.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

Good Night Daniel Hahm It’s come again. The shaking, the burning up, the screaming - the fear. I feel these things the instant I close my eyes and detect my senses trickling away. My head is swarming with vivid images. I can’t turn away; when sleep enters my body, the devil owns my mind... I imagine people sitting in a dim, gloomy room - they’re my parents. The lights flicker violently. Their heads slowly turn up, looking straight into my eye. My mom stretches her mouth and lets out a chilling scream. Both my parents are now howling, with their eyes wide open and their mouths gaping with horrifying expressions on them. Their face starts to drip, melt of their skull. Blood and flesh fall off, but their voices still alive. I, too, scream but I cannot hear the sound of my own voice. I can’t bear to watch my parents anymore, but my eyes are still locked onto theirs. I’m petrified, feeling my nerves go loose. My body feels pressured, unable to move. I can’t tell if I’m still screaming anymore. I feel hands on my arms shaking me, other voices pleading me to wake up. Wake up. That’s what I need to do.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] My chest shoots upright to sitting position. My face is sticky with sweat. There are tears still streaming down my face. On my left I see my parents next to my bed trying to calm me down. I stare at them separating my dream from reality. Their bloody faces are still floating in my head. My body is calming down. But my heart still feels burdensome, thumping with terrorized emotions. I look at them again. “Was it another nightmare, Charles?” my mother asks soothingly. I nodded my head slowly, still haunted by my dream. My dad carefully asks, “Are you ok, Charlie?” My parents have troubled faces, worried eyes looking into mine. “Yes Dad, I’m fine.” My parents know that it’s a lie, as I do the most. I’m still slightly shaking from the fear that had occupied my heart just moments ago. It was so real. I had these nightmares since I was a toddler. But over the past few years they’ve progressively have started to become worse. These dreams involved people close to me –my parents and friends being tortured. Having to see them die in a different way every night is traumatizing. I lay back down on my bed, wiping my face away of the sweat and tears with my shirt. I take a deep breath. Why do I get these nightly torments?

I can see my husband sighing and shaking his head slowly while looking down. He feels the despair of seeing his child in pain. I do too, but it is different for me. We’ve been to every doctor around. Not just medical doctors, but also psychologists. We’ve been told different things about why Charles was getting these dreams; his diet, the media he’s exposed to, his social life, darkness. But not one of them seemed to be able to exactly pinpoint the reason why. That’s because it’s not something to do with Charles, or what he does. Charles suffers every night because of me, because of what I did. And he will not stop until he does what I had done.

Whenever I get these hellish dreams, my parents will always be at my side. As soon as I wake up, I’m relaxed by my parents. Every night I go through this, as long as I can remember. It’s surprising that my parents are still even there for me every night, considering they have probably never had a proper rest for years. The hallucinations, the constant terror, always come the same way, following their own horrendous routine. It starts with me feeling drowsy and, lying on my bed. I know that in about an hour I’ll lose track of my senses... and my conscious will slip away. Emotions flutter in my chest: Sorrow, misery, anger, panic - fear. The fear always comes, increasing every time. My body heats up, causing sweat to form. But my blood is always cold. Then the real horror begins. It’s like I’m sent to a scene in a movie, but a movie that I can’t stop watching. The actors are people I know, people that I care about. The gory effects are realistic. The sequence is portrayed perfectly, without flaw; enough to make me psychotic. I can’t understand what causes me to go through this ordeal. I always need to watch the people being tormented. Suffering. Dying. They go through fresh, new types of agony every night. It’s as if someone is plotting gruesome schemes, and applying it to me when my head lies on a pillow. This cruel creature laughs when he sees me cry in my sleep. I hate him, for his distinctive identity, but I know that this animal is only my own mind.

Seeing Charles in this state at night reminds me of myself when I was Charles’ age. I, too, underwent the same symptoms of this… plague. When I was a young girl, my childhood was not pleasant. My mother was a single-parent - my father leaving us when I was given birth to. I am an only child, which resulted in a close relationship with my mother. We kept together during the

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] depressing times of our hardships, especially when we were in constant need of more money, with poverty trying to break into our lives. With all that was going on, the dreams that I was infected with only made living harder, for both my mother and I. Just as I do to Charles, my mother would always stay near me and help me get through the night. She watched over me when I slept, ready to wake me up whenever I sink into the broken world. I am now in her position, with Charles needing my care, with I the only one knowing how to stop the dreams.

I am shocked and confused from what my mother told me. She explains to me the “dreams” I get are from her, and how she also had the “dreams” when she was younger from her own mother. She tells me our family is bound with these “dreams”, passing from one generation to another. But there is a way to escape. While in a dream, I must reach out, and touch the people of my dream. My mother tells me I will feel the pain they feel, but that it will not continue after the dream ends. I’m not sure what I feel hearing this, but I know this is the unexpected truth that will save me. Tonight's the night I will end the “dreams”, to stop the suffering that possesses my life.

When my mother told me how to save myself, she also warned me of the danger of not being able to endure the pain. I was told this at an age which my mother judged to be adequate, which I have also done with Charles. He is a few years younger than I was when I broke free, but I know he is durable enough to survive the torment when he reaches out to the people in his nightmare. I know Charles can do this, he has to be able to; I cannot bear to watch him go through this any longer. Charles doesn’t know of the danger of not waking up from his sleep if the pain is too immense for his body and mind. Knowing will only delay the passing of his “dreams”, and I am certain Charles can make it through…

This is the first night I am looking forward to sleeping. I lie on my bed, with my mother next to me sitting next to my bed. I close my eyes, trying to calm my nerves so I can fall asleep. I take a deep breath and lie still. My mouth forms a small smile.

Charles is trying to sleep. I know I shouldn’t be worried, but uneasiness pounds within me. It is too late to stop now. I see Charles steadily breathing. He lies still for a few minutes, with a tranquil atmosphere surrounding him. His smile then disappears, and is replaced by a panic - stricken face.

The dream has begun. I’m in an open field, with long grass stretching from miles in every direction. The sky is missing the presence of sunlight, making the area jet-black. A cold wind breezes onto me, causing me to shiver. In front of me are long, wooden posts, with people tied securely to them. As I walked slowly to them, placing one foot carefully in front of the other, a small stake whizzes past my ear and strikes with rapid speed into a person’s forehead. It hits its target with a sickening crunch, with blood spurting like rain onto the ground. More stakes fly in the air onto all the people on the poles, hitting new areas of the body. Screams erupt from all the people. I want to wake up, to stop seeing these brutal murders. But my inner determination kicks into me, making me ignore the frozen nerves in my arm and back. I sprint to the closest person. I stretch my arm outwards close my eyes and lunged at the body. My hand makes contact. The same scream that broke out of that person ruptures from my mouth.

Charles lies abruptly still. After thrashing and flailing during his sleep, he stops moving and is sprawled lifelessly on the bed. I stare at his chest, examining, hoping, pleading for a breath to be taken in. Minutes pass, but not a heartbeat from Charles is

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] present. His agony - filled face has slipped away, resting without a worried expression. Charles, my son, is now sleeping in peace… forever.

Memories Caroline Sohn I hear something. Blinking slowly, everything is blurred. And that’s when I see the familiar figure. His smile, his wondrous blue eyes, and my favourite feature: his warm arms wrapped around me like always. The white background filled with many other people makes him the brightest star. So the question is asked. Is my life perfect? But that’s when my medicine kicks in. I’m soon falling into clouds, and into my dreams that will never...ever come true... It’s another one of these nights, the ones that I will have to go through almost every single day. The clock ticks midnight and I rub my sore, red eyes. But then I see her lying in her bed, sleeping peacefully...for once. I smile. She's the one I care for and she's the one I will sacrifice anything for. I stroke her smooth, brown hair and look at her amazing smile that had once made me fall for her. My fingers intertwine with hers, and I gently pull down the blanket. Once again, I see it. The pain in my heart comes and soon the world turns into water that rolls down the cold surface of my cheekbones. Purple. Red. Black. Dents. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] I quiver. Rewinding my mind to what I had seen three months ago… It all started with the loud scream of a girl; A young girl, no more than 15. I shrieked. Who could it be? What could have happened? Questions circled my head. Without thinking, I ran in the direction of where I had heard the scream. It was a rather old, yet eerie house with a mossy green roof that had been scraped off at the edges. The wooden door seemed almost too hard to open. The windows were covered with jet black curtains. My curiosity stepped in and, without hesitating, I pushed the door open… As I fall asleep, I live the dream that haunts me every single night. Flashbacks! I hear the sound of the bat slapping hard against my body. It hurts...it’s… too much to bare! But what can I possibly do? My father towers over me and I am just an insect on the pavement that is life. I am too young to defend myself...too powerless. But as the torture continues, the most ironic situation appears in front of my eyes.

He stands still. I sense his fierce eyes observing me - observing his work of art. One step closer he comes. I look up at my father. One step closer he comes. I stand up, still overwhelmed. One step closer he comes. We run off. Losing nothing, taking nothing, we run to the future ahead of us. Almost as if I had been lost in the terrifying dark, I finally see the beam of light. My ultimate and last road towards hope... I trudge along the path to work. It has been an exhausting night and morning has come. I look up to see the ray of sunlight that shines above me- seeping through the corners and cracks of every inch of my small room. But can you guess? Every little enchanting thing on Earth reminds me of her. Her name is too remarkable to say. Her name is Emily. His name is Austin. I am the girl and he is the boy. Our story is different in too many ways. But to make a long story short... we fall in love. I run. Like always, I run around the corner as fast as possible to check to see if she is still safely at the hospital. Room 132. Dashing, I bump into people and at last I arrive. I...I must have been hallucinating - she is not there. A moment of shock bewilders my eyes. I see her, but I see her with a pair of strong arms…holding a bat!

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] My actions take over once again and I jump out the window, shouting the word ʻStop!ʼ as many times as I can. He looks over at me as my forehead cut starts to bleed. Smirking, he continues to torture her and I run to stop him. “What kind of a father are you?” “A good one” he says. I pull Emily out as far away as possible and I remove the bat from his now-loosened grip. “Violence is not the key...it never is.” Without saying another word, I release the bat and carry Emily safely in my arms. Thud! The sound is loud and clear but neither of us dare look back because now we live in the present, not the future not the past…our present, our one and only gift! And I stupidly believe that he will let us walk away... Waking up, I see it’s dawn. I see him dozing off at the side of my bed as always. He seems so tired, so miserable yet I don’t know what I would do without him. I observe him with my two clear eyes for the first time. His hands are long and large. His dirty blonde curls fall to the side of his forehead. And then I see it.

Red, trickling blood.

Choice Shin Chul Moon In the deepest, darkest, and most horrific cave on earth lurks Death. Death is one of the most peculiar things that exist. You don’t sense it creeping up until it is right behind you. Once you notice Him, He strikes. He slowly spreads through your whole body and paralyzes you. Then you feel it. Despair. I opened my eyes; I saw him. Despair. It never leaves you. It stays by your side, guarding you, but you don’t feel safe - you feel more despair. Then like a highly contagious disease it spreads through everyone. Friends, family anyone nearby...

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] As I was struggling to breathe I saw Hawk’s calm face once again and all these emotions were washed away and my breathing stabilized. As he slowly walked up to me, he said “Thank you.” “Do you remember me?” I asked “I do” “I don’t understand why but I don’t feel very angry.” “Don’t you?” “Yes.” “That’s quite interesting...” His calm face suddenly changed into a frown. “Why did you kill them?” I asked. “Why did you kill my parents…?” Do you know how it feels to hate someone? Not the kind of hate that comes and goes, but the hate that blossoms in your heart and expands its roots into the deepest expanses of your thoughts? And as it blooms you don’t see the beautiful flower that you imagined, but a face. The face of the one you hate - haunting you, taunting you, mocking you! You want to kill him you want him to shrivel up. He won’t. You come to think who am I? Well, I am 21, orphaned, American, and a soldier. Is that it? Is that all that I am? A normal soldier? My whole life was like a downward spiral. As soon as I thought that it was going to get better, as soon as I thought I could grasp happiness, it pulled me back down. Gravity? No, it’s not. It’s hatred, malice and anger. These feelings affect your daily life. Your friends that you thought you would always be with, suddenly seem far away. Do I have anyone I love? I do actually. Becky! She’s the same age as me and we knew each other since childhood. She was the only thing that kept me from committing suicide. Whenever I felt down she was there… We’re engaged. But now when I think of the future we could have had, I regret what I did. As I told you before I’m a soldier. I’m fighting for the American army in Afghanistan and I was on a mission when I met him. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] “Why did you kill them? What did they do?” “They killed my parents.” He answered, staring calmly into my eyes. I felt as if a bucket of cold water had hit me. Mixed feelings started to form inside me. “My parents killed your parents?” “Yes, it was supposedly a car crash...” My parents were some of the kindest people that you will ever meet. I just couldn’t believe what he had just said. What the man that I hated -the man that even haunted my dreamsthe man that killed my parents had said. And suddenly I noticed that I wasn’t mad at him. Was I just too exhausted to hate him anymore? As I stood there with his life in my hands, I thought. Then I knew why I was no longer enraged by his sins. “Hawk. I think I know why I don’t feel anger anymore.” “Why?” “It’s because I want to end everything now.” “End what?” His curiosity was quite amusing to see. “This hate, this anger. This never-ending chain of death, despair, and hate! Therefore I want to say this. I forgive you.” As I closed my eyes I saw his eyes start to water and his face started to scrunch up. What a change had come to his ever calm face? Well I will never know the reason for his tears... People may say that “I love you” “mom” or “son” are the most beautiful words, but there is only one phrase that can truly move such a person’s heart. I forgive you!

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

My Dear Friend, Max Eunice Ra “WAKE UP SEBASTIAN, WAKE UP! WE’RE LATE!” The cry came through the open air to wake up an 11th grade teenager to face another appalling day. That 11th grade teenager is, of course, me. The reason behind this was because of Max. Ever since 6th grade I’ve been pushed around, punched around, and harassed by him (and, yes, of course, I’ve been shoved into lockers). I have no friends to look after me, and that’s where the problem lies... You would probably be thinking I should have done something by now, but I’m too scared. I can’t get myself to tell anyone, because if I do, Max will come out to get me. I’m too scared and too small to do anything. I can’t get through a single day without crying “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] because all I can think of are escape plans from him- and yet, from time to time, I think that maybe running away from him isn’t the answer. Hoping that Max won’t find me, I hide in the library on the way back (reading books to keep my mind off of him) but of course, Max did not leave me alone. His two rough, stiff hands pulled me from my collar. My body weight was as light as a feather to him. He picked me up, slammed my body against the cold, bathroom floor and punched me in the face several times until I was unconscious. I was late to class with a purple swollen right eye. My teacher came running and asking what had happened, and I wanted to tell her the truth but I was too scared. Max was just across the room staring me down with a face that clearly stated, “If you tell her, I’m gonna kill you.” I lied, as usual, with a cover up that was real enough for her to not even take another second on thinking back on. Ms. Potten had advised me to go to the school nurse and I did. I received an ice pack and a slip that gave me an excuse to go home early. I took it and sprinted back home, running into my room and once again, crying my heart out. In movies, I always see this happen to other teenage kids as well, but they had it worse. They would cut themselves and take pills and just do horrible things to their bodies. When I was younger, I didn’t understand why on earth they would do that to themselves, but now I do. I found myself staring into a mirror with puffy eyes from all the crying and a black eye as well. I stood there for a second, silently looking at myself in shambles. And then, somehow, this thought kicked in: Maybe cutting is the answer to all my problems. Mechanically, I walked to the kitchen and picked the sharpest and largest of my mom’s kitchen knives. I was hesitant about this decision but I thought it was the best thing to do for me right now. I took the knife firmly with my right hand to make sure it wouldn’t slip. Then, slowly, very slowly, I began to make careful, small slits on my left wrist. These cuts were helping me. The next morning I woke up on my bed with the same knife but it was caked with blood. I realized that my incisions were deep. Too deep. I ran to the closest bathroom and ran my wrist under water. It stung at first but felt nice after as the pain started to mitigate. I found a band-aid for my wrist, covering my cuts perfectly, as if I was meant to be doing this all along. I was welcomed to school by the usual ‘confrontations’ with Max and, was, of course, again late to class. I sat back into my normal seat checking up on my cuts time to time. The teacher’s words were muffled as I couldn’t concentrate at all. The whole day was too blurry for me and I just couldn’t seem to concentrate on anything. For the past 17 years of my life, I had done nothing that would make me remembered for who I am. I’m just a worthless and meaningless person that has no purpose to live. If my existence were to just disappear, no one would care because no one would know... Weeks have gone by, repeating this ritual. This routine of cutting myself was daily for me and now it has become an addiction. An addiction that I both hate-- and love. All day, I just can’t wait to go home, but not because of the safety I have being away from Max, but “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] my knife. Seeing that perfectly sharp long knife brings me joy and happiness, locking me away from a world of “people”. How can this place that I call “school” be an environment I can learn in and at the same time be unharmed? Why can’t I see the world as everyone else does? Why was I ever born? Why am I still alive? With these questions flashing across my eyes I ran to the backyard and brought the gardening hose in; into my room where I locked myself away as I did before. Deep into a closet that I call my “cutting room”, hanging the hose upon the top… Taking a deep breath, I pushed myself forward. The bundle of rope that I brought from my father’s garden was transformed into a noose. A wooden chair was pushed under it. I stood silently, facing the machine that would end my life swiftly and efficiently. Then, all of a sudden, Max’s voice entered my thoughtless mind. Retard. You useless tool. Do us a favour and vanish will you? Why don’t you just kill yourself? Make my dream come true and shoot yourself in that ugly face of yours. Die. Well Max, I guess your dream will now partially come true, I will die. Not with a gun pointed directly on my face, but a rope. A rope that will end my sorrow and pain. The rope that is my only chance of happiness.

