Wordly Magazine 'Illusion' Edition 2017

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Letter from the Editor There’s always that gentle simmering mirage on the end of a warm interstate highway. You might not see it ‘till you drive up to it, but it’s there. There’s always some creature that cries out in the thick of the tangled woods. You might not hear it ‘till you’re in the woods with it, but it’s there. There’s sometimes a lie buried between the silver-tongued prose of a smooth talker. You might not know it ‘till you hear how they speak, but it’s there. Illusions are all around us, in both their maleficent, and harmless natures. An illusion intended to swindle you, or an illusion intended to protect you.


Illusion has been a wonderful adventure to work on. We’ve received so many talented submissions, and we’ve managed to bring them all together in this tidy, sizable package! Inside this edition, you’ll find a piece to bring you into the realm of a queen-to-be. Perhaps a piece about a shapeshifter moving through a busy country club. A piece about the gentle hearth of winter, or a piece about the brilliance of children’s imagination, or that our primal needs are illusory—mere luxuries! Whatever it is that you are after, Illusion will have a piece that will resonate with you. Stay jazzy, readers.

—Aiden, House Lannister regent, on behalf of the WORDLY team. Editors-in-Chief

Aiden Finlayson • Tara Komaromy


Eliz Bilal • Katelin Farnsworth • Ashleigh Nolan • Bonnee Crawford • Alicia Cooper • Mel O’Connor • Julie Dickson Ari Moore • Justine Stella • Natacha Manomaiphan • Molly Farquharson • Riley Sadlier • Tyler McPherson


Alex Wiltshire • Anders Ross • Ari Moore • Ashleigh Nolan • Bel Ellison • Brianna Bullen • Christine Munn • Emily Henry • Julie Dickson • Justine Stella • Kaitlyn Terrey • Keiley Colpoys • Krutika Malli Mel O’Connor • Natacha Manomaiphan • Sachinee Seneviratne • Sammie Oliver • Sezen Nazmiye Suzie Eisfelder • Tara Komaromy • Tegan Bengham-Bannon • Tyler McPherson • W.D. Farnsworth Design by Pete Cowled

Covert Art by Sezen Nazmiye

© 2017 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 wordlymagazine@gmail.com for more information.

WORDLY Magazine - August 2017

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Wordly Magazine

03. 04. 05. 06. 07. 09. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 20. 21. 22. 23. 25. 27. 28. 29. WordlyMagazine2017_Illusion.indd 2

Winter’s Poem Flying The Illusion of Peer Pressure The Illusion of Need Paper Crowns My/Me Mime Metaphorically In Love with you shadow of a doubt What isn’t There Persisting Perception i’m lovin’ it don’t - CW: Sexually Explicit No - CW: Sexually Explicit The Little Note in Your Pocket PATIENCE IS NOT EVERYONE’S CUP OF TEA Leaving Home Cracks of gold False Awakening The Fort Skakeskin Resolution the fairy forest No Reason for Tears



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Winter's Poem Anders Ross


A playground glistens in the grey light of the rain, Streamers of droplets tumble down its faded wrought frame; Here the tall lone swing lulls in a steady motion, Though there is no line of eager children to-day, No joyful commotion, As often there is around swing sets daily. Above in a chain of song, somewhere much higher Comes into view a chorus of birds on the wing: The picture of lightness, of nature restored; Life is best savoured here, like some private reward.

The sparrow who nests nearby, he seems to hop and dance For a day’s rain will be his mid-afternoon shower; If one is happy truly then why not listen to this chant, The one his partner chirrups sight unseen, Winter ballad for her mavourneen. Hullo! Who is that who comes a-roaming? It is but the muddied boots of young children, Their winter coats and scarves in tow; Spirits tempered only by the prospect of play, Ingenuous faces coloured by the wind. I see the ambling parents as they start to smile, For one cannot defeat a determined child.

The sole force that propels me out to ramble, Such as on days as these, spent in the rain Is to find the source of all that is lyrical, beautiful Like the sounds of birds about their days.

The changing colour of leaves. The shade of the heather in the half-light of a morning, Forewind of the colder weather that tosses your hair, Its mesmeric qualities that divert one from their point, A purer finer breed, of general rejoicings. And I will listen for some minutes each day, Glad of the scene, glad of the music; For a man to not be moved by what he sees Is something tragic—happily not me.

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Katie loved the swings. Every Tuesday afternoon, her father would take her to the playground at the park. Hair blowing into tangles behind her, Katie would run straight for the swings. They were grubby old black rubber ones with seats that sagged and chains that squeaked, but to Katie they were the most wonderful things in the world.

Every Tuesday afternoon she would sit on those swings, pump her legs, and fly. Her father always said to her, ‘Wouldn’t you like a turn on something else for a change?’ and he would point at the slide, or the monkey bars, or the flying fox. Because Katie knew a secret about those swings.


Tegan Benham Bannon

If she pumped her legs hard enough, she would swing so high that she would lift off the ground and fly. Every Tuesday afternoon she would touch the soft sky, soar with the squawking birds, and twirl through the clouds with dancing steps. Sometimes, she would get so high she would fly through the sky and right up into space. There Katie would float through the diamond-dust stars and watch the Earth far down below. But one Tuesday afternoon, when Katie and her father visited the park, they found that the magic swings had gone. In their place was another set, with bright red poles, plastic coated chains, and hard, plastic seats.

But worst of all, there were blockers that stopped the swings going too high.


But every time Katie would just shake her head and kick her legs harder.

That Tuesday afternoon, Katie didn’t fly. Instead, she curled up and cried in her father’s arms.

‘Don’t worry, sweetheart,’ he whispered in her ear. ‘There are plenty of other things to play on.’ So, reluctantly, Katie tried the other things. And she discovered more secrets.

Swinging on the monkey bars would transport her to a faroff jungle, where there were lions and orang-utans and trees to climb. Going down the slide would send her sledding down a mountain, where bursts of snow would melt on her face like cold kisses. The flying fox made her go so fast she became a race car driver, and she saw the whole world as a free-wheeling coloured blur. Every Tuesday afternoon, Katie and her father would go to the playground. And together they went on adventures.

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The Illusion of Peer Julie Dickson Pressure 4th of July 2016 Dear Diary, Today I moved into on-campus accommodation, known informally as Res, after finding out my application was accepted a few weeks ago.

