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I’m delighted to welcome to Harmony, the first edition of Wordly for 2017. Wordly is not only a great read, it is also a superb training ground for the writers tomorrow to hone their creative skills. And in our fast-paced and media obsessed world, understanding these concepts is important for us all, whether we intend following a writing career or not. I do hope you will read Wordly, engage with it and even to write for it – be brave, and say what you think about the world around you.
Reg. No. A0040625Y
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Opinions expressed in this publication belong to their respective authors, and it may not be the opinions of WORDLY or DUSA. Unattributed images sourced from Unsplash.com and Adobe Creative Cloud Assets. Want to advertise? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Editors Aiden Finlayson • Ashleigh Nolan • Bonnee Crawford • Eliz Bilal • Julie Dickson • Justine Stella • Katelin Farnsworth • Martine Kolaj • Molly Farquharson • Riley Sadlier • Rowan Girdler • Tara Komaromy Contributors Aiden Finlayson • Alex Wiltshire • Apoorva Wadhwa • Ashleigh Nolan • Bonnee Crawford • Brianna Bullen • Bronte White • Charlotte Varcoe • Emily Murphy • Jack McMahon • Jessica Wartski • Julie Dickson • Justine Eve Stella • Martine Kolaj • Suzie Eisfelder • Viktoria Magdalinos Design Jessica Harvie
I wish you and Wordly all the very best for 2017. Happy writing and reading.
Jane Den Hollander, Vice Chancellor
WORDLY is funded by DUSA.
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CONTENTS // HARMONY 04. THE GARDEN 05. HARMONY FOR SALE 06. THE HARMONY PROGRAM 08. TSUNAMI INSIDE 10. UNITY AND HARMONY WITHIN READY PLAYER ONE 12. LAU 13. FORLORN 14. THE FOX AND THE RAVEN 16. FUN FOR EVERYONE 18. PUZZLE PIECES 20. A COCKTAIL OF DEPRESSION 22. LOVEâ€™S HARMONY 23. WHEN WE COLLIDE 24. A 10-STEP GUIDE TO DEALING WITH YOUR BAD HOUSEMATE
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The Garden From the rose garden she could glimpse parts of the grounds. It felt like a friend. At a quarter acre in the old parlance or the size of four tennis courts, it was considered a big garden. It had been part of one of the old properties when the country was originally settled. Over time they’d had to sell off the majority of the land to pay debts but had retained the garden area along with the house. It grew the owners’ fruits and vegetables, enabling them to use their money for house maintenance. That old rambling house needed great quantities of money and was the source of many arguments. He argued, she did the work. It was an unequal arrangement.
Wandering around the garden had always done Siobhan the world of good, and today it was feeling even sweeter, her shoulders relaxing slowly as she walked from one area to another. This had always been her sanctuary, the place she felt most in harmony with the world. Her utilitarian clothes and workman’s boots were suitable for protection when heavy equipment ‘accidentally’ fell on her feet. They’d even saved her from broken toes, both in the garden and during arguments. Originally the vegetable garden had been designed for more people, but with only two living there now she’d subdivided it, planting different types of plants in different areas, each section from diverse parts of the world. They were harmoniously separated by beautifully pruned hedges which were designed to accentuate the theme of each area. This section of the garden was typically English with its abundance of colour and greenery. Many types of roses, camellias and rhododendrons mixed together. The various shades of red complemented the florid colour Siobhan had left behind at the start of her walk. She was admiring everything closely, taking her time. There wasn’t a pressing need to hurry. Not anymore.
The wind was ruffling the branches in a symmetry of movement, matching the movement of her mind and body, gradually slowing to a gentle pace. Many vegetables were growing. The pumpkins were doing their usual out-of-control growth, overtaking everything else, almost matching the
By Suzie Eisfelder couple’s relationship until now. He’d been so very domineering before. The lushness of the tomatoes made her put her hand out impulsively—it was the first such gesture since starting her walk. Siobhan was an instinctual gardener. She knew when to plant and when to pick, but he’d mistrusted her instinct and they’d argued over every tomato. Choosing the most perfect one, she bit into it. The red juices began to spurt over her clothes and mingle with the stains that had splattered there recently. The herbs were proliferating, the scents making their way on the gentle breeze, filtering through the twigs and branches. Crunching the chamomile underfoot and rubbing mint leaves between her fingers produced more calming scents. She knew the relaxing properties of both these herbs, having used them many times in tea—the reason she’d planted them in the first place. Turning the corner into the Australian section produced a plethora of new scents. Siobhan was able to appreciate this now more than ever before. The many plants producing fruits and berries could be used in the kitchen, but the native plants had always been a bone of contention between them.
Finally she’d come full circle, back to the beginning of her journey. It was time to look at her handiwork and figure out a whole new life. His shirt matched the roses, the blood red roses he’d actually liked. She reminded herself his shirt hadn’t been red until she’d swung the shovel. White changes colour ever so quickly when blood is involved. The red had crept through the undergrowth, creating a harmonic resonance through her very being, pulsating from the beginning of its journey and soaking into the earth in tune with the beating of her heart.
As Siobhan watched the death of the man she’d grown to hate, her soul sang in harmony with the creeping blood. While it was fitting his death happened in the only part of the garden he’d liked, she regretted his blood seeping into the soil there; vegetables benefit from blood much more than roses.
harmony for sale
by Alex Wiltshire
We’ve got harmony for sale today! Yes folks, you heard me right! I’ll sell you all I have in stock at special discount price! One hit will send you to your knees, you’ll cheer, you’ll sing, you’ll pray! As your resentful tendencies all slowly drift away. No more will homophobia be the cause of futile strife! No more will xenophobic dread seep out as bitter spite! We’ve pills, syringes, tabs and powder, any form you like. With Harmony I’m sure you’ll all be more content with life.
Now folks, a short disclaimer first before you form a line and after that, a formal waiver I must ask you sign. It really won’t take all that long, there’s not a thing you’ll miss. And after all, what’s two short minutes for eternal bliss? Firstly, it’s addictive, the withdrawal’s quite severe. Second, there’s an omnipresent apathy you’ll feel. Third, the government has right to regulate your dose. And fourth, you’ll have undying faith towards the Holyhost. Now folks, I can assure you, the results are tried and true. With Harmony you’ll never question what is asked of you! Your passion will subside and your libido will decrease, then together we can usher in a brand new age of peace.
We’ve got celebrities all round the world endorsing it you’ve seen it on your TV, on your phones and on the streets. One dose will cure you of yourself, and then you’ll fit right in a carefree mind, a vacant stare, a patriotic grin.
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the harmony program by Jack McMahon A lone fluorescent light hangs eerily from the ceiling, casting an ominous shadow on the floor below. The light snakes up the walls, slithering down the crevices, trying to hide away from sight. Twelve boys are sitting in a circle, some clutching their chairs while others sit upright, defiant and proud. The air is thick with dread. They are all waiting and watching, all eyes glued to the bolted steel door in front of them. It creaks open ever so slightly to reveal a cold, sterile hallway, and the fear and speculation seems to drift out like a warm breeze.
The warm breeze, laden with ash, drifts over the faded picketed fence. The scorched trees crackle as swarms of embers fly through the air, gleefully playing with one another. Blackened leaves dance with the glowing flecks of fire in movements of passion. A rusty swing moves back and forth like a cradle in the blistering winds, a lone tricycle painted in red rolls idly down a small hill. An arm hangs from a car window, lightly roasting in the sun, trickling black oil slides down the hood of the car as if it was bleeding. A lone kissing gate left ajar, swaying back and forth, longing for company, but none will come, not now… A woman’s hand snaps around the corner, slightly wrinkled, and pushes the door entirely open. The boys are transfixed. Miss Hunter stands in the doorway, the cold light pouring in behind her, her rigid outline both impressive and terrifying. As she closes the door her features are thrown into relief, her orange hair wound up in a severe bun and her nose slightly crooked with a pair of glasses perched neatly on top. Her cheeks are hollowed yet she is not unattractive; her figure is beautifully curvy. Instead of being endearing, however, it has the opposite effect.
“Hello everyone, I trust you have all been on your best behaviour and are looking forward to a wonderful, wonderful new term,” says Miss Hunter, her tone careful and sweet. Some of the boys shift uncomfortably in their seats. “I have a special treat for you all today. I would like to welcome the Harmony Program. It has been carefully devised by the heads of the medical staff and myself. You boys are sick, so very sick and through our carefully devised program we can create a firm foundation for further improvement towards becoming valued members in our harmonious society”. Many of the boys are looking anywhere but Miss Hunter, fidgeting with the legs of
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their chairs while others are sitting upright, their expressions stone cold, glaring at Miss Hunter. This act of defiance doesn’t put Miss Hunter off, quite the contrary: she thrives in it. “Let’s begin today by having open discussion time. We are in a perfectly safe environment, so feel free to tell me any concerns at all.”. A boy, no older than twelve, raises his shaking hand. “Yes, Marcus?” Marcus plucks up the courage to speak. “Well, Miss, I had a dream last night.” His mousy hair sits gently across his forehead while a few indistinct freckles catch the light. The boys around him seem to cower away. A shadow of suppressed triumph flickers across Miss Hunter’s face. Marcus seems to notice but just as quickly, it seems to have left. Was it just a trick of the light? “So you had a dream, Marcus? What was it about? Please, tell me,” utters Miss Hunter softly. Marcus looks plainly terrified but forces himself to press on. “Well, there were flashes of red—a deep red—and the sky looked amber… I was walking down a road with a woman and then I remember screaming…” Screaming, you could tell the difference, the men low, the women high, the children even higher, wafting across the other two, creating a harrowing harmony: a careful arrangement of organised chaos with a sound unlike any other. A crying mother, a kidnapped child, a dead husband, a lost dog, running fast but not fast enough, the sun engulfs them all: the warming end. The burnt horizon casts a dull red light on the hillside, enchanting but terrifying. The smooth reflections from the towering sky scrapers change the colour of an entire city in a single day. Screaming gives way to silence, that jarring thick silence in the aftermath; the amber sky.
Miss Hunter can no longer mask the hunger on her face as she maliciously focuses on Marcus. It is as though there is no one else in the room. “Thank you very much for telling me this, Marcus.” She slowly walks towards the shaking boy. Each step sends a new ripple of fear around the room. Miss Hunter bends over and places her hand on Marcus’s shoulder. He flinches at her touch, her elegant hands are cold and pale. “Come with me. We can see to it that you don’t have any more of these… distressing dreams again.” Marcus can barely stand up as his little legs are violently shaking. He shuffles towards the intimidating bolted door. A ray of light bursts through as the little boy disappears from view. The door closes with a soft clink, the room darkens again, the light trying its best to hide from sight. Hiding from sight was the best they could do, the blood-stained gutters glitter with their latest offering. Hope, hope that they are not the next to succumb to the pavement. The uninviting sewers were the last salvation, but even that can’t keep them safe forever. Any remaining stragglers had plenty to look forward to: the chains, the cages, the conditioning, the torture, this “utopia”... this Hell. They would be found. They always were.
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Tsunami inside by bronte white
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It’s a burning heat in my veins that leaks from my eyes when it becomes too overwhelming. And, the shaking in my breath is simultaneous with the shaking in my soul. Everything begins to crumble inside and I can’t barricade myself into an area that’s impenetrable and safe because this tsunami reaches everywhere. Every part of me is besieged by it, unable to reach the surface for air but never quite drowning. Each wave is a repetition of the one before but the struggle against them wanes as they continue to break on my head. Suddenly, I’m choking on my screams and sobs. There are memories fashioned as jagged rocks which each tug of the undercurrent rams me against. It does this until the inside of my head is bruised and bleeding. It feels like shards of glass, flaming hot, and because all the windows are broken the water’s rushing in from outside too. All the sunlight perishes. The flowers and the trees are swamped by toxic water. Animals try to flee but they’re swallowed too. It’s just me, surrounded by irreparable destruction. Nothing has been left untouched, not a single part of me has been left unbroken by the onslaught of these waves. I want to sink to the bottom and release all this contamination. To be free of the wreckage and be able to breathe. That momentary reprieve is disrupted; another onslaught has stalked up. This tsunami of absolute hopelessness and potent sorrow has dragged me into its jaws again. Refusing to leave me, determined to gnaw my resolve down to my bones. The water has bound me in tendrils of darkness and dirt. Every sin, scandal and twinge of hatred, seeping into my skin. It brings the death of my last will. Into my burning veins, it injects a chill that’s both numbing and painful. Writhing, not struggling. Immobile. Emptiness echoes in my chest as if to inflate it like a balloon. However, the balloon isn’t made to rise, but to sink forever down into that abyss of memory and emotion. Being suspended in the infected water endlessly inside myself but floating with everyone outside, what do I do? That out of place, one foot on one side the other on the other side, adds to that emptiness. The tsunami’s unpredictable – I can’t see the end of it or notice the beginning. It’s all-consuming; the waves continually eating away at me. I’m trying to shout out again but this poison is wrapping tendrils around my throat and constricting my voice. There’s no use anymore. The surface ripples like laughter and the darkness intensifies its sinister tone. I can see a reflection, barely. Bloodshot and weeping eyes of a girl losing at the war within herself.
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Unity and Harmony within Ready Player One By Charlotte Varcoe Released in 2012, Ernest Cline’s first novel Ready Player One is a modern Sci-Fi recommended for all geeks out there. Based mainly within a virtual world called the OASIS, the five main characters, together known as ‘The High Five’ compete against the antagonist, online company known commonly as ‘The Sixers’. The narrator of this unique story, Parzival, begins the story five years after the death of the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday, who leaves behind the ultimate quest—an Easter egg where the first finder will inherit Halliday’s fortune, including the ownership of the OASIS. In the world of video games, an Easter egg is something secretly coded into the software that is usually found after the player has completed a certain series of events or quests. A quest, such as the one in this novel, is a clever plot point for confrontation, and that is exactly what it brings. The Sixers versus The High Five is the sole focus of the novel, both parties battling for the ultimate prize, the control of the OASIS. The Sixers’ biggest motivation for obtaining the Easter egg is being able to control all money going in and out of the OASIS and forcing users to pay a monthly subscription, giving Cline the ability to relate to a specific audience, gamers. Monthly subscriptions, as well as in-app purchasing, and pay-
ing for downloadable add-on content within video games has been a debatable issue within the gaming community for many years now. It is a popular way for game creators to make some extra cash, however many gamers believe that it isn’t necessary as they have already paid for the game. In the novel, those within it may pay for in-game currency and travel and do whatever they please. Monthly subscriptions would eliminate the poor within the game, such as Cline’s protagonist. By using this issue as means for conflict within his novel, Cline conditions his audience to resent The Sixers, the more conservative group and thus side with The High Five, our underdogs. Cline uses The Sixers to move the plot along, showing his audience that good versus evil is not so black and white. This is here to purely assist his readers to see and understand both sides of the argument or conflict. To understand the motivation of The Sixers, Cline must present a situation where it is explained. By bringing conflicts such as this into the story, especially doing so through a large and intimidating corporation, it gives motivation to all the characters Cline has created. This motivation turns into an alliance with all OASIS avatars, who soon join together to battle against The Sixers to save their beloved world. The harmonious unity between all avatars
they are not afraid to join together for the good of the many and develop a tighter relationship than beforehand. The most positive outcome of The High Five is the diversity Cline has developed. They are diverse in race, gender, and even culture, something which should be more common amongst novels of this era. By combining the relatively equal powers of all characters, Cline provides no reason for his audience to feel discriminated against, thus being more relatable to as many people as possible. Cline is saying to his audience that no matter where you come from, no matter what you know, if everyone works together effectively, then they can eliminate the threat for the greater good. This is all very cliché, and has been done time and time again, which makes for a bit of a predictable read, however the state of events keeps the audience guessing as to what is going to come next, and how. Although cliché, it is also satisfying for The High Five to be such a diverse group. They care about each other, and provide support when needed, something that is needed much more in the world.
working together gives the novel a pleasant sense of belonging and a satisfying projection of overall team work. The unity which the gaming community feels within Ready Player One is one which is commonly felt throughout the gaming community in reality. The communication within the novel is accurate to the communication gamers use over the internet on a day-to-day basis. Cline’s OASIS community is competitive, yet friendly and harmonious, much like the gaming community. They are willing to work together to protect the world they have learnt to love. This unity and love for the OASIS reflects the realistic protectiveness found in common gaming communities. Cline has shown this protectiveness in many ways, but consistently through Parzival and his best friend, Aech’s, friendship. At first it seems like an average friendship, yet on a deeper reading, the two are in fact exactly what the other needs, balancing each other out. This balance reflects the harmony and unity which most gamers experience when finding online friends, and Cline has captured the type of association perfectly. It isn’t only the harmoniousness of the gaming community that is developed through Cline’s story either. The High Five are itching to obtain the Easter egg for themselves, yet when trouble brews HARMONY_DRAFT1.indd 11
Cline creates Parzival’s main motivation—to bring peace and harmony back to the OASIS—through The High Five, as well as Parzival’s love for the virtual world. His character development may be slow, but his feeling for the need of living equally in a world where he was accepted assists his development greatly. The first time the audience meets Parzival, he is seen as a typical lonely and abused child, who takes shelter from the deteriorating world within the virtual one. By creating such a backstory, Cline has caused his audience to sympathise with him. It sounds as a disappointment, and a usual story for protagonists. Yet, upon reflection, the peace Parzival finds in the OASIS in comparison to the torment he finds in the real world reflects the common issue of technology—and just how good it is for us.
Within the novel overall, Cline has shown a great example on the importance of unity and how it can bring harmony to all. From using the relationship between different races and cultures, to using the feeling for the need of an escape route from everyday life, all the way to doing what is best for the world as a whole, Clive’s novel creates a satisfying and content theme of the need for those who believe in the right thing; to join together, and work as a team. ‘Charlotte writes for The Guerrilla Review, a blog with honest and rebellious reviews of literature throughout the ages. She runs this with fellow Deakin students, Sophia Desiatov, Ashleigh Radnell and Tara Komaromy. More can be found at: http:// theguerrillareview.wixsite.com/website
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By Brianna Bullen In Renaissance ruins, one hundred metres up the hillside, we lay on rain coated grass, dim
against her blazing hair. We watch the sky
that will connect us when we are nine thousand miles apart. Separated colour strata streak the sky. A bat hovers, a black blur smudge in fading blue resolution. We could get up, look over from the castle’s ancient sunset sandstone top past the construction work, down the town square, along the Neckar river’s neck, over its bracing old bridge, into the pink set horizon. But we don’t.
Our shoes are discarded weights beside us. I look across, see you both looking at each other. I always felt it was cliché (therefore, forbidden)
to say two individuals could look at each other with so much love, but then I saw you two share that smile.
I was so happy I felt tears and pretentious philosophical statements fill my throat. Nothing falls: the comfortable silence permits few digressions. A red squirrel runs beside us, we hold onto it for as long as possible; watch
Neptune, Poseidon’s Roman doppelgänger, recline in his fountain. We share his pose, and a timeless emotion. You try and teach me
the German phrase for the moment and feeling, translate it to English. Somehow I do not think tepid captures what we actually felt. Indifference is the antonym of harmony.
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FORLORN BY AIDEN FINLAYSON If a person cries out in a forest and no one is around to hear them, do they make any sound at all? Anton liked to think so—but of course he would. Anton needed respite from the hum-drum and cackles of working life, so he sought out the comfort of the wild. Only the rush of the creek could hear him, the soft wooded choir of great ancient trees groaning in protest as the wind disturbed their stillness. It was a serene thing, perhaps the most at-ease he had ever felt in his life. He needed some time away as it had all become too hectic. The pressure of meeting deadlines, meeting rent, meeting up with friends . . . He never had a moment to himself— perhaps because he over-extended his own mortality. Too many commitments, too many responsibilities. He broke his phone in two, discarded his namesake and directed himself to the calling of the wilderness. At first, this was all Anton needed. Time to reflect, and to feel the fresh air against his work uniform. After he’d resided there for several hours, gnawing hunger had reached his stomach. Perhaps he’d eat a fish from a creek, like some sort of lumbering bear. Anton laughed at the idea, catching a salmon in his pearly white teeth. No, perhaps not. He decided it was time to go home. He climbed into his car, started the engine. He reached for the radio, turned a dial. Only static poured through the speakers, grating and industrial. No, Anton didn’t mind that noise. It was—calming, in a way. A soft tonal white noise to soothe the jittered mind. The roads seemed barren. Perhaps nobody lived out this far? There had been cars on the way, Anton reckoned softly to the cabin of his car. WoodHARMONY_DRAFT1.indd 13
ed thickets blended into sparsely built suburbia, which formed into taller modernity in the form of housing, businesses, and fast-food storefronts. Despite this cluttered density, his vehicle was the only one remaining. No pedestrians jaywalked past green lights, no folks powerwalked up and down the street. He stopped his car in the middle of a previously-busy intersection. The kind of intersection that you could barely walk past without nearly being run into by a car. He clambered out, gaze sweeping the local area. Anton, at his point, had realized the loneliness that had crept upon him. He whispered a curse into the vacant suburbia, hoping to find an answer to the decrepit quiet—as if there were some holy means to his cause. Nothing. Not even the great timber trees from before echoed some divine answer. This was a fortune; Anton pondered for the glimpse of a moment. Nobody to stop him living out his wildest ambitions. He watched a film once that told him to let out a loud, barbaric yawp. And so, he sped at uncanny speeds down the road and unleashed this most hysteric shout. *** Afternoon had become dusk, and the cool of night was settling in. Anton allowed wayward attention to gaze at his petrol gauge, noticing how empty it was. Perhaps it was time to go home, especially after he had pretended to shop at the most expensive boutique stores, put the most expensive petrol in his car, and drive through the busiest highway at speeds exceeding double the limit. A good half-hour later, given the severe lack of traffic, Anton was back home. He had the key and all, entering the same way he normally would. Despite the empty world behind him, he took off his shoes at the porch, bee-lined it for the kitchen, and set himself up a simple cheese, cucumber, and ham sandwich. He flicked on the telly to check if anything particularly interesting was on, only to find a blur of speckled static to greet him. Anton eventually climbed into bed after a quick bath with what little hot water remained in his tank. A double-bed with space for two, though occupied by one. He took one of the spare pillows and brought it to his chest, curling into it. “Come back,” he sobbed into the midnight, “it’s too fucking lonely.”
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THE FOX & THE RAVEN BY EMILY MURPHY One morning, just as the dew under his paws began to dry, the fox stumbled upon a raven sitting by the base of an old tree. The fox walked forward, and still the raven made no move. He crept closer and the leaves crackled beneath him, but still the raven did not acknowledge him. ‘Are you alright?’ asked the fox, but the bird made no reply. Finally, the raven turned to look at him. The fox saw that the bird was scabbed, and its body missing feathers—though most of all he noticed the crooked shape of the raven’s left wing. As the raven shifted, the fox glimpsed the weeping redness of a wound on the bird’s mangled side. It oozed down the raven’s black feathers like reluctant tree sap, smelling of blood and infection. ‘Go away,’ said the bird. ‘You’re not needed here.’ The fox shuffled closer, his nose twitching. ‘But you’re injured!’ he said. ‘It’s not your business, Fox, now leave me be.’ The raven glared, puffing up his feathers and turning away, jostling his injured wing. The fox, however, had been alone for so long now that he simply could not let this opportunity pass. ‘But your wing, you can’t fly!’ he said. ‘Let me help you.’ ‘Go away!’ the raven said again, ‘I have no need for your pity!’ ‘But I could help you!’ the fox insisted to the stubborn bird. In his agitation, the raven had once again disturbed his injury, and the fox watched the lazy
wound ooze thick and sticky down the length of the proud animal’s wing. Like dark molasses, it inched downwards, until it hung from the tip of the bird’s feathers, hesitant to stain the forest floor. ‘Ha!’ the raven laughed, ‘And how would you help me, Fox? Can you mend my wing, or perhaps grow me another? Ha! You’d as soon eat me as help me.’ The fox was not inclined to mention that the stench of infection had put any appetite of his to rest, and instead offered the bird his protection. ‘I don’t know why you’d bother,’ said the raven. ‘A bird that cannot fly is better off dead, and a bitter bird is no friend to anybody.’ ‘That is for me to decide,’ said the fox. The syrupy bead of blood finally fell, smearing the leaves a deep red. The scent of foul blood threatened to overwhelm the fox, and he knew that if the bird did not agree soon he would be forced to leave. After a moment of confliction, the raven nodded. ‘If you insist.’ *** The fox soon dug out a small shelter beneath a dying bush, where the earth was dry and light. After settling the raven there, he began his search for food and water. He quickly came across a creek, which was shallow and cool, and had berries scattered around the tree line. The fox brought the raven there, and watched him clean his wounds in the gentle current. The raven was a quiet creature, often too lost in his own head to be of much conversation, though he did take great pride in telling stories of 12/02/2017 19:27
his own prowess. ‘The skies are only meant for the greatest,’ he would say. ‘And I was the greatest flier around.’ ‘Did you travel far?’ the fox would ask, and each time the raven would laugh. ‘Of course! There is no use to flying if you do not go anywhere.’ The bird would often then glance at his injury, and return to silence. If the fox tried to coax him he would receive no reply, and so he simply allowed the raven his thoughts. One day, the fox asked, ‘Raven, what happened to your wing?’ The raven let out a bitter chuckle. ‘I was attacked,’ he said, and said no more. The next time the fox asked, the raven said, ‘I was injured in a fire.’ The final time he asked, the bird said, ‘I fell from a tree during the night.’ The fox decided he didn’t care much to learn the truth after all, and instead asked, ‘Raven, will you ever heal?’ The raven’s silence was answer enough, and the fox was glad. *** The infection was soon cleared from the raven’s wing, though it continued to bleed sporadically. Each day the fox carried the bird back to the creek bed, and settled down in the shadow of a large maple tree. The fox lay by the cool roots and watched as the bird splashed in the shallows of the creek, while plumes of reddish brown dust blossomed HARMONY_DRAFT1.indd 15
around his body until the water was clear again. ‘Raven,’ he asked, ‘If you could ever fly again, what would you do?’ The raven stopped his grooming and tilted his head, as though asked an amusing question. ‘I would be free,’ he said. ‘And you would leave?’ asked the fox. The raven just looked at him and hummed before walking back towards the tree, dragging his wet, limp wing behind him. *** ‘Raven! I have an idea,’ the fox came bounding up one morning, all but vibrating with excitement. ‘I will take you running, and it will feel just like you’re flying again!’ ‘It won’t,’ glared the raven, but the fox wouldn’t hear a word of protest. ‘It will, Raven, it will! You will feel the wind rushing past and see the ground blurring beneath your feet, I swear it Raven. You can fly without ever leaving the ground!’ Persistently the fox coaxed him, until finally the raven muttered his agreement and climbed onto the fox’s head. Settling down and using his feet to grip the fox’s fur, the raven closed his eyes as the fox began to run. They raced the wind through the trees, dodging logs and rocks and bushes. Sprinting up a hill and back down again, and the bird could almost imagine they were swooping through the air. But eventually the fox got tired, and came to rest by the creek bed, panting in exertion but grinning like a fool. ‘See, Raven,’ he cried. ‘Do you see?’ The fox closed his eyes briefly, gasping and chuckling. ‘You don’t have to leave me to fly, we can fly together!’ The raven, silent atop his head made no reply at first. But then, ‘You will never let me be free, will you?’ he asked, and his talons began to dig into the fox’s skin. ‘Raven?’ the fox said. Suddenly the bird was ripping into him, tearing in a great flurry of black and red. The fox screeched, backing away and trying to shake the bird from his face, but black hooks dug into him determinedly. Finally, the bird pulled back as the fox collapsed to the ground, blood dripping from his beak. ‘So you can never find me,’ he said, and began uneasily hopping away, his own wound torn open once again. The fox opened his sightless eyes, and listened to him go.
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FUN FOR EVERYONE at 8:36 pm, yeah?’ Millie barges in the door ‘Tram’s saying, knocking Anabeth into her latest family portrait hanging in the hallway. ‘Oh! Hey Millie, are you joining us?’ Anabeth straightens the portrait back up. ‘Yeah, um, I’m with you guys now. Do you know if Tuesday’s really different to Thursday? I’ve never been to a different group and I really don’t want to mess up.’ We look at each other and shrug. ‘We wouldn’t know. But relax, it’s so simple, you really can’t mess up.’ Anabeth’s watch chimes, urging us to leave. The two of us grab our backpacks, weave our arms through Millie’s and head into the night towards the tram stop. *** The tram is full of more twenty-somethings and bags of instruments. We start climbing on board, but Millie holds back, scanning the unlit houses. Anabeth returns to the ground and ushers her up, while the rest of us on the tram just smile at her. We think that smiling will help her feel welcome and comfortable. Two people get up to let her sit next to Anabeth near the door. Anabeth’s easily the best buddy she could have for the night, only because the rest of us have been going to this our whole lives. Yeah, minor things have changed like outgrowing our parents and going by ourselves, but it’s still all we know. None of us relate to feeling new and unsure of what to expect or do. But Anabeth started celebrating with us, the Tuesday group, as the uninventive officials liked to call us in grade five. *** The city is pitch black. We grab out and click on our mini-torches. We’re meant to only shine them at the ground as we walk calmly to our place, but that’s no fun, so we zigzag the torches around to play with the light. We light up our faces with ghastly, exaggerated expressions and laughter. Millie is hesitant to do anything, but Anabeth and the rest of us will get her to relax and enjoy herself before we get to our spot.
BY JESSICA WARTSKI
If there was enough space we’d do that thing people do in pictures where everyone creates a single letter with their torch and it all adds up to a word. We could do that but with some deep, important message. It’d be cool—but the city restricts us. We should do it on a farm, since then there’d be the space, but no group has ever been able to celebrate outside of the city. The ritual has been perfected by now. We huddle into our gap between the crowds from earlier transport. We were trained for such a move in primary school, when the actual lines on the gymnasium floor soon became unneeded for us to know where our area began and ended for school assemblies. The teachers taught us well then, too. *** In our area we can take out our instruments and play wildly. Millie takes out a harmonica, and Anabeth replaces it with a castanet. For some reason, triangles, recorders, castanets, and macarenas are the most popular for us. There’s no rhythm. There never has been at these events for us. Our thumping and screaming noise, with our torches crazily waving in all directions is our little chaotic rebellion against the officials trying to contain and control how we celebrate. Trumpets sound to announce the authorised celebration, but we scream and play harder to get rid of that sound with our own. We do want the celebration though. We click our torches on and off and chant and scream in want. Not that we’re coherent, but they get the message because the city around us lights up in blue. Only now do we bang our hands and instruments in time with each other, as the city lights go through every colour of the rainbow. Helicopters, holding glittery paint, pulse above us and we scream louder. Colours are poured down onto us. Millie embraces her scream. We all scream. The changing light is so erratic that we can’t see what we’ve become; we only feel the wet stickiness of the coloured parts of us.
GEELONG VIC 3220
ATTENTION ALL GEELONG BASED STUDENTS There is funding currently available to all Geelong based students, clubs and societies which is held in Trust and for the sole benefit and welfare of students at the Geelong Waurn Ponds and Waterfront Campuses. DUSA acts as the Trustee for this Trust Fund, and as such disburses the monies for projects that will benefit Geelong based students. This is in addition to current DUSA funding. The Trust Fund currently holds $373,170.95 of funds available as at 31/12/2016. If you (or a club you are involved in) have a project you want funded, DUSA will consider all applications which are submitted on the application form â€“ this is available from your local DUSA Clubs and Societies Officer. There is a criteria and process which must be adhered to when submitting a funding application for assessment so please ensure that you speak to your DUSA Clubs and Societies Officer so that you address these when submitting an application. DUSA looks forward to receiving project proposals from across the student community. If you have any questions or want background information on how to submit a proposal please contact DUSA at email@example.com or 1300 555 528.
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Puzzle Pieces By Justine Stella For Julian ‘And she felt that he was her corresponding puzzle piece.’ – Alice Pung
I didn’t want to go You didn’t either I went anyway; I was the designated driver You went anyway; peer pressured into it I liked the way you smiled at me You liked the way I listened to you I made you an origami crane You made me an origami crow I felt it then You told me, later, that you did too Although we’ve lived such different lives You understand completely Although we’ve been battered and bruised I’ve noticed that we’re healing Although there are rickety steps sometimes You never make me stand alone Although there are so many things to learn I love that we’re in sync Although we’re only at the beginning, we fit together You are my corresponding puzzle piece
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ART BY VIKTORIA MAGDALINOS
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A COCKTAIL OF DEPRESSION BY MARTINE KOLAJ Can I drink on anti-depressants? I was sitting down at an 18th birthday party surrounded by several people, all of whom had a drink in their hand, and I felt excluded. My hand was empty. Everyone around me was able to laugh and dance freely, their inhibitions fuzzed out by the alcohol. My mind was telling me I was more alone than usual. All of these people with alcohol in their blood, and I was the only one who wasn’t able to drink.
Earlier that day, my mum and stepdad had told me I could only go to the party if I didn’t drink any alcohol. I agreed because I was an anti-social person and I had finally been invited to a party. I was desperate to go. I needed to go. The friend who invited me to his party added me to his Facebook event about 3 weeks before. This had given me enough time to mentally prepare myself for the social situation, or so I thought. He and I worked together and the only other people I knew who
were invited were a couple of people from work, neither of whom went. Or at least I don’t remember them being there.
The house the party was held at was huge. It was three storey, and the party was in the basement. They had two DJs who played some generic pop music from bands or artists I had never listened to before. I remember frantically googling whether or not I could have a drink whilst on my medication without any major damage being caused. I know I shouldn’t have done it, but I finally decided to just risk it. I remember asking the birthday boy for a drink, and he got up and got me a beer from the fridge. I smiled and took a gulp. It was bitter and fizzy, and somewhere inside me I already regretted it. No one there knew I was on medication for my depression, so I had no one to talk to about it. I have only slight memories from that night. I remember having more than one drink. I remember watching two guys carry in a giant Esky and then proceed to fill it with fruit, energy drink, juice, gin, tequila, vodka and whisky. I can still hear the glugs the bottles made as they were turned upside down and emptied into the Esky. The two guys mixed the
only masked that, not helped it.
I stripped down to my underwear and got into the outdoor spa. I also somehow convinced a couple of other people to do it. I remember kissing a boy. I still regret it. I don’t remember much else from here on out, but I remember vomiting over the side of the spa and blacking out. I remember waking up and having a bucket between my legs for me to vomit into. I remember crying to the birthday boys’ mum, apologising, and her saying, “Don’t worry sweetie, we’ve all been there.” I remember trying to explain that I should not have had a drink at all, but I couldn’t form words anymore. I remember blacking out again. I woke up and remember someone asking me what the code on my phone was so they could call my mum. Then it all went black again.
I remember being carried to my mum’s car. I remember feeling guilty. I was a disappointment and I was disappointed. I cried the whole trip home. When the drive was finally over, I crawled to my bedroom and fell asleep until the next morning. I woke up in a t-shirt that wasn’t mine, a bucket next to my head, and in the worst pain I’d ever experienced.
“jungle juice” with a soup ladle and a wooden spoon.
The stupid 18-year-old that I was back then decided to have some. I felt left out and socially anxious, so I had a cup, realising at this point that I was drunk. My head felt light, my hands were clammy and it felt strange to walk. A lot more people had shown up and everyone was drinking, dancing, and drinking more. I desperately wanted to be one of those people. I wanted to fit in and dance with a bunch of strangers. So I kept drinking. At that point I had forgotten about my parents and Google urging me not to drink because it can be seriously dangerous whilst on anti-depressants. I just kept drinking because all I wanted at that point was to fit in. My biggest motivation was to be a sheep in a crowd of people I didn’t know, to finally fit in.
I remember feeling free. I remember feeling like nothing would ever harm me. It was as though all of the sad thoughts I’d ever thought had gone away, all of my insecurities and anxieties were no longer a thing I had to feel. I was confident and happy. I danced and laughed at everyone’s stupid jokes and kept drinking. But deep down inside, I was still depressed. Alcohol and medication had HARMONY_DRAFT1.indd 21
The next day, I couldn’t move. And not just the usual “I’m too hungover to be bothered to get up,” but I genuinely couldn’t bring myself to roll over. I had to text the party host and apologise. My parents were so disappointed. I was disappointed in myself. I hated myself more in that moment than I had in years. I was vomiting so much that I was convinced my body was just a shell. I lay there and realised that I was not a party person. I don’t go clubbing and the idea of 50-100 people drunk and dancing in a basement makes my skin crawl. It could have been so much worse. That day I also decided I didn’t want to be on any medication for my depression. I wanted to take a more natural approach, so I started seeing a different psychologist.
After a couple of years and a lot of appointments, I began to understand myself. At first, I thought I needed to fit in. I was convinced I wanted to be an extrovert. I was stuck thinking that I wanted to go to parties and drink and have “fun”. In the end, I found harmony in just doing the things I wanted to, even if that was simply staying home on Friday nights with some chocolate and a good book.
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The first time I saw him, The strings in my chest plucked a tune My heartbeats doubled— Assembling a choir, Playing in their own orchestra. The second time, He said, ‘♫♪’ I said, ‘♬♫’ The sound of every syllable Uttered from his mouth Was dipped in a sugar syrup Of mellifluous clarity.
By Apoorva Wadhwa
The third, fourth, fifth time, We fought, made up; we loved, we hated We tuned out each other’s darkness Silenced each other’s storms Adjusted our frequencies Muted our differences Synced in each other’s embrace Until we became a harmony. The sixth time, He went to war Instilling peace in the world And since then, I have been waiting for him In every music note.
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WHEN WE COLLIDE
BY JULIE DICKSON
You are a dark relentless drumbeat. I have a cheerful acoustic air. Little did I know, that when our tunes crossed You would change mine for the worse. You are the thick poison That seeps into my skin. You are turning me black and blue, Squeezing the light out of me. I am fading, withering. Craving the warmth on my skin And the upbeat music In my ears.
Our lyrics clash and our beats collide. My music batters against my bones Diminishing my ribcage Until my bones break Into thousands of tiny pieces. I am free. I am free. I am free.
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----------------------------------A 10-Step Guide to Dealing with Your Bad Housemate by Bonnee Crawford
Moving out for the first time can be scary and for many it happens during their time at university—another stepping stone on the way to becoming a fully-fledged adult. I moved from a rural area to start my degree and over the last four years I have experienced a variety of living situations. While I’ve had an overall positive experience there have been sufficient hiccups along the way. There are a lot of different options when you move out; some people live on-campus, while others move in with friends, a partner, or into a share house. Unless you happen to move straight into a studio apartment all by yourself (and this is tempting until you consider your bank account), you will end up living with other people. Whether they’re strangers or friends from high school, living with new people isn’t always easy. There is a possibility that your best friend is a terrible housemate or the stranger who advertised their room for rent on Gumtree is a total creep. If you get stuck with a bad housemate, here are some things you can keep in mind to help you cope with their shit.
Just talk to them
Speak with another housemate
Establish an agreed-upon set of rules for the house
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Sometimes, it’s that easy. They may not have realised that by leaving the kitchen a mess or by playing loud music at 2am, they’re causing you an inconvenience. Approach them politely and reasonably to see if the problem can be resolved through a simple, open discussion. Of course, there are cases where your housemate is actually an arsehole. They don’t believe it’s causing you that much grief— you’re just being dramatic. Or they don’t feel under an obligation to be considerate of your sleeping pattern or desire for basic hygiene standards. They’re not so easily reasoned with, but that doesn’t mean you should give up.
If you happen to live with more than just one person, talk to your other housemate(s). They might be able to help you resolve the situation by participating in the discussion or having a separate conversation with the problem-housemate. If basic tactics don’t work, you might have a real problem-housemate on your hands. It can be difficult to deal with a person who doesn’t care that they’re causing you trouble. A few dirty dishes here or there is one thing, but coming home late from a long day at uni and work to find literally zero clean pots, plates, or forks when all you want to do is eat your goddamn baked beans and go to bed is pretty shitty. It gets worse if they become angry in response to your requests, or start displaying undesirable behaviour. Sometimes you are faced with bigger issues. This can range from invading your personal space and taking your things without asking, to constantly ‘forgetting’ or outright refusing to pay their share of the rent or bills. Some people can be incredibly manipulative and emotionally abusive. It’s bad when you don’t enjoy spending time at home or don’t feel comfortable coming out of your room. It can impinge on your productivity at uni and work, or affect your social life and personal wellbeing. When talking it out isn’t enough, there are other things you can do. If you and your housemate can come to an agreement on a few things, write out a list and stick it on the fridge. Lead by example and when your housemate breaks these rules, remind them that they agreed to these things.
----------------------------------Do something together and get to know each other
Invite friends over
Stay at a friend’s or family member’s house
Speak to a counsellor
9 Call the police 10
Do not agree to live with them again
Sometimes a social barrier can cause these problems, especially if you didn’t know each other before moving in. If you feel comfortable to do so, find a common interest that gives you a chance to hang out. Preparing a meal together, watching a movie or going on a day-trip to the beach are a few ways you could break the ice.
It’s not nice to feel uncomfortable in your own house. By being social and inviting people you trust to visit or stay over, you’ll have extra support. Cook a meal together and eat in front of the TV instead of disappearing back into your room. Be visible around the house, because you have the right to be. Retreat to your room when you want to, not because you feel you have to and remember that by combining forces with a friend, you don’t need to be intimidated by your problem-housemate. You can’t do this all the time, but if you need that sort of comfortable space to complete a big assignment, study the night before an exam or even to recuperate from the exhaustion of putting up with your housemate’s shit, see who is available. Try not to do this often as you don’t want to impinge on somebody else’s space. There’s no shame in speaking to a counsellor about how a problem-housemate is making you feel, especially if you think it’s starting to affect your mental health and wellbeing. They can provide you with extra coping tools and in worst-case scenarios, they can help you find ways to remove yourself from the situation.
If the situation at home is having a serious effect on your safety and wellbeing, remove yourself. However, it’s not a viable option for everyone. Breaking a lease can be expensive and starting to pay rent for alternative accommodation can be a struggle. But if you have to move back into your parents’ basement, do it. It’s a far better option than staying in a toxic situation. If you are on the lease and they’re not, you can make them leave. If you are stuck with your current housemate because you’re both on the lease, do not agree to extend, renew or move into a new house with them.
You should never have to continue living with someone if they are physically, emotionally, or sexually abusive towards you. It is okay to call the police if they are participating in other illegal activities that make you feel unsafe.
In the years since leaving my parents, I have heard many housemate horror stories and had a couple of my own. But despite these tales and experiences, I have loved moving out from my parents’ house. There have been great moments where I’ve realised how much freedom I have and gained an understanding of who I am and where I fit in the big wide world of adulthood. House sharing is also an opportunity to become close with some amazing people who you will share memories with for the rest of your life. It’s not all bad and maybe you’ll be lucky and somehow manage to avoid a bad housemate altogether. At the end of the day you can’t live in your parents’ basement forever.
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Submit to Issue 2: Contact First contact with an extra-terrestrial species? The sensation of touch? Getting in touch with a friendly voice at the end of a telephone line? Submit your words, art, journalism, photography and poems to us at WORDLYMagazine@gmail.com. Or just send a hello, and weâ€™ll say hello back. Thatâ€™s getting in contact, right? Keep informed by liking WORDLY Magazine on Facebook, or joining the Deakin Writers page (as a member)!
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Greetings! I’m your president for Deakin Writers in the year of 2017, AIDEN and an editor-in-chief for WORDLY Magazine. In 2015 I signed up to Deakin Writers as a brand-new student at Deakin University’s WALRIDGEBurwood campus, and became a Padawan to Bonnee Crawford, FINLAYSON then-President for the club! In 2016 I stepped up as the events manager, while also working as a member of the WORDLY subediting team. I do writing things sometimes, which would make sense given I’m studying Professional & Creative Writing here at Deakin. I’m good at words, I promise. You’ll usually hear me crying about essays. Also I’m tall and loud, so sorry about that. AIDEN’S WORKS INCLUDE ENVY FOR PRELUDE EDITION, AND EXCESS FOR GENRE EDITION.
TARA Fellow readers and writers: my name’s Tara and I’m the Deakin WritEvents Manager for 2017. I’ll make this brief because you probably KOMAROMY ers don’t want to read about me, and I’m going to pretend that I’m not egotistical enough to want to write about myself. I’m a Deakin student like yourself, who’s doing Secondary Education/Arts because I’m one of those insane people that decided they actually want to teach teenagers. In the Arts side of my double degree, I’m majoring in Literature and minoring in Creative Writing and Drama. It’s been a joy to type at you and hopefully I see your strange little face at one of our events in the near future. (Seriously, you should get that checked out sometime.) TARA’S WORKS INCLUDE THE INFERNAL LIQUID IN EPILOGUE EDITION, AND OH-SO-AMERICAN IN WRITERS’ HAUNTED MINI-EDITION.
Hey hey! I’ll be your secretary for the Deakin Writers this year. ASHLEIGH I’m starting my second year here—studying Writing, Psychology, NOLAN and Photography. So if you need your brain meddled with or your photo taken, hit me up. My very first day on campus in 2016, I signed up to be a member of the Deakin Writers. Not long after, I was asked to be an editor, then after a month, secretary for the following year. Moral of the story: if you want to be a part of something, do it. You never know what opportunities may follow. ASHLEIGH’S WORKS INCLUDE UNIQUE IN GENRE EDITION, AND BODY OF SEA IN SILENCE EDITION.
Aidan Hey writers! I'm Aidan, and I'll be your Treasurer for Deakin Writers 2017. Very excited for this issue, there are a lot of ripper pieces to Kennedy in enjoy. I'm an Arts student at Deakin, attempting to muddle through a
Bachelor of Secondary Teaching and Arts, because somewhere along the line someone told me I was good with kids, so I'm in the process of proving them wrong. I'm currently majoring in History with a side of Literature. My big passions are history, specifically the Cold War, overpriced plastic toy soldiers, and boutique burgers. My favourite book at the moment has been Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. Unlike the other talented lovelies I get to work with here, I am yet to submit to WORDLY. Yet. I hope you all have a fantastic and productive 2017, and to see everyone at the launch. AIDAN IS NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH AIDEN. WE GET IT; IT’S CONFUSING. TRY BEING AN EXECUTIVE TRYING TO ASK ONE OF THEM TO DO SOMETHING.
Aiden Finlayson Alex Wiltshire Apoorva Wadhwa Ashleigh Nolan Bonnee Crawford Brianna Bullen Bronte White Charlotte Varcoe Emily Murphy Jack McMahon Jessica Wartski Julie Dickson Justine Eve Stella Martine Kolaj Suzie Eisfelder Viktoria Magdalinos
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What is harmony? Is it that feeling when everything is going right? Maybe a beautiful song comes to mind? Or somewhere you would rather be?...
Published on Mar 16, 2017
What is harmony? Is it that feeling when everything is going right? Maybe a beautiful song comes to mind? Or somewhere you would rather be?...