Secrecy Zoish Dubash My hand flitted across, almost afraid to touch it. My mind was so absorbed in the reflection I was looking at, I was almost afraid. Almost. But, I couldn’t be! I’d been through so much that I almost laughed at the thought of fearing a mere reflection. It was just a scar. I took another glance at the huge horseshoe shaped scar under my chin and was instantly sucked back to the night that my view on people changed forever - accompanied only by the man who gave it to me. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] His face was a blur as my easily distracted mind was hardly able to regurgitate his appearance. Suddenly, I saw it! The silver glint of the dagger he tightly clutched in his hand was unmistakably fatal. “Please”, my voice rang out gasping for air. That’s when I realized that if I must face my punishment, I would face it with my head high. “You dare disrespect me?!” his voice roared so loudly that every sound apart from the ones he was making seemed non-existent. It was as though his voice sucked all evidence of joy out from our house, our neighbourhood, the whole of al-Remal even! With one swipe of his arm, I felt instantaneous pain. Tears had formed in my eyes, which I had to fight with a vengeance. This is the fate of a Muslim girl without the protection of her male relatives… ********************************************** With that my nightmarish flashback has ended. I am no longer clothed in an extravagant “Chador”(a Muslim cloak, which only exposes our faces and hands. They are normally only worn by girls) my hands are no longer dotted with the most expensive pigeon blood-red rubies. The only protection my body has from being exposed was a cheap “Abaya” (a Muslim cloak which only allows eyes to remain visible, and even then, sometimes, there may be a mesh material, covering their eyes). It is worn around my knees and badly in need of a wash. Unfortunately, the only garment in my wardrobe is the one Abaya, which I am cloaked in, as my wages are so low that I am forced to turn to scavenging, just to have something to eat every day. Thinking about how my life changed so abruptly is incredibly saddening. That night taught me about life, and people; I went through such an intense paradigm shift, that everywhere I looked, and all I saw was darkness and despair. But then I met a lady, named Judi, and she helped me recover, both mentally and physically. Judi nursed my burns and helped me too see the good in people, which is something I could never have thanked her enough for. She taught me to see the miracles in life and gave me the ability to think about that night and to learn from it. That night, I had almost died. My father had departed the day before to Cairo to discuss business opportunities with a wealthy entrepreneur. Laughter from our garden echoed across the house. It deceptively resembled an average day in the Badin household, apart from the sweltering heat. I had just completed my Quran lesson with my tutor, whilst my brother had gone to school but was due to return soon. My cousins and I were playing in our garden, which was just made bearable by the shade provided by the enormous palm trees. The fragrance of cinnamon and cloves wafted through the kitchen windows, lingering in our nostrils and tempting us to return to the comfort of my house. Our mothers’ chatter filled the household with cheery gossip and swapped recipes. When my brother arrived with his friends my mother rose immediately and dutifully offered everyone some refreshments, which we proceeded into the kitchen to receive. Suddenly, there was an incredibly loud noise, followed by flames erupting from under the cooker, where the gas tank was placed. The fire continued spreading and a part of the ceiling crumbled through. Uncontrollable shrieks pierced my ear drums deafeningly. The ceiling had collapsed on top of my brother and I - trapping us with the fire. Flames licked the end of my chador threateningly; however, I couldn’t escape. My mother stood in front of us, tears streaming down her face, yelling words of comfort, and “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] attempting to lift the boulder. In her eyes, I saw a deep sadness as she tried to apprehend the situation. We both knew that she was physically capable enough to drag one of us out of danger, however, that would leave the other to either be crushed to death or burn to death. She had to choose whether to save my brother or me. I begged her, because knowing my brother’s strength, he would probably survive. But I would surely perish. I shrieked but already knew it was hopeless. If she picked me over my brother, and there was even the slightest chance that he may die, my father would surely kill her or would make her life a misery. My mother rasped the two words “I’m sorry”, grabbed my brother Ali’s wrists and proceeded to drag him out. I was immediately faced with serious pain as I watched my mother supporting my brother to safety without a second glance. The boulder was crushing my ribs, causing me a pain that I had never felt before; the pain was both emotional and physical. I felt an intense form of depression which instantly left me feeling worthless. The smoke that was released by the fires were forming furious, ashen clouds, a thick blanket covering the dark Palestinian night, however the stars still pierced through the chaos of the night’s events, giving me hope...a hope that would soon be cruelly shattered by the reality of my situation. The boulder continued digging into my spine. I felt an intense surge of a fiery pain in my ribs, as I took one last ragged breath of the hazy, polluted air and glanced up at the sky. I made a promise to myself and to God, swearing to always have the control and power to save those I loved, because it could have been my little sister, Maya just as easily. My head began conjuring distorted images of Maya being consumed by the flames and I shrieked out in fury. That's when I realized that giving up was my only option; there was no chance that I could survive. So I indulged in the only action I could perform; I gave up. Letting go was strangely relaxing, perhaps because I had already admitted that I could be prepared to die; there was no point thinking about my devastatingly hopeless predicament, and I forced benevolent, tranquil thoughts into my thoughts. A shadow rolled across the rubble in front of me and I began shouting hysterically for help; convinced that I would only have a few more moments before the concrete pounding into my body would dig into my neck, unilaterally breaking my bone and my spirit. The shadow continued creeping towards me and I immediately became doubtful about whether the creature would be a friend or a foe. But, perhaps I was hallucinating? I had encountered such severe trauma that night that I was dubious about my state of mind. Then I saw its eyes, piercing through the darkness like the moon at midnight. I stuck my hand out, petrified of the consequences. Immediately, I felt teeth, clutching my hands and imprinting grooves into my palms, as my body scraped against the gravel, I remember whispering thank you to my saviour as my eyelids became too heavy to hold open for any longer. Gasping for air, I awoke, springing upright, combing my clammy fingers through my hair hysterically. My heart was beating so fast that I was afraid someone would hear. I wish I could travel through time, undoing the things- no. I must not wish, wishing does not make it real; memories are real. I rifled through my memories, selecting one of the most wondrous and miraculous experiences of my life; the events leading up to my move to New York. I had just been healed by Judi, and started to realize that I was an enormous financial burden to her; her nursing job was barely enough to support her and her beautiful son, let alone a completely incompetent 16 year old. I struggled with my choices; my family had moved out of al-Remal immediately after the chaotic events of that evening, and they were not aware that I “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] was still alive. I was completely alone. For the first time in my life, I did not have servants and a doting mother to wait on my hand and foot; I had to be completely self-sufficient in order to survive. One bitter winter morning, I was wondering around the marketplace, wary of Judi chiding me constantly about the sorry state of my Burka, searching for one which would fit my budget, yet would offer some protection from the bitter cold of winter. I journeyed on through the maze like jungle of the Market, where I met with a crowd of people huddled around a street post. Encouraged by curiosity I approached the sign, which was an advertisement for a ship which was to sail off to New York, and at the bottom there were additional information. “Permitted to pay back in instalments...” I found myself mumbling this sentence repetitively, hope emerging from inside of me. I ripped of a ragged piece of cloth from the bottom of my burka and scribbled the details down hurriedly, overcome with joy that for once I had been blessed with an opportunity, but petrified that it may be stolen from me once again. ************************************** “Aaaahhh!” I awoke from my dream state of mind, and released a squeal, shock pulsating through my veins, my body, unaccustomed to being in the presence of a living creature was immediately on high alert. Some kind of a defence mechanism kicked in and my hand reached towards the mouse to swat it away. This was unnecessary as it had already scurried away before I managed to lift a finger. Regretfully I leaned back onto the cool tiled floor immediately feeling pangs of loss for the creature, so I forced my thoughts to drift back to a time where I was young, innocent and free. My trolley created an eerily high-frequency screech which echoed down the deserted hallway. As I reached forward into my trolley my hand plunged into the pail of murky grey water, as it searched for my cleaning rag. I was completely certain in saying that the occupation which I was forced to endure was entirely temporary, as I had absolutely no intentions of spending the rest of my life, labouring at a sleazy hotel, earning minimum wage. Currently, I was searching for another job, but was only willing to burn my bridges with “The Courtyard, So-ho” once I had secured another position, one preferably which did not require hours of intense labour. My colleague, Tanya, an African-American grandmother with an enormous afro, and an even greater personality was extremely supportive of my ambitious dream, of establishing an educational facility for those who suffer from poverty; however, as she says “we all have to start somewhere honey”. One evening, after a particularly arduous day of work, we agreed to eat dinner together at the neighbourhood diner. We were discussing the unbelievable increase in rent, when she snapped her perfectly manicured fingers and recounted a plausible job opportunity she had heard about, which involved au-pairing for an Islamic family, who were specifically looking to hire Muslim au pairs. I relished the thought of being surrounded by children, however was immediately hesitant when I heard that they were incredibly traditional, as following my move to New York, I had hardly practised any of the customs which I had been taught to abide by as a child. I disagree with any suggestions, stating that the reason why I had abandoned any ties I had to the Islamic world was a result of any resentment which was gained after my accident. I believe that what fuelled my mother’s choice was fear of my father who always made it extremely obvious that he believed females to be the weaker and more inferior gender, and who had always preferred my “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] brother to me. Perhaps my mother faced this same type of discrimination during her youth, and therefore had been indoctrinated to believe that males were the dominating sex. I pondered this job, which could advance my career, putting my dream of constructing a coeducational integrated school, in my sight. I eventually had gathered the courage to agree to it; after all, the benefits outweighed the negative aspects of the job. I immediately stirred from my dream world when I heard the glorious chime of the church bells, causing a smile to stretch across my face. Those chimes indicated that more time had passed, and that I was running out of it. A part of me was frantic, worrying about what was fated to occur, fearing the fact that I had no control; whilst another part of me was prepared and calm. Exhaustion hit me like a ton of bricks, but I was not willing to surrender in this battle, I could not waste time, I would not waste my time. My mouth formed a thin line of determination as I permitted my mind to wander into a dreamy abyss. I was immediately transported back to a time when I retained the ability to call myself employed. My hand reached forward to knock on the door of my new employers. My ears were thundering with the sound of my heart beat as an elegant gentleman opened the door. He was sporting a tailored, charcoal black dinner jacket, which complemented his olive skin. After opening the door he simply stared at me curiously. Embarrassed I nervously stuck my hand out and introduced myself. “Hello, my name is Leila Sheikh.” My new name was so familiar by now that it was almost automatic; I could nearly believe that I had been Leila Sheikh all my life. Nearly. I briefly saw his eyes flash, so rapidly that I began to doubt what I saw. “And I’m Malik Badin” he eventually replied. A gasp rose up into my throat but I didn’t permit it to escape. Malik Badin. He was my brother! I longed to tell him the truth, but I couldn’t. We had parted on such uncomfortable terms that I almost feared his reaction. I plastered a tight smile across my face, determined not to give anything away. He guided me through his mansion, with glittering chandeliers hanging in almost every room, and a picturesque view offered from every single window. My feet sunk into the plush carpeting and I almost let out a high-pitched giggle. My brother, controlling as always had not permitted anything to go out of place; everything was polished to the point where you could see your reflection in it, there were no toys or any hints of a child’s destructive path and everything was dusted to perfection. When introduced to his family, I felt the strong urge to cradle my nephews, which I had to resist; doing anything personal towards them would simply be inappropriate. I reminded myself that a family who possessed incredibly strong religious views employed me and so I now had to be cognisant of my every move. I settled into my new life in the Badin household more easily than expected. I was constantly being reminded about my Palestinian life, and my brother’s habits which I had long since forgotten. I began doubting whether I really had to keep my relationship with Malik a secret. I pondered long and hard each and every day, as well as during my blissfully rare breaks. Even whilst sleeping, my mind was occupied, weighing out the pro’s and con’s, imagining his reaction. I became obsessed. The secret intoxicated my thoughts and did not allow me to concentrate on anything else. Finally I reached a decision; he had a right to know that I was alive. I padded up the stairs, my hand trailing across the banister, searching for the familiar to help compose myself. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] Outside his door I stretched out my arm, my hand poised, prepared to knock; but something held me back. I took a deep breath and gulped down hard, willing for there to be no animosity or negative emotions of any sort present after our exchange. I let out my breath in a deep sigh, wondering if I was prepared to accept the consequences for this drastic choice. Nevertheless, I knocked on his door cautiously. In all my 9 months working for him, I had never dared to enter his room, his chamber. He poked his head around the door peeking at me, unwilling to even let me have a glance into his bedroom. “Yes?” he asked in an icy voice, unhappy at being called in his personal space. I had predicted this reaction, but it was a necessary course of action as I did not want anyone else to interrupt us. “We need to talk” I said, and so he edged out of his room, obstinately unwilling for me to enter. He began to lead me into the study, where I was certain that my sister-in-law was entertaining my nephews with some delightful toy cars she had recently purchased from Macy’s. “In private”, I hastily added before stealing a glance at Malik’s face, uncertain what was the reason for his creased brow. “Certainly” he replied, taking me into the formal dining room which I had only seen being used once, on Christmas. I perched myself on the edge of one of the chairs uncomfortably whilst he stood up, leaning against one of the chairs. “Malik, I have to tell you something. This has been eating me, and I need to tell you the truth, but first, I just want you to realize that I love you”. A puzzled expression overcame his face, as his jaw dropped open and his eyebrows were knitted together in confusion. In a traditional Islamic family, an unrelated women could be punished severely for such open shows of affection, and could even be suspected of adultery. Then, for the first time since that terrible day, I let go. I let go of the safety bars and put myself in a vulnerable position which I had been much too terrified to do before this moment. A knot I had not even realized that had formed in the pit of my stomach loosened, and for the first time since the first day of my new life, I felt alive! I permitted the emotions I had never allowed myself to fully experience fill my body. Before I knew it, tears were streaming down my cheeks, whilst at the same time I was beaming so much that my face began to ache. So I told him everything, from what happened whilst we were trapped under the massive boulder together, to how I managed to work for him. All the while his face wore a tragic expression, but then he too started crying, and enveloped me in a sympathetic hug. He felt so guilty about risking my life for his that he couldn’t stop the tears from spilling down his cheeks. Malik then suggested in a shaky voice that I go tell the rest of the family about who I really am. It was all a blur after that, my sister-in-law was so bewildered that she nearly didn’t believe me. After explaining our extremely complicated relationship, we decided to slowly break the news to the children, who then raced upstairs to Malik’s room where he had retired after the emotional events of the evening. The door had been left ajar, so when I attempted to knock, it opened. On the floor we found Malik lying in a pool of blood, beside which we found a jewel encrusted knife. “No!” Jenna, my sister-in-law shrieked hysterically, grabbing his shoulders and shaking him; but it was hopeless. His head dangled from his neck completely insentiently. I sobbed in ragged breaths, leading the babies out of the room. After leaving them in their cots, I returned to find the paramedics in his room, covering up his body with a white cloth, shutting out all hopes of his survival with it. Grief chopped at me, as though with an axe, leaving my body weak and frail. I seized at the paramedic, begging him to do something, but knowing that there was no way anyone “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] could do anything now. The gentleman kindly pressed a soggy piece of paper into the palm of my hand. My heart almost fell through my chest whilst reading Malik’s suicide note, reading about how he felt so guilty that the only way to make the situation better was for him to be... gone. Anger raged inside of me; how could he?! I wanted to be with him, and that was the reason for my telling him the truth. He had so much to lose, his wife, his job and his beautiful children who will now never know their father. I then collapsed on the floor, clutching the note and sobbing hysterically. That is my story, of how I got to this point, where I am waiting for my brother’s funeral service to begin. How I went from having everything I could ever possibly want, to having it all taken away again…

Fate Chloe Findlay Alone. In what appears to be a deadly chamber, I just sit, the taste of dried blood staining the cuts on my lip as I wait. Just waiting. Waiting until the white light takes me away from this dark, cold world. Creak. “Hello?” The silence is slightly disturbed, and I make out the tread of shoe soles scraping across the cracked concrete slabs of the cell. “…Anyone… there?” “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] It hurts to talk, having not drunk in days. Creak. Instantaneous panic pounds in my chest like bongo drums, and sweat beads on my forehead, like dew at dawn. Listening to the sound that edges closer, I clench my damp fists, ready for the fight.

∞ The smell of ashes and pine waft in the early morning of a new day. Through vision still blurry, I catch a glimpse of the dappled light casting irregular shadows where I lie. I flex my fingers, they’re stained charcoal. Back aching, head spinning - my ears pick up the fragments of bird song and the crackle of dying flames. A dream… Is this a dream? Faintly, I hear the thud of my own heartbeat. I sit up, dizziness taking control of my weak mind. I grip the earth, needles and bark, trying to hold onto the life I thought I knew… but now I’m not so sure, I don’t think I can even remember anymore. Beside me, only a meter away, a shape stirs, breathing in hoarse whispers. Sudden realization grasps hold of me, as I become immediately aware. I am not alone. As I stagger to my feet, a wave of nausea overpowers my senses, and I drop like a pebble, falling to the forest floor, like a lame horse in a war. Discretely, I peer to my left, trying to classify the breathing object into a species category. As I do this, a wisp of memory slides before me. A park. The falling leaves in piles the shade of raspberries. Autumn. A familiar yet distant voice lingers to the right, the distance between us furthering by the second. His voice has a deep but soft tone, the very timbre that could cradle you as you fell asleep in his arms. We were playing a game, the species category pastime that we had created so long ago to divert ourselves from the depths of boredom. A warm and vibrant laugh erupts, a joke had been told. I try to picture his face, yet the memory dissolves, piece by piece, until nothing is left, just a solemn and mysterious wall.

∞ My eyes snap open. I am at first blinded by the light above me. I hear the breath of a person, and my instincts tell me to jump up and run, but then a shadow falls across my face. A girl. With eyes as blue as the ocean on a summer’s day, she stares down at me, her radiant golden hair cascading down her shoulders and forearms like a waterfall. A dream… Is this a dream? “Are you ok?” she whispers quietly to me as she gently holds my arm, lifting me into a sitting position from where I was lying. “Thank-you” I reply meekly as she slides down next to me. We gaze out towards the surrounding view of evergreen trees, rising past the clouds. I notice a mountain of burnt planks of wood cast off to the side, the smoke rising from the ashes up towards the clear blue morning. “What happened here?” I whisper, my voice as rusty as a box of weathered nails. “Don’t know, but it looks like the remains of a house” She replied, her fingertips brushing through the needles and dirt, creating never-ending spirals, overlapping then distancing themselves, like the universe. My stomach growls, loudly. A giggle disperses from her lips, oozing with warmth and kindness. “We should probably look for food and water, and when dusk nears, we should look for shelter.” I nod, then ponder on a question to ask before the awkwardness engulfs the situation. I had to say something simple yet not too personal. “What’s your name?” I scan her face, she scrunches up her nose and for a moment she appears confused. “I don’t know” she replies, turning away, as though ashamed for not remembering an important part of her being. “Do you know what letter your name begins with?” I ask, trying to distract her from her dismay. “A C” she whispered, her face again brightens and her radiant smile flows into me again. “Well, for the time being anyway, I hope you don’t mind me calling you Calliope?” “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] “Why Calliope?” she asks, her eyes giving away a little curiosity. “Because Calliope means to be ‘beautiful’, and also means the words ‘beautiful voice’, which I know you have.” Calliope blushes, her cheeks turning red crimson. She looks down towards earth, humming a little tune before looking back to me again. “Well, seeing as you know my name, what’s yours?” “Luke” I reply hesitantly, my eyes darting towards the side of the woods. A shadow stood amongst the trees, and then disappeared. Everything memory I once possessed rushes back into my brain, my worst fears flashing like neon signs before my eyes. I can’t fulfill my mission. “We should probably get out of here, someone will find us if we don’t move soon” I respond, getting to my feet, wincing at the jabs of pain in my right leg. “I thought you would never ask” She winks at me, wiping her hands on her ragged jeans prior to getting up, her height ending at my shoulders. “Where’s the nearest stream?”

∞ For days we travelled under a duvet of green, the floor once a mattress of pine needles and saplings, now a hard paved surface of arid land, stretching for miles past the horizon. A few stray trees provide little shade as we walk, weeds poking through the cracks of dirt, never giving up hope on the prospect of a new life. We walked and we walked, closing the distance between our once unfamiliar acquaintance. I may not have remembered anything of my past, but he had plenty to tell. His father, a controlling person, full of hatred and self-loathing, turned his son into a punching bag for many years. This is why he left. As the days grew onward, we began to grow more intimate with one another, telling each other stories to pass the time, stopping to rest at the hottest time of the day. I felt as though I had known him my whole life, and I wanted him to stay with me till the end, never letting go of me. When we would rest, he would hold my hand, as though he was worried I would disappear forever. It felt exhilarating, someone finally caring for me, a new chapter of my life, a new experience, weird, however not unpleasant. I felt invincible, like fate. Still following a now constant flowing river, the sun started to lower ever so slightly to the west. Too fatigued, too malnourished, too pessimistic to even conjure up the notion of taking another step, I drop to the floor, crawling into the shadow of a Mesquite. I leaned against the trunk of the withering tree, choking on the water from my fast emptying canteen. I will have to refill... later. I felt a nudge to my right arm. Luke sat right beside, leaning on my shoulder. I lean inwards, lying on his lap, feeling the blood pulsating through his veins under his tanned and, toned legs. This had become a regular thing. I look up, watching him gulp down the remaining water, breathing in long and deep breaths. Our eyes meet... I begin to blush, turning my head away from his wandering look, trying, to act completely normal. I was failing. To escape the romantic tension between us, I offered to refill the canteen while he rested, shading his head from the glaring sun hovering up above the blistering land of barren rock. After filling up the canteen to its maximum, I turned around slowly to walk back towards the skeletal remains of the dying plant, where I spy a glint to the right of my peripheral vision. I looked up slowly. No, it can’t be. There he stood tall, I only just realizing how tall he was when standing at his full height, his eyes full of sorrow. A knife - its jagged blade is sheathed in front of his stiff body. How could he? He gained my trust, my love, and betrayed me - deceitful as ever! Different tactics; yet the same motives! A piercing pain throbbed from my heart. How could he? Tears stung my eyes, falling slowly down my chin, leaving trails of moist saltwater down my face. They had found me…

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A Universal Mistake Amy Lee My heart is beating. The clock is ticking. And me? I’m running. I’m scared and frightened... but I keep moving forward.

I have to get out of here... I stop dead in my tracks.

My life was perfect. I’m an A student, I’m sporty and I had lots of friends who loved and cared for me. Life couldn’t get any better than that. That morning I woke up to the sound from a siren and the smell of burnt eggs and toast coming from the kitchen. Dad was trying to cook. Again. I figured the fire was no big deal because I heard mom shouting and the sound of the fire extinguisher going off. The siren stopped blaring. As reality started to pour in and all my drowsiness went away, I got out of bed, took a shower and got ready for school. I ride my bike to school every day. I passed Mrs. Pepper’s house and her cat Junior, who always seems to be watching my every move. Junior is a Bombay. She has piercing green eyes and sharp claws. She could scratch your eyes out so I’m often very careful around her. I start to speed away. I turned back to see if she was still glaring at me but she disappeared from the yard completely. I didn’t have time to be confused about a disappearing cat named Junior because all of a sudden I hear a high pitched scream - my high pitched scream, and the next thing I know I’m grabbing the brakes and flying off my bike. I closed my eyes, expecting the hard fall and all the blood and bruises I’d see, but I didn’t feel any pain. Instead, I landed on something much softer than the ground. I stay down for what seemed like hours... or maybe just 10 seconds. “You can get up now,” a soft voice whispered in my ear. I slowly opened my eyes and saw that I not only landed on a person, but I landed him in a small puddle. “I am so sorry!” I exclaimed. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

He took off his wet leather jacket, showing his perfectly shaped biceps. I blushed. “Are you okay?” I asked. “Yeah. I’m alright.” he said. I glanced up at his face and he had a brown “Justin Bieber hairstyle” (the style before Justin cut his hair) and his eyes were a light hazel colour that sparkled in the sun. He could win over any girl with his sweet smile. And his lips were a plump, light shade of red. “I’m Arianna!” I blurted. “Jake.” His name fit him perfectly. “So... Where do you go to school?” “Lindbergh High” He said. I smiled from ear to ear. “Me too!” I said enthusiastically. “Are you on your way? Let’s walk together!” §

It was 8:19 pm. I lay there on my bed thinking about Jake. It had been 2 weeks since I first met him. I really enjoy his company. He’s funny and sweet and nothing is awkward between us. But did that mean I was interested in him? Meow.