I’m from a small country town so I applied for oncampus accommodation before Trimester 2, but I found out that I hadn’t submitted properly. I moved in with my aunt and applied again. I’m both nervous and excited to meet my new housemates. Trimester 2 starts soon.


18th of July 2016 Dear Diary, It’s my second week of living on campus. My housemates told me Tuesday and Thursday are the regular nights to pre-drink and go out because that’s when their favourite clubs have special drink deals for Uni students.

I didn’t understand how everyone could do this twice a week and keep up with their Uni work, until I realised they’re all behind on their work. Drinking and clubbing is their priority.

29th of July 2016 Dear Diary, I’ve been to all of the pre-drink events so far. Everyone starts pre-drinking at 7 pm and they don’t go out until 11 pm. After sitting around and drinking for hours, I found that alcohol didn’t energise me. It just made me feel tired. When they asked me if I wanted to go out to the club with them, I used the excuse that I couldn’t because I was tired and had a class early the next morning, which was true. Surprisingly, this was an acceptable excuse and they didn’t try to convince me otherwise. 31st of August 2016 Dear Diary, It’s become clear to me after observing the amount of alcohol everyone sculls down in pre-drinks, that they’re all drinking with the intention of getting drunk. I still can’t comprehend how getting drunk, blacking out and waking up the next morning with a hangover, an empty wallet and absolutely no recollection of the night whatsoever is their definition of ‘fun’.

19th of March 2017 Dear Diary, Tomorrow is the first day of Res O’Week. There are a number of bonding activities during the week designed for us to get to know the other residents. There are non-drinking events, during the day, and drinking events every night.

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Maybe I didn’t enjoy drinking last year because it was with the wrong people. Maybe I’ll enjoy drinking with my new housemates.

3rd of April 2017 Dear Diary, I went to two drinking events on campus on Monday and Tuesday to get to know some of the other residents. Thursday rolled around and everyone wanted to go out clubbing. I didn’t want to go because it sounded really unappealing. It’d been a long week and I wanted a night in. A few people, who’d shown they were heavy drinkers during O’Week and on other occasions, backed out because they had too much homework. I used this excuse too. Apparently, it was an acceptable answer. 7th of April 2017 Dear Diary, Today it dawned on me that I gave everyone else voices inside my head, pressuring me to go out and drink. When all along it was me telling myself I had to be like them. I used the excuse that I had homework to do because I didn’t think people would understand I didn’t like clubbing.

It surprised me how accepting everyone was. They understood that just because I didn’t like drinking, it didn’t mean I didn’t like hanging out with them. We hang out and watch movies and have TV show marathons. We pretend we’re doing our homework, but really we’re all just aimlessly scrolling through our Facebook newsfeed for the hundredth time and talking to each other about anything but homework. 3rd of July 2017 Dear Diary, Dis O’Week is coming up. Everyone is going to ditch their classes and drink with the intention of getting drunk for a whole week. The pressure is slowly seeping in again that I have to participate in all these events. But I’m in a different place then I was last year. I feel like I’m strong enough to combat these thoughts. Just because I don’t like drinking with the intention of getting drunk, it doesn’t mean I don’t like drinking. I enjoy WORDLY launches, having casual drinks and talking, getting a little tipsy but not getting drunk. I enjoy going out and doing something with drinking as a side and not as the main purpose.

It took me a long time to understand that it’s acceptable not to enjoy getting drunk just because everyone else does. It’s fine to spend a night in. Since then I’ve saved a lot of money. I’m in a happier mental state and I’m able to focus on my studies.

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The Illusion of need “Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with course and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: ‘Is this the condition that I feared?’” – Seneca We’re told we need certain things to survive. Relationships. Degrees. Money. Certainty. Comforts. These seemingly endless attainments are spread out in front of us daily, on our newsfeeds and every advertisement we see—their benefits, but also the unbearable horrors of not having them. Emphasising the pain of not having is just as effective as trying to sell you on the good points. But outside of the marketing universe we’re usually much stronger than we believe. This goes way beyond a catchphrase written on an overpriced gym shirt: I promise!—this is reality. Weigh up everything challenging that has ever happened in your life, and acknowledge that despite having experienced overwhelmingly difficult situations, you’re still here. However fast or slow you’re travelling, no matter how many rest breaks; you’re still walking. For most people, that’s remarkable. And even better, once you’re aware of how far you’ve already come you can begin to consider the extent of where your own strength can carry you, and whether the things we’re repeatedly informed are required as protective padding from this harsh universe are genuinely necessary.

Instead of filling the ‘empty spaces’ we’re told we have in our personalities and in our lives, we can aim at pushing our own boundaries of comfort. To expand our borderlines as people, to become bigger, wiser and stronger. For the philosopher Seneca, this expansion could be achieved through intentional poverty

experiments. Advising the rich and pampered of Ancient Rome to drop their plush comforts and wander the city for a few days eating cheaply and wearing rough clothes, he aimed to raise a question: If this is your absolute worst scenario, is it as horrific as you imagined? Their anxiety about constantly amassing more luxuries and clinging to their wealth was caused by the possibility of the alternative, which, when physically practiced, wasn’t anywhere near life or death. Instead of constantly chasing more blankets, test what it feels like to be exposed to the air a little; you’ll know how far this is for you. The borderline will differ for everyone, but it’s exciting to discover it’s probably much further than you expected. Self-reliance is infinitely more empowering than needing constant external maintenance to survive. Like learning to cook, or dyeing your own hair; culling those million possessions you don’t use anymore for the exact ones you do and making space for the things that matter. Or perhaps it’s a bigger issue, like purchasing things you don’t even like just because you think you should present a certain way. Studying something you hate because it’s more likely to land you a secure job at the end, right?


Ari Moore

I’m not advocating for a lack of ambition in life. Rather, once freed from these false, transitory and often ‘sold’ needs you can focus deeply on what genuinely moves you. We’re inundated with extremely clever marketing, both for products and lifestyle choices. When you switch off, all that remains in your life is authentic. It’s important because you’ve decided it is, not because you’ve been told it should be.

Despite what every retail store will attempt to convince you, security is skill, knowledge and self-belief, not stuff. Seneca knew this. By dropping our unnecessary comforts for even a single day, we come closer to overcoming the illusion of need and realising the magnitude of our own capability.

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Paper Crowns Bel Ellison

The court had told the Crown Princess that it was an honour to be with someone as they passed into the next life. When she had asked them why so, some had told her that unlike birth, death was fickle. Death struck when it felt like it, but could often leave the job half done for hours, days, or even years.


‘Witnessing a peaceful death is rare when there are so many terrible ways to go,’ one noblewoman had told her. The Crown Princess asked if her mother would feel any pain as she passed, but the noblewoman would not answer her directly. ‘She has lived a full life. You never know, the queen may bounce back from this.’

Unfortunately for the Crown Princess, both her mother and the queen were dying, and she felt the most unprepared of everyone in the queendom.

She had been a lonesome child growing up—such was the fate of royalty. Her mother worked hard and often returned to Ruby Keep, their private chambers, late into the night. The young princess fought off her weariness to see her mother before bed. The first thing the queen would do when she walked in was remove her crown, and then she gave the young princess a big hug. ‘My dear, I missed you so much today. You could teach the generals a thing or two about how to have a conversation.’ They would laugh, and when her mother was not exhausted from her duties, they would play together. The Crown Princess had loved when her mother impersonated people in the court who had annoyed her that day. But when her mother played dress ups with her, she loved it even more.

The Crown Princess had been prone to self-loathing—she was held to impeccable standards by the court. How to dress, how to eat, how to greet guests … The members of the court criticised her for every mistake she made, no matter how little. The Crown Princess loved dress ups because she could be someone else for a short while. Her mother’s favourite was gathering up the bed sheets, wrapping herself swiftly in them to cocoon herself in before bursting out: ‘I am a butterfly at last!’ she cried. The princess would be a barrel of laughs whenever her mother did this. The princess liked to dress up in her mother’s red silks, and if she had been well-behaved that day, her mother would let her dress up as the queen. She would slip an oversized pair of gloves up her daughter’s arms and tie an old scarf around her waist. Her mother would cut out a paper crown and her daughter would draw jewels on it. Sometimes it was adorned in rubies drawn on with chalk, other times it was encrusted in coral and seashells if the princess had visited the beach that day. She had once asked her mother if she could wear her real crown. Her mother had laughed and told her daughter that she liked her daughter’s paper crowns much better.

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But here they were all these years later. She would be queen soon and the thought made her want to leap from the Ruby Keep. The Crown Princess had soured on the idea of becoming queen with age. She did not have her mother’s way with people, nor her grace, nor her intellect. She believed her people would reject her as queen before her coronation. She had prayed to the Gods as a child that her mother would bear a son so she would be spared from the weight of the crown, but she had been convinced the Gods were laughing at her as she knelt by her mother’s death bed. The Gods were all taking bets on the Queen of Roses’ clumsy daughter, as to how long she would last. For the longest time she had clung to the idea that her mother would not die, that somehow fate would not take its course for the Royal Family. But as her time with her mother slipped away, she began to weep. The future monarch’s tiara felt like it was made of bricks.

‘My child, I am so proud of you. A true queen feels fear. She doubts herself and she does not wish for more power. But despite this, she persists. She does not rule—she reigns. Do you believe that I was ready when I became queen? No. I was terrified from the moment I knew I was going to be monarch. But my dear, my people did not know I was terrified. They only saw how I put myself together. Every morning I assembled what their queen was beforehand with my clothes, my jewellery and my crown. I constructed the Queen through practice, a guise, an illusion. I became the vision of a queen that the people needed.’

The princess gazed out at her mother, confused. These may have been her mother’s final words to her but she did not understand them. The self-loathing that hovered over her as a child crept back in that moment. She felt helpless. Her mother continued. ‘Do not let them see you weak. You are more than yourself right now. Every time you put on that crown, let yourself become the queen. The stronger, braver version of yourself. She may be an illusion, but she is a powerful one. And you will be a more powerful queen than me.’


‘Mother, Mother,’ she begged. ‘Mother I want to hide, I want to wake up and for this to all be a dream. I am afraid, what do I do?’ The words tumbled out like a child who did not how to order them yet. She was surprised when she felt her mother’s hand rest on her head.

‘But mother’, the princess blurted out, ‘I don’t know how to be a queen. I barely pass as a princess.’

Her mother smiled weakly at her. ‘Until you find your way, my love, then pretend. Like when we played dress ups when you were a child—pretend the gold crown on your head is one of the paper crowns we made together.’ The Queen of Roses slipped off into sleep soon after. Later that night she passed away.

The next day her only child was to be crowned the new queen. As the Crown Princess prepared for the coronation, she tried to read over the speech that had been prepared for her. Yet instead of revising it, she found herself folding the paper in halves and cutting it methodologically. Wrapped in her mother’s red silks, she placed the paper crown on her head as she waited for the ceremony to begin. She felt later that day that she had been playing dress ups the whole time, and that feeling persisted for many days and weeks thereafter. Her gold crown was heavier than her paper one, but it became easier to carry with time. Her reign was long and prosperous. She was known by her people and to history as The Red Queen.

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My/Me Mime Brianna Bullen


In a glass prison white gloved fists fracture against invisible barriers and a painted background. Ocean eyes leak salt water which trickles down, carving fault-line cracks in white cheeks. Gloves tear out blonde canvas threads. Crying in mime. Slapstick spectacle. What hope do I have of understanding, when I can’t separate performance from reality? Black tights, red mouth raw, red mouth roars. Stuck suspended in the ceiling corner, a glass-cased chandelier crumpled ball-body, legs bent and twisted. A giant lady-bird in the corner, red, black and white like a newspaper joke, or a high femme Gregor Samsa stuck behind sheet glass in a scientific slide. Tap dance on glass from all angles. Below me: a bored space-cadet, lying on her back staring up at me on the ceiling. I am an extension of her mind; a thought-bubble trail connects us. My glass prism the final thought ending bauble. I am her creation, nothing more than a representation, existing only in mind-space. This doesn’t make my imprisonment any less real.

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I’m metaphorically in love with you. A concoction of romance and stubborn will, This love potion is a rather complex brew. We drink and we drink it, but we’re never filled. You’re a trick deck with a wild card Up my sleeve, shady magician. But spellbound you always try too hard, We both know the magic is missing.

Kaitlyn Terrey



We’ve tricked ourselves into seeing illusions, Put on your top hat, put on your show. Striking shadows, obvious intrusions. A sharp silhouette with a giveaway glow.

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Shadow of a Doubt

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What isn't there ‘Shit.’

‘What’s wrong?’

‘No, it’s fine,’ Brit backpedals. ‘I’m doing my laundry. I just watched my bank account card float by the glass.’ ‘Shit,’ her mother agrees. ‘Can you get it out?’ ‘Not until the cycle’s done.’

Be careful of the spilt powder on the drainage floor, the sign reads. A single sock is draped over the abandoned ironing board in the empty laundry. The hour nears evening. Peace keeps her mind drugged, keeps the clamminess out of her soft palms. She has a headache. Someone—a girl prettier than she—had tried to talk to her just minutes earlier. Hey Brit, I heard about the crash! Are you okay?

She hadn’t recognised the other girl. She’d squirmed, answered with a polite smile and spoke some half-sentence before making up a reason to leave. Until the clock hit 5:45pm, she’d sat in bed writing. More book than person tonight. She counts the marbles where they roll through the empty part of her eyes. Her mother asks, ‘Are you sure, Brit?’

Phone to her ear, she says, ‘I’ll call you back, Mum,’ as she squats down on the linoleum in front of the machine. The phone slips from her hand. Her eyes squint as she peers through the thick glass. She can’t see the bank card. The machine drones as the cycle concludes. When she moves to open the door, her leg aches. She drags her clothes and sheets out of the machine and into someone else’s basket, then limps away with the load, leaving her phone on the floor.

Years ago, she fell to the yellow grass at interschool soccer, the screams only came out of her after a chip of her femur snapped free and began to rip through the cartilage of her knee. Nobody stood close enough to hear the crunch between her bones. Between her ears it was like a tree coming down.

She crosses, not far, to one of the tables in the laundry lounge. She tips her wet clothes onto the wood. Moisture leaves water smears along the lacquer. She rummages through the pile, shakes each article twice, and lays them out. They are not dried yet. This is not when you are supposed to shake and fold clothes. She is angered when the card doesn’t materialise under her fingertips, her headache worse than ever. Her bedsheets need to go in the dryer. Maybe the card is inside the doona cover. Sometimes the buttons open in the wash. Sometimes a sock finds its way inside. Her phone is ringing on the floor. She is irrational like a phobia. Is it a brain bleed? Inside-out, then outside-out. She shimmies her way inside the cover like a red ghost and waits to hear the soft thump of the plastic card against the carpet. It never sounds.

Back to the laundry she limps to check the machine. Worry blisters the back of her eyes. Her mouth dries up. Inside-outside the covers. There is no card.

She frowns. She bites the inside of her cheek, the way you do when you’re not sure if you’re going to be alright. There are more and more invisible things. In year nine she started to cross her fingers to ward away spontaneous dislocations. Prayers between her ears, she would walk with crossed fingers.


Mel O’Connor

In the wet red doona cover in the middle of the lounge her dress becomes damp and gives her chicken-skin. A shudder rattles her bones. For a moment, she smiles. A phantasmagoria, it remains on her face for about as long as her self-confidence does. Then she remembers what the doctor said about the hallucinations. There is no card.

The false image makes her eyes damp. She can see it in her mind’s eye. More book than person, she thinks she will write it until the pages sing. That night she feels it under the sheets. The bank card leafs through the reams of her spine, cold, like a pistol’s touch. She rolls over it when it happens. In her sleep, her vision tunnels. Her fingers are crossed. She does not wake up.

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Persisting Perception Anonymous

You’re going insane. You’re waiting for a bus and you’re going insane. At least, this is the first time you’ve noticed. Maybe there’s been erosion going on for years and now you’ve just cut through to the bedrock of unreality. Either way, you’re here, the ground is undulating like fabric in a breeze, and you’re going to have to deal with that.


Or not deal with it. You’ve heard some depressed people react to tragedy with far more sufferance than non-depressed people. Maybe because they already expect the worst at all times, the worst actually showing up and socking them in the face doesn’t elicit much more than a quiet: ‘Oh, sure.’ It’s certainly an idea that can distract you from the undulations that continue while you’re on the bus: the details of the dirt-trodden floor shifting and merging and then splitting again. You can postpone it, if you blink hard, or don’t focus on anything for more than a few seconds, but you know it’s always waiting to return.

You learn the name for it later: Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder. Even though you thought any kind of flashback was something that only happened to people who dropped acid for the entire duration of the 1960s, here you are, hints of a trip coasting around your eyeballs, and all you did to start if off was take one lonely cap of MDMA. You should count yourself lucky you’re not dead—a thought you’ll have for a brief moment and then never again. Maybe you’ve just had too many sleepless nights; maybe there are still some drugs in your system—but you dismiss that. You think you know how drugs work and how your brain works. Depression, though, has that suffocating effect where taking any effort to make any change seems like it would be worse than carrying on as you are. It’s not, but at this point, shifting in your seat, being thankful there are no other passengers, you’ve forgotten how to see outside yourself.

In fairness, the episode does pass. You’ve just sobered up, you think. You can go about your day and the world holds firm. You don’t even think about it until a few days later. Public transport again, probably a coincidence. You’re on the train and there’s a guy with a scraggly beard playing a harmonica so loudly you’re convinced he’s hooked himself into the PA system. Maybe he’s got some deal with the train company, just rides the tracks, serenading us all with his clunky blues. Which is another distraction from the patterns on the seats that are turning and twisting like wreckage on water, like that vortex of trash in the Pacific. From then on the hallucinations happen two or three times a week. Usually when your body is still, when you’re waiting for something. Eventually you end up waiting for the swirling itself, making yourself comfortable while your viewpoint collapses.

The worst part is not the flashbacks themselves, but the moments in between, the uncertainty, the lack of control. You’ve experienced this dissociation before, post-trip, that reality is flimsy. But this is different. You think your mind is working against you in new ways, lurking in the corners, waiting to turn things inside-out. Maybe someone saw you in the street, laughing at nothing. Though you’d always thought there’d be something around the bend that’d send you around the bend, this isn’t it. But for some long months the opposing evidence makes your bones push tight against your skin.

As the flashbacks are fading, you work out that they’re flashbacks and remember how to see outside yourself. Free of those illusions, you’re back with the depression, waiting … Waiting for the walls to fall in.

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I’m Lovin’ It

Alex Wiltshire

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Sachinee Seneviratne

I will teach my daughters to say no with fire in their mouths, and never with hesitation. If that is not enough I will teach them to say no with their fists, their teeth, their nails and their knees. More importantly, I will teach my sons to understand a no before it ever leaves a mouth. To notice the uncertainty and never to take it as convince me.

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The little note in your pocket Tara Komaromy

Hey you,

Are you doing that thing again? Y’know, that thing where you overthink something and it snowballs into a bunch of feelings that you don’t feel as though you can control? Because that sounds pretty silly to me.


The frustrating thing is that it’s probably only something small that set this off. Maybe you were doing a few Ks under the speed limit on the freeway and someone felt the need to aggressively overtake you because hey, why not break the law and intimidate a cautious driver? Or maybe you forgot to buy milk which just might send your brain into a state of panic because whatever will you do if you’re forced to have toast for breakfast tomorrow? Either way, I’m sure it’s as silly as always. So here I am, a little note written in the past that will herald you to victory by telling you things that you already know. Like this:

Whatever you’re feeling right now won’t last. You won’t remember this moment in five years’ time, so why is it worth feeling crappy about it now? Please don’t put yourself through unnecessary torture. Not again.

Your mind’s playing tricks on you. Your head’s not quite balanced—but that’s not your fault. It’s all about chemicals. Dopamine, serotonin: all that crap. We researched it, remember? When you think about your feelings as scientific rather than personal, you’re going to be able to accept them and deal with them far easier.

If you need to take a minute to focus on your breathing, I want you to do it. A minute out of your day is nothing—especially if it makes every other minute afterwards so much more pleasant. You have so many things to be grateful for, so I want you to count your blessings. Go on. Grab a piece of paper, write them down and count them. While you’re in this state, it won’t feel obvious unless you can see them. You have so many people who love you and would never talk to you the way you’re talking to yourself right now. You’re a fond memory in the minds of all of them, even for the tiny things like a quirky conversation, or the time you made them feel less self-conscious about something. Maybe it was something tiny—like what you’re stressing about now. But in that moment, you helped them. So I need you to chill out and help yourself. Sincerely, The little note in your pocket.

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Patience is Not Everyone's Cup of Tea


Design by Krutika Malli

Need to chill out? Grab a few coloured pencils and try your hand at this mindfulness colouring exercise!

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Be part of the experience join DUSA DUSA is more than a membership, it is a community with services for all students. Become a DUSA member in 2017 and access exclusive membership deals like discount eats, events, short courses and tours.

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Leaving Home Suzie Eisfelder

‘Mum, her foot moved.’

me of school, it’s going right through my brain.’

Times Square was filling up; the lights changed along with the signs that flickered frequently. The ferry was on its way to Staten Island. The subway entrances sucked people up, as if it were starving. Staccato footsteps hit the sidewalk, while the voices of many languages were muttered to each other.

While jumping off her pedestal was a big step, for someone like Lady Liberty, she only stumbled a little. A sea of open mouths and screams welcomed her. Shock and horror rippled its way around her as she started walking. Her steps were slow and awkward. Her metal legs screeched as they bent and the ground rocked as she walked. The trees rocked from below. Weak branches fell with a thud and leaves fluttered as the Lady’s steps vibrated through the trunks. She looked over to the Staten Island Ferry, towards the South Brooklyn Marine terminal, where the ferry steamed its way through the day.

The first people noticed on the mainland, were some dull thuds. They rippled through the earth with little urgency. Geologists quickly denied any movement in the Ramapo Fault, but people were wary of noise and movement. They remembered 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy. The waves grew higher. When the church bells tolled, it signalled the end of a day or a warning that something was wrong, but it was impossible to tell which. Liberty Island woke up, when tourists sailed on their boat for a tour of the American icon. We were visiting family from Staten Island. It was a long way from Australia. They took us to see the Liberty Island monument. It was early in the day, alongside thousands of other tourists. We tried to do as much as possible in the short time we had available. I heard the girl with little understanding. By the time I looked at her feet, they were flat on the ground. My audio commentary unit wasn’t working, but I survived off the snippets I picked up from the others. Comments punctuated the hum of people chatting quietly.

‘The pedestal is pretty old. It was completed in 1811.’ Some footsteps clattered—I never understood why tourists wore high heels. It was so impractical.

‘Hey! It was a military outpost first. Lady Liberty moved in 1877. I thought she was installed earlier.’

‘I don’t like the sound effects. The sound of fingernails screeching on a chalkboard reminds

The trees waved in a wind that wasn’t there. ‘There are some realistic effects in this audio’, someone muttered. ‘Are we really meant to feel movement?’

The shouting made us look at the water. ‘Where’s the water going?’

‘It’ll come back. The force of her landing must have started a tidal wave.’ ‘What?’


‘Yes, dear’, the lady continued listening to her headphones. She looked as though she tried to memorise the details for later. *** The garbos gradually whittled the rubbish down. The piles accumulated, as if by osmosis, and each one seemed to need a truck for itself. They were so big you could lose a person inside of them.

‘That means we have to get off the island quickly or we’ll be swept off.’ I knew, a tidal wave was not a tsunami, but people said stupid things when panic hits.

The waves came back with a vengeance and swamped the shore. Water washed around her thighs as we watched her make her way through the shallow Gowanus Flats. Her torch remained lit as she waded. She walked, regardless of what was in her way. She dripped from the Hudson and walked past the Liberty Warehouse. She’d ignored much over the years, and continued to ignore the turmoil as she walked through the streets. The sun shone, the sky beamed a clear azure, no wind to flicker her torch—A nice day to leave home. Reports told us Lady Liberty had disappeared into the New Jersey Bight, but we knew this was just the beginning. *** ‘That’s one way to get a cheap souvenir’, the lady muttered as she fished a Lady Liberty rubber mask from the water, days later.

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Cracks of Gold Justine Stella For Bre Have you ever heard of kintsukuroi? It’s the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. This art considers the fact that something has been broken and repaired as part of the object’s history. It’s not something to be hidden. There is an understanding here that the object is more beautiful for having been broken.

If I am a piece that has been broken, you are my repairer. My life is not a rollercoaster, there are no ups and downs. It’s more of a downhill battle. For every up there seems to be at least three things dragging me down. Sometimes it’s as if I’m miles underground with no hope of ever seeing the sun again. Any up that comes my way is basically a bunch of downs in disguise.


This was my reality until we did our Honours year together. Things were going downhill fast, but you suddenly threw me a lifeline.

I hit the ground, my already fragile pieces shattering and you were there. You used strong arms to smooth my broken edges so I didn’t do any more damage as I pulled myself back together. You then held all of my broken pieces together and began to patch me up. You saw all of my cracks and instead of seeing them as weaknesses like I did, you saw an opportunity. You filled my cracks with gold.

‘Don’t worry’ you said. ‘You’re one of the strongest people I know and you have it in you to survive this. You can do it.’ There was not a grain of doubt in you. Your faith in me was complete.

There was not a single negative word that passed your lips, all you had to offer me were encouraging smiles. You made sure I had a reason to smile. You made me laugh. You gave me company and space at all the right moments and refused to let my pieces tumble down the hill when I didn’t have the energy to put myself back together again. It took a while, but you began to rub off on me. I was no longer ashamed of having fallen. Those cracks were no longer crude evidence of being broken. Instead, they were reminders of how I’d survived and how far I’d come. You made me stronger for having been broken.

Sure it would have been brilliant if I’d never had any need of being strong, if my path was a straight easy road. My path will never even out though. There will forever be potholes when I least expect it. So I will continue to fall. But you showed me that it doesn’t matter how many times I fall, because I am capable of standing up again. I will stand tall after every fall. You are the only person who has ever done anything like this for me, you just didn’t give up. You kept it up even after our theses were submitted. I worried that you were giving me too much of yourself. ‘What if,’ I asked, ‘you run out of gold? What if you have nothing left? For yourself?’

You smiled. ‘Then I’ll use silver and gem stones. I’m not going to run out, I wouldn’t let that happen.’

You were right. My life hasn’t changed. I keep hitting rock bottom and gathering more cracks. There’s nothing to me anymore except for cracks, but you’re there every time I fall. You help me stand up again and help me fill those cracks. You enable me to make myself stronger. This isn’t an illusion. You’ve made me into a piece of kintsukuroi.

Cracks of Gold

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False Awakening Tyler McPherson

For a moment or two everything is silent, then Dean jerks awake with a gasp. He wipes drool from his face and groans against the incoming headache. He glances at the line of bottles that decorate his coffee table and groans. The bottles are a problem for tomorrow. Stumbling through the dark, he crashes into a chair and scrapes against a table looking for a light switch. His fingers flip the switch. The halogen bulbs burn their way to his corneas and he stands there, breathing in and out, until the pain fades and his head only spins slightly.

Dean opens his eyes to a kitchen in disrepair. More empty bottles line the counter, as well as countless casserole dishes and too few plates. He has a lot to do tomorrow. He stumbles through the house, flicking lights on and off as he passes from room to room. When he flushes the toilet, he flinches. There is no way that didn’t wake Lisa. Walking into the bedroom, he falls into bed beside her. ‘I’m sorry’, he whispers, face-down into the pillow. ‘Did you have a good night?’ she whispers back. He rolls to face her and finds her looking directly into his eyes. He wraps his arms around her and pulls her close. ‘I’m sorry’, he whispers again, ‘the boys left hours ago, I fell asleexp on the couch.’ ‘Well I’m glad you’re here now’, Lisa snuggles deeper into Dean’s arms. ‘The bed feels so big without you.’ Dean smiles to himself. He closes his eyes and breathes her in. Her heartbeat thumps gently in time with his. This is where he wants to be. This is where he belongs.

*** The morning dawns bright and Dean feels warm as he burrows further into the covers.

He can feel the pain already, a blossoming moment that will soon force him awake. For now, he is content.

Finally, he opens his eyes. He has a pillow pulled to his chest and he quickly throws it away, hoping that Lisa doesn’t see. He reaches an arm across to Lisa only to find the bed empty. In a panic, he sits up straight, his covers falling off him. Head ringing with the sudden movement, he gasps through the pain. A lump rises in his throat, but he quickly quashes it moving out of the room. ‘Lise’, he calls down the hall.

A faint voice drifts from the kitchen. He hurries into the room. The place is a disgrace. In addition to the empty bottles, dishes are piled up in the sink, dust has settled on the benches and a broken glass lies collected at the bottom of one wall. A photo lies face down on the counter and Dean reaches for it before pulling away. He can clean all this up later.

‘Dean’, Lisa’s voice finds him again and he moves swiftly to the loungeroom. The TV is on and one glance at it causes him to freeze. His blood runs cold and the fogginess from his brain instantly clears. He barely notices sitting down, his eyes are glued to the screen.

‘Dean’, Lisa says again, the camera following her as she spins around. ‘We did it. Can you believe it? I’m so happy.’

On the screen, she twirls in her wedding dress. Her smile is real and her eyes twinkle in the lights. She looks so happy. So alive. ‘I can’t wait to start my life with you. You’ve made me the happiest girl. Whatever comes at us in the future, we can beat it. You and I together. I love you.’


It is below zero outside, but inside the house the fire crackles merrily. The glow of the TV washes over the sleeping man on the couch. It is almost midnight and everything is silent and dark. Peaceful. Somewhere in the house, a second-hand ticks past the twelve and the clock chimes.

Dean feels himself collapsing inwardly. His heart tries to force itself out of his chest. Tears streaming down his face he gets up, moves to the fridge and grabs a beer. He reaches for the remote and restarts the video.

Taking a swig of his beer, he glances at the clock. Counting down the seconds. Waiting to see Lisa again.

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The Fort Christine Munn

It was called The Fort. There were two turrets connected by the wobbly bridge and a long slide down to the ground. It was made out of the solid pine that all playgrounds were made of years before. Splinters were a constant danger, and in the summer, ants tried to claim the fort as their own. But it was my fort, and I protected it against any invaders. It was not the most impressive piece of playground equipment in the school, much of it had already been updated to the latest and greatest coloured metal. It was barely taller than my ten-year-old body but I still would not budge.


I sat on the edge of the farthest turret. It gave me the perfect view of the whole school. I liked to watch the other children play on the wide lawn in front of me. It didn’t make any sense to enjoy hiding from people or chasing them around in circles but they seemed to laugh and smile so much their cheeks must have ached. I watched them silently, trying to understand the difference between them and me. But I wasn’t granted a solution. I knew my place. I was the girl on the fort. Unlike many lonely children I was unable to create an imaginary friend. I tried, time and time again, but I could never give my imaginary person enough of their own personality. However, I could create fantasies as epic as any Star Wars movie: my fort became castles that could only be home to royalty, surrounded by beautiful, endless grasslands. Sometimes it was a high security bank, with vaults that begged to be broken, or a museum with a priceless artefact I wanted. I was always the heroine: the amazing and dangerous woman who stood for what was right and the good in all people. It was always just me and the fort. My teacher had said I had a great imagination but she couldn’t understand why I didn’t implement it into my reading and writing. I didn’t know what ‘implementing’ meant so I just apologised and promised to try harder. She smiled her gratitude and I continued playing on my fort. I was the great assassin Leona, sent after the evil King Gregory. I attacked the soldiers guarding the great bridge; I was the greatest swordswoman in the world so I cut them down easily. I passed over the bridge to enter the high turret the cowardly king had hidden in. I had my magically powerful sword at the king’s neck before I was interrupted. ‘Christine?’ Mrs. Barrett asked. I looked down to see her standing at the bottom of the slide beside me. ‘Can I talk to you?’ she asked. I slid down. When I reached the bottom I noticed she was holding a book. She placed it on my lap. ‘It’s called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I want you to read it.’ ‘Do I have to?’ I moaned. ‘I would really appreciate it,’ she said and then she walked away. I climbed back up the turret to kill the king, leaving the book at the bottom of the slide. The king was easily defeated and the castle held a celebratory ball in my honour. I was named queen of the land. It was a very productive day.

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It wasn’t until that night that I looked at the book. I opened it up to the first page. I became Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived. I’d adventure around Diagon Alley and Hogwarts with wonder and excitement. I learned of the wizarding world and its miracles and above all I had two of the greatest friends, Ron and Hermione. We retrieved the Philosopher’s Stone after surviving too many life or death situations for a school.

He Who Must Not Be Named had returned. Cedric Diggory was dead and I worried about the fate of my new world, but there was no more story. The next book wouldn’t be released for months and I was forced to return to the world of muggles. Like the maths test I didn’t realise we had until Mrs. Barrett placed it before me that morning. I was disconnected to this world, a world of handwriting exercises and timetables. I sat behind my desk and watched the other children talk among themselves, about birthday plans and sleepovers. I sat and I watched like I had done so many times before but it was different now. My chest felt tight like a million rubber bands held it together; my mind was encompassed by the inward screams. Not just my screams but the screams of every voice I knew: my mother, sister, classmates and even Mrs. Barrett were screaming inside my head. I had tasted what everyone else gorged themselves on every day. I had met an entire society of oddballs and crazies and I had experienced acceptance. None of my previous adventures had brought me so close to such a feeling. But there was no more story. No more adventures with Ron and Hermione. I was angry at this unfairness.


With the help of Hermione and Ron we discovered the mysteries of the Chamber of Secrets and I was afraid of bathrooms for longer than I care to admit. We saved Buckbeak and Sirius Black with some mind-bending time travel. The Triwizard tournament was terrifying but Mad-Eye Moody turning Malfoy into a ferret almost made the whole ordeal worth it.

But perhaps, I could add real characters to my own adventures. Perhaps Leona could have a friend to help her rule her land; I might need help to break into all those super security bank vaults, or an accomplice in the inside of the museums. Perhaps I could finally imagine a friend. The lunch bell rang and I hurried back to my fort, already picturing a wise wizard friend to help Leona in her new quests now she was queen of the land. But the fort wasn’t there. In its place was another of those horrible colourful metal pieces of equipment that missed all the friendliness of my fort. There was a line to use a new unfamiliar toy and there were other children climbing on top of the monkey bars. The new, not quite as wobbly, bridge stood not an inch from the ground and barely buckled under the dozens of feet running across it without any consideration. They had demolished my fort and replaced it with a monstrosity. My time spent in Hogwarts had left my home undefended. I didn’t even get to say goodbye. I stood there and watched all the other children play where my fort used to be. I stood on the grassy plains of my endless land as an enemy army celebrated in the ruins of my castle.

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Snakeskin Keiley Colpoys


She is, and always has been a master of reinvention—so she’d been told time and time again, by teachers, parents and friends. The kind of people that had called her a name she had forgotten; ones that wouldn’t recognise this face or any other face she now wore. People that might as well exist in another universe. Like a chameleon—or perhaps a snake, shedding its skin, over and over again—she tries not to get too attached to this name, face, or life. It will be over soon enough, and next week she will be someone else entirely. But for now that doesn’t matter, it’s all about living in the moment. The future can’t matter anymore than the past. The past weighs her down and the future does nothing but help anxiety worm its way inside her. She might sabotage her own present. Right now, all she needs to worry herself with is getting inside this country club—no more or less garishly snobbish than any other country club in the world. It was on the higher end of the ones she’s been inside before. But after all, that was why she chose it. At least part of the reason. ‘Hi, I have a reservation under Hoffman.’ She flashes a dazzling smile to the greeter, who surely enough finds a reservation—a table for one, by the window—under the name Hoffman. She neglects to mention the part where she is not Mrs Hoffman, nor has she ever met the woman. But she knows that Mrs Hoffman is tall, thin, blonde, and often obscures most of her face with a pair of expensive sunglasses; anyone else might have used that money to buy something small, like a car. ‘I have you right here, Mrs Hoffman, would you like me to take your coat?’ ‘Yes, thank you.’ He takes the cheap, but convincing, faux fur coat and she is escorted to a small table by the large floor-to-ceiling windows that take up most of one wall. For a while, she lets herself indulge in the fantasy, lets herself be Mrs Hoffman, wife of some important so-and-so that no one outside of a country club would care about. She sips expensive wine, nibbles on a so-called dish with a fanciful name, which seems to roughly translate to bread and dip, and she waits. After her food has been ordered, a meal which cost almost sixty dollars for no discernible reason, she knows it will be a while before anyone comes to her table again. She gets up, taking her bag with her, and slips into the bathroom. The door is locked and she stares at her own face in the mirror. A sigh is heaved as her uncomfortable Mrs Hoffman shoes are kicked off under the sink. A hand slides through the fibres of the long blonde wig as it’s pulled from her scalp. The contacts take longer. Mrs Hoffman has green eyes she likes to pretend are blue. Blonde hair and blue eyes look more expensive. The kind of expensive that gets to walk in the front door of an overpriced country club for lunch without anyone batting a false eyelash. After all, Mrs Hoffman and the six other blonde haired middle aged trophy wives, also having lunch, were practically identical. The kind of women no one looks twice at in a place like this. The kind who would never be suspected of any wrongdoing; the kind that staff would be afraid to accuse.

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The hair underneath is dark and short, the eyes are brown. Her bright red dress is traded for black work clothing and an apron. One that might have been stolen from a member of staff ’s laundry bundle inside a coin laundromat downtown, practically a world away from the vaulted white ceilings of the country club. A member of staff would swear black and blue that the apron had been there when they’d put the laundry in the machine.

Diana Seeber, called Di by her friends, has worked at this particular country club for three years in between studying. She’s going to be a nurse even though she’s extremely squeamish. She had cut her hair into a pixie cut after the third time a patient had pulled her long black hair while she was on her placement. She called in sick today, claiming a migraine. Whether or not Di really had a headache, she didn’t know—nor did she particularly care. Diana’s life hardly concerned her, she was just here to slip into her skin. What came before, and what came after was none of her concern. Out of the expensive (looking) handbag appears a crumpled tote bag, the kind that Diana always carries her belongings in. The handbag, and everything that had comprised Mrs Hoffman is kicked into a vacant stall. She won’t be needing that again. No one looks too closely at her as she heads for the door—no one ever looks too closely at the staff in a place like this. Diana waits until the greeter—named Antony—is walking someone to their table on the other side of the room, before she walks calmly, but swiftly, to the cloakroom. She walks past the coat she arrived in, and works quickly, but quietly. The pockets of the overpriced designer coats yield unfathomable riches. Purses, watches, car keys, phones—she can’t take all of the cars, but there’s something delicious about thinking about all those people inside, the ones that had audibly scoffed when they’d seen her eating alone, being stranded with no way home.


And they would be correct.

She doesn’t feel bad. If Diana wasn’t arrested for this, it would be for the drugs she was dealing on the side. When the police raid her house, they won’t find any of the phones or jewellery or car keys. But they will find large wads of cash, and a drawer full of pills that had been stolen from the hospital pharmacy where Diana Seeber had done her nursing placement. She’s sure that she had good reasons for it, but those don’t concern her. Nothing about her does. It wasn’t personal, really, Diana was just unfortunate enough to be the only person on staff prone to migraines. The person most likely to take a day off at any given time. The person most likely to leave a narrow opening where she could slither in. With that, she simply leaves—all the security cameras will see is the back of Diana Seeber, long term employee, walking out of the building with a bag full of stolen goods. By the time she leaves the parking lot and passes through the security cameras covering the outside of the country club, her skin is shed again and Diana Seeber is left behind. Her apron and hair are shoved into a bin outside a fast food restaurant, while she becomes a nameless, faceless member of the crowd. At least until tomorrow; then she would become someone else entirely.

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Resolution Emily Henry

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Now PRAY. ‘Please…’


The word is barely the ghost of a whisper falling from your chapped lips, but you utter it anyway because somebody has to. All the world couldn’t pause long enough to acknowledge its necessity, but for you, who stands to lose nothing should your plea go unheard.

You do not expect the slight weight that settles on your shoulder, gentle enough you would have missed it entirely were you not hyper aware of these strange surroundings. You hear a soft sigh and once more open your eyes, startling at the figure before you. The woman smiles, a kind press of lips that belays her amusement at your surprise in its upward lilt to one corner. You know this woman, though to your knowledge you’ve never met her before. Her eyes gleam in the light of the dying sunset and you wonder, briefly, at the strange mix of colours, as though you were looking at the very heart of the universe by simply holding the eye contact of this woman. She smiles wider. ‘Was I not what you were expecting?’

At first you don’t understand her question, still puzzling over how it is that you might know this strange woman. As soon as the question clears through the haze of distraction you feel your face heat with chagrin. Of course she is not what you were expecting; how could she be? All your life you were told, and expected, this being to be a man. She knows this expectation well, you guess, as she stands at ease before you, open with honest mirth. She makes you feel very young. You remain silent, unsure of what to say. ‘It is quite alright. You are not the first, nor shall you be the last, to call on me expecting somebody else. Though I must admit, it has been some time; I might be a little out of practice.’

Gracefully, she folds herself into a sitting position on the dirty brick steps beside you, uncaring to the dust, which settles in her wake. The bricks are cold, uncomfortable, unforgiving, and in complete opposition to the woman sitting at your side. She is like a warm light, tender and understanding and so familiar; you’ve never wanted to cry so much as you do in the presence of this being, be it out of despair or sheer awe you couldn’t begin to guess. ‘You seem a little lost, child. Is this why you have called to me?’

Here you waver. If she is to be believed, and you believe that she is, you could ask of her almost anything. Why am I alone? Please let somebody love me. You shake yourself, forcing your thoughts into order. This isn’t about you. This was never about you. To turn back on your decision now, would give you no right to ask her anything at all. You turn to this woman, stare deeply and unflinchingly into the gaze of a thousand beginnings and endings, and you plead.

‘Help them,’ you whisper it, for the dark has fallen and the strength of your voice with it, but there is enough force, enough faith, that you hope the message is received. You think of those faces pressed to bars; of bloody fingertips painting morbid patterns on broken skin, of restless resistance silenced by those, who should have known better, sunken eyes of the hopeless masses refusing to accept, yet understanding their fight is futile. She smiles at you and you can feel the warmth of your pride as though it were the soft caress of a lazy winter sunbeam. ‘I was wrong, I think, to believe all worth was lost here.’ She stands, letting one hand fall to sit open within your sight; an offering. ‘Shall we?’ You take her hand.

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Sammie Oliver The Fairy Forest WordlyMagazine2017_Illusion.indd 28

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No reason for tears W.D. Farnsworth WORDLY MAGAZINE - ILLUSION

Content Warning: Coarse Language Why must I ask myself, to the circling bird Which tired eyes see for the first time Foreign sounds that must never be heard. That what must be unheard is My mind, even hidden in life’s mist. You were supposed to ask, without guilt Why I never talked with glee or laughed with you. Or why we never left the masque of what we loved still held hostage by the Churches key, And burned by the guilt that would never leave. Left in an angry town haunted by heavy clouds, I only met the people who stopped and stared Deep into my eyes; told me I was lost among the foreign flames Of faggots, trannies and dykes, my soul impaired. You were supposed to be there down by my side Even when Gods faithful were there with moral fluoride. I always thought that you were here to leave me spared, In the cold night we slept naked, Never pretending that we would ever see Our secrets being told while they faded.

We kept the illusory veil over our own eyes For we too, were young once; never persuaded That we loved without love and kissed without kissing. We, the ones who loved in the coldest of times When boys pretended to be men. And we, who loved in the shimmer of the northern lights Could see how it was to be like that, time and time again.

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A feud amongst the gods? A ghost at the end of the hallway? An enlightened sense of self? Submit your words, art, journalism, photