WHAT IS SILENCE? I find myself leaning towards depicting silence as an abstract thing that is somehow bad. I myself write with ambient melodies to accompany me, as I find utter quiet to be unnerving. Silence is ambiguous, capable of engulfing the world around us. It perplexes you; upsets you as it weighs you down, heavy, and leaves your questions unanswered. However, silence is also serene. It is the placid calm before the eve of conflict. An essay, an argument, a public address, a battle. It numbs you. It is contemplative; a place, as well as a thing, that enables you to focus. The world throws everything at its disposal to distract you. Your phone might beep. Fellow residents might speak. You close the door, and mute the phone. The mild perturbing ambience becomes a sea of fragile calm. It is empowering. But silence remains stalwart. It plagues us when we want it least, but rarely when it is needed. It is the very concept that binds us when we sleep, only for the wind to crash the curtains against the windowpane, startling you from your dreams. Silence is with you when you find yourself entombed in sleep paralysis. The figure that haunted you before, haunts you again. A creature of distorted or disjointed features. You can neither escape nor cry out to wake from the nightmare. In this edition of WORDLY, we have many depictions of silence. Jodie takes us on a journey of self-discovery, while Rowan gives us a window into karate. A. E. Grant throws us into the empty void of space. Silence speaks to us in many ways. Some find it refreshing. Others find it disturbing. —Aiden, on behalf of the WORDLY team.
WORDLY is funded by DUSA.
WORDLY Magazine - Issue 3 of 2016 ‘Silence Edition’ © 2016 Deakin University Student Association Inc Reg. No. A0040625Y All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher. 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.
Facing the Hoard Plenary House Closet Unanchored X 5 Big Misconceptions about Karate Lexa Deserved Better Starting Out Coffee Review Mug Shots Would You Kindly Turn The Voices Off? Victim/Survivor Photography Selection Radio Silence Body of the Sea Untitled image
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Claudia Sensi Contugi
Brooke Van Der Linden
FACING THE HOARD ANONYMOUS
It is just four of us against the hoard. The hoard is stronger in number, in size. It consumes the battlefield that was our home and threatens to engulf us entirely. In every room, the hoard is We now hold onto only tiny corners of it, to me it feels like conquering. Spaces where claustrophobia is beginning people could fit and live in to settle in, and I can’t breathe space. But the hoard, have now been taken over by without large and consuming as it is, is furniture, paintings, shoes, nothing compared to the one ornaments. protecting it. She towers in her authority and her rage is undefeated; we are barely even a threat.
an area of the house Dad had planned to renovate. Formerly a laundry, he thought it would be a good place for me and my sisters to study as we entered our senior years of high school and university. It was stripped down to just the structural beams and the outside bricks that hosted a decrepit wasp’s nest on the side. Bags of clothes, broken furniture, mannequins, knick-knacks and other junk took over the space and there was no room to finish the renovation. For ten years it’s remained in that state, except for the stuff stacked inside it. The wasp nest still My mum won’t admit that she’s a hangs from the beams and the brick is hoarder. For years I didn’t see it either. still exposed. Our home used to be one where you The second to go was the garage. It has could move about in freely. We had space for four cars, with a workshop for extended family over for Christmases, Dad at the back. There’s also a carport friends would come over for sleepovers, to the front. Ten years ago we hosted we even had birthday parties, and no one a family Christmas in it, with a table was ashamed. The hoard took over our tennis table at the back, a long table in house so slowly that it was years until I the middle to fit our extended family and finally realised it was a problem. a lot of extra room for the kids to run I blame eBay. That’s how it started. Mum around. Today, no cars fit in the garage. had a friend who sold things online and The table tennis table is covered by the then she started doing it too. Sometimes, hoard. You cannot walk freely through it; she’d find items on eBay to buy and the entire garage is full, floor to ceiling. then sell later for a higher price. She Four car spaces worth of useless things. started to shop in op shops and refurbish The carport can’t even cover the cars items from the side of the road, but the because it’s now used to cover more of problem was that she bought more than Mum’s stuff. We no longer host family she sold. The junk started to pile up as events. the unfinished projects took over.
Thirdly, my oldest sister’s room. As soon The first area to fall completely under as she moved out, the hoard moved in. the hoard’s control was ‘the study’. It was It’s now a dead space. Sunshine yellow walls are hidden, and the sky blue
ceiling barely peeks through. The only clues that it used to belong to a person are the poorly Blu-tacked photographs falling from behind the door. After that followed my second sister’s room. Yet another dead space. Once I went in there to find something—just before the hoard completely conquered The issue begins with my it, when it was no man’s mother and her mental land—I rummaged through my sister had left health and wellbeing, and anything behind; an attempt to save that’s the most important useful items from becoming place to start. part of the hoard. I took my shoes off to try and leap and balance in the few bare spaces of floor that were left, standing one legged on tippy-toes. Mum yelled at me for being in there. She was worried that I might damage the goods. There are other encroachments, smaller ones. Sometimes I’ll come home to find a piece of furniture or a bag of clothes in my room. The lounge room walls are lined with bags and old magazines. The kitchen bench is covered in utensils and food fighting for their rightful place. In every room, the hoard is conquering. Spaces where people could fit and live in have now been taken over by furniture, paintings, shoes, ornaments. We need to fight back, but it feels like it may be too late. Dad tried to sneak a ute full of the hoard to a market. Mum found out and raged for days. Comments about the hoard are met with glares and harsh words, extreme defensiveness, walls going up; the siege gets stronger. We know she does feel some shame. The other day a woman came over to look at and possibly buy some chairs. Mum cleaned out the extra things in the lounge room and put them in her bedroom, her hoarding partially hidden away from the stranger’s eyes.
need her to admit that she has a problem, but all attempts to reason with her up until this point have failed. And still, it is not yet time to give up. We will fight against the hoard, but maybe in gentler ways. The issue begins with my mother and her mental health and wellbeing, and that’s the most important place to start. If we don’t try to actually help her then the fight is for nothing, and we will lose this war. Getting rid of the hoard will be a long and difficult process. The rest of my family and I have started doing research, looking into why Mum might hoard, looking into how to get rid of the mess once and for all. There’s no easy fix. It’s not just about getting rid of the objects, even if we did, it wouldn’t help. Eventually the hoard would regain its strength; material goods are a seemingly endless supply of reinforcements. It’s about severing Mum’s attachment to the objects, severing the need to fill her life with junk. We expect the process to drag on for years. You can rent a truck and throw things away but the mind will not be cleared so easily. Our fight—or rather our negotiations with the hoard, and with my mum, are only just beginning. But it’s something we will not back down on. Not until we reclaim our home, not until we have space to breathe again. If you or someone you know needs help, there is support available. BeyondBlue: 1300 22 4636 OCD & Anxiety HelpLine: 1300 269 438 Life Line: 13 11 14
We are losing. We are sinking underneath objects and we cannot keep our grip on our spaces of the house. I’m scared that it will not get better, I’m scared that we don’t have the resources to defeat the hoard. We need Mum’s cooperation, we
Plenary House Catherine kneels in front of the pale boy. Her eyes trace the bruises that cover his chest and stomach. Their eyes meet and he looks away. She reaches out to him, the tips of her fingers touching his scaly skin. He jumps back, snatching the shirt from her hands and covers his chest with it. He turns around to face the mirror and pulls the shirt over his head.
By William Vong
woman in a fur coat and the man in a suit who are now standing in the doorway. Catherine takes a step back to let them through. ‘Mrs Plenary,’ she says, ‘I was just about to leave.’ The man passes between them to the mirror in the foyer and Mrs Plenary hangs up her coat.
‘Who did this to you?’ Catherine whispers, staring ‘I hope Joseph wasn’t too much trouble,’ she says. ‘I know he can be a handful sometimes, but he’s a at the boy through the mirror. good boy.’ The boy keeps his eyes on the ground and avoids Catherine’s gaze. Even through the mirror and Catherine gives her a weak smile and watches as the dim light, she can see the splotches under the the man fixes his hair in the mirror. Mrs Plenary takes out a chequebook from her handbag and white of his shirt. flips it open. ‘Was it the boys at school?’ He glances up for a moment and shakes his head. Catherine stands up ‘Did you remember to give Joseph his bath?’ and looks around the room. Her eyes catch a lone ‘About that, actually,’ Catherine begins. She looks picture frame on the wall. Inside, the boy stands at the man and catches his beady eyes through between a woman with a grin and a man with flat the mirror. As they stare at her, his moustache lips hidden under a moustache. His beady eyes underneath bristles and his face begins to turn glare at Catherine and she shivers. His hands grip pink. the boy by the nape of his neck. ‘What is it, dear?’ Mrs Plenary says with a look of ‘Was it him?’ Catherine whispers. The boy turns concern. ‘You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.’ to follow Catherine’s eyes to the picture frame. He blinks rapidly and clenches his fists. Catherine Catherine shakes her head quickly. places a hand on his shoulder and she can feel ‘It’s nothing,’ she says, ‘Joseph was great.’ him tremble. ‘Wonderful,’ Mrs Plenary says. ‘So you’ll be back The boy whips around and grabs her by the next week then?’ wrists. ‘Promise me you won’t tell Mum,’ he blurts Mrs Plenary stands at the doorway and Catherine out. Catherine feels the pale boy’s grip growing steps outside. tighter; she pulls her arm away. ‘Sorry,’ she says, shrugging. ‘I think I’ll be busy Catherine presses herself against the wall and with other things.’ looks down at the boy; as she does so, she runs her fingers over the impressions that his nails Mrs Plenary frowns. have etched into her skin. After a while, he walks ‘Well, that’s a shame,’ she says, tearing out a past her and crawls into his bed, turning off the cheque and scribbling a number on the back. ‘If bedside lamp and leaving the room pitch black. anything changes, give me a call.’ She waits by the door until she hears him begin to breathe softly and closes the door behind her. Catherine takes the cheque and shoves it in her pocket. In the darkened hallway, the grandfather clock rings and startles Catherine. She heads downstairs As she is waiting at the bank the next morning, the to the foyer where she collects her handbag and teller frowns and opens up the crumpled cheque, flattening it out and holding it against the light. keys off the counter under the framed mirror. Catherine snatches the cheque back and rushes Headlights pass through the stained glass of the out of the bank. Outside, she dials Mrs Plenary’s front door, and the rumbling of a car engine cuts number and waits. On the other end someone off. Catherine rushes to the door and the handle picks up; she hears a man clear his throat. turns. The hallway light flickers into life over the
Closetby Mel O’Connor
They know each other like dancers, like the last of a species, they hold each other close, witness rhythm, paradise, synchronisation. Closer intimacy, deeper love, until that love crippled, to be held down. Pressure mounts—schedules divide and become erratic, twitch from side to side, something previously unnamable now identified: possession? No, never that vibrant, never that beautiful. But pride, identity, stripped back and reduced more each time they sigh, resigned. Of course they understand: to do otherwise would be foolish, asking for trouble. Because this is beyond them. This is within the barriers of best interests, this is a sensible dictation, neither party disputes that nothing can be done. She keeps herself in line and breaks inside, like chips at porcelain-ware, insidious, weaker with each, until spider-web destruction fells a castle. We breathe like broken glass in the night, teach each other the way pure hearts are supposed to beat. Come to know that sinking feeling, that ‘Kiss me, make it go away’, that ‘I need you, don’t leave me alone’. Her mouth tastes like kissing, never like being kissed; the sensations are rolling together in a shocking, reeling miasma, blood on barbed wire. She’s starting to think that this is the one. This is a four-letter word. She whispers in the injured evening light: Trust you, on my life, I do trust you—I’d write off the world as a bad job, she coos, and I can’t keep up. My thoughts don’t link up. Soon I won’t be here. I’m turning away from everything I know. I’d give you the world if I could get my hands deep enough inside it. I’d give you my soul but it’s no longer my own. As each beat thrums through my veins, pulsing magma and passion-fire, I know this sinking feeling. Beautiful one, my heart was yours from the first breath. Anticipatory heartache preludes encompassing dread as the lightning strikes, once, twice, centimeters apart. Adapt, evolve, redefine. We are as the summer hurricanes—the wet, desperate breath between thunderclaps. Let the rain desaturate the whole world. I long for your hands in mine. Know me for the final time.