I turned my head to see what had interrupted my thoughts. It was Mrs. Pepper’s cat, Junior, sitting on my bedroom windowsill watching me. Her green eyes gave me chills down my spine. “You have 24 hours to clear off and get out.” She said. She did not just talk... “You have 24 hours to clear off and get out.” Junior repeated. I stumbled off my bed and said the only thing I could think of, “Y-You’re a cat... You are a cat!” “Yes, it’s good that you can use your inference. You need to know that you have 24 hours to clear off and get out! ” Junior said in a clear and persistent voice. “What do you mean I have to leave?” I asked, anger rising in my voice. But it was too late. She had disappeared. I spent the rest of my waking moment thinking then finally fell into a deep slumber. §

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Today was one of those days where the day seemed longer than usual. I couldn’t pay attention to anything the teacher said and Jake was not there to accompany me on my lonely journey. I was really hoping to hang out with him so that I could clear my head and get rid of all the nonsense. With him, I could talk about anything. He would make me laugh with his witty sense of humor. But not today... After school, I walked over to Jake’s house to see why he wasn’t at school. I hoped he wasn’t sick. I rang the doorbell and waited for what seemed like the longest time. Eventually, I began to walk home. I called Jake but it just went to voicemail. I texted him but he didn’t reply. I missed him. Maybe I was falling for him because I constantly wanted to be around him. Jake doesn’t like to be around girls that liked and flirted with him. Would he not like me if he found out that I had a crush on him? I looked around and noticed that I did not recognise my surroundings. Had I been too overwhelmed with thoughts that I didn’t realize that I took a wrong turn? There were no houses, but tons of trees crowded around the clearing that I was standing on. How did I get here? I couldn’t have possibly taken a wrong turn because there are no forests near my town and I was only walking for about 5 minutes. There were no roads or tracks. It was dark. I checked my watch. 8:11 pm. 24 hours. The cat had said, “ Eight minutes til’ that 24 hours is up”. I start to run. § My heart is beating and the clock is ticking. I’m sprinting as if a herd of elephants are chasing after me. I’m panicked and frightened... but I keep moving forward, searching desperately for answers.

I have to get out of here... I thought. I stop dead in my tracks. A fallow coloured, wooden door stood all by itself. “Why did you stop?” I turned around and was surprised to find him here. “Jake.” I didn’t understand how he could have gotten here. “Go through the door!” He ordered. “Why?” I said as I shook my head, “How did you get here?” He hesitated for a moment.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] “Look... I’ve been keeping something really important from you.” He looked at me as if expecting a reply but I was still a bit shocked and said nothing. He continued, “I’m not sure how to say this... but you’re not from here. As in Earth.” This was unbelievable. First a talking cat and then Jake is saying that I’m not from earth. I start laughing. “Wait... you’re not surprised?” “Of course I am!” I said sighing with laughter. “What could get weirder than this? Tell me, if I’m not from Earth where am I from?” I questioned, wondering what lame thing Jake might say next. “You’re from Earth but another Earth... If you know what I mean.” I looked at him in bewilderment. He was really sticking to his story. “What other Earth is there but Earth itself?” “The universe is tricky science. Right now we are in what is called the Milky Way Galaxy and you live in a dwarf galaxy that rotates around the Milky Way Galaxy. In the dwarf galaxy there is a planet. That is Earth - the other Earth. You can say that it’s a ‘duplicate’. Everything that is here, is there, but people can live a totally different life. For example, there is a duplicate of you or me, but they may live in another country.” “So you’re saying, that there is another me and that other me can be living a totally different life?” I couldn’t believe this was actually starting to make sense to me. “Yes... but you could have a totally different name and you might not even have met me over there. Everything is the same but also very different.” he said. “So if I’m from that Earth then why am I in this one?” “Because the universe made a mistake. There are two of you in this Earth. We’re not so sure how you got here but all I know is, you’re not supposed to be here. You completely sent the universe unbalanced because there is no you on the other Earth. Let’s just call that one Warth because it’s getting confusing...” he said. “Then what do I do?” I asked and instantly regretted it. “Go through the door.” he stated. I looked back at it. Nothing seemed to be behind it. It was just a door in the middle of nowhere. I’ve seen plenty of movies in order to know that that door would be leading off to another realm or something like that. “But how do you know all -” “That’s not important!” he grew a little anxious. “Don’t think about the life you had here. Once you go through that door, no one will know anything and the other you

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] here on Earth, will be replacing you. She will think that she has had your life the whole time.” I looked into his eyes, searching them for any kind of lie. There was nothing but the truth, and that was what I was afraid of... “I don’t want to go! Why can’t she go instead of me? I like my life! I’ll miss my parents and friends! Maybe not my brother but...” “Please... Just go...” he pleaded. I looked at his expression. His eyes were full of sorrow. But why? I didn’t understand. I didn’t like seeing him hurt and not even knowing why... After all this, I still feel like I had feelings for him and I was willing to go as long as he went with me. “Will you come too?” I said looking up into his eyes. He smiled weakly and nodded. I hesitantly placed my hand on the doorknob. I slowly turned the handle, slightly pushed and let the door slide open by itself. All I see is the other side of the forest... Was this a joke? “Go on.” Jake urged. Before I step into my world, I promised myself that I would not forget my amazing life here and remember everyone important in my life. I let out a long sigh, letting all my mixed emotions show.

Just one last glance. One last step. One last breath - here...

New York Paul Yoon September 11th will always have a portion of my heart... “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] ****************************************************************** Just within my peripheral vision, I caught the sight of the vehicle of happiness. As the dirty wheels cruised down the road, my heart beat twice before it entered a moment of desire and awe. Sweat was dripping down the side of my cheeks and every time the wind blew across my face, it felt like heaven. I fantasized about the crispy cone and the scrumptious ice cream as i walked towards the ice cream van. I reached into my tight jean pocket like the handle of an arcade machine - hoping to find a dime or two. As I felt the two coins with my cheesy finger tips, I immediately dropped my bag of Cheetos and accelerated towards the ice-cream van. As I felt the wind slapping my face, I looked above the colossal twins towering over me. From a distance, I could see ominous clouds daggering towards the building and the wind altered its movement. I was too focused to the awkward atmosphere that I was oblivious to the departing van. From a distance, I could smell something scorching like a burnt barbeque. I didn’t question or even seek out the source of that acrid smell. What really got me worried was the plethora of people evacuating the vicinity. “Get out of here!”, hollered an old man running a hotdog stand down the aisle. I panicked and my heart dropped like the peak of a rollercoaster. Numerous worries came into my head as I didn’t know what was causing the people to leave. “Go home kid,” said the half-naked Abercrombie and Fitch model. That caught my attention and my feet skittered down the road until they came to a halt. I felt something clutching my heels. Could this be the end? Was this my demise? I scrolled my vision down but there was nothing, until... I saw... a little girl - about four feet tall, dressed up in a cute evening gown with a silver-lined tiara- grasping for air. She muttered the words that struck my heart... “Will you find my mommy?” I had no choice but to gently tug her into my arms and squeeze her tightly. Then I gave her a generous smile and popped her behind my back and together we strolled down the street oblivious to our surroundings. Despite the fact that there was complete chaos, I soothed her until she dropped her head on my right shoulder and I could hear a gentle snore next to my ear. I was isolated and I did nothing but stay stationary. My leg muscles were aching and I could not move anymore. Looking for a place to sit down and rest, I found a wallet on the floor. The wallet was made out of leather and it was badly burnt... I cracked the wallet open and found a devastating image inside! Lying in front of my eyes, was the image of the girl in my arms and her two brothers and sister. There was also a number written on the bottom crease of the image with the words printed: “St.Mary’s Orphanage”. She must’ve been abandoned by her friends and family. I sat down on the sidewalk, leaning against the walls of the empty Starbucks. Despite the fact that I had just figured out that the girl I was holding was an orphan who was abandoned, I felt the same way as her... strange I guess. My eyes were slowly, very steadily closing and I let go of all my worries and fell asleep on the street.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] Less than a minute later, multiple shrieks were audible from a distance. My head tweaked clockwise as I caught vision of the hourly CNN daily news. An image blew my mind as the Pentagon (less than 40 miles away) had been assaulted by terrorists. My instinct was to save myself because at the end of the day, I didn't want to die. “Jeremy? Can we go back to the playroom?” That was when I realized that the young girl was still with me. I couldn’t just abandon her but I couldn’t cover any ground with her too... I had to decide whether or not I want to save myself or surrender her to the chaos of terror… Well, what would you have chosen?

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Runner Sean Ma A dark cloudy day; lightning particles were crackling at extreme speed. Rain was dropping like atomic bombs. The disturbing smell of fire filled up my lungs within seconds. My lungs filled up with carbon dioxide, slowly disintegrating. The sound of screaming children sent a chill down my spine. Sour, sweet, bitter salty: all mixed together in my mouth, and I was too confused to choose which one to save, as all four shrivel up. The “Doomsday” project, was a disaster... ******************************************* 27th of August 2039 was a date which was a special day to one young boy - me. Slowly getting out of my bed, my legs started to scream in pain. The cancer was starting to take effect. I was diagnosed a few days ago and it was shocking. Telling my family and friends was useless, so I kept it a secret. However, keeping a secret about something so painful was impossible, so I had to “fake” it out. Walking down the stairs, I started to hear creaking noises. The house was old, so old that even a new-born could tell. The rusty smell of the house made it so obvious. The hardest part of that day was to look at my parents. I was keeping something painful inside, both mentally and physically. Trying to not sob while I was eating breakfast was ridiculous; I had to cry. Whenever my parents asked me why I was crying, I had to make up an excuse. Things such as “I got a bad grade on my maths test” to something like “I broke up with my girlfriend”. School was nothing fun, just the usual school. However... 27th of August 2039 was special. During lunch time, I had a race with my friends. I knew that I was going to come last, but I had to try. Forgetting about my pain, I started to jog slowly. KABOOM! And that was it, the sound that changed my life. “Why are you so fast?”, was the only thing that I heard from that day. The loud noise was me, nothing else, just me! As soon as that noise was heard by me, time “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] slowed down. I started walking because I was 100 percent sure that I was going to lose, however I started to realise something... something extraordinary. My friends were running, but they were moving slowly. It seemed like everything around me stopped moving. I just walked to the finish line and everything started to move back at the right speed. I came first, and my friends were still at the starting line. After school, I tested if I could use that “force” again, but this time, I started to sprint. KABOOM! The same noise was unleashed. I started to sprint for my life. The concrete floor started to disintegrate out of existence. I ran home. 0.00000000001 millisecond was the approximate time it took me to run home. By bus, it takes me an hour. From that day on, 27th of August 2039, my life changed rapidly. I started to eat more, I started to “run” more and I started to realise that my leg pain was no more. I, Sean Johnson, could run faster than the speed of light and my cancer was gone. ********************************************************* 25th of December, 2039 was Christmas. By now I had fully mastered my “superspeed” which led me an idea to find Santa Claus. I woke up really early and I had a quick jog, not intending to use my powers, I accidentally ran across the Grand Canyon. “HO! HO! HO! MERRY CHRISTMAS!” a loud booming voice roared across the Grand Canyon. With that sound, I ran to the noise. After 0.4 seconds of running, I found Santa, jumped on his sleigh and travelled to the North Pole with him. When we reached Santa’s house, I slowly jumped off and ran behind a tree. My heart was pumping loud and fast. I started to lose a lot of sweat. The snow below me was melting into the state of liquid, from my intense heat. “Who’s there?” Santa questioned in a curious voice. “RUN” my thoughts told me. With time slowing down, I turned my hip and started to run. As soon as my head turned to the direction I was sprinting “BAM!” I crashed into Santa. “Hmmm, a runner?” Santa said in a quiet voice. I apologized, “I am sorry for infiltrating your house...” my voice faded. “No! It is fine, as long as you are the same species as me. Can you run fast?” he questioned. “Yes sir, how did you know?” I replied. Santa explained about aliens from another planet called “runners”. He told me that we are humans that have the abilities to do things super quickly, like running, reading, engineering and more. Santa was a super-fast mechanical man who flies around Earth super quickly with his super speed sleigh that he constructed to drop presents in chimneys. “You are quite the rare one.”, Santa commented. “Excuse me? I am not special at all!” I shouted. “I see that you are a runner, that can run at extreme speed.” he replied. “Who are your parents? What are their names?” he questioned. “David and Mary Johnson.”, I replied “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] “Ah, the King and Queen of Runners!” he shouted. I gave my farewell to Santa, as he provided gifts for me, my father and mother, the King and Queens of Runners. I ran home telling my parents about my powers and my story. I had a good life was the only thought that rang in my head forever: I, Sean Johnson, will be the fastest runner in the entire universe.

The Crash Marcus Costoff One day, as I travelled alone by plane, I had a bad feeling. I was with other passengers; the air hostesses were wearing blue clothes, a cap, and the rest in blue. Suddenly, some people were starting to worry. There was an announcement: “Ladies and Gentlemen do not panic, don’t move from your seat and keep your belt attached to you.’’ As I heard this announcement I looked at the window, one wing of the plane was starting to burn! I did as the announcement said and kept looking at the window where I could see a very cold area. Then the plane crashed. As I woke up, I was hurt as if bricks were falling on me. I had a seat blocking my feet. Some survivors were with me. They helped me remove the seat blocking my feet and then left me. They went far alone without me. I had to find some food and see if there are any more survivors. As I was searching for food I saw a little kid crying. His arm was terribly bleeding as if he was assassinated. I tried to stop the bleeding but then the kid stopped crying and died. I found some food and I was sorry for the little kid. Then I could hear ‘’Wahoo!’’ These wolves were running to me! I had to run and run! Until, I found somewhere to hide… but the wolves could smell me, because I was covered with food when I woke up from the crash. I went on a tree trying to reach the top of it. Then I broke the branch of a tree and try to sharpen it. After it was sharpened enough, I jumped from the tree and then hit the wolves. “Secrets” 2013

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They went away and didn’t try to attack me again. I went to the plane and tried to find a place to sleep that was well protected and not that cold. I won’t use the toilet, really? At the back of the plane were situated the baggage hold. There was a military one which carried weapons. As I opened it there was one handgun with ammo. I took it and went away. The weapon was black and was called a M9; it was used as a secondary weapon. This place was not a good place but I had to rest in the toilet. The morning I had to eat the rest of the food left from the plane. Then I walked far away until I reached a mountain. I had to reach the top but I didn’t have any materials that I could use to reach it. So during that time, I tried to find a way to communicate. But there was any signal. At that moment, suddenly… AN AVALANCHE WAS GOING TO FALL ON ME! The only option I had to use was to RUN! As I ran, I could feel a layer of snow covering my feet to my head. It looked the same as I was underwater for 2 minutes! I woke up surviving the Avalanche. It was starting to get darker so I had to build a shelter to eat, rest and sleep. But as I looked around I found a cave. I thought about using the cave as a shelter but I always had to be careful of danger. As I entered, I was not welcomed. A bear was looking at me… I didn’t move. The bear was certainly going to attack me so I had a chance to defend myself. I had no solution but to escape or die…. Later on, I saw the fishes that he was eating. That was not the best option. I had 1 chance out of 100 to survive. I tried to reach the fish but the bear was looking so serious that I didn’t have a chance. At that moment I heard ‘’RUN!’’ I did as the voice told me and ran to jump to broken pieces of ice. The bear was going to catch me up. As I jumped to the broken pieces of ice the bear fell in the water. I had a chance to escape, but wasn’t very sure what to do. I went to the crash of the airplane to see if there were any rescuing people. I decided to take some materials from the plane to build a signal. And went far from the plane to build a small shelter for me to sleep, and eat. After the long construction, I didn’t finish of course but it was worth it. I slept in the house which had a room covered with wood. I had to find some food, so I decided to fish. Wolves were trying to reach me but I couldn’t do anything. So I used my gun. The battle finished... After that tired night, I tried to build a signal I needed cables and electricity. After that signal was created, I made contact with the U.S. I gave my location and coordinates. They told me that they might arrive in 5 days. 5 days later, I was ready to go, when I walked through the helicopter, the ice felt as it was going to

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crack. I was scared but after all, I will be home again. I walked slowly and I fell in the water, it was like ice was in my body everywhere. I felt a horrible pain. That was the end of me! The life of a new world will start - ‘’heaven’’.

Darkness Barbara Leger I wake up from what seems like a dream… What is this place? A ray of sunlight shines through a small crack in the wall. Everything else is dark apart from one thing: a round silver object like a spark in the middle of the room. I slowly get up. “Ow!” I touch my knee; a watery substance is oozing out of it. Is it water? Is it blood? I try getting up again, ignoring the pain in my knee and hobble to the object. It’s a door handle. My hand grabs the handle and pulls madly. It’s locked. “Argh let me out!” I scream I hear a sniff behind me. It looks like a man wearing a white vest about 40 years old from what I can see. Cautiously, I limp to the sound. “Hello? Anyone there?” I whisper That’s when I see darkness again. I open my eyes. I’m still in a dark room but... somehow it looks different. There is light but it’s still gloomy. I shiver. It’s so cold. Where am I? I need to stay here I tell myself. I crawl into the darkness, my whole body shaking of fear. I find the corner. I sleep in fear… in fear of everything. I quickly open my eyes. It’s so bright I hurt as though the sun is staring at me right in the eyes. Everything around me is white. There are no desks, no chairs, just me in the middle of the eerie room lying down on a mattress on the floor. I hear a door opening. What are they going to do to me? I’m innocent! I haven’t done anything! “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] “Let me out! NOW!” I start yelling in pain. My knee feels like it’s going to fall off. I can’t see anything and my vision starts to become black and I’m falling… falling into darkness. It’s the third time I wake up and I am determined to stay this time. I’m still in this white room but a little furniture has been added. There are books, a desk and a chair. I get up and start walking towards the bookshelf when I feel this weird but nice sensation in my leg… I can walk now! For real! I don’t need to limp anymore! When I arrive at the bookshelf I am tired and my breath is abnormal even though it was only a few steps away. What is this? What am I doing here? I grab a book and sit on the floor and start reading. I read and read and read. I never stop. I don’t even feel tired. How long this lasts, I don’t know but several weeks for sure. Finally one of the books falls from the bookshelf and a golden necklace tumbles out from the book waking me up from my reverie. The book that fell is “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank. Huh... weird. I didn't know I was reading that! I reach for the necklace, my hands shaking as I do so. It has my name on it! That’s when I start seeing my childhood: me and my brother, me and my sister, me and my mum. In none of all those flashbacks do I see my dad. I don’t remember him. I don’t even know why I was in that dark room. All I remember is going into my room. I tripped on a book. The whole room was fading. Fading... and gone. I can feel the darkness pulling me in, grabbing me and I have to use all the strength I have to hold on. Blackness has overcome me. I wake up from what seems like a dream… What is this place? A ray of sunlight shines through a small crack in the wall. Everything else is dark apart from one thing: a round silver object like a spark in the middle of the room. I slowly get up. “Ow!” I touch my knee; a watery substance is oozing out of it. Is it water? Is it blood? I try getting up again, ignoring the pain in my knee and hobble to the object. It’s a door handle. My hand grabs the handle and pulls madly. It’s locked. “Argh let me out!” I scream I hear a sniff behind me. It looks like a man wearing a white vest about 40 years old from what I can see. Cautiously, I limp to the sound. “Hello? Anyone there?” I whisper That’s when I see darkness again. I’m turning in circles. The same memory. Again. And again. And again.