UNANCHORED By Jodie Woodward
His eyelids flicker before snapping open. Light floods in and forces them closed again. His eyes are raw, his vision blurred. The early-morning sky is above him; he knows that much. There is a steady roaring in his ears, grit in his mouth. He coughs. He can feel his blood pumping in his fingertips and his toes, all heavy with cold in the early morning air. His heart thumps loudly in the space between the waves and echoes in his aching head. He wriggles his legs, testing to see if they still move. The sand is damp and cold on his bare ankles. He’s lost his shoes. He can feel the bulge of his wallet still in his back pocket, so that’s something. He is alive. He opens his mouth to cough but a hearty laugh escapes, returning to its home. Another day of silence awaits. They are searching for him. He’d thrown his phone onto the freeway two days ago but he knew they would be looking. He has never gone silent on them before. Never disappeared. They worry for him now as he would for them, at some other time. Now he worries for no one. They have left endless messages but he hasn’t listened to them. The constant buzz and chirp of his phone had kept him company until the sound began to burrow into his head, worming into his skull. He felt heavy with the noise of it. He needed to be separate from them. From all of them. He needed quiet. He was only going to drive to Woolworths. The next town. The one after that. The city. A hotel. The ocean. He had become unanchored. He never really had one at all. He doesn’t know what to do with the car when he gets there. Every decision weighs him down. His chest is heavy. He leaves it on a side-street without even glancing at the name of it. He locks the doors, takes his jacket. Keys. Wallet. No phone. No more phone. It is ringing beside the freeway but it can’t touch him. He thinks about the messages they will be leaving, slightly panicked now surely. He feels nothing. He has felt plenty of guilt in his life but not today. Today there is only silence. He winds his way down streets without purpose but with meaning. Every footfall is a reminder that he is moving forward, going somewhere. He is not being sucked down into it anymore. His thoughts had been swirling and swirling his
insides into knots. He hadn’t eaten a full meal in weeks, couldn’t hold anything else inside him except the guilt and the swirling. Their eyes, full of tears, had ripped him open. Exposed him. Their disappointment (which he knew he deserved) was too much for him to carry. He carried so much. He carried it well too. His whole life had been holding them up, dusting them off, dragging them along. Something deep inside of him was broken. His load was full. Sirens sounded, lights flashed. He had pulled free and now he floated in silence. He sits up slowly, feeling the rush of blood through him. He pushes his bare feet into the damp sand until they are covered. He looks at the waves, can’t help but breathe in time with them. He feels nothing. Nothing at all. The rushing, pulsing noise that had always been inside of him has stopped. All of the spaces are filled with a thick silence, like putty has been jammed inside the noise holes. He considers walking into the ocean and giving himself over, letting the waves drag him down and fill him up. He imagines the weight of the ocean upon him. The release. He doesn’t have it in him. But if the waves come for him he won’t stop them. He won’t fight it today. He purchases a new outfit with some cash from his wallet. New shoes. He has nowhere to go but he is dressed for it. He keeps moving. He has to keep moving. He drinks coffee from a large takeaway cup with someone else’s name written on it in large felt-tip letters. He hasn’t eaten in a day but he feels no desire for food. The thought of it makes his stomach knot. He downs the rest of his coffee and waits to be pulled under, sucked into something else. Nothing comes. He finds a bar and orders a beer. Orders another. All he wants now is to let the quiet carry him through another day, another night. He wants to sit alone with himself and not feel the rushing of his brain, the swirling of his thoughts. He wants to be numb for just a moment more. He doesn’t care what comes after. The night is full of moments unfolding without his assistance. He lets the air carry him forward. Without thought he moves from thing to thing. From place to place. He smiles in the right moments, speaks when he needs to. He is carried along in the current. It reminds him of the little white dingy he’d once found with his brother on a camping trip, so many years ago. He remembers dragging the thing from the shore into the river, mud up to their knees. They were full of triumph once they’d gotten it in. It only then occurred to them that they had no idea how to row the thing, let alone steer it. They shared the work, laughing and falling down as they tried to get it to go somewhere. Anywhere. After an hour of circling they had had enough. They gave up and rowed it back through the shallows, pulled it up the muddy bank. Their legs caked with mud as they made their way back to the campsite. They didn’t tell anyone about it and never spoke of it again. He doesn’t know why. In the morning it is over. He wakes on the beach with his insides swirling again. How did he end up back here? Still alive. The seagulls, flying low overheard, can see through him. The waves are laughing at him, roaring in pulsating surges, willing him in. He is a coward. He doesn’t have it in him. Doesn’t have it in him. Doesn’t have it in him. He throws off his shoes and laughs and laughs and laughs, letting the sound fill him up. He has to go back; it is the only way forward. He fiddles around in his pocket for some change for the payphone.
by Alison Evans
I thought that it would be okay if only I knew. The picture has gotten clearer through the years, but I couldn’t get it wrong anyway. I am a genderqueer person, which means I don’t identify as a man or a woman exclusively. I am genderflux to be more specific, which means I feel different genders in different intensities. It changes a lot; it shifts and moves in ways I can’t predict. You can’t really get your own gender identity wrong–your understanding just evolves. You learn new terms, or understand what you’re feeling more succinctly. It’s a constant process for me. Other people can get your gender identity very wrong. It is easy to stay silent.
Then I thought it would be okay if only a couple of friends knew. External was—and still is— I exist; people like me validation something I craved. I needed it. exist. I am trying to be I needed people to see me, for to acknowledge that loud because there are someone I was not silent, and for a while people like me who don’t there were only a small handful I trusted with this. yet know they are like me, ofTheypeople validated me, they saw me, and maybe if they hear they listened. It was enough for a year—I don’t know. me then they will feel less maybe It is so valuable to be seen and alone. recognised. And I wanted more. And then I thought it would be okay if the internet heard me. I came out on my blog where a few more people I knew in real life found out. I came out on Twitter, even more. People I’d barely spoken to told me they were proud. And being heard in this way even gave some people the words they needed to talk about themselves. In this safe place, people told me they were like me. Some people hadn’t told anyone else. It was okay. It was good, even.
being was confusing and stressful. I ended up telling them. They tried to listen but I don’t think that they did. They went back to calling me a girl instantly. I went back to silence in that area of my life. One time, I thought it would be okay if my workplace knew. My co-workers listened, but only for five minutes. Then I was back to being a girl. Only one person really listened. She used my pronouns and didn’t call me a girl. The rest didn’t think it was important. I thought it would be okay to stay silent to my university and to my government. It was not. I changed my title at university from Ms to Mx after a day of speaking to so many different people, to figure out how it was possible—if it were possible. If it wasn’t then who could I talk to? In the end it was easy. I emailed someone in the enrolments department and they changed it. New students can now choose the title for themselves when they enrol. But I still need a doctor to confirm I am not M or F but X, and only then I can change my gender at university. According to the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages I cannot legally be gender X in Victoria, in my home. The application for alteration of sex on my birth certificate has two boxes: female or male. If I got ‘genital affirmation surgery’, I could change my sex to M. That is all. But I can get a passport that says gender X. And maybe that will be okay—or it might be a temporary okay, like all the previous okays.
I am trying to be loud about it. I exist; people like me exist. I am trying to be loud because there are people like me who don’t yet know they are like me, and maybe if they hear me then they will feel less alone. It is hard to speak; demanding to be heard I still lived with my mother then, and and seen, but it is harder not to. I didn’t tell her. I didn’t tell my brother either. Existing in these different states of
5 BIG 3
HAVING A BLACK BELT MEANS YOU KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT KARATE.
ABOUT KARATE Karate is a popular and varied martial art that is practised in almost every country around the world, and has a history that goes back over a thousand years. However, despite its popularity, many people have some very big misconceptions when it comes to what karate is really about.
Having a black belt is a laudable achievement, but the original Okinawans understood that learning karate was a personal journey and that belts were merely markers. The colours of the belts originate in their traditions, as they mostly trained outside and the once white belts they wore became dirtier over time, going yellow and then brown before becoming completely black. Over time these colours came to symbolise experience, and we keep the tradition of wearing coloured belts to this day. Students with black belts are respected for their experience, but they are not treated as ultimate masters. There is always more to learn, and all students are equal so long as they are equally dedicated to self-improvement.
KARATE IS ABOUT LEARNING HOW TO HURT OTHER PEOPLE.
If you only read one part of this article, I want you to read this one. Karate is not about learning how to beat people up. Sadly, this is what many dojos teach their students how to do, and, thanks to the toxic influence of traditional masculinity on the sporting world, this is what most people think of when they imagine karate. However, it could not be further from the truth. Karate is, and always has been, about self-defence, and it is studied in the fervent hope that the student never has to use it. ‘Karate’ in Japanese means ‘open hand’. It teaches that the best way to defend yourself and others is to work towards a world where noone would ever need to fight. The open hand extended in peace is the truest symbol of what karate stands for.
KARATE COMES FROM CHINA.
Things get a little tricky here, because martial arts, in general, are all heavily influenced by each other, especially in the East. However, traditional karate originated on the small Japanese island of Okinawa (home of Mr Miyagi, for any Karate Kid buffs out there). The story goes that the ruler of Okinawa feared that the people would rise up and overthrow him, and so he banned all peasants from carrying weapons. However, the peasants were worried that having no weapons would leave them vulnerable to bandits and so learned how to defend themselves using only their hands and feet. They also learned to use common agricultural tools as weapons, which is the origin of many of the weapons that traditionally accompany some forms of martial art.
A BLACK BELT IS THE HIGHEST RANK IN KARATE.
A black belt is not the highest rank in karate. After black belt come the Dans, usually denoted by a stripe or band on the student’s black belt, which require even higher levels of skill and dedication to achieve. Some modern clubs award their students Dans based on how long they have been a black belt, but this is a corrupt system that rewards club loyalty over dedication and skill. Principled clubs award Dans only to those students who have demonstrated skill and personal improvement over a long period of time and who have made the commitment to achieving them. Always be suspicious of someone who claims to have more than two or three Dans, unless they are eighty.
KARATE IS ONLY FOR FIT MEN.
Karate, in general, can be perceived as a man’s realm, and there is definitely a masculine energy to many clubs that can be intimidating. However, not all clubs are like this. My club prides itself on being a family school, most of our students are children and we have equal numbers of women and men throughout the ranks. In my time there I have seen white belts who struggled to get up from sitting down become fit, healthy brown belts in the space of a few years, and have taught many girls who have just as much, if not more, potential than the boys. Karate is for everyone, and if we learn to embrace this I am sure its popularity will continue for another thousand years. Rowan Girdler has studied karate for fifteen years and has been an instructor for three. He has 800 Dans and once defeated Bruce Lee with one hand whilst holding off Jackie Chan with the other. Chuck Norris didn’t show.
Lexa Deserved Better
Hazel Tyler explains why Lexa’s death is a problem and why we need to speak up and tell the entertainment media that we will no longer accept it. ConTent Warning: Death The 100 takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, where life is largely just an increasingly desperate attempt to survive. For this reason, the creators contended that relationships between people of the same gender would be viewed in-universe as entirely unremarkable; simply because there were always so many other things to worry about. Indeed, the show’s second season featured a relationship between two women, the series’ protagonist, Clarke and a new character, Lexa. This relationship became known as ‘Clexa’ in the fandom, where the pairing was received mostly positively. However, The 100’s production team soon ran into difficulties when preparing for their third season as Lexa’s actress, Alycia Debnam-Carey, became a regular on Fear The Walking Dead, which ‘Fridging’ is a trope aired on a different network, wherein a female character limiting the number of episodes the actress could is murdered to further a film for The 100’s third male character’s storyline. season. Eventually, The 100’s production team The term gained its name decided the best way to from a 1994 comic, Green move forward would be to kill off Lexa in the midLantern vol. 3 #54 where the season finale and use her superhero discovered his death to further the artificial intelligence storyline that girlfriend, Alex, has been would become the primary murdered by a supervillain focus of the second half of the season.
fans on a cliff-hanger. The backlash was immediate. Fans logged into their social media accounts, equally expressing anger and grief to fellow fans as well as directly attacking the social media accounts belonging to members of the production team. Some members of the production team responded to the effect of ‘Many characters have died in The 100. Lexa was no different’. The thing is that Lexa’s death is different. Lexa’s death was eerily similar to the death of Tara, thirteen years previously on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Tara was killed randomly by a stray bullet meant for the series’ title character and died in front of her girlfriend Willow. As Willow lay there cradling her lover’s body, her shirt stained with her blood; her tear-streaked eyes turned a fiery red. The remaining episodes of the season saw Willow become consumed by her grief and anger, turning to dark magic to get her revenge on the people responsible for Tara’s death, and then when that wasn’t enough to stop the pain; she tried to end the world.
Tara’s death caused a similar outcry to Lexa’s; Buffy The Vampire Slayer was a rare case in early depictions of same-sex relationships in that Willow and Tara were never the show’s token lesbian characters. Both were fully dimensional major characters in their own right, with their own personalities and story-arcs. Their relationship was not when he finds her body On March 3rd, 2016 treated any differently from any other in the stuffed into a fridge. viewers tuned into The 100 show, which although at times was strained, and watched as Lexa was the characters were always shown to be felled by a stray bullet and died in Clarke’s deeply in love with one another. arms; afterwards, an electronic device Despite this, Tara’s character was killed was removed from her body, leaving the off to further Willow’s own story-arc. The
death of a lover is not a trope reserved only for relationships between two women. ‘Fridging’ is a trope wherein a female character is murdered to further a male character’s storyline. The term gained its name from a 1994 comic, Green Lantern vol. 3 #54 where the superhero discovered his girlfriend, Alex, has been murdered by a supervillain when he finds her body stuffed into a fridge. Alex was not the first woman to be killed off in fiction, to further the male protagonist’s story and to fuel his character-arc. Her death inspired Gail Simone, an avid comic book reader, to start a website called ‘Women In Refrigerators’ which aimed to compile a list of all the times female comic book characters were killed, abused, sexually assaulted, incapacitated or brainwashed. Simone and other contributors further noted that most of the time these events were used to provide another male character motivation to continue fighting, laying bare a large number of female characters expected to suffer as a centrepiece in a dramatic narrative; the fandom and the industry were forced to acknowledge that this was a problem – and led to DC Comics hiring Gail Simone as one of their writers. At 111 examples, ‘Women In Refrigerators’ is hardly exhaustive, but it is enough to prove that there is an issue in the representation of women in fictional media. Similarly, shortly after Lexa’s death, Autostraddle published an article titled and listing, ‘All 160 Dead Lesbian and Bisexual Characters On TV, And How They Died’. Like ‘Women In Refrigerators’, Autostraddle contends that there is indeed a problem with the way television represents female characters. Autostraddle makes clear that they understand that when attempting to construct and play out a fictional drama, you often will eventually have to have a character die to create drama. There are also television epics entirely based around the idea that anyone can die, such as Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. However, in the case of lesbian and bisexual characters, examples of character-arcs ending in death is particularly egregious.
Truthfully, these characters have always been rare in fictional media. The Motion Picture Production Code that existed between the 1930s through to the late 1960s, initially forbade the inclusion of such characters. Later these draconian rules were relaxed, you were allowed to feature lesbian or bisexual characters as long as they lived an unhappy life, saw the error of their ways or died at the end. Autostraddle included many of these examples in their article. As society has become more At 111 examples, ‘Women accepting or simply more tolerant of people who aren’t In Refrigerators’ is hardly heterosexual, more of these exhaustive, but it is enough to characters are appearing in television shows, often as prove that there is an issue in a single character among a the representation of women large heterosexual ensemble.
in fictional media.
The question is, if there are so few of these characters, why are there 160 dead lesbians and bisexual women? Is it simply ignorance to the blood-stained history of women in fictional media, whether they be straight, gay or bisexual? Is it because these production teams are simply too lazy or inept to find a way to further one character’s arc without having them climb over the corpse of another’s? Why almost fifty years later are we still publishing media that could easily be endorsed by an antiquated moral authority?
Maybe writers and directors didn’t learn from Tara’s death in 2003, just as they did not learn from the other 158 women that died before her. But now, thirteen years later, fandom can now easily connect to one another across social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr; additionally, creators are now more openly interacting with their fandom through these same sites. And even if they’re evading our questions, they are still listening. So don’t let them forget. Speak up the next time that a television show or a movie or a comic does this. And they will do this again. Be angry until they get better. Because it wasn’t just Lexa who deserved better—so did we.
Interview by A. Tesselaar. Robin Wang is a small business owner operating a café on South Melbourne’s busy Clarendon Street. He took time out of his schedule to answer my questions as to what it is like to be a start-up. Aidan (interviewer): When did you pretty hard. You’ll need a lot of money for decide that you wanted to manage a café? marketing to get it out there Robin: It was always in the plans, ever since A: What kind of marketing did you do? I started working in hospitality. R: We had to rely on social media mainly. A: And how long have you been running Facebook and Instagram. We also used Stokers? deal sites like Groupon. So that was our main form of advertising and marketing. R: Two years now. At first we did some pamphlet and letter A: Did you start it yourself, or pick up a box drops in the local area which can be pre-existing brand? effective initially. R: It’s a little bit complicated. Stokers is A: Which form of marketing showed the an existing brand, it’s been around for 40 strongest results? years or so now. We did take it over from somebody, so there is existing framework R: Definitely social media. I think social to work with. However, media is the easiest. These days it’s more I think social media is the previous management had about getting content out there quickly and You want to regularly be posting, be easiest. These days it’s more run it down. So everything timely. essentially built from out there to try and target what’s happening about getting content out was at the moment, whether it be Mother’s Day, the ground up again. Easter, it’s the Grand Finals or even there quickly and timely. A: Do you feel that taking it’s Pancake Day, all that kinda stuff. We did try You want to regularly be over a pre-existing brand some traditional forms of marketing, like in magazines and newspapers. They posting, be out there to try benefited your business? listing R: There were pros and were very expensive, and in our case the and target what’s happening cons. The benefit of picking result wasn’t even that great. Social media is at the moment, whether it be up an existing business is definitely the easiest and the cheapest way. in the content and depth Coming into this, has anything Mother’s Day, it’s Easter, it’s the to your branding. There’s A: surprised you? Grand Finals or even Pancake a certain exposure in the R: Yeah definitely, when we first started public, whether good or Day, all that kinda stuff. bad there is still some and we purchased the business, they exposure. So that’s definitely a pro. The give you a document of average sales per con is that, if the business does have a bad week. Obviously it’s going to be inflated reputation it’s a lot of hard work to get it to make the sale look good, so we made a back up and change people’s perceptions. conservative estimate of what the real figure As was the case for us. But there’s always a would be. And when we first started it was chance you can bring it back to the positive. well below our very reserved estimation We weighed up the pros and cons before of how much we were going to sell, per deciding to pick up an existing business. week. Which meant we had to fork out a The pro of starting fresh is that there is no lot more money in the beginning, instead stigma, there is no preconception of your of breaking even or making a little bit of product. But at the same time there is zero money to keep the business going. We exposure. Getting that initial exposure is had to take out more loans to continue the
business, and that was quite surprising for having fantastic customer service, a high us. It was difficult. Another surprise was the quality product and a good vibe. extra outgoings and costs that are involved. A: Could you tell me a little more about A: What kind of costs? the vibe? R: Footpath trading permit, alcohol licensing permits, maintenance and repair costs, power and gas. It was quite surprising and hard to plan for as we began with estimates. If I knew how to do that beforehand it would have saved a lot of time and money. Knowing my rights as a tenant too, and negotiation skills. It would have been very helpful to negotiate some initial costs such as rent or better deals with suppliers. A: What tips could you give to a first time start-up? R: Weigh up the pros and cons, and if it looks good don’t waste too long making decision. I think Don’t come into the business asometimes people worry thinking it’s going to be easy. too much about making right decision. Most You gotta be prepared to put the of the time it comes down in the hard yards. You’ll be to either A is slightly than B or vice versa. the first to arrive and the last better Especially don’t take long to go home, and you may not on simple decisions, like, colour are the chairs. see a day off for months. what Don’t spend two weeks on that trying to decide. Make quick decisions for simple stuff and don’t stress over little details because people won’t even pick up on them. Maybe it would have helped if we spent more time at the start planning our financial model. A: What do you mean by financial model? R: Costing of the food, how much the food is going to cost to make and how much you’re going to sell it for. For me, at the start I didn’t do too much of that kind of planning. I just kind of started and went with it. Looking back I think at the start our pricing was too low and our margins were very low. But we’ve managed to get by gradually increasing every now and then.
R: When people talk about vibe, there’s many different elements to it. What improves a vibe of a place for me is actually quite physical. It includes good lighting, music, the people that work there and their attitude. I think those are the core elements of vibe. These are very subconscious things that people pick up. It depends on what you’re going for, we’re going for a very homely and cosy place. You don’t want to walk into a place with cheap white, fluorescent lights. That’s a no-no. The music definitely affects how people feel, is it fast paced or hard or is it chilled and relaxed? Perhaps it’s something outside mainstream music that they haven’t heard before and they’re intrigued by it. The people and how you treat them too, are you greeting them straight away, are you happy, do you make a conscious effort to talk to them? These are all really important. A: Is there any advice you’d offer to somebody looking to get into your position? R: I’d definitely recommend work in hospitality before getting into hospitality. A lot of people see managers working and it looks like a pretty easy job. They see me making a coffee, having a chat to people, but they don’t see the work that goes on behind the scenes. The reason we make it look so easy is because we’ve done it for so many years now. A: Well thank you for your time, did you have anything else you wanted to add?
R: The most important thing, and I can’t stress this enough. Don’t come into the business thinking it’s going to be easy. You gotta be prepared to put in the hard yards. You’ll be the first to arrive and the last to go home, and you may not see a day off for months. This business you start is your When we started this business it was to child and it requires just as much attention prove a concept that if you were able to as a real child if you want it to flourish and get the very core basics right, the business succeed. would improve naturally. Basics would be
We asked 3 students to write a short review of the coffee on their campus.
Before I begin, I will warn you: I stopped drinking coffee last year. Mostly because I hate the stuff no matter how good it is, and can only handle it with copious amounts of sugar. But I was drinking it last year, and let me tell you–most of the coffee here tastes like dirty water. One particular joint makes it so bad, even the shot of caramel syrup can’t salvage that latte. Another place had a strange tendency of giving me a hot chocolate every time I ordered a mocha–it tasted a hell of a lot better than coffee, but didn’t do the trick to make me feel awake. The only coffee on campus that I enjoyed was the specialty white chocolate and Irish nut creme specialty coffee from the food court, which was already sickly sweet without me adding 5 teaspoons of sugar.
Warrnambool; a city renowned for three things: ruggedly beautiful coast lines, great white fluffy dogs who pal around with penguins and fucking atrocious weather.
These days, I just stick to tea.
With the magic words said you are mine. Your warm presence calling to me, your curves fitting perfectly into my hands. I stare into your russet depth and slowly I sample you. Burnt and bitter you are a reflection of my soul.
The weather has again descended into what can only be described as preapocalyptic conditions. The wind gusts ferocious, the rain torrential and the temperature bitingly cold. For those of us brave enough to battle through the elements there is a reward. My heart rate climbs and not only because I have nearly fallen as my wet shoes slipped on the linoleum as I entered H building. I’m standing in a line, not just any line though. Any second now I will say the words, that handful of words that will reunite me with my one true love. ‘Extra strong, latte please.’
I would like to think that I know the difference between a good cup of coffee and a bad one. The reality is that I don’t—I’m a solid Mocha drinker, so I was never really there for the taste the coffee as much as I lunge for the chocolate shot. The upside to this is that it’s pretty hard to mess up a Mocha, and if even if the coffee is burnt you can’t taste it. So basically you should start drinking Mochas, and then it won’t matter if the coffee is good or not. So I don’t really know what coffee is like around campus, but I can tell you where to get the most chocolate sauce in a cup from. I prefer my Mocha overlooking the ocean.
Mug Shots What type of reusable cup should you get, based on your personality? How do you get to uni? A) Public transport B) Drive C) Walk
Do you want to be able to see the liquid? A) No B) Yes C) I don’t really care
Do you often spill your drink? A) Yes B) No C) I refuse to admit to doing it
How stylish do you want your cup to be? A) Very B) Medium C) I literally couldn’t care less
Do you own a dishwasher? A) Yes B) No C) Yes but it doesn’t work
What do you prefer? A) Tea B) Coffee C) Hot Chocolate
Any Reusable cup
You want something nice, but you also want something you can chuck into your bag and not worry about leaking. Frank Green is for you! They’ve done something fancy with their design, so their lid is secure, but you can still chuck it in the dishwasher! Disassembly required though.
You want something stylish yet reliable, so the Keepcup Brew Glass set is for you. It’s not 100% leak proof, but the plug in the lid has the ability to suction down, do that helps minimise possible spillages. Plus, it’s easy to see when you need to get a refill. Usually dishwasher safe, but also really easy to wash by hand.
Chances are you’re here to get the job done and you know what you’re doing. Any ol’ reusable cup will work for you. Easy to wash by hand or chuck in the dishwasher, but not leak proof. You can pick up one of these babes virtually anywhere, because there are so many brands or branded ones floating around.
Would You Kindly Turn The Voices Off? By W.D. Farnsworth They only speak to me I hope they do I need them And they need me I can only listen to so much they tell me They scream for love and yell for an old fashioned lover boy Christian beaches enviousness while the catacombs of secret love ink the plates of membrane Watered Down coke Smooth 69ers lying in underbelly suite seeking beauty craze Hallucinating the female wonders of hailed glory kings God failed anarchists Squeezing horror juice and Philistine junkies of holocaust Favours Deceased undercover of lying boners Seething into glory of illustrious sin adoring drag queens loving themselves for crime Hooker dreams of Larikan dancers As the night coo’s “Amour” Sacred soldiers of alleviated war crimes Stealing Pleasure Succubus Salivating Nightmares On the heads of the dead Perpetual terror Of horror Oh the horror And it’s unwavering beauty Tenor reaches for the father The screeches of the lady wonders permeate the satin flu Streets run bubonic Pike’s ventures the two towns, seeking the prey Once again the inquisition has resurrected itself Not all that hard to do so Across the sea the ocean lions breathe a new life to the cultured hangings The people seek the right to sleep in unburnt pastures And sinking seats Worship the Lenin statues While the Stalins plan a sweet vengeance.
WINTER REVIVAL A GLAMOROUS WINTER COCKTAIL EVENING HOSTED BY THE WARRNAMBOOL CAMPUS. INCLUDES CANAPES, DRINKS AND A LIVE PERFORMANCE BY GRACE & EDEN.
25TH AUGUST FROM 6.30PM TO 10PM AT CLUB WARRNAMBOOL AFTER PARTY | 10PM UNTIL LATE | WHALERS HOTEL
$40 DUSA MEMBERS & $45 GENERAL ADMISSION OTHERS & NON MEMBERS (TICKET COST INCLUDES ENTRY TO WINTER AFTER PARTY, PIZZA WILL BE SUPPLIED AT THE AFTER PARTY) REG NO. A0040625Y
Victim/Survivor by Rebecca K content warning: sexual assault
Many people might think that it’s strange to feel shame because of something that wasn’t your fault, but it happens all too often in cases of sexual assault. The way it makes the victim/survivor feel unable to talk about their experience only makes it harder to move past. It took me the better part of a year to find my voice again after what had happened, and although it’s been almost two years now, I still can’t say that I’ve completely gotten past that traumatic experience. When people think of sexual assault, especially rape, people often think of strangers in dark alleyways or spiking drinks at a nightclub, but according to a survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, an estimated 15% of women over the age of 18 (1,310,900 women) have been sexually assaulted by someone they know, while only 3% report being assaulted by a stranger. At the time, while it was still happening, I switched myself off to the horrific truth of what a person I had trusted was doing to my body. My fear caused me to shut down and submit: an automatic reaction a I sat on a friend’s counsellor later explained was my brain’s way of protecting kitchen floor, shaking me and which I had no control as I recounted what over. But at the time, and in the months that followed, I had happened for the didn’t see it as an automatic reaction that could be first time, when she defence explained by psychology; I saw stopped me and said, it as cowardice, weakness, and bit my fault. This caused ‘You realise he raped every unwavering shame and guilt, you’. which left me feeling trapped in the situation, unable to share what was happening with the people around me. When it was finally over, I didn’t feel free at all. The memories and feelings that
were left began to sink in while I tried to process everything in the aftermath; while I tried desperately to make sense of what had happened—what had really happened— and why I felt so sad, scared, and angry. It wasn’t until I managed to open up to my closest friends that the full force of what had happened hit me. I sat on a friend’s kitchen floor, shaking as I recounted what had happened for the first time, when she stopped me and said, ‘You realise he raped you’. Somewhere in the back of my head, that word had been screaming out at me for weeks, but it wasn’t until a friend said it that I allowed it to come to the front of my mind and attached it to what had happened to me. Suddenly the reason for all of the numbness and extreme emotions I was experiencing became clear: I was a victim of sexual assault. I was already having trouble processing the flashes of memory and feelings that made me feel constantly ill. Trying to do so alongside that realisation was more than I could handle by myself. Soon I began to see a counsellor who specialised in helping people who had experienced sexual trauma. It was a hard decision to make, but it was the best thing I could have done for myself at the time. The counsellor I started to see listened to me talk about what had happened and how it was making me feel. Even though several months had passed, and without being judgemental, she encouraged me to allow myself to validate my own feelings regarding what had happened. She explained how the way I had responded to the situation was normal. She taught me a number of strategies to help when I felt upset and needed to calm down—these were especially useful while I was working and would often see the person
who had raped me passing through, as his appearance would trigger a severe reaction. Over the months while I was visiting this counsellor, I slowly noticed myself getting better at feeling better. I noticed that I was regaining control of my emotional responses to triggering circumstances and overcoming the anxiety that had plagued me since the incident. Although I only saw Sexual consent has only the counsellor for a few months, I began to get better. And even been given when both though I knew I would never what had happened to me, parties have willingly forget I was able to move away from agreed to the sexual my victim mentality and start of myself as a survivor act proposed free from thinking instead.
coercion, pressure, and the threat of violence.
A couple of months after I stopped seeing the counsellor, I made a scary decision. Although I knew I was a lot better than I had been at the start, I still didn’t feel like I’d really gotten back my own voice. I was so lucky to be surrounded by close friends who I could confide in and have access to support services, but there was an undying need for me to do something for myself, without anyone else’s opinion to sway my decision or speak for me. Without telling anyone, I decided to make an anonymous report to South Eastern Centers Against Sexual Assault through sara.org.au. At the end of the report, I could opt-in to be contacted by someone from the Centre to discuss other options, and I decided it wouldn’t hurt to find out what else I could do. The person who contacted me ended up giving me information about the nearest police station with a unit that specialised in sexual assault cases. In Victoria, there is no set amount of time within which to make a report about a sexual assault, but I was afraid that the police wouldn’t believe me. I was afraid that he would find out I had reported him. I was afraid that my family, work colleagues, and other people who I didn’t want to tell would find out somehow. But I was done with being afraid for myself. I wanted to take back all of the control within my own life that I could. I wanted him to be held accountable for what he had done. And I didn’t want him to be able to do something like that to anybody else. Even though I knew
it might not work, I decided to talk to the police and make a report. The bloke who interviewed me was kind and listened to everything I said. He believed me. And he told me as nicely as he could that there may not be enough evidence to have him charged. That was hard to accept, but it gave me a feeling of closure—by making that report, I had done everything I reasonably could to make things right. And somewhere in there, I stopped being afraid, and I found my voice. Allow me to finish by making something very clear: sexual consent has only been given when both parties have willingly agreed to the sexual act proposed free from coercion, pressure, and the threat of violence. Consent once is not consent twice. And consent to one sexual act is not consent to all sexual acts. Forcing, threatening, pressuring or coercing another person into a sexual act is sexual assault or rape. I am not here to argue definitions. There are no grey areas here; only excuses made up by people who feel entitled to another person’s time, personal information, and body.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, you can get support or find more information in these places: Sexual Assault Crisis Line (Victoria) 1800 806 292 1800 RESPECT (Australia) 1800 737 732 Lifeline: 13 11 14 Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault: http://www.casa.org.au/
Photography Selection by Luke Collalto
RADIO SILENCE By A.E. Grant
Warning: Ten minutes of oxygen remaining. A red light blinks inside my helmet, briefly illuminating the interior. An irritating tone beeps every few seconds. The noise teamed up with the light makes me grind my teeth; I have done this 100 times, I know I have enough time to finish up and return to the shuttle. Unfortunately, I can’t switch off the alert, which leaves the sound slowly depriving me of my sanity. Despite my slight predicament I persist with the task at hand. I aim the laser welder at a damaged panel and melt it back into the shape of the shuttle’s exterior. I knock my gloved fist against it and focus on the vibrations travelling through my suit. This used to be easier on Earth—hell, it’s better inside the shuttle—where I can press my ear to the metal and hear if there is a hollow echo. But as much as I like the quiet out here, this is one of the drawbacks. Earth glows gently in the corner of my eye while I work—a small blue sphere floating against a canvas of black amongst the scatter of stars. Sometimes I like to gaze at it from inside the cabin when I can’t sleep and reminisce about being a kid dreaming of leaving it all behind to fly amongst the stars. At this moment I don’t because it’s always been there and I’m not in the mood to fondly look back.
Warning: Five minutes of oxygen remaining. Once I’m positive the damage has been completely repaired, I reach up and press the green button on the base of my helmet. ‘Done,’ I state curtly into the communicator. ‘Good job, Beatrice,’ Yuri comments, his voice coming from my earpiece. ‘And in good time too. You will be back in time for the broadcast.’ Hearing this lifts my mood slightly, and a small smile sneaks onto my face; a broadcast from Earth means we get to talk to our families, and I’ve been dearly missing my sister, Perdita. She’s my best friend and the person I love most in the universe. She always listened to my rants about space and encouraged my pursuit of it, though she didn’t take the space program herself. We both couldn’t stand the bustle and ruckus of the world, though she was content with digging in sites of ancient history. The airlock hisses around me as it applies artificial gravity and pressurises to a safe level. The green light flicks on to signal that I can take off the spacesuit now without the saliva boiling off my tongue. ‘You know, sometimes I wish we weren’t examining asteroids,’ I say as I stroll into the flight deck. ‘Then we wouldn’t get hit by so many, and I wouldn’t have to listen to that beeping.’ ‘Bea, come off it,’ Holly scolds lightly, leaning back in the pilot seat with her feet up against the steering wheel. ‘It’s our mission. Also, the alerts aren’t that bad.’
‘Says the person who never has to hear them,’ I retort. ‘Anyway, have we heard from Earth yet?’ ‘Not yet, but we should soon,’ Yuri replies, not looking up from tapping at the copilot’s control panel. I slot myself into the seat behind him; the one I sat in when we first launched. It feels weird having four seats for three passengers—another astronaut was supposed to come with us, however they backed out at the last second, leaving me with two seats to choose from. I glance over to the spare seat and wonder if Perdita would have taken it. ‘Wait, what’s that?’ I hear Holly mumble, though I don’t have much time to think about it.
Warning: Proximity alert. Large object travelling at high velocity detected. A second later, an alarm blares inside the flight deck and it fills with a flashing red light. Holly instantly drops her feet off the wheel and leans over to examine the screen in the console. I jump out of my seat and look at it. Large object is an understatement. The radar picks up an asteroid large enough to have been a moon hurtling through space. I breathe a sigh for a moment; it’s not heading our way. Yet Holly taps at the screen’s keys, bringing up more information that the system can gather from this monstrosity. The screen slowly teems with numbers and calculations. Just before I open my mouth to tell her not to worry about it, the system produces the flight path and a cold dread pours over me. We all look up and out the window helplessly. In the distance it is streaking across space towards that pale blue dot. For a moment, I believe that I’m not in space—that I’m not an astronaut. I’m actually a filmgoer. I’m sitting in a dark theatre surrounded by empty seats. I’m watching a silent movie in which the Earth, my home, is struck by a meteorite. That the way it shudders noiselessly is merely a lens trick. That the bright blinding burst is just a spotlight shining at the camera. That the furious red spilling out from ground zero to consume the blue is just special effects. I wait for the curtains to close, but they never do. ‘Guys, please tell me what I just saw didn’t happen …’ I ask numbly, barely registering that I’m talking. ‘Tell me this is a dream!’ ‘That’s the whole planet …’ Holly breathes, equally as dazed. ‘No one could have survived that impact!’ Yuri exclaims in horror. He presses a button on the console and the radio communications switch on. ‘Earth, hello? Can anyone hear me?’ All that comes through is static, screeching through the speakers, though we’re all too stunned to care. It screams on while we remain petrified in place. Suddenly, I’m thrown back to the day we launched: my first space mission. Perdita had been worried about me, about the dangers of space travel. She came to see me off just before I climbed inside the shuttle. ‘Promise me you’ll always come home,’ she had asked, holding my hand in hers against her chest. ‘That I’ll never have to worry about you out there.’ ‘I promise,’ I had replied sincerely. ‘Promise me you’ll stay safe down here too.’ She had laughed. ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’ I am the one to finally reach over and switch off the communicator, cutting off the screaming of the static. I can’t tell if this is the right thing to do, because it just plunges us into the silence of space, and I have never hated it more.
Outstretched limbs, Swollen by the depths. A face a mother could not recognise. Waves ripple overhead, Silent and unnoticed. The eyes wide, opaque from the salt surrounds. He is lost forever, Known only to the fish.
Top image by Tom Bridges; Bottom poem, â€˜Body of the Seaâ€™ by Ashleigh Nolan
Submit to ISSUE 4: EPILOGUE It’s the end of the day–the world. The apocalypse is about to set in and it’s time to party like it’s 1999. The setting sun drops past the horizon in the west, and the night ends as it rises again in the east. We have to put a stop to it. Where does the pain and suffering end? We’re taking a stand, because this is important and we need to make a change. This decision is final. For better, or for worse. Time to wrap up, tie up the loose ends. Go home. Leave now and never come back. There are a few more pages to turn after the final chapter, before you close the book.
Submissions close on the 5th of August, 2016. All submissions to email@example.com
CONTRIBUTORS A. Tesselaar A.E. Grant Aiden Finlayson Alison Evans Ashleigh Nolan Brooke Van Der Linden Hazel Tyler Jodie Woodward Luke Collalto Mel Oâ€™Connor Rebecca K Rowan Girdler Tom Bridges W.D. Farnsworth William Vong
Silence. Is it comforting or disturbing? How much do we rely on what we can hear? How much do we take for granted certain sounds? 'Silence'...
Published on Jul 28, 2016
Silence. Is it comforting or disturbing? How much do we rely on what we can hear? How much do we take for granted certain sounds? 'Silence'...