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Façade William Pena It took me quite a while to finally regain my senses after being knocked unconscious for reasons unknown. As I went wherever my feet took me, a blurred landscape reached my eyes. It was nothing like I’d ever seen. In fact, I could not really tell what I had already seen and what I hadn’t. Everything was a haze - nothing clear or defined. After thirty three blinks, the aforementioned facade seemed to have disappeared and all I was left with was various shapes which seemed to be missing something. Were they missing their sides? I could not tell. An abstract world made of various white lines and darkness was all I knew as of now. Slowly and mindlessly, I wandered through various places looking for an explanation to this place. Fifty steps. Fifty-one. Fifty-two... At my five hundred sixty-sixth pulmonary pressure difference I found a special object which seemed to reflect different frequencies of light depending on the area where the photons hit it. It originated from a white glowing... thing. These different frequencies never ceased to amaze me. I stared at it for thirty-two beats before taking my leave. Such objects and glowing entities appeared more and more often as I walked and explored this senseless world. Four hundred eighty-six... Another word blasted my subconscious: “colour”. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] Colour, I thought... Was this what the other objects were missing? Was this the frequency changes in photons that blast my retinas as I gander at the strange objects? Even if it wasn’t, I decided it would be a suitable chain of phonetics to use. It sounded quite beautiful, in fact. Six hundred... Darkness seemed to vanish as more colour flooded the empty spaces between the white lines and geometric shapes. “... not...” Something seemed out of place! “ready... he... young...” I grasped my head as the many voices bombarded me. Something gnawed at me, something different. These things did not feel physical, but were somehow caused by changes inside my head. Sometimes enjoyable and sometimes overpowering, these sensations seemed to appear depending on the things I saw... I learned to enjoy this sensation. It gave me knowledge and made me feel somewhat unique. Every time I learned about something new I would be gratified with positivity and every time I saw something I could not comprehend, I would be drawn to it. All of this felt as if I belonged in this bizarre world. Just the thought of it made me contract my cheek and mouth muscles. Past occurrences seemed to be filling my memory, I saw a caretaker embracing me as her existence made me feel fulfilled. Around us stood dark figures that blinded my perception of the things around me. The more I looked at them, the more I seemed to forget the wonders I had just discovered. Foolishly, I stepped away from my life giver’s arms and walked over to the shadows as my knowledge was taken away, replaced by fake sensations. I had not moved for so many blood circulations; so many that they didn’t seem to be worth mentioning. I looked up and saw luminous concentrations of matter that burned as they emitted light, all of them around this massive, ever moving sphere. The fulfilled sensation came back to me as I saw the light from another ball of fire reach my retina. What I was seeing was the oldest and most fascinating thing I had ever seen. From the beginning of time all the way here, light had travelled so far... As I strolled along, watching everything around me as they had been before, I started to think, “why am I here?” Of course it seemed like an obvious question that I should have asked before, but I did not. It just came to me. Why? Finding that thought and discarding it felt unusual, as if I had actually been attracted to it. After some time, I grew certain that I would not discover anything more. Just then, I... I felt something. I took a step and as my foot came in contact with the low frequency coloured floor, I felt it again. Slowly I started to discover more about this unusual sensation until I came to the conclusion that, as my foot impacted the ground, various air pressure differences that fluctuated in peculiar manners caused a thin piece of skin in my ears to start a chain reaction which ended up in me perceiving it as... another sense. “Sound.” Yet another beautiful word, “sound.” I was quickly enchanted at the wide variety of emotions, moods and messages that pressure imbalances could create. A good example of this would be my own voice. Quickly, I learned to manipulate my larynx in such a way that the passing air would cause various vibrations depending on things such as the amount of air I breathed out. I could convey emotions of joy, melancholy, anger and fear... but there was nobody to interpret them. I was all alone. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] If only I had something to care for - something to make me want to stay here... Where had that caretaker gone? “And to think that I did not cherish her”, I remembered, “if only I had been better than a sociopathic nuisance...” These mysterious thoughts made tears flood my eyes, blinding me with guilty feelings that made me regret my very existence. I stumbled to the ground, tears still flowing. I was still all alone... The luminous ball of fire which kept this planet warm positioned itself above me. It glistened with the promise of a new beginning and great expectations. Lethargically, I lifted my worthless body and forced myself to stand up straight, even if my feet threatened to backstab me. Every step felt painful. The ground beneath me seemed to be sucking my will to live away from my frail soul. “Mother...” something blasted my subconscious “…ward… danger... over...” I was constantly being reminded of the way I treated her, and how she-. Just as I was ready to give in, she appeared as I looked up. The caretaker! The life-giver! She was tall and brave, brave and admirable. Her eyes seemed to radiate tranquility which seeped down to me, calming and numbing my emotions as I took a long gaze at her magnificence. Her loving arms reached out to me. It only took one touch to alleviate my anxiety and melancholy. Slowly, she pulled me close to her and held me in her arms, protecting me from the outside world. My eyes closed as I had nothing to fear - she made my life feel complete. I didn’t want to leave her comfort, and I knew that I would never need to now...

“My infinite love” Antonio Garcia

I felt like God. People were ants that were running; hurrying for a job interview, or family issues. But I was calm. I had all the time in the world. Cars were roman soldiers, fighting their way through the whole legion. The air whistled while its soft texture touched me once more, maybe even for the last time... She urged me not to do it! There she was in my mind. And after all, only one question was enough to drag me to the unoccupied emptiness: “How could she?” A door dashes against the wall. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] “Stop!” I ignore it. I look down. A wet tear, never ending, painfully devastates my cheek like a tank bombing the town of Guernica. But it is the first and the last... all of them are already drained as well as the love in my heart. Silence! Just the lonely ,crestfallen, solitude... Air jousts against my body trying to prevent my fall, but it is not strong enough. Wait... is that the cry I have waited for? It forms words joining like a puzzle revealing: “I love you” I love you too. My infinite love. A liquid slowly dashes through the gaps of the numbing, desolate grey stone. My feet quail, my head wobbles. Am I drunk? I look down as the liquid reminds me of something peculiar - could it be? Panic surges through me as I indistinctly say to myself, “blood- My blood!” ******************** She was in a cafe. It was too loud to hear to smoggy to see and I was too desperate to realise that the love of my life who would bring me to my ruin was looking at me. “step...step...step” Not one step more! I have only seen her twice in my lifetime so far, however my hearts beats at the same time as hers even though I do not have one . Who is she? What does she want? An electrical shock surged through me as I saw her move her gaze - no she didn’t look at me she looked at that man. The human form of ugliness! That unbearable disgrace! I hate him. He has taken my life - I shall take his instead! She was in a cafe. Too loud to hear to smoggy to see… too desperate to realise that the love of my life that will bring me to my ruin was looking at me. “step...step...step” Not one step more! “Secrets” 2013

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I have only seen her twice in my lifetime so far - however my hearts beats at the same time ashers even though I do not have one . Who is she? What does she want? An electrical shock surged through me as I saw her move her gaze. She looked at me with disgust. ****************** Unhurried footsteps Silence. If only that wasn’t the shout of pure pain. The air hit my face preventing my attack. I vaulted, my eyes full of flames and rage . My cape comes and goes. He screams. His eyes shimmer for his love for her could be comparable to my everlasting love for that attractive witch-my witch. Blood squirts everywhere like a fountain. His body lies lifeless, for now the only thing he can do is relieve the thirst of my ferocity. But it is not enough for my inhumane eyes to forget the tug of war between the shadow of the halo and the shadow of shame and desolation. I have to do my duty. If she only has eyes for this man then this man shall disappear...

****************************************** Leathery shoes touch the lifeless, frigid floor. Her pale skin reveals the human-form of fatigue however her eternal splendor is still there. Her blue eyes conquer the sky and the stars for they are too divine for sight itself. She is the reflection of the human-form of Aphrodite in my eyes. I raise her from the numb floor. I take her home. My feet could not have the audacity to keep on going. I was the pointer and she was 12 O’clock . Minutes later, I leave her, I vanish to 1 O’clock. ************************************************************ Brooklyn Bridge; Friday just before this day. 9:00 pm, not one minute more, not one second more, not one millisecond more. Rain slowly pours through my eye mixing with my blood, salty blood-my scornful wound, letting droplets drown like the “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] droplets on the window. I have been slain by my biggest agitation. Time stopped, my gaze lifted. My heart pounds, my veins bulge. I had no more courage for once, I stopped. No more air was supplied to make the windmill turn. That was the end of a stupid vampire who fell in love with a mortal. I was near to the ground now, falling without any grain of honour. I had to fall like a wall being pounded by barbarians for there was no force except “love” But sorrow was too strong and I was too weak. For all along this was all a show: I was a bull desperately fighting for the “impossible love” however love fooled me and tormented me; played with me. It has made me drown in my own agony. And the bullfighter was my love which in the end has killed me. However this show had two bulls which fought each other for the same bullfighter. But it is neither here or there, she will always be the villain who stole my vampire heart. The End

Black Rose Michelle Yun Fair Oaks High School. Even the name brings back old memories… ↭

I stand in the courtyard and stare at the steady flow of students entering the building. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

1993. It has been exactly a year since I last visited—I wonder if anyone will still remember me. The place looks more or less the same. The old water fountain still has its leak; the hedges are still overgrown and badly trimmed... Yet, something felt different. Perhaps it was something in the air, but I could have sworn the place reeked of guilt and sorrow. I shook my head—I was probably imagining things. Though, I’ll have to admit, I was a bit unnerved at how life at Fair Oaks still went on without me—I thought I had made a lasting impression. Or maybe, once again, that was my imagination. ↭

“Just go away!” I screamed, “Leave me ALONE!” Fiercely, I wiped a tear off my cheek and glared at the crowd, “Why do you always pick on me? How am I any different from you?” For a moment, the crowd was completely silent. Then, slowly, one by one... they began to laugh. ↭

I look towards the right and see my former best friend, Stacey, crossing the road with some guy. My face scrunches up like I’ve just tasted a lemon—I’m still not sure what to think of Stacey. I’ve never been much of a grudge-holder, but sometimes it can be so hard to forgive people for what they’ve done. Not that it matters anymore. Stacey will never know the truth about me or how sorry I am for the things I did to her. I lean against a gray rock and think about when it had first started. Stacey and I had been childhood friends—we had done everything together! There are so many photos of us making mud pies, picking flowers, raking autumn leaves, having snowball fights... Then we entered middle school. Stacey had always been concerned about fitting in, but as soon as we hit 6th grade things really began to change. In our friendship, Stacey had always been the cooler one. Even when she was surrounded by a dozen or so of her friends, she would still be the one to rush to my defence whenever someone picked on me. She was the one with the money, the looks, the brains... but up until now that didn’t bother our friendship. As the years went on, something between us faded away. I found that the Stacey (who had once always wanted me by her side) always surrounded herself with her other “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] friends. I found that the Stacey who had once so fiercely defended me often stood to one side and watched from a distance. Then one day, I found that the Stacey whom I had once been the best of friends with... had become a stranger! And in time she would soon become one of “them.” ↭

“Umm... can you move?” Ciara asked, looking down upon me as if I were a piece of garbage. I shrunk against the lockers but was a second too late. Her hand landed squarely against my cheek and I was thrown backwards into another person. Her gang of friends began to giggle and point, whispering my name. Their words flew towards me and attacked every inch of my body, entering through my ears and bouncing around in my head—eventually making its way down to my toes.

“Samantha”

“Samantha”

“Samantha”

“Samantha”

“Samantha”

Deliberately, I slowly lifted my head and stared icily at Ciara. She merely smirked and stuck her chin out. I could already feel my cheek begin to swell up. A small crowd had begun to form, and as I glanced into the sea of faces, I could identify a few of my close friends. Friends who stood there and watched! I caught sight of Stacey. I opened my mouth to call out to her—to ask her to end this calamity—but then stopped. She was standing in a self-defensive position with her arms crossed over her chest. I saw her shake her head sadly, then disappear into the crowd. As she left, I thought I saw a flicker of guilt cross her face... but I will never be sure because in the next instant she was gone. ↭

It began with Ciara. She first came to Fair Oaks Primary School in kindergarten, and at that time she was the one who was teased. The kids poked her stomach and cheeks, commenting on how chubby she was. I was always nice to her though. I remember one time when she was crying I gave her my pretzels and told her she was pretty. Whenever she was being teased, I would boldly step up and tell the other children to stop. We were good friends. One day she left without warning, and when she came back in 5th grade, things had “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] changed. Over the three years, Ciara had been through so much. She had been caught in the middle of her parent’s messy divorce, turning her mean and uncaring. And to everybody’s surprise, she had lost a lot of weight and became very pretty over that time. She became instantly popular after her return—losing whatever unpleasant image she had before. But this new and changed Ciara came with a price. And it turned out that I was her victim. ↭

The bell rings and the sound of crowded hallways and slamming lockers floats up from the main division. I can hear laughter and friends shouting to one another. I feel a sharp pain around my neck that causes tears to spring to my eyes. I unfasten the top button of my collar and breathe deeply, trying to keep myself from hyperventilating. Ever since “the incident”, I can’t seem to get a hold of myself. I keep losing focus, forgetting important things, having flashbacks... It’s like I’m going crazy and nobody cares enough to notice. “The incident” was what caused me to leave. That day was the first time Stacey had joined “them” in their teasing and taunting. It was the worst day of my life, and I finally decided that I had had enough. No matter what they did to me, no matter how much they despised and bullied me... I was still Samantha Corler. And no one—not Ciara, not Stacey—could change that. I wouldn’t let them push me around like this anymore. I wasn’t going to be their victim. I was going to stand up for myself and change things. That night I went home and considered my options. There was a nice private school a little under an hour’s drive from here. Or perhaps... The next morning I didn’t come to school, and just like that it was over. I left Fair Oaks and convinced myself that I would never have to go through such pain again. Little did I know that one year later I would be standing in the exact spot I had left in such a hurry. I thought an open door was all I needed. I thought a fresh start would fix everything. Never had I been so wrong. Oh, how stupid I had been! I should have known it was just a phase in life; I should have known that things would have gotten better! Instead, I was so wrapped up in my own sorrow and pain that I threw away the best thing that I ever had. My friends, my family, everything and everyone I cared about... when I left I distanced myself from everybody so much that I ended up hurting them as well. I came back in hopes of making everything right again, but now I see that it is a little too late.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

Ciara squinted at the figure in the courtyard. She was leaning against a gray rock and staring out into the distance. She looked familiar. The way her hair gathered around her shoulders, how her head bowed down a little... It kind of reminded Ciara of that girl—oh what was her name again? That girl who would always walk in the hallways with her head down. The one who always sat at the back of the classroom... Ciara tapped one perfectly manicured finger against her crimson lips and racked her brain. Hadn’t the girl left around a year ago? She stared as the girl knelt down and picked something up. She placed it on the rock she had been sitting on and turned around. The girl began to walk into a sudden fog that had begun to form. Soon the smoke had engulfed her. Ciara squinted some more but she couldn’t see anything. A strong gust of wind picked up and scattered the mist until it had cleared. The girl was gone. Ciara hesitated, then walked over to investigate. As she approached the stone, something caught her eye that made her come to a dead stop. A shiver ran down her spine. Lying there, on top of the gray tombstone... was a single, black rose. Here lies Samantha Corler May she forever Rest In Peace 1976~1992

The Lost Soul Anna Lee

Lives. I have encountered and lived so many but yet I still don’t know of my own life and I cannot figure out who I am. My existence is confusing because I do not know if I am dead or alive. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] Somehow I seem to be tunnelling through several journeys of other lives. I enter into another person’s dead body, just as the soul is about to travel on past life. And in this brief moment, from light to darkness to light again, I am able to relive and re-experience all the major happenings and emotions of the person’s soul that I have taken over. I do not know how I come to live these different lives, but each seems to be a clue to who I am. I must have had many secrets, even from myself, which I need to unravel to know what my own life was like. Getting dirt in my fingernails, having grains of sand from the sandbox seep in between your fingers... Being 7 years old is probably one of the most calm, non-stressful periods in your life. Unfortunately for this child, 7 was a very unlucky number. What with having no one but your mother to rely on; and even she did not have the hope to save him. The Early years were his highlights. I remember the bliss he felt during his 6th birthday, and it is shocking to see how in one year, a bright joyful boy was transformed to the complete opposite version of himself. Very soon, pain, rejection, loss and fear, were the only feelings I was familiar to feeling, and I was immune to anything happy. Of course, being sent to the orphanage was not the problem, it was the cold, harsh truth of complete abandonment that his family gave him. Never in my past lives have I felt such deep pain and emotion towards someone... and for the first time, I felt something that really shifted my heart and this something made me feel more human. Another soul, dead. “Dr. Wilson, you are needed in the emergency room”… The way people look at me is with great respect and distance. It seems as though I have a few close friends who are loving, but uncomfortable with me. I shut everyone out, but yet, I am a caring dedicated doctor, who wants the best for his patients’ well-being. It is easy for me to relate to this role. I wonder if I also helped others with their medical problems. How could someone so sympathetic to others want to be so alone? I travel back many years before and see and feel the warmth and beauty of love saturated in all his body. His first love, Claire was the best thing that ever happened to him. But with his overwhelming professional responsibilities, his relationship suffered and she left him. Since that day, he has been too scared to get too attached to people, as he cannot bear to stand that feeling of rejection again… The rage of the monstrous flames surround me. I am scared, I am hot, but I must find people to save before the building collapses. I lose my breath quickly, sprinting through every floor, trying to find the girl who is screaming. I think of my own daughter and how I would want to be her hero. At last, I see her, but we both do not survive. It is a tragic death for such a devoted, young fireman who was survived by his wife and daughter. As sad as it was, he died in dignity and as a hero, dying in the line of duty. I could not feel any relation to this man, but the fire haunts me. The fire that started accidentally by a child that killed the whole family, makes me tremble inside. Is this part of my story too? Now I am trapped behind bars, with nothing but grey cold walls surrounding me. I deserve to be here. I deserve every last punishment and the death sentence that awaits me. I regret the life I lead and all the people I killed and their families that I have damaged. However, in my last years, I met a psychiatrist, Dr. Sandburg, who was warm hearted enough to listen to my story. He helped me to understand my mistakes and even though I would never leave the prison, he helped me to live the best life I could. Soon after, I stopped my addiction to drugs and smoking, which helped me to think clearer and act more responsibly. Even though I am living through this inmate, I feel I am looking at a mirror of Dr. Sandburg. Finally I am in a body of someone that is absolutely perfect with an absolutely perfect life. His life was so easy. David had a loving relationship with his parents; he was popular in school, received high grades, played sports… He had everything he wanted, his hard work and determination “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] reflected throughout, and therefore he was awarded with it. His family was always there for him, never left him to be lonely, always had his back. And of course in times of trouble and need, they were right behind him, ready to catch his fall. I wish this was my life, but I doubt it. Simply due to the fact that I feel no connection with him whatsoever, but only the sad feeling that I did not have the things he had. The only unfortunate thing that happened in his life was the fact that he had terminal cancer, but of course his family had to find the best surgeon in town, Dr. Wilson, but even he couldn’t cure him... I am travelling to another chapter of someone’s life. I do not even recall picking up a dead body, but with all that is going in my life right now, I must have not even realized. The smell of fresh leather and a freshly painted room fills my lungs. In front of me I see a troubled patient, telling me about her problem. I look at my name tag on my jacket, ‘Mr ….’ The name was blank. I seemed to enjoy helping my patients; helping them figure out answers to their questions, solutions to their problems. However, what about myself? I spend so many hours a day helping people I do not even know and people may think a person like me must have a controlled perfect life, as I can figure out my own problems, and they may think I must be emotionally stable, but the truth is, I spend so much of my time helping others, I have stopped caring about myself. I suddenly return to my normal self. This last vision made me think. I seemed very much like me. Well, despite the fact this person was once alive, and I am not; and the fact that he was educated and very well brought up, we both do not seem to know who we really are. We are lost, trapped in our own thoughts and we spend so much time helping (well in my case experiencing) other people, we barely have time to stop and think for ourselves. I once again enter the same soul of the mystery man. Instantaneously, I have visions of my most memorable meetings: the young abandoned boy, the unfeeling doctor, the brave fireman, the lost prisoner... I then realize that all these people are part of the same soul. Then I realized my mystery man was also a part of this ‘community’. It all made sense. This man was so traumatised from the accident he had experienced as a young boy, making him go through depression, ending up in prison for doing unthinkable acts, and then afterwards becoming a doctor and meeting Claire, feeling the first chance of hope since he was seven, but of course after that relationship ended badly, he felt like he had no other chance of recovery. Through his many hours and days being spent alone, and his own deep personal experience, he decided to be a counsellor, and became very famous for his profession. This helped him feel rebirth because he was able to depart from a life and a family that never gave him love, by meeting new people. Is this me? To this day, my loneliness is being filled with the many lives of people I am living through... Has the lost soul finally been found?

The Moment Tamara Evers-Thomsen “Can you hear me?” she whispered. “Wake up!” her voice rose and broke the silence. The room was cold and sterile.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] The smell of the hospital room penetrated her nostrils. The functional yet faded white walls, made the room seem smaller. The rigid bed was very uninviting. The uncomfortable scene placed questions in her head. In addition to that, she was irritated by the sound of the anonymous footsteps out in the empty corridor. She didn’t want to be here. In that moment she would have traded anything to escape. Seeing him lying there killed her. He was lying, stiffly in pain. Anyone could have prevented it; they just weren’t there at the right place at the right time. Maybe she could have stopped him from getting hurt. What if it was her fault? It had all started out on a delightful, fresh, clear yet partially cloudy spring morning. It was 11.25 am sharp. Everything had been as usual nevertheless they were themselves. Nothing had changed and nothing would change or so they thought. To others it may have been an ordinary Saturday morning. The one you spend with your family eating brunch or perhaps the one where you lay in your bed all day watching movies. It could even be the type of morning where you sit on your own listening to music, thinking about life. But, this wasn't that type or morning. Thinking back she noticed how everything was so simple back then, so complete. But it was different now; nothing would ever be the same without him. Nothing would go back to the way it used to be, it had changed her greatly besides things change for a reason, right? They had met each other two years ago at a festive neighbour gathering. Strangely enough they were similar in many ways yet so different. It wasn’t questionable; they had cliqued ever since the gathering. Her mum had passed away. Her dad had never taken her to see her mother’s grave. She wasn’t given a reason or explanation for her mother’s death. It bruised her heart. Scarred her soul. It killed her not knowing what it was that she was being kept from. Whether it was intentional or not, she needed a mother, someone who would understand that she was not perfect but that she was unique in her own way. He had experienced a similar series of events. When he was 6 months old his cold-hearted dad had left his mum and him for another woman. His mother would never speak of his dad. The lack of male spirit in his home didn’t affect him. Well it was what he attempted to express. But deep, deep inside you could see how he needed a sincere, kind and hard -working man. A father! Someone who was able to set examples and standards in life... The air had been thick; the paths were smooth, the flowers blooming along with the wind colliding with the leaves on the trees. It all happened on an ordinary day, an ordinary hour, an ordinary minute, an ordinary second. They were on their bikes, riding on the country road. They found themselves casually strolling by the wheat fields that still seemed slightly damp after the light rain that had fallen earlier that morning. The blue birds were singing clearly in the moist air. The wheels on their bikes fighting their way through the rocks and sand, layered out beneath them on the path. They had gotten to the start of a steep hill. The continuation of the path was no longer visible. They struggled up the hill. It was as if someone had attached ropes to the tires, pulling downward, preventing them from going anywhere. The ride was tough. Sweat poured down their cheeks. She could feel pain in her hand from her firm, fixed and forceful grip on the bike handle. It was as if they were holding on to life. The life that controlled everything they did, where freedom felt like it was not permitted nor allowed. They had reached the top. The promising victory, it warmed her heart. The independence she felt was like the limit of the world. It was astonishing. Such a simple trip up that one simple hill, existing beyond millions, made her feel so free. There were no expectations, no worries, just victory. It was like the limit, the prize to life. And they got to enjoy it together; not knowing it could be their last Back in reality she was still in the cold, sterile hospital room. He was still unconscious. There was plenty of room to move about but nowhere to really get comfortable. She could remember the scent, the temperature the emotionless feel of the room. She remembered when the nurse had come “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] to check on him when his heart rate was dropping. The questions ran through her head. Was this the end? Was there anything to it? 20 minutes later panic had emerged in the room. She could recall how all three of them (herself, her dad and his mother) were almost shoved out of the room. He had all sorts of tubes and wires stuck to his body. The left part of his face was terribly bruised; his right arm had the cars tire imprinted on it. His state was horrendous to look at and knowing that she could do nothing to help just made it worse. People had always said they looked alike and in reality that was true. Even with his scars and bruises, people could see the resemblance. The nurse had let them back into the room. She had taken a deep breath finding a genuine and respectful way to tell them. His state was so unbearable so unpleasant. The loss of blood had brought his blood pressure to an extreme low and there was nothing left to do to save him. She felt shock, guilt. Could she have prevented it? The feelings were so unreal. It had felt like a never-ending nightmare. It was like the crash. He had been racing down at a rapid, high paced speed. Describing the story was so simple. It had all happened so quickly there was really nothing to tell. But at the same time there were innumerable and countless ways of getting started. The turn that he had taken at the bottom of the hill was a turn she wished he had never taken. What if they had waited for just another minute? If he had just come down a second later, would it still have happened? The car had hit him. She had seen the vivid trees in front of her eyes. The headlights had been piercing through her heart. The metal break along with the horn of the car ached in her head. The nausea she had experienced at the sight of his blood was coming back. After the news she believed that there was nothing left to loose in the world. She had lost her best friend, the one person that meant more than family to her in the world, the one that was always there by her side. It had been impossible to believe that he was gone when he was still alive in her memories. The news had triggered her heart. That one-day had changed her life. She had always wanted a sibling, a brother, someone who would be there to take care of her. Just as the thought that it was the end to everything, she had learnt that not only had she lost a friend, she had lost a family member. Once a friend always a friend and on that day she had learnt that they had been separated at birth. All along they were related. After all, family is heaven in a heartless world and she would now be able to continue life, knowing that they would always be together in blood.

1…2…3 Lala Migliardi

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] 1…2…3…That was all it took. I didn’t care what barriers time would push us back with. You were here. And so was I. The waves sing a beautiful melody as I noticed that my pen has run out of ink. My fingers rapidly reached over to find the soft, familiar fabric that covered my pencil case. A cool breeze… and there goes my math sheets! Panicking, I sprint to the left side of the warm sand. It is unfamiliar and deserted. I look up and see a smile. 1…2…3… Boom…boom… my heart skips a beat. The fear of something stupid coming out of my mouth haunts me. Boom…boom… And there it goes again. Your face! From white as snow to red as roses! Your eyes told stories as deep as a hole. And I was falling. The pain! Why so sad? Why so many doubts? Just like me. Even the wind could blow louder than my whisper “H-hi…” His face lights up. My feet are burning. Like a grasshopper, I hop from one leg to another. He passes me my math sheets and helps me get up. “Where do you want to go?” he asks in a gentle manner. “In the ocean, right? But you have to finish your homework.” It's like he can read my mind. I nodded and he continues. “Do you need some help?” I keep nodding. I am speechless. “Don't be shy… I don't bite,” he chuckled lightly as he takes me back to my chair. “N…no one has ever helped me with my homework before…” I mumbled. He looked at me, then my homework. He explained how I was supposed to do it and as soon as I finished he asked me to go take a dive in the ocean. “I’m kind of tired,” I stated. Grabbing my hand, he pulled me onto the hot sand and carried me to the ocean. “Are you ready?” He asked. “Wait. What?” I demanded concerned. “1…2…3!” and in a split second we were in the ocean. Trembling I walked on the rocks at the bottom of the ocean heading towards the shore. He pulled me back and hugged me tightly. “Let’s go!” he eagerly exclaimed. Clueless as I was of where we were going I decided to follow him. There was a song. A beautiful song, one that the sea magically played... 1...2...3... The song! A reminder! What is it that makes me wonder? This song, it was in my past... or just a dream. Picture this: “A guy, he was mine... love? nah... that’s not possible. ”Surely I was dreaming” I muttered in my head, still wondering. This place is beautiful! “It was our secr...” he hesitated. “What was that?... what were you going to say? I didn’t hear you...” I said with a curious tone. “It’s nothing...” He answered sadly. “Want to jump in?” He questioned, his mood was like a cricket getting up after a fall. By the time I completely understood what he meant he had already picked me up and carried me to the seaside on the edge of the huge cliff. The cliff was beautiful. It had a dent made by the ocean that was shaped like a heart. The light sparkled through it like a racehorse passing through the finish line. 1...2...3... thats how long it took. Well actually, 1...3. It was time. Already... I had to go. My mom might get worried. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] The night stars, glowing brighter than ever mesmerized my mind and with the beauty of them I fell asleep on my hamaca. While curled up on my hamaca, I slept serenely, dreaming about the promise that he had made to take me driving on the weekend. ************************************************************ ‘Boom! The car crashed. I flew to the window, screaming... the voice sounded familiar and then silent. It was like I wasn’t the one in the middle back seat or that he was driving. It felt like I was a spectator. I didn’t even realize and then... “Don’t leave me...” the voice was fading away and these words haunted my heart... in a beat of my heart I felt nothing.’ This was my memory. Nothing more and nothing less.

Zombies Jung Kwon “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] The attack of the dead... At least I’m still alive… I was searching for hope but it didn’t work, as I was surrounded by these zombies. I was holding nothing else but a hammer for protection from these human flesh eating monsters! There is nothing that can make me feel better, because I was slowly turning into one of the living dead. 2 Days Ago… I was working at GS25 around 6:00 am. I was exhausted, because I studied two days for the science test and I could barely sleep. I had to have at least 5 minutes of sleep, so there I slept on the counter… To my surprise, forty minutes later I woke up and my fingers felt wet and gooey, like jello that smelled like rotting fish. I was sure I would get fired for falling asleep, but this was worse… there was the head of a corpse on my lap! Was he a customer that came into the store? What had happened? I took my phone from the charger, however it only had 57% battery, after charging four hours. I didn’t have much battery, so I had to be very quick… I dialled 112, but my fingers were trembling, and it was very difficult to type with fingers covered in green coloured blood. I spent an eternity trying to dial and was wasting precious time. Wait… I thought to myself, why are these creepy zombies here? Then my phone turned off, I panicked. I thought about what my mom said about 3 hours ago.. .“WHAT!!!!!!!!!” My mother screamed while I was texting my friend in the bathroom. She sounded very scared and excited when she said, “There are things called “zombies” found alive in the Hillsborough’s Hospital in California! They are now putting them in a lab for experiments, to see what they do and where they come from”. I wasn’t scared of these zombies until now… ***************** I looked through the small crack from the storage room and the storage smelled bad, but this was the only way to hide from these zombies. I noticed that these zombies had rapidly increased! Now there were three zombies in my store eating each other and I desperately hoped to get out of there soon. Another customer came in and he was a very famous singer. Following after him was another singer. I had to save them... They came in and saw the zombies. Both of them screamed.Apparently one of the guys had a knife with him and stabbed him. The girl took her stilettos that were about 15cm - she took them off and started to stab the zombie while closing her eyes. While keeping her eyes closed, she continued to stab him after he was already dead, crying “Die! Die! Die! Monster!” I had to stop her, so I carefully came out of the storage, and took her hand. The scared lady tried to stab me too, with the smelly bloody heel, however it didn’t work. I took taekwondo since I was little, so I ducked and took her fancy shoe and threw it at the ground. The guy saw all this and asked “What’s going on?” “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] As I was holding my fear in, I hadn’t started to cry as I was terrified of the zombies. Now my fear came all at once, which made me cry. I sobbed “I have to find a safe place to live and find my family”. I suddenly remembered my sister, who was always very annoying, but I missed her the most right now... I hoped they were safe. The famous gentleman with purple hair, said” Follow us to go to a safe place. My dad is at the Hilton Hotel in in Seoul Yongsan, which is the safest known place in Korea. It’s clear of these monsters”. I corrected him.... “Zombies!” I gave the lady a choice of riding a skateboard or riding on the back of my motorcycle. She kept on saying, “I want to ride on the back of your motorcycle, but I don’t want you on it!” I felt very annoyed and so, I kept quiet. The guy said, “don’t worry I have my car near here. We just need to walk to the building behind here” and so we did. There was a dead body on top of the car, but who cares! It was a red Ferrari with beige silver lining and was the only thing about this experience that was exciting. I was going to ride a Ferrari! Of course I had to get rid of the corpse on his precious Ferrari. The guy told me to leave it but the girl kept on nagging me to get rid of it... So I did. The guy finally asked me my name and I told him my name was Emily and he told me his name was Jason and he told me he was a singer. The girl just had to budge in and say of course you know me! I’m famous! Her name was Jessica from snsd (Girls Generation) which was a very famous group all around the world. ****************************** I woke up the next morning feeling very tired I couldn’t remember what had happened... I didn’t have time to think! I was starving I had to EAT! Of course “they” couldn’t cook so I did. The guy tried to help but he had never touched the frying pan before! Because he wasn’t allowed to cook - he was special. Jessica had gotten her nails done 3 days ago (stuck some pearls and got gel nail art done) and apparently it cost 350 dollars so she couldn’t touch or do anything because it was bad for her nails. And that was when they came… At least I’m still alive… I was searching for hope but it didn’t work as I was being surrounded by these zombies. I was holding nothing else but a hammer for protection from these human flesh eating monsters! There was nothing that could make me feel better, because I was slowly turning into one of the living dead…

Secrecy “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

Juna Jung It’s burning hot outside… but why do I feel so cold? Children, teenagers, adults and grandparents are smiling… but why can’t I? The bright, yellow sun shines straight down into my eyes… but I can’t feel a single thing. When was the last time I was happy? I can’t even remember. The people across me are laughing and smiling towards each other. The girl next to me is cross-legged, talking to someone on the phone, as if she’s in paradise. Every time I try to ignore what is going around me, my temperature drops down. I have no parents. I have no feelings. I don’t know what has happened to me. I just know that I’m different... extremely different... It’s Monday, my worst day of the week. As I ride the school bus, nobody notices me. They all know that I sit at the back – I have no friends. The yellow bus gets crowded within 30 minutes as we arrive at the school. While everyone is getting off, I try to hide myself by putting my red coat on. As usual, the bus driver notices and tells me to get off… it’s not even a surprise for him anymore. The hallway is crowded with students who are with friends, studying, chewing gum, being laughed at or copying their classmate’s homework. I’m neither one of them. Number 45 is my locker number. I slowly put my brown bag down and get ready for my first class. “Just eight more hours” I repeat inside my head, “Just eight more hours until I can get out of this place.” It’s a risk to be at school, but I at least have to graduate intermediate studies. School passes swiftly; it’s easy to be the invisible one in class… at least for me. Our last lesson has just finished. Students start running out of their classes, trying to see their friends. I gently grab my bag and head outside. The weather is amazing outside but my whole body is shaking. The bus is crowded and everyone is planning their weekends. It’s three o’clock and it takes about forty-three minutes until we arrive at my stop. I quietly take out a novel and begin reading. Seeing the pure white building, I know it’s my turn to get off. A woman in pink is waiting for me and I’ve never seen her before. There are thousands of different people who greet me every day when school finishes. This time, her name is Tracy. As we enter the building, my heart starts to beat faster and random thoughts pop inside my head. What’s wrong with me? I’ve been in this building for more than half of my life! Maybe it’s because I have to see him again. We arrive in front of the gigantic door. Tracy tells me that I don’t have to be worried at all. “It’s just a normal day,” she would repeat. “Everything is going to be fine.” ******************************* The doors glide open even before I try to move. It feels weirder than usual as the man is showing his back to me. The light seems brighter and the floor feels colder. Things start to come back from the past. The good and bad times; the dreams and ambitions I had. Now, it just feels pointless. As he turns around he looks confused. Maybe it’s happening again. About five minutes later he notices me and tells me to relax and take a seat. “Good evening Holly. It’s such nice weather outside; perfect day for a cup of mint chocolate icecream! How was your school day? Was it...” “Just tell me the results.” Silence. “It’s not looking good.” “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] Silence. “Not like we had hoped.” Silence. “To be exact, you’ve got about...” He was suddenly quiet. I knew it was coming. “1 day.” ************************************ One day - One day! Well, it’s not that I wanted more time...but... I’m beginning to feel... sad. Memories start to flow back. The day I had friends, the nights where I would send Morse codes to my neighbour, having someone who loved and cared for me… Until it came. “You should have listened to me. It could have worked.” He says. I turn around to say one last thing. “I am not a testing machine sir. Please respect my decisions.” “A rare case...” he replies “A really rare one.” As I stand up, he tells me that I should be prepared. Trying to ignore him, I start heading out of the door. Tracy tries to stop me, but he says that I’ll be fine. Fourth floor. Room 257. My room. The door slides open as I rush to my bed. I can see water. It begins as a tiny drop then starts pouring down my cheeks like a hurricane. I’m not supposed to be like this... nobody even cares. They just want to get rid of me. The more I think about it, the more it cheers me up. It’s been 13 years. 156 months since I’ve been going over pain every second... and now this will end within 24 hours which is not even a fraction compared to 678 weeks. I will rest in peace. I won’t be remembered... ever. **************************************** It’s Tuesday, my second worst day of the week. But today is special. The weather feels even colder than usual. I won’t be going to school today. He says that it’s going to happen often. It’s fine for me, but some people haven’t seen it yet. I’m not sure how this all began. I found out about it when I was five. They were my hands. They were gone. Completely gone. Mrs. Dawson was frightened to death and took me to the nurse. I thought everyone had it... well that’s what they told me. Ms. Rachels, the school nurse also seemed surprised. Everyone would stare at me. When I arrived home Stephany, one of those "ladies who changed every day," told me that I would have to move schools. I was about the age of nine when I realized what was going on. It was a rare one. 0.000000003% of people in the world had it. I was one of them. It happened to my legs when I was in second grade. In middle school I could feel my head glitching every once in a while. From that day and on, I would always wear long things: long sleeved shirts, pants and even socks… You never know when it’s coming... it’s unpredictable.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] The fact is that I want to live. It’s not like I had a reason to, but it was fun. It was tiring and stressful, but it wasn’t bad. I’ll have no choice but to die when I’m completely gone. No one would either see or recognize me. They won't be able to take care of me. I have no choice but to die. It’s for my own good. The world won’t accept someone like me. I’d no longer sit behind the bus or be the odd one out. I won’t have to see him for the rest of my life. No one would have to persuade me the treatments I should get. I’ve never thought about what will happen after humans die... but I’ll face it within five hours. I’m in the room. The wires are all over my body. I guess it’s time to say goodbye. To the people who tried to help me. To those who loved and cared for me, despite the fact that they knew the results. They won’t forget me... I just know. I am Holly Gilbert, the girl who is invisible. Goodbye.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

The Mysterious Escape Bhumika Bhatia BOOM! I was in the attic, sitting there with a candle beside me arranging things… just like normal daily life. It was very tiring as my muscles ached every time I took a step. There was no light, or electricity, just warm air mist all around the house. I suddenly heard somebody cry. It sounded like my mommy. Within a few seconds, I realised that something was wrong…I could smell those nasty pirates gradually walking towards my bathroom! The strong smell of the sea made me puke. Those enormous waves and the gigantic ships swirling across the sea were very frightening…one minute the sea was depressed, the next, anxious and angry. I couldn’t stop thinking. I was frightened. As slow as a snail, I grabbed the handle of the bathroom. I felt the cold shiver, shudder and tremble through me. I gently opened the door and everything was changed… “Aaaahh,” I tried to scream but my lips were sealed tightly and I couldn’t speak. I could hear waves of the sea, and the strong fish smell, as I opened my eyes and suddenly found myself in the hull of a ship. Everything was blacked out. I could smell the sea very closely, as if I was in there. As I looked around the ship, I saw some sunlight up the stairs and the shadow of an enormous figure walking down towards me... His appearance was the worst I had ever seen in my entire life: absolute obnoxious eyes, a body fully covered with bruises and wounds that made his career extremely obvious to notice. He had black long scruffy hairs which were very sticky and seemed like they were never washed in months, or even years. He had a black eye patch around one of his eyes which had a danger sign on it that made me think about fainting. His bandana was tied back strongly around his head, which made him look like a scary devil. His big beard was covered with small insects. His teeth all started turning black, which meant that he probably had the worst teeth disease, Scurvy. Scurvy was the disease when you’re teeth turned yellowish-green and started rotting away. It looked terrible…I wondered how many months he had been here… His clothes were all torn, filthy and very stinky which gave me the sensation that they had never been washed for more than a year. In his “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] pocket, he carried a sharp black knife which he barely ever used due to his very gruesome appearance. The moment I saw his face, my face was all red with shock, nervousness and fear. His ferocious attitude was unforgettable. “Ye filthy animal, come here right NOW!” he commanded. I could see no animals around me. I wondered what he was talking about… ”Ye girl, I am talking to Ye!” he said angrily. Was I a filthy animal? He marched bravely and grabbed my hand tightly and threw me back on the floor as I groaned in agony. “Ouchhhhh. Where is my mommy?” I shrieked. Silence… “Why don’t you answer?” I questioned. “Be quiet! Ye gotta listen to yer instructions!” he shouted. I thought for a while…there was a long pause…the last thing I could remember was in the attic and walking out of the door! What happened after that? “Why can’t you explain? Where is my mommy?” I exclaimed. I could feel and sense what he was thinking about. His face started going pale with innocence and his eyes swelled as a tiny drop of tear hushed down his cheek. Reluctantly, he sat down next to me and said, “Girl, I’m sorry but your mmum is-” that’s all he said.

And with that, he handed me a note that he had found a note near the treasure: Dear Charlotte, i know you’re wondering how I know yOu and stuff...but leave that till the end. Please. please. I love you. Please meet me at the hull of the ship in 4 hours with your mom. FInd her. Turn left and go down a big slide and you’ll find her. Be careful. I can’t wait to see you. We need to escape. - Love, Dad Dad? Dad? Dad was here? My body shivered and trembled as I read that letter... *************************** “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] “Wake up Charlotte! You need to go to school! Hurry!” Mom screamed right in my ear. I opened my eyes and found myself in the same- dark, lonely, cold attic with a book: “The Mysterious Escape” right in front of me...

I had been dreaming about Pirates. I wish it was...

True.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

THE SECRET By Sophie de Boer “Breathe…” My inner-voice inside of my head whispered commands at me. Breathe! But why? Why breathe when all I wanted was to be left alone, left alone in a type of darkness I never knew existed. Darkness that consumed me, suffocated me and influenced me into thinking that there was no meaning in a life now so close to death. “Breathe!” The depleting light left red blotches on my closed eyelids. My confused and short-ranged eyes made no sense of what was happening. I felt drenched and freezing. There was no escape route in this God-forsaken cage. “BREATHE!” Drowning – I was definitely drowning. What to do though? There was nothing I could do. Paralyzed! I couldn’t move. My head was spinning. Spinning in never-ending circles just like my miserable life had spun. “COME ON! Please, please stay with me Laura, stay with me!” I knew I only had seconds left – wait, who said that? Was it him? Was he here now? How could he be? WOW... What was that light heading towards me? The light reminded me of him, how he loved me, but more how I loved him. The light… the light… “WAIT!” Wait for what? For him? The only thing I had left… The only one I loved. No. I hurt him. Hurt him in a way I could never forget. I forced myself to believe that there was no reason to return to him, return to what I soon would not have anymore. I knew I only had seconds left to remember, remember what happened. How I got caught up in this mess... “Don’t give up on me Laura, you owe me at least that” I owe him at least that… My head felt like a bomb, allowing the seconds to tick by slowly waiting for the final explosion revealing my fate. 3... 2.... 1... “Please –“ That was when I reached for the light. ******************************************** “STOP!” No! I don’t want to stop. I turned the slippery knob on the door handle and made it even more greasy because of the slight perspiration clinging to my hands. One last step and I’d be out the door… “I said stop!” Hesitating was the first mistake I made. James grabbed me by the hand and forced me to look at him. The memory of his eyes shot back at me-full force. Piercing blue eyes, always noticing “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] when something was wrong, always showing kindness and compassion in the hardest times and always, always soft. I forced myself to meet his gaze. His eyes were now full of anger and frustration, an emotion I rarely ever experienced. I made no movement and waited for him to ask the question. Ask! Just ask the question! I know you want to. I know you think it’s all my fault. ASK THE QUESTION. I held his gaze while his eyes seemed to melt the frustration and anger away. He loosened his grip on me. I took my chance and ran out the door… Adrenaline flowed through my veins. I knew my way. I ran along the beach in my trainers, a tracksuit and a simple vest which hung around my waist. I had to make it to the bus stop. This was nothing I couldn’t handle - a small backpack was strapped on my back including medical supplies, money and some extra clothes. Strangely enough, I found the rush of the run exciting. The way the waves of the beach in Miami collapsed over each other like the weight was too much to carry-it made a relaxing rhythm to run with. Knowing that I was leaving made the beach already seem like a strange place. That was my beach... Miami was my home... James had always liked chasing me, since childhood he and my brother always had a nag to follow me everywhere. I couldn’t go shopping with my friends without James and my brother popping up out of nowhere and telling me it was time for me to leave the mall and go home. James... What have I done? The bus stop was coming into view now. James probably thinks I’ll be getting a taxi (as I always do to either go shopping or to do some groceries) which made the bus stop a great place to go “incognito” and not get noticed. A few more steps and I’d be there... James... Did I have a choice? James and I had been married for a year now. The only thing was, was it happily? I’d always imagined a “happy ever after” as a road that led towards marriage-as if marriage was the goal, but sometimes our marriage just felt... forced. Forced as in knowing you love him... but does he love you? Doubt is what caused me to run away, I doubted he would ever love me again after I told him that I was pregnant-pregnant with his baby. Nothing could change what happened, but what if I had stayed with him, and he had stayed with me? Would that “happily ever after” road have continued until we’d grown old and had grandchildren? NO! James didn’t want children. He told me so quite frequently himself-violently in fact. I convinced myself that it wasn’t because he didn’t want any children with me, but because maybe he had bad experiences from his past. The more I thought about it though, the more I began to doubt myself. James... I do love you... I always have... I arrived at the bus stop. There was a row of seats along the railing covered with leaves, proving the bus stop hadn’t been used for quite a while. I checked the schedule to see when the next bus could come. An hour later. An hour? The frustration flowed through my body as if it was infecting every single cell it could find. The need to punch something overwhelmed me and I ended up hitting the nearest tree branch. I felt a small kick inside of my belly, the baby had moved. I placed my hands on top of my belly and decided that this was best for the baby. Three months pregnant and the baby already moved. “It is best” I convinced myself. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] The hour gave me time to think about things, important things... like where I was going to be going. I knew that I was heading towards Honolulu. At the moment though, we (well what used to be James and me) were living alongside the beach in Kaneohe. I had a friend who lived there. Maybe I could stay a few days until I found myself a steady job and a good apartment. James would probably send in the divorce papers and I could get them signed without major heartbreak. LIAR! The divorce papers would mean he did indeed not love me anymore. It would be physical proof. I checked my Louis Vuitton, silver watch and realised the bus would be here in half an hour. What would James be doing right now? My fantasies imagined him calling every taxi in Kaneohe, asking for someone called... “Laura!” a familiar voice screeched. Before I could even turn my head to see who it was two hands were surrounding me in a tight embrace. “LAURA! YES! I found you!” I turned around and saw that I was talking to Liv - my best friend. Liv always thought that her real name sounded too much like “olives” so she changed her name to Liv. Liv, the party animal. “Oh gosh... Liv? What are you doing here?” I asked. “Oh, I knew you would be here!” Liv squirmed while holding me in a bear hug once again, “You were always the smart one!” That remains to be seen I thought to myself. “Honestly though Laura, where do you think you’re going? We can’t stay here without you!” “We? Who do you mean?” “James and me of course! Okay, now that I found you we can go home. Let’s go!” “I’m not going to go back there Liv.” The silence formed a huge cloud of betrayal before my eyes. I couldn’t stand seeing Liv like this, but I could not return to James either. As if on cue, the bus came along and I left Liv there, alone, in front of the abandoned bus stop, just like that. I didn’t even look back. I told the driver I wanted to go to Honolulu and he told me the cost. I managed to find an untaken seat in the bus when Liv went on the bus with me. The rusted engine from the bus started with a loud grunt. The bus started to vibrate. Liv was slowly walking towards me. The bus moved forward with a jolt. Liv lurched forward and landed a few metres before me. I helped her get up immediately, but time seemed to be slowing down. This time the bus jerked to our left, lost its balance and tumbled right into a lake. Liv and I knew it was a lake, not because we looked out of the window, but that was how we both fell into darkness. I reached for her hand and she reached for mine. The last thing I remember was mouthing “I’m sorry” and hearing a loud crash. “Breathe…” My inner-voice inside of my head whispered commands at me. Breathe! But why? Why breathe when all I wanted was to be left alone, left alone in a type of darkness I never knew existed. Darkness that consumed me, suffocated me and influenced me into thinking that there was no meaning to a life now so close to death...

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

Ice Cream Jacqueline Valentine-Ramsden “No, yes, NO…Yes?” My state of confusion was nibbling away at my conscience, destroying any reasonable thinking. I should say no but I want to say yes. I would only try it once but everyone says there’s no turning back. “No I mustn’t, I have family and friends to think about.” The curiosity ripples through my brain like a tidal wave but every time it crashes only one answer comes to mind: “Very berry strawberry ice cream in a waffle cone with sprinkles, flakes and syrup on top! Please.” My conscience just did a face palm. Home. When you look it up in a dictionary it says a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household. Here’s my definition: psychiatric ward for the mentally unstable, run by chief mum. There are rules, restrictions and curfews. Rule number one -No ice cream! I wake up to blissful moment of innocence and purity. I’m a clean slate and it’s a sunny day full of excitement and exploration. I look to my left and see its 8:59am. Then, it’s over. My memories come flooding back into me and I remember rule number 2: No park, no mall, no library, no friend’s houses, no beach and no Super market. No leaving either Home or Van Woodsen’s Gymnastics and Dance studio. Even though Coach Van Woodsen does have his kind almost loving moments, I still despise Gymnastics. Mother doesn’t understand my needs; I’m sure my dad would. I stand up and find myself getting dressed but not in my gym clothes. Suddenly, there’s this craving I can’t control... to run. Run anywhere but the gym! “And where do you think you’re going young lady?” I’ve been caught. She gives me the stare. “For a walk.” I reply. Liar! “You know the rules no park, no mall-” I slam the front door and I’m running. My mind is blank, my whole body is numb but my conscience is still there telling me to stop. However, my legs have different ideas. I stop in my tracks because sadly, out of habit, I have ended up outside Van Woodsen’s Gymnastics and Dance studio. Great! Sometimes I really truly believe that I have been brainwashed. Well, I might as well go inside as I have just run 10 miles to get here.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] As I creep in, I’m greeted with nothing. Nothing? Every wall is a lost soul in search of a friend but there’s nothing. All the glamorous equipment and TV screens were just stripped down to nothing. Over there in the darkest of corners was once a trampoline. I broke my ankle there once. To the left of that, were once the rings. Swinging and flipping then swinging again and then landing on my gluteus maximus - It was a miniscule crack in my tailbone but one big great pain. As I wander further in, I feel betrayed by all the effort I have put into my 5 years of hard core Gymnastics training. To then just be thanked with nothing? But, wait a second... It wasn’t me. It was my Mum! She was the one that wanted me to join gym without even asking my opinion. What does this mean? No gym equals no broken bones or broken hearts. No gym means that I can have friends. No gym means I can break the rules. ALL of them! No telling Mother though, she might get taken by depression from all the stress and grief. Now that I think about it, she was quite fond of Coach Van Woodsen. Ew! Slowly, I wander home. My head was overflowing with questions upon questions. What if this, what if that, what if I could really live? For the first time I could experience all the good and the bad mysteries of life instead of being cushioned by Mother. The forgotten Gym would be a perfect alibi. I would need a list of all things I need- well want to do. You only live once right? “How was gymnastics Pumpkin?” says Mother. I have to think through my answer carefully, my “life-living” experiment depends on this very moment. My answer is the start of a new life or the end of my current one… or both. Who knows what Mother would do if she found out about Coach Van Woodsen’s Gym? She would be upset then not upset because she would find an even better gym somewhere else meaning that we would have to move. You only live once, YOLO. “Good just same old same old. You know Coach Van Woodsen.” I replied trying to sound genuine and enthusiastic. “Oh ha-ha, yes I do.” She smiled. Ew! As I walked up stairs I immediately started making mental notes of all the things I wanted to do.Number 1, Eat more ice cream. Number 2, Go to the Mall and go shopping. Number 3, Watch a movie (with popcorn). Number 4, wear my hair down while doing everything on this list. Number 5, learn another sport. That’s enough for now. Mission: Eat ice cream and shop at Mall: Here I am rearing to go. I pack a backpack of clothes, a map and money that I will need to change from my gym clothes. I even have different sets of replies sitting in the back of my head in case the monster- mother questions me. I don’t need to say where I am going or when I will be home because it’s been the same thing every day for the past 2 ½ years. I’m out. Breathe in and out. Breathe in and out. According to my map, the mall is only 7 blocks directly behind our house. However, the studio is more or less in the complete opposite direction. So, I will trick Mother by going towards the Studio but at the end of the street turn and go around to be back on track to the mall. I am actually pretty proud of myself. As I eagerly walk towards the mall I let my hair out leaving it dancing in the wind. In this moment I feel… Free. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] Oh. My. Gosh. Left, right and centre there were shoes and bags, then accessories and clothes. Oh my, the clothes! One thing in particular caught my eye. It was a hot pink hand bag with a gold chain strap and clip. The touch was as soft as a baby’s bottom but my heart was rock solid on buying this bag immediately. The rush of handing over the money and seeing your purchase being wrapped beautifully in tissue then given to you is priceless. All one beautiful haze of buying things and wandering was all that I remember after that. I drifted home effortlessly with a full arm of shopping bags that weighed as much as an elephant and Very Berry strawberry ice cream in a waffle cone with sprinkles, flakes and syrup perched in the other. Bliss. As a fling open the door with a bang feeling unstoppable I’m stopped. In amongst all the heaven and bliss, I’d completely forgotten about the plan. The plan was to climb up the fire escape and then to hide all my precious things in my closet. Miss Forgetful strikes again. If only I had just remembered! My life is bound to get much worse from here. I drop the ice cream only to add another crime to my list: Mother is probably about to explain. “WHAT ON EARTH!?” she yelled. I expected that. “HOW, WHEN, WHO, WHERE ON EARTH?” she continued. “I can explain,” I started Cutting me off Mother say, “Oh yes you will young lady.” I hate it when she calls me that. “I needed a break and I had so much to explore and learn that I could resist and then the perfect door opened giving me the chance to live my life. So, I took it and shopping, eating ice cream and letting my hair down were all on my list.” “I don’t understand, you could’ve just asked honey.” Mother replied. “WHAT?! You have been forcing me to live a life I don’t want to live and restricting me to certain areas and crazy curfews now you say I could’ve just asked?” “Yes, of course sweetie.” Mother said almost sounding like she cared and wanted me to go out. Her answer was spinning my head around in circles each turn creating more confusion. Then it hit me. Coach Van Woodsen! Coach is the only other important thing in her life. Mother never had friends she never had any hobbies she barely even left the house… “Mother, Mum what’s wrong?” I questioned “You might want to sit down.” Mum said with a worrying expression. As I sat down, she continued, “ Coach Van Woodsen is dead. He died of a freak heart attack.” As she said it I was shocked but not sad, but definitely shocked. Coach was a healthy man around the same age as my Mum. “Jennifer, Coach Van Woodsen was your Dad.”

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL]

Invisible Man Kinga Gross I hate that smell... it smells like plastic and salad sandwiches ( I don’t think the sandwiches are real!). “Hello and welcome to our flight to....” The tiring voice purred! I didn’t even listen to the rest. I just wanted to sleep and sleep and sleep! But it is hard to sleep in a space that is as big as a duck cage! Near me was that man who was so skinny that you might have thought that he was invisible. Finally, I found the right position to sleep... but suddenly the skinny guy (Invisible man) talked for the first time surely not to me! “Yeah, I know.....You mustn’t tell me that again... Why do I always do the filthy work and you sit there safe?” shouted that Invisible man into his phone. I stared at him for more than 5 minutes, as I realised that he was all in black and he had larges sunglasses! I was so fascinated by the “Invisible Man” that I didn’t get that he was also staring at me! I think what he saw was not as interesting as what I saw, just a normal 14 year old teenager with blue eyes and black short hair... I turned away and was pretending that I was looking in my bag, but actually I was trying to look at him again! Then suddenly this blonde girl with pink lips came over and started to talking to MY invisible man! But I thought that she doesn’t really care about me. The strange thing was that she was talking in Chinese (or something else but for me it sounded like that)! After 3 minutes, the conversation was getting tiring, so I decided to watch a movie! As I was in the middle of the movie “Pitch Perfect” (the blond girl disappeared somewhere) suddenly this man talked to himself, ”yeah I love you too my darling...I am going to be alive when I come back!” What in the world? I mean really...he would surely be alive. There is no one in Berlin who wants to kill my “Invisible man”! Invisible man must have seen that I was constantly looking at him, so he said in a shy voice, ”Hello! Why are you looking at me like I was supermodel?” OOPS! “UH HMM UHMMM,” I mumbled, but then I decided it is the best to say the truth! “You are all in black and you talked to yourself and you have a girlfriend that speaks Chinese! Yeah, so why wouldn’t I look at you!” I replied grumpy. He glanced at me with this impenetrable stare! I tried to avoid the glance and looked to the other side... “I think I have something to clarify with this “girlfriend that speaks Chinese”. So first of all that was German and she isn’t my girlfriend! She is my sister! And I am not talking to “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] myself....I am just thinking! So I think you know very much about me now, but I don’t know about you...,” he laughed a little bit uncomfortably. I hesitated. He was a stranger and you don’t tell strangers about you, normally... But then… “So my name is Delphine! I am 13 years old...I come from New York.” Then no one talked for minutes, I felt that urge to ask him an important question. ”Why did you say in your mobile phone some stuff about Dirty work and Die?” He looked at me with his blue big eyes,(they looked like they were the sea). ”I don’t think I should tell you! I mean nothing against you but I don’t know you that much...uhmm I really would like too!” He mumbled sadly. I looked at him, trying to understand what was going on. “It is ok! I just have a question...uhmm how old are you?” I just wanted to keep the conversation going. Maybe after lots of talking he would tell me his story! “ I am 15... I mean I think I am, I don’t really know.” He almost cried! I thought it was another reason why this guy was so interesting and strange, but I said nothing. Maybe I would annoy him so I leaned against the window and closed my eyes. Suddenly a voice deterred me. I woke up! Wait ...I woke up? That means I slept! After a while I remembered all the things that happened! “Hello… So I asked you a question?” Invisible man asked! What the heck? I didn’t listen because I was in one of my daydreams! “I didn’t hear you that well! Can you say it again?” “Ok, so I thought it doesn’t matter when I am going to tell you my story... but one thing you must promise me! Don’t tell anybody in the whole world what I am going to tell you now!” he whispered secretly. I just nodded. I couldn’t do something else; firstly because I was really surprised and secondly I was still half sleeping! “Ok I just take this as a yes...So please don’t interrupt me...Ok, so when I was 10 years old, my parents both died because they had a car crash! So after that, me and my sister (the “Blond girl”) went to my uncle. He was the closest relative that was alive! We hadn’t met him before, so we were really excited to see him. When we arrived we were both so surprised that we couldn’t talk for a while...My uncle lived in a really large villa with a pool and a big, big, garden. In the first two weeks we lived there ,we just ran around the house and the garden and we spent a lot of time to explore all those new things. We didn’t realise that we never had really seen our uncle. We only saw the driver, the ajumma and Ms. Simpson who was supposed to look after me and my sister. Which by the way she never really did! She was always talking with her boyfriends and normal friends on her mobile phone. For the first few days we always asked, ‘Where is our uncle?’ But they always said, ‘Go play’ and ‘He can’t speak to you now...’ I forgot about him soon and so did my sister too. But after these two weeks, Ms. Simpson said that our uncle wanted to speak with us about something! Me and my sister were really excited to see him, so we dressed as smartly as possible! As we were there, our uncle just said that we should sit down and then he “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] started to talk about our “work”! I cannot tell you because I am going to get in trouble when THEY find me!” I was shocked. I couldn’t believe what I heard. Maybe he was just playing a game with me. “Ok... That seems like a hard life...so you… this might sound random...but I don’t have any Idea who “THEY ”are?” I know that this question wasn’t polite and maybe I should have shown more emotions for his story, but I am not good at showing emotions or having some! “I guess the police?” he replied with a weird voice. “Oh my Gosh you are wanted by the Police? That is impossible. How can such a nice… umm I mean...never mind. Anyway how can you be wanted by the police?” I just wanted to get my anger out of me about the fact that he hadn’t told me at the beginning that he was a CRIMINAL! I just turned my head to the window and closed my eyes! I think he knew that he couldn’t speak to me anymore so he just put his headphones on! As we got off from the plane, and I went to the right and he to the left we both turned our heads at each other at the same time, but we said nothing and just went along! I felt mad, grumpy and sad. *********************************************** As I unpacked my bag, a letter fell out of it. I opened it and it said:” When you read this letter, they’ve already got me!” I let the letter fell out of my hands and then I started crying! I knew that I couldn’t do anything! I sat there helplessly not doing anything... The paper was soaked from tears as my mom called me for dinner. Luckily, she was busy talking and praising her new boyfriend that she didn’t realise that my eyes were swollen and red from crying. The next week an article was in the Newspaper: A dangerous killer had been found! The END

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Manipulated Boys William Byun September 1st 1939 Dear Diary, First of all, what 14 year old boy writes a diary? I assure you, I did all that I could in my power in order to rebel against my mother however, she refused to make me my favourite dinner (roast chicken with boiled potatoes). I had no choice whatsoever. I live in Germany but I’m writing in English because mama forces me to improve my English. There is only one piece of news that was being repeated over and over again in the daily newspapers. “There is now a new power! The Nazis! Heil Hitler!” screamed the newspaper deliverer. Day after day, week after week, everyone in Germany was bowing down to Hitler. He was our “saviour.” He would be the one to end poverty in Germany and take revenge on France for Germany’s bitter defeat in the First World War. To be frank, I’m becoming extremely bored of everything that’s happening. I’m just a normal 14 year old boy who dreams of having an ordinary life. I don’t understand all this politics. Today was the beginning of a new war. I know this because the imbecile woke me up eagerly while I was having a peaceful dream in my bed at 3am. Frustrated and seething with anger by being disturbed from my amazing dream (about me meeting my love for the first time) I rubbed my eyes and stretched my arms. “Get out Frederick!” I groaned to the imbecile. “I just heard the radio and Hitler announced that he was going to declare war on Poland and lead Germany to become a great power like it was before the devastating World War 1,” recited my brother. “I couldn’t care less! Now get out before I call mamma!” He’s lucky that it was a Sunday because I would have made a tantrum if he had woken me up on a school day! I fell asleep again and woke up at 8am. I dragged my sluggish body to breakfast, but to my surprise, my father was not at the table. I immediately asked mama where he was and she responded “Father is now a brave soldier fighting for our safety and country!” A shiver ran down my spine and a drop of sweat ran down my cheek. I hadn’t even said goodbye to my dear father! Tears poured down as much as the Niagara Falls! Mama came towards me to comfort me while Frederick sneered at me. “Crybaby!” he jeered! “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] My brother had hated father because of my heart-warming relationship with him. Father and I always used to go fishing together on the weekends and we would play football in the back yard. We treated each other like best friends and we never ever fought. I don’t know how I’m going to live without him! September 3rd 1939 Dear Diary, I am writing this very diary entry in a hurry as I must go, so do excuse my bad handwriting. Today I was taking a maths test and I hadn’t revised a single bit! I looked at the clock. 15 minutes left and I hadn’t written down a single answer. I looked down at the Gibberish. 1 minute...I knew that mama would spank me if I received a bad score. 20 seconds remaining...Suddenly the door swayed wide open. It was the headmaster (or my saviour from the maths test). “Boys, I have a very important announcement to make. Our leader is looking for strong young men who could help fight for our country. He promises a very exciting experience and wishes that all the boys should sign up for the army immediately...” He ranted on and on for a few more minutes but I wasn’t even listening. All I was thinking about was rushing to the nearest base to sign up! It’s going to be so amazing and I’m going to become a hero! September 3rd 1941 It’s been exactly two years since I last wrote. I don’t remember much apart from meeting this girl called Mikayla Heine when I saw her hiding near our house where I smoke on my way home from intense training for my “mission” in Russia. From the moment, my eyes stumbled across her beautiful visage, I knew that I was in love. I never found girls in my neighbourhood all that attractive and I was beginning to give up about my dream of finding a beautiful girl, until I came across the angel. Love is a really powerful feeling. It is strong enough to control the speed of your heart movement. The second the heart started to beat rapidly I knew that she was the girl of my dreams. There is the saying, “Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.” I became ever so friendly with Mikayla and her personality was just as stunning as her looks! She means the world to me. Most importantly, I learnt loads from her. She told me that she was a Jew. My dad taught me a little about Jews and how Hitler hated them. Mikayla told me how her family had suffered greatly. I don’t understand. We’re from the same country yet we are treated so differently. Mikayla was forced to hide from the German soldiers because she would have been killed if she was caught. I used to think that Hitler was a hero for our country. All he is is a heartless, racist, bloodthirsty, cruel, vile and foul creature. I am determined to stop the creature from taking over Europe. I will do all it takes to assassinate him! Even if it ends up in me giving up my life… Then the perfect chance came! I was sent to the Soviet Union to fight as one of the foot soldiers. I was extremely lucky that it wasn’t the bitter winter. As soon as I arrived, I went to the Soviet Union’s military camp. The guards outside the military camp laughed when I demanded to talk to the general and held a gun to my “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] face. However, the general was on his way out to lunch so I sank down to my knees and I told him that I hated Hitler and that I would become a spy for the Soviet Union. I knew that I didn’t sound convincing enough so I said, “You don’t have to trust me, you can kill me on the spot right now if you think that I am a German spy.” The general hesitated but I knew that he could trust me. 4th October 1941 The Soviet Union is being pushed back to Moscow by the Germans. I am currently the only Soviet Union spy that is German. I was sent back to train with the Germans and I know how to aim, shoot and reload in a blink of an eye. I was finally told to fight in the war. I was willing to defeat my own country because I was doing what was right. During my time in the trenches, I suffered greatly. I had mild shellshock from looking at all the dead men. Most of them were young men who had come to impress their wives and girlfriends. I felt so much pity that I wrote a poem. It goes like this:

Manipulated Boys

Even though these men were very rich They ended up in millions-stuck in a nasty old ditch! These fearsome and loathing ditches were called the trenches, Few survived and managed to ponder on benches. Of how revolting and heart-breaking the war was-for all four seasons, The thing that irritates me is that it happened for no reason! Just a few countries seeing who was the tougher boy, And millions fell to the ground like dainty toys. The average life expectancy in these trenches was two weeks So the chances of survival was very bleak, So why did they go? Because their mothers and wives told them so! The women didn’t have a clue That their sons and husbands would be treated worse than animals in a zoo They thought they would come back a hero, But the number of boys that came home was almost zero. By the time they counted from day one to seven, Most of those young boys were in heaven May God bless all of these brave boys in the army, Who gave up their lives to save their country. Letters were sent home about the deaths of young boys, “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] The sound that came out of the mothers’ were a sobbing noise, But what are you going to do about it now? You shouldn’t have listened to the media because, now you have to say ciao. So now you expect there to be a winner from this awful bloodshed! But there were only manipulated man with a bullet straight through the head, They might have the red badge of courage so what? They would have been able to be real men-with sons, daughters and the whole lot!

5th October 1941 This is the last day of my life. I am currently writing this last diary entry right next to my death-spot. It was 9:00 am. Hitler was in a camp behind the trenches making plans. His camp was not guarded outside but I suspected that he would be accompanied by someone inside. I crept up towards the camp knowing that it was do or die. I held my breath. This was it. The rest happened in a blur. I dashed in and put a shot straight through his forehead. Only, it was the wrong person. I had shot the general next to him...My dad...I froze. I had a sudden headache and I realised that I had been shot in the arm by Hitler. I sprinted out for my life. As I ran, tears poured out. I had just killed my beloved father. My father...was no more. I… am no more!

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The Unseen Shadows Brandon Sohn “Finally,” a dark voice hissed like an unseen threat in the shadows; like a snake waiting for its prey. His eyes squinted and his mouth curled into a nasty smirk. “Sir, what are we going to do,” an uncertain voice murmured. The dark figure turned and glared at him. “Just wait and see.” *********** “Ahhhhhhh!” He got out of his bed and dragged himself to the shower that seemed like it was miles away. “Another day, another-” he stopped. He realized it wasn’t just a habitual Thursday morning during the summer. It was the first day of school for Quantic High School. He didn’t want to come out of the shower, as the warm water ran down his back. Noticing he was going to be late, he opened the shower door and pulled off his sluggish morning routine. He grabbed a piece of toast from the kitchen table and flung his backpack over his shoulders heading out of the house. “Bye mom.” “Try not getting in trouble today - it’s a new start.” It was the first day back from summer break for Quantic High School and Dwayne was just coming off a tough freshman year. You see, Dwayne and his family just moved from the centre of New York to a rural area in Kentucky. As you might have found out, things had changed dramatically since the big move. Last year, things... things did not go well as he planned for his new start in high school. Dwayne fell asleep on the bus and woke up with his shirt slobbered with distasteful drool. He entered his homeroom class and everybody was already in their desks, sitting straight up, and Dwayne was the last one in the class. He sat down and dropped his backpack on the ground. “Anna Rose,” Mrs. Karma lightly remarked in her first day of school voice. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] “Here!” Anna replied. As the list kept on going down, Dwayne’s name came at the bottom of the list and Mrs.Karma looked at the sheet in disgust. “Dwayne Zinger!” Mrs. Karma exclaimed like somebody had burnt her house down. “Here,” Dwayne murmured quietly. “DWAYNE ZINGER!” Mrs. Karma exclaimed with a ferocious manner. “Here.” Dwayne said again with a little bit more emphasis. “Good, now that we have got that sorted out, let’s get this school year started!” Mrs. Karma happily cheered like nothing had just happened. ****************** “Now...this is our time to strike.” he said rubbing his hands together as if he were anticipating wicked plan. “Yes, Master yes. He will be reporting to the main sanctuaries for a church event on Sunday, Master.” the assistant assured his overlord. ****************** The days dragged on until Sunday came. There was an event taking place in the local church. As a result, Dwayne had to wear nice clothes instead of a t-shirt and basketball shorts. “And so Forth! We must follow the rules of God and the rules only!” the pastor finished. “Pst, you bored? Let’s go to the roof! I heard it was fun” a figure dressed like a monk convinced him. Dwayne did not want to sit here and listen to lectures of some guy dying thousands of years ago anyway. It was worth the risk, Dwayne decided, “Sure, I guess...” He stood up from my seat and went through the aisles, “Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me.” They went up to the roof through the side stairs that spiralled. Dwayne asked, “Anything fun up there?” “Nope, just need to do something, something important...” Dwayne went up anyway, the secretive monk opened a door and a gust of wind blew. There were two men sitting on plastic chairs and they were both wearing the same monk suit as that the random figure. One monk was a bit taller and the other was short and stubbly. The tall one stood up and came closer and closer to Dwayne. The shorter one sat in without moving. The first monk that had led Dwayne up to the stairs had taken his hood off. His forehead had a star on it and he had one piercing on his mouth, ears, and nose; it looked like her had tried mirroring a pit-bull. Dwayne put his hand out for the taller monk to shake it but the monk took Dwayne’s hand, clenched it, and locked Dwayne into a headlock position. “Well, well, hello my Friend. I have been searching for you for a very long time...” the shorter one remarked as he stood up from his chair coming closer. “Wha, what do you want from me!” Dwayne exclaimed, struggling to get the words out of his mouth. “Oh, not much. Nothing at all. Just a small favour.” the monk replied. He took off his hood - there was also a star on his forehead too. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] ****************** An hour later, Dwayne woke up, and he looked around to identify where he was. It looked like a dark chamber and he could not move his feet or hands, as he was tied to a chair. “Let me go!” Dwayne erupted. “Heh, heh, heh, heh...” a dark voice chimed in, the sounds bounce off the walls of the chamber. “I said, let me go!” Dwayne exclaimed once more. “You will have to lift your hair my son...” The dark voice demanded. I lifted it, knowing it will be the only way for me to get out. Boom. There was a star on my forehead too…

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The Secret Jessica McLaughlin It is a forlorn day. I sit silently, thinking about the past few days over and over, and over again... while also trying to pay attention in class. I try to think of all the possibilities; all the clues I could find about how serious this could get. After that night, my future had changed. After that accident that was never supposed to happen. After the incident, everything had changed. My life has changed dramatically after their death. Tears started to rush out of my eyes. “Jennifer, it’s your turn.” Lucy whispered in my ear as softly as she could so the teacher wouldn’t hear, interrupting my thoughts. I quickly opened my English book, unsure what page they were reading but carried on anyway, reading where I thought we were in the book. “Next page please Jennifer. We’ve already read that page. I know it’s Friday and you look tired but please try to pay attention, it’s the last lesson and we’re almost out of time... Were you listening?” questioned our English teacher, Miss Smith.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] I answer in my head, uncertain if I was supposed to answer that or if it was a rhetorical question. So I just went with “sorry”, and “I’ll pay attention from now on.” Unfortunately, that wasn’t as easy as it sounded. I couldn’t keep my mind focused on the task we were supposed to do. Although I couldn’t continue paying attention, it felt like I was a professional detective looking for clues, despite the fact that I was still 12 years old and was going to school every week. I just wanted the time to pass quickly so I could go home (actually to my grandparents’ house) into the attic, where I could see my old house; where I used to live with my parents. It also had lots the belongings that my parents had stored up there. That’s what I heard from my grandparents, but I’m not exactly sure because I’ve never been up there myself. They never let me go up there, but I know that one day, I will get a chance to. That will be a day that will change the accidental mistakes or lies. As soon as the school bell rang, I rushed outside to my locker and packed my bag, not even making sure I had everything. When I got home, my grandparents were already there, checking that the attic door was locked and that no one could get in. I was never able to get the door to open. It had been around 2 weeks since all that happened, and my life had changed dramatically since then. Most importantly, I had forgotten about my miserable life until, today. I figured that my grandparents had gone for a walk in the park, with no one to take care of me. I quickly ran to the attic, hoping the door would be open, but also knowing that they probably locked the doors. I turned the handle slightly. They had apparently left the door unlocked, the very door that would open the attic - the door that would lead straight to my original home. I ran in, unaware of my surroundings, knocking over pots and pans as I leaped across, as light as a feather. The floor was made of thick brown wood, so I knew it wouldn’t break. At least I was pretty sure. Then I got out a coat hanger, and hook it onto the rope that connected the two houses. It was terrifying but this was the only other way, except for the front door, to get in. I leaped across, hoping the wire would be strong enough for my weight, and luckily it was. I was able to get across, without damaging anything. The house was mostly burnt down, and although it was a long time since, I could still smell the burning smell, and my mother’s perfume all together as one. I walked around the house, exploring every single corner. It didn’t seem normal, but there was no evidence that someone had broken in or any proof that someone had lit the fire. My grandparents once told me that one of the rooms was forbidden but I wanted some adventure; something to do over the summer holidays. I still couldn’t figure out what happened that night to my mother and father, the ones that loved me most. Then I heard footsteps... Click! clack!... the footsteps of a group people, slowly moving towards this direction. This frightened me as I jumped into the first thing I could see: a wardrobe. The wardrobe was dark brown, made out of thick wood; full of dust. Spider-webs hung in every single corner. Pain shot through my backside, as it was pressed against the back of the wardrobe. Unable to move, I tried to slide away all the clothes, still nicely hung up. I felt like screaming, just the words wouldn’t come out, like they were stuck in between my teeth. It was a tough decision between staying or leaping out and running, but I scrunched up my body, trying to take as little space as possible, keeping so quiet that I could hear my own heartbeat, rapidly racing. Silence... I listened closely, placing my ear on the closet door. It was pitch dark, with no sign of light, but I stayed calm, waiting... “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] Crash!!! That’s when I heard the window shatter to the ground. Then I heard voices, deep and powerful but quiet. “There’s no one here! We must have come to the wrong house!” one whispered. It sounded like a man: a dark voice, deep and careful. He sounded desperate and secretive but I wasn’t sure exactly what their plan was. My heart was racing. I could hear my own heartbeat, pounding, as I tilted my head, away from the stacked accessories. It kept skipping a beat, once every while, as I tried to keep calm; I couldn’t. They were trying to break into a house. My house? Where my parents died a year ago? I wondered what they were going to do to me if they found that I was in here. What if the group of men murdered them? Why my parents, what did they do? What if they were trying to murder me next?

Charms Erin Schamp When the nights become short and the days become longer, I do not sleep well. When I’m finally able to sleep my creativity starts to flow and my imagination begins to bloom. When I hear the ring of the alarm clock, I know it’s all over. Everything disintegrates into dust… School is a bit different than what I would like it to be. It’s not easy to say but school is like a hard cookie you just can’t quite bite into. If I am lucky I have, a friend over once a month. My parents don’t exactly realize that I have many friends because they are so busy all the time. Here is the thing- when I can’t sleep at night, I dream that I am a popular, rich school girl. I know, I know…. Quite embarrassing isn’t it? But my dreams don’t just stop there; my family has a big mansion and I would invite the whole school over to the disco in the huge garage.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] Sadly, this is all just a dream. In the morning, my dreams are gone and I have to wake myself up to the real world and realize, I have to stop with this fantasy that I dream of having some day because in the end, I’m only hurting myself. Sitting at my desk and doing the hard bit of life – Homework - while I am listening to some jazzy music makes me really drowsy. Suddenly, my head gets heavy and the weight of it made a big bump. Fortunately, the sound is not loud enough to overcome my tiredness as in due time, I begin dreaming…

…preparing the festive garage with my mum, waiting for the guests to come over. The music was running loud and energetic. If you lived in a house next to our street, your neighbours would be standing in a line in front of your door. I did not want this to happen so my mum made the garage sound proof and ‘teenager proof’; this means she removed all the important things. Then her phone rang and she walked up to the living room. I followed her and of course, she was talking to one of her best friends. Swiftly, the doorbell rang and I knew it was one of my guests. I opened the door and before I could see I knew it was Channing. He is so dreamy and something you just can’t forget – attractive. I was so excited and finally once all the guests had come, the party could definitively begin. We were dancing the night away, having so much fun when suddenly I heard a crash that sounded as if it was splitting the floor in two. I ran over and tried to fit threw the big crowd hovering around the many snack tables. Finally I was standing in the middle as I saw my charm lying on the floor shattered into a million pieces. Due to the existence no longer present, my dreams are broken, destroyed, and most of all- gone. I woke up with sweat pouring down upon my forehead as well as a severe head ache. My room was dark and I slowly got anxious. I thought to myself, “Is this dream trying to tell me something? Is Channing really not the type of guy I thought he was?” I looked under my pillow in the box where I had my charm hidden away. It was still there but what was this dream supposed to mean? The next day, as usual, I woke up and went to school. I was just going into the Science Lab when out of nowhere, Channing was trailing behind. Having mixed feelings, I decided to talk to him and ask if he did his homework. I had noticed it was kind of a stupid question but he started talking to me. He said, “ Oh, I forgot to do it. Oh well could I photocopy yours?” Then I replied,” No, You should do your own! You will not learn anything if you don’t do it yourself!” Reluctantly, I then rushed to Science class, which wasn’t that exciting either. The next night, I could not figure out why I had all these nightmares. I kept hesitantly looking to see if my chain was still there. In school, me and Channing barely talked. I kind of forgot about him and the nightmare. Sadly, that same nightmare appeared in my sleep again and again. I was not happy in school I was tired and eventually fainted in P.E. Why was this all happening to me? I still did not tell my parents, they should not know because they will literally take me to a mad house. The bullying in school got worse as well; this girl Christy just can’t be nice. I wish I “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] were just in on a magic carpet flying away from all this madness. Running to the bathroom, I found the toxic pills in the cupboard. Before I could swallow them my phone rang and it was Channing. I answered and he asked how I was feeling. I just said “bye, bye.” I was so determined to kill myself. Suddenly, I heard an ambulance stop in front of our house and mum running up the stairs. I ran to the bathroom and filled the cup with water. Bringing it closer my mum knocked it out of my hands and held me close in her arms. Then I woke up without having a nightmare, this time in hospital wearing very weird clothing. Of course mum was there and after feeling better I told her everything. As weeks went by, the nightmares did not stop. I then thought to myself that maybe that the charm was the reason behind these nightmares. Ever since the night of the disco my once wonderful dreams had formed into horrible nightmares… It’s time to let go. It’s time to free myself and let myself fly. I walked into the garden with my charm in my right hand. I throw it over the fence hoping that it will never be seen again...

THE STORY OF MY LIFE Megan Loney

Carrie: 14 - not too bad i guess. Zac: 3 – that’s just disgusting. Gloria: 19 -totally want to be friends with her. See this scoring above me? This is what I was going to enter into. I had to move to Georgewood. I had to go away from what I thought was my perfect life, into this new “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] other world where nothing was equal and people always have to be in ranks according to what they look like and whether they are popular or not. This is the place I have to move to whether I want to or not (which I don’t).I’m moving tomorrow. Why? I don’t get it. This is just a disaster waiting to happen. “Mum, Dad! You guys have to trust me. This is a terrible place we are going to! I’m fine here and surely you guys are as well! We are all obviously comfortable here in our home and in this town. It’s so friendly and perfectly ideal for a family of 2 parents and a young adult like us?” I was trying to persuade my parents to admit that we have such a good life here and we should not be moving anywhere, but they won’t listen. Probably because they think I’m lying and I’m not mature enough for them to believe me but I am! They just don’t know it It’s Tuesday morning. Oh my gosh, how I hate Tuesdays. Especially when you move on a Tuesday. I’m not looking forward to the rest of the day. I can feel that it’s going to be horrible. I can even visualise how bad it will be. I stepped out of my room, hoping to get something good for breakfast, but I get a surprise instead, but a bad surprise. Something I am not and I repeat not looking forward to. Brown - all around me. I feel as if my body is trapped. Brown. My unlucky colour - filled with hatred and ugliness. It’s as if I’m in a cage and I’m being dragged around like a dog on a leash. I have no choice in anything and I can’t stand the thought of that. We’re in Georgewood. I’ve decided to try to keep a positive attitude since I know that nothing is going to change. I feel as if my whole body is shaking and soon enough I will shatter into tiny particles. I don’t know what will come at me. “Here we are Milly! Our new home. It’s beautiful don’t you think?” Mum asked looking like a child who has just stepped into Disney Land very happy and ecstatic to arrive. “Sure...I’m so very happy to move” I tried to sound as happy as I could be but something inside of me was just wanting to cry my eyes out as if there was this pain at the bottom of my back creeping up waiting for it to reach my whole body. “MILLY. I’m sick of this ‘attitude’ you call acceptable. You are going to enjoy being here and make the most out of it. Not everyone has the chance of getting to move and visit places without having to worry about how much it costs. Do you even know that you’re lucky? Just be thankful for once. Please.” Dad explained to me. I feel as if no one cares about me and from now on I have no one to lean on. I have no one to take care of me and to make sure I’m safe. I’m officially on my own from here forward. It’s been 2 weeks since we’ve moved here and school -THANKFULLYhasn’t started yet until January 10 (just in case you didn’t know that’s tomorrow). All we have done here so far is book into our hotel and wait for our stuff to get shipped here and be tourists once again and go look at everything that there is to take pictures of. I just want to stay online and talk to my friends. ‘I’m just here for holiday. I am going to go back to my home soon enough “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] before winter break ends.’ I keep on telling myself, but I know I will have to go to The School of Georgewood tomorrow and be the new kid once again. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. “AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH” I scream. I knew I would wake my parents up at 6:00 but who cares at this point. I’m officially done with my parents. It’s school that I now need to worry about. I lethargically got up and slipped my new uniform on. It was very formal and not really my style. It was a checkered longsleeved shirt and was in red and black. With that, we had to wear a red tie and a black (ugly) skirt. When it’s winter, we need to wear an extra dark blue navy blazer as well. WORST UNIFORM I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. “Hurry the curry or you will be late for school my little one!” Mum shouts across the hotel we are staying in until we choose our house-to-be. I get on the big yellow bus in front of me. It looks like it could fit 100 people with space left! I’m shaking nervously as I don’t know what I will see once I get a peek of the kids. Carefully going up the 3 steps, I’m inside the bus. They are screaming, shouting making such a racket. Suddenly, everyone goes silent - by that I mean everyone at the back, which are all the older kids while the younger kids at the front are still ignoring the silence and chatting away with their friends. As I walk down the long and thin aisle on the bus people don’t stop staring at me. I felt like I am a PC computer while everyone else is a Mac, just staring at me like I don’t fit in at all and I never will. Once I finally find a seat that is open I sit down and scavenge through my bag to look and hope that I brought my earphones so I can just relax and make an attempt to get rid of all my nerves. I feel a light tap on my shoulder. I look behind me. I see a group of girls. They look like the popular groupies that will be the centre of attention anywhere and everywhere. “Who are you, BARACK OBAMA? hahahahahahahahahaha” all the girls giggle. I have no idea what to say. Maybe they say that because of the clothes I am wearing. Are they good enough? Or maybe it’s my looks. Do I really look like a boy? I’m overthinking this. Or am I? I angrily don’t say a word as I try to put my earphones back on my ears and just ignore them for the rest of the ride to school. Note down to self: Ignore everything when on the school bus and school. I just finished Science and History Class and they were okay I guess. The teachers are nice but the students aren’t. They never make conversations or even try to get to know me. I guess no one cares about new kids. I have attempted to make discussions and I’ve tried to get to know more people, but they just decide to ignore me and leave me alone. In classes when we have to get into pairs or 3s people always go to their friends and I’m left alone. I just can’t deal with it. I’m running. It’s lunch and I’m sprinting. I don’t know what to do. My parents hate me and now I have no friends to help me with this situation. Once “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] again, I am officially on my own. I’m at my destination. The place I saw ; the deserted place. Where I can think. Deeply. ‘What am I doing with my life? Is it worth it? Is it really worth going through?’ Out of my school bag I take it out… the object with a the sharp edge. Covered in silver. The thing that would finally all end my sorrow and give me happiness.

The One Who Wrote “Happy Birthday” Emmy Weaver

I’m sitting on the ground, I don’t know where I am, I don’t even know my name! I’m surrounded by trees which are so dense that not a single ray of light can stretch to the ground. A rock is holding me down. Trapped! How can this be? I look around, listening. Then I see a boy, looking at me. He has the deepest and most cheerful eyes but a sad and lonely face. He is thin. His clothes are torn and dirty and too large for him. He smiles at me, and when he speaks he says, “Happy Birthday!”

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] Maybe that’s my name! But I couldn’t ask the boy because I have no mouth...It is strange because though I have no eyes I can still see; I have no ears but I can hear; I have no nose but I can smell, and I have no hands but I can feel. As the boy looks at me and I look at him, I remember how I got here. I remember being held by a giant! But as my sight comes into focus, I realize it’s not a giant; it is an older man with a beard and kind eyes. Also, he is wearing too much hair gel because his hair shimmers when the sun coming in through the window bounces off of it. His hands are rough. When he speaks to another woman in the corner of the room, his voice is deep and loud but surprisingly soft. Then I hear a “Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep” and the man looks up and says, “Get ready!” to the woman in the corner and then he drops me. About three minutes later I see a stampede of about 15 girls who are also giant but not quite as big as the man. They all look about the same age and as they walk into the room they all look around in awe, but I don’t understand why! All that I see is hundreds of different coloured lights bouncing all over the room and blinding me. Then suddenly they start kicking me around and throwing me at each other but it doesn’t hurt... in fact it’s fun! But after about three hours, the fun is over and all of the girls start to leave... But then, one of the girls picks me up. She has blond hair and a kind face she had a high voice as she talks to her friends on her way out of a large door. Then we cross a black pathway with many black, white, and grey monsters zipping across it. Then we venture up a steep hill and at the top she starts to play with me but then she accidentally lets go of me and the ground beneath me begins to shrink away. I can see them talking from where I was and they are pointing at me, but then everything goes dark, and I wake up where I am now. Now that I know more about my past I notice that the boy has written something on me with a black marker and said “I have to let you free when the time is right,” I don’t quite understand. But I notice in the boy’s eyes that it is dreadfully important. I really want to read what it says but unfortunately I can’t make out what the boy wrote though I keep trying and trying and trying. I just can’t read it. Now I am determined to somehow find out more about the boy, but that will be a bit difficult because I can’t speak, but luckily the boy told me some of what I wanted to know. He started with “My name is _____” I couldn’t understand what he said, it sounded strange. I wonder what my name is. I still haven’t figured it out. Because I haven’t been alive very long, and everyone else I had ever known was named” Happy Birthday”. But I hope that I’m unique. I realize I’m getting smaller, and I believe that the boy knows that too. Whenever he sees me he looks more and more restless. What is he waiting for? When could it possibly be the correct time to let me go? If he doesn’t let me go soon then I will shrink into nothing... and I will never be free.

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] The next day the boy comes to me and he says that he has located the one he must send me to. That meant that he was going to set me free!! I was so happy I didn’t know what I was going to do. Then the boy attached a long string to the end of me and he set me free. I’m floating up and up and I look below me... and I see the most beautiful trees, the brightest green leaves I have ever seen. The birds that fly around me; A rainbow of colours. The rivers and stream; bluer than the sky itself. But as I slowly go to my destination I realize that the trees are starting to have no leaves and the birds are all dirty and none of them have any colours. The rivers and streams are becoming blacker than midnight. I think to myself... Where am I? Why am I there? Will I ever see that beautiful place again? Where am I going now? Then I see her – it’s the blonde haired girl watching me with her bright blue eyes, and she shouts, “Look mom, a balloon!” My name! She smiles at me when I pass by her. She grabs me and smiles when she sees what the boy wrote on me. Then she takes a single piece of paper and writes on it with great excitement. She unties me and ties the paper to the end of the string. As we walk away, I see the string slowly recede back to where it came from, and I feel content.

“Fading Star” Maris Jolink The same routine! Sprint, jump, sprint, jump, sprint, jump! It all may seem boring or un-horrifying, however, you are only reading-not in my shoes! Soldiers here, soldiers there, everywhere-not the best situation, but I have no choice. “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] Sprint-jump-sprint-jump-sprint-jump! The luminous, mystical full moon is just watching us from above, reflecting off the force field of soaring bullets surrounding me. Like bees attracted to sugar! I’m so high up it may seem to have an appearance of jumping from cloud to cloud like an angel from the heavens, so intoxicating but yet so elegant in a sensational way. This was the fault of the night fog. The fog was sinking quite low into the cramped city this evening. These tops were very rickety but no worries, you should feel bad for my pursuers for I’m not the one who is wearing aluminium and Kevlar alloy armor unlike “THEM”. Sprint! Jump! Sprint! Jump! Sprint! Jump! From the far distance, I could hear vague roars directed my way. “I’m warning you... when I catch you I’ll -” From there on I had already set my mind to not be caught no matter what, for my sick, helpless mother... Besides, I was a good 100 meters ahead. Sprint…jump…sprint…jump…sprint…I stiffened to a halt. In between the next pair of buildings, is this gigantic gap. I tried twice to build up courage but I couldn’t - it was too far! Then I took the courageous decision of not thinking, but to just do. And once I launched off the ground soaring, suddenly everything just froze and all was still, as if everything small and big has been slowed down. As if time had stopped running and went for a walk to cool-down. And there I was, hovering in the air like an idle proton waiting to be excited by an electron. Then it started to dawn on me that time’s walk is over and I am not going make it over (well my feet weren’t going to for sure!), so I pulled a “Superman”… I stretch my arms out so far that it feels like I was pulling out my humeri out of my shoulder sockets. My hands found the ledge but my head didn’t see it, it hit the ledge with a soft BANG but I was certain that I didn’t break it; it gave me a slight concussion for a few long seconds. Did it bother me much? Naaaah. When I hoisted myself up the ledge, the soldiers were approaching the opposite ledge and instead of shooting me, they just stood there – bewildered, clueless, paralyzed like a dead man’s body staring into the eyes of his killer. So I took them out of their misery. And no I didn’t shoot them. “Catch me if you can you jungle-explosion bunch of OLDIES!” I childishly grunt, catching my breath. They all snapped out of their trances and held up their guns to fire but I was behind a ventilation fan before they could hammer down their triggers and fill “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] me with lead. All I heard in return were a few snorts and insults to my ears but I didn’t care what they said because I was laughing under my breath as I was imagining their faces from my insult. I could hear the bullets ricocheting of the metal, and then followed by the aftershock of vibrations in my back. Never mind that though. I hear their guns click, I dash away to get cover behind the roof door for a safe, clear run up to jump before they could reload, but my clumsy, rushed start shortened my time frame, which was the time they take out their magazines and replace it, for me to escape the pursuers. A fraction of a second… slow. A step. A sound. A snap. I hold in my yelp of pain so that I wouldn’t pronounce their advantage. He got lucky! I should have listened to him! “Always expect the unexpected for one day it may actually turnout to save your life!” he would preach. At the time I was naïve and didn’t realize the gravity of the wise message but now I see. He was giving me a warning of life and death. It means that you should be open to all possible options and to be prepared for each one of those options to stay alive; to take more precautions of your actions. Alpha was right…as always. That rookie got lucky! I knew from training that that wouldn’t have hit if it hadn’t been for that totally unexpected cross-wind! But what was really concerning me right now is the losing of blood in my leg from the shot and not only am I bleeding but it had broken my femur into two. I limped over to see the distance to the alley floor…I hope that won’t happen! So I walk back for a run-up and I sprint… ●

Flying...and then…crashing. My hands were scratching the building wall, my face was rubbing on the sharp, crystalized surface. My hands clutched on to a fire exit stairway and on the other end of my body was the Devil. It was a “Tug-of-war” with my body! My hands against the Devil- the most unfair fight EVER! My blood cascaded down my cheek, and then dripped down my chin. My fingers were slipping, finger by finger until I couldn’t hang for any further… so I let go. I hit the alley floor – and hard as well! And with that hit I suddenly wake with a shiver, unaware of my surroundings and confused, looking around to find the soldiers that were chasing me but I found none except for this silhouette (which was a little shorter than my height, but had a wider build around the hips that indicates she is a female around the age of development – 13-16 “Secrets” 2013

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[SEOUL FOREIGN BRITISH SCHOOL] years of age. She had long hair which was now all going over her right shoulder (which could suggest that she is right handed to be able to comb her hair to her right shoulder). With the sudden appearance of the figure I jumped to my feet but my legs are not budging, so I sit up in my spot and lift my arms up ready for an offensive strike - if needed. She slowly approaches me revealing herself in the flickering lamp above my head. The first thing that I easily notice are her glistening blue eyes like a sea of purity. Then her brown hair stood out next like a white dot on a black background. But still her face wasn’t visible… due to her hair creating a shadow. Then she looks up at the flickering lamp as if she was becoming agitated by it. And there, her face looked holy as if God had sent down his Angel daughter. Her face was a beautiful white with a slight tan to compensate with her pale face. But I just imagining have of that because in front of the beauty was oil and grease (from the alley floor or from the labour camps), her hair was clean though, probably because of the hair policy in the factories to tie hair longer than shoulders, up. When she meets my gaze, we have a suspenseful silence of scanning each other’s features. Then after a while she turns away, like she was thinking deep and I can say this because I’m doing it now. Seeing her was like déjà vu but more than a vision but a memory. I’ve seen her before? But where? This really frustrating. I’m digging into my memory by years… then I stop. I stand up with difficulty. Grade 5. She was there. The popular one. Va… Va… Vanessa? Vanessa! Now it all just came back to me in a blink of an eye. Our parents were good friends (when we were still wealthy enough for school) until the school shutdown and the tax went up; it made us poor, only enough for food. When the depression was in progress, we didn’t see the family anymore and my father past; I was taken away by the military… everyone thought I was dead but I was able to escape. The only person that knows that I’m alive is my older brother, Jax. I support my family but no one knows – except for him. “Vanessa? Is that you?” I suspiciously asked. “Yes it is. Vale?” she replied. Then we gazed again but we were cut off by the sound of thundering stomps – the soldiers! Vanessa hears it too. I spin in a 360 degree turn. No clear exit. No straight. No Left. No right. No back. No up. Trapped. The sound is closing in – closer and closer they come. I can hear the locals screaming from the guns. No escape. “Secrets” 2013

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The BASE Story Dr. Alice Lavina

Part I

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The BASE was born on the 26

th

of March 2008 to

provide the best value education where it was planted so that the world could learn from it.

The Balanced Achievement School of Excellence or BASE was born on March 26, 2008. This was after the abolition of the elementary education arm of the financially-challenged Mission Learning Center (MLC). The MLC was largely under private support in affiliation with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines in the town of Amlan, Negros Oriental. Due to the shift in priorities of the MLC to go back to its focus on pre-school education, and due to the challenges faced by the MLC community as to where and what next for the children; the BASE was given birth to provide the best value education. Growing time for the BASE has proven that it was not established only for the children of Amlan, Negros Oriental in the Philippines. The BASE was planted in the small town of Amlan, Negros Oriental, in the Philippines. It was planted there to teach the world.

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Faith, not feasibility and second thoughts, was the reason for the BASE’s birth.

The decision to open a school to catch the displaced children and teachers of the MLC did not offer much time for a feasibility study. Dr. Alice Lavina, BASE Founder and owner, did not conduct any because there was not time for it. There was only time to work on documentations for application to the government for permit to operate a school offering pre-school and elementary education. Faith took precedence over any feasibility efforts. The BASE had 77 students enrolled in its first year of operation in 2008. This school year, 2012 – 2013, the BASE had 89 students. It does not take a lot of effort to keep children happy in their learning. Learning is happy and well motivated at the BASE.

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Happy learning and learning happily are twins at the BASE. IQEQ balance is founded upon faith. The BASE’s vision, mission and goals embody these.

Behavioral problems are extremely rare at the BASE. Every child is proud to be well motivated to learn and to be self-regulated.

Evolving with the changing times, the BASE stays relevant to the need for excellence in basic education that is accessible and affordable. The school’s name begins with the word “Balanced” because it advocates the importance of the balance between intelligence and emotional competence. BASE students deserve excellence that helps them develop into intelligent and emotionally competent citizens of the local community and the world at large. The balance is the main reason why students at the BASE are happy in their learning.

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Collaboration is the key to success at the BASE.

BASE school days start with energizers.

The BASE community believes that God has given each child unique gifts that when put together from among groups of children, create perfections. Excerpts of God’s perfection can be seen in every child and altogether as a collective perfection manifested by children. At the BASE, each child knows that to balance the intelligences with emotional competence leads to top value education that they can take anywhere. Each member of the BASE community is aware that the spiritual foundations of faith and love for the Creator gel IQEQ together. All these explain why the BASE vision, mission, and goals state as follows. “Secrets” 2013

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VISION Balanced Achievement School of Excellence [BASE] responds to the need to provide global education that nurtures responsible civic character, conscientious citizenship in the local community and in anticipation of productive societal membership in the world at large. MISSION BASE focuses its integrated academic program on the development and practice of skills along with the enhancement of the natural intelligences and learning styles of each child, and civic consciousness in a constantly changing world. GOALS From four [4] goals in 2008 to 8 goals in 2009: The BASE • fosters respect for individual differences, language, cultural and religious diversity; aiming at unifying and sharing within viable similarities. • nurtures the attitude of caring and sharing in a world full of problem-solving challenges. • provides an integrated learning program inclusive of all the intelligences and learning styles that presents a variety of opportunities for growth, development and sustenance of real life skills founded on emotional competence. • creates comfortable learning niches for children inclusive of physical, social, and spiritual development in which each child experiences the freedom to be creative, expressive with self-control and productive as guided by professional teachers and trainers. “Secrets” 2013

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cultivates maximized integrated opportunities for creativity aligned with real life skills. • develops highly capable IQEQ-balanced young ambassadors of goodwill that role-model integrity even in the midst of foul play, corruption and dishonesty. • models the creation of positive differences that break the cycle of intellectual deprivation and emotional incapacitation due to poverty and lack of integrity. • targets to produce IQEQ-balanced young people that apply confident skills in their role of helping build better futures in the local community and globally. •

Birth pains were intense but fruitful. The BASE was born with the shared faith that lasting, beautiful things do not necessarily take a very long time. Enough time is provided for each step.

Prayers were sent to the Lord with pleas for approval of the project. Many prayers were symbolically floated out to sea in flower floats with songs offered to the Lord and His words of wisdom were uttered singly and in “Secrets” 2013

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chorus. With barely two months to tackle the application for a permit to operate, order chairs, tables and writing boards, prepare a place for the incoming students in June of 2008, design operational policies and such other hordes of things to do; Dr. Lavina was suddenly much busier than usual. She worked relentlessly 24-7 for two months going to at least 70 hours per week. The long hours helped her regain firmer movements of her arms that were paralyzed by a neck disk injury in 2005. She also had the help of her dear friends especially Mrs. Estrella S. Baena who ran errands to get signatures and to get documents notarized as they were produced. BOT member Mrs. Rida K. Canolas was arm in arm with Dr. Lavina in processing the Securities and Exchange Commission documents in Cebu City, Philippines. Meanwhile, the displaced teachers and administrative staff of the MLC mostly joined the BASE. They all started working immediately without pay for a few weeks before school opened in June 2008. Members of the Board of Trustees were chosen quickly but carefully. Dr. Lavina found a great fit of a principal for her school from one of her post-graduate classes. She was in dire need for a school principal that would agree to the urgency of the situation. Dr. Lavina was not worried about finding someone with the least two-year experience usually demanded upon entry to a post, she was looking for a well-balanced IQEQ professional that she could train while on the job. Mrs. Elve O. Nasvik suited the post so well that she was offered the job after only a short observation period. Mrs. Nasvik as a student was highly conscientious and consistently presented her assignments with care. Dr. Lavina was impressed with “Secrets� 2013

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Mrs. Nasvik’s passion to perform well in class. As BASE Principal for five school years now, Mrs. Nasvik came up to the BASE’s high expectations. Mrs. Nasvik earned her Ed. D. degree while also taking care of the BASE. Dr. Nasvik stayed with the BASE for five years while Dr. Lavina went back to work overseas to earn support money for her school. Her retirement funds were all used up for the capital outlay and the first two years of operation. When Dr. Lavina retires in 2013, the Lord will have to put His loving hands upon the BASE and bless it with self-sufficiency. If ever the BASE has to close down as a school, it will not be without a fight. Closure is far from the minds of Dr. Lavina, BASE friends and the whole BASE community. The BASE has high expectations from its professional staff as well as from its support staff. Everyone from the position of custodial utility to the BASE administrators and faculty are constantly synergizing, combining energies to help each other in providing the BASE community of learners the best learning opportunities.

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Converting capital resource and putting together learning resources for the BASE were made easy by faith shared by a family of educators. By the way, the BASE is seaside!

Sunrise at the BASE To provide the envisioned excellence in education for the young children of Amlan town and other neighboring municipalities, Dr. Lavina converted her seaside respite cottage into a school, without hesitation. She poured and continues to pour her retirement funds to subsidize school operations confident that the student population will soon pick up effecting self-sufficiency and selfreliance for the BASE. Dr. Lavina has also tried to solicit help from several agencies from many parts of the world. Either she was diplomatically refused help or informed that the agencies were helping only their homeland. Dr. Lavina’s husband, Mr. Einstein M. Lavina also helped her. He conducted science classes whenever able to visit the BASE. Mr. Lavina dug out his photographs of the Philippine Eagle to propose to Dr. Lavina to use this valuable bird to serve as school mascot. The Philippine Eagle appears in the BASE website and the BASE stationery as school mascot. “Secrets” 2013

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Dr. Lavina’s children, Chris and Aloha, have donated resources for the speech laboratory, the sound system and also books for the library. Aloha has conducted professional development training for the BASE teachers particularly in power writing and creativity. Dr. Lavina’s children continue to give her pointers on which technological gadgets to use if desiring to get the BASE into the world scene. Dr. Lavina has learned a few tricks in order to get the BASE more and more for global viewing as inspired by her family. The BASE is in youtube.com as “basetv1”. Mr. John Philip Sanchez and Mr. Gefrele de Jesus donated a sturdy lectern with the ACEA logo engraved into it. This lectern will last for a long time to witness school programs. Mr. Sanchez, a pharmaceuticals businessman, initiated a BASE honorary title called the BASE Eagle Award that is given to the student that attains the highest average at the end of the school year. One time donations were given by the Dumaguete City Bethel House owner Mr. Roy Cang, Mr. Gunther Sanin of the famous Casablanca Restaurant in Dumaguete City, and Rhoody Brust of Dumaguete Info. Rhoody taught Sex Education to the young male kids at the BASE last school year 2012-2013. He was in tandem on this mission with Dr. Lavina herself. A kind German who resides in Amlan gave an anonymous donation, a tarpaulin canopy. The canopy is close to the office and provides shelter during rainy days. The PACT that is led by the parent community of the BASE, donated a whiteboard, amplifier, and a huge electric fan. The acronym PACT means parents, administrations, children and teachers. The word is apt “Secrets” 2013

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for the commitment shared by the members of the organization. In many other parts of the world, this organization is named the PTA. The BASE advocates excellence for a better future starting now.

BASE children continue working for their global citizenship.

For the past two years, the Seoul Foreign School has been sending books and technology gadgets to the BASE. Thanks to the vigilance of SFS IT Director Mr. Jeff Kersting and the support of the SFS administration. The BASE is first in Mr. Kersting’s list of recipients. The relationship cords of value education can go across many miles. These cords are put across with all great intentions. Dr. Timothy Gray, Head Teacher of the British School Division of Seoul Foreign School has donated shipment money for the used books he sent to the BASE. Mrs. Kathleen Gray has donated money for BASE operational needs. In 2012, Vincent and Claire Olivier started the Eddie Dunich Scholarship for two needy “Secrets” 2013

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children at the BASE. This is hoped to continue annually with the Lord’s blessings. Miracles continue to happen. Ms. Claire Lewis, a maths wizard of a teacher at the Seoul Foreign British School offered just today, the last day of May 2013, to sponsor one BASE student’s tuition. Ms. Lewis believes that this is an investment that gives back the best profit. The first Digital Book of Short Stories written by the 2012 – 2013 SFBS Year 8 and 9 students will soon be out. This is envisioned to be an annual effort initiated by Mrs. Claire Olivier. The BASE’s short story (Part I) will be part of this digital book. Sales proceeds will go to the BASE for its operational needs. If the BASE could find a better way of expressing its gratitude to these blessings other than the words “Thank you” then that way must be sent over by whoever finds that. Even that better way will not suffice. Indeed, the Oliviers love the BASE. Ms. Lewis has joined the chain of BASE supporters. She is also donating Maths lessons to the BASE. Indeed, the Lord loves the BASE! The BASE has a website that can tell its stories through images and texts. The address is http://www.baseiqeq.com. Take a virtual tour or come to the BASE in person and meet its wonderful community of learners. The BASE is where learning happens with gladness of minds, and hearts.

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Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 The BASE Story Part II will share the BASE Timeline of Excellence and testimonies from its faculty and staff.

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“Secrets”… a treasure of mystery and imagination! The life of a drunkard is monotonous- nothing but a repetition of the daily mundane schedule of alcohol, cigarettes, and gambling. Will a woman stepping into his life span salvage him from his endless despair?

A child stirs one day to find himself confined to a claustrophobic prison. Can he find his way out?

Can a mere soldier end the domineering tyranny of his peremptory boss, and cherish freedom and liberty?

“Secrets” offers a variety of cutting edge short stories, every one of them absolutely breathtaking plots that take the readers into a world of utmost secrecy and mystery. Are you ready to plunge into the daunting tales of secrecy, mystery, and imagination?

Every volume sold will contribute towards providing text books for disadvantaged students in Dumaguete in the Philippines.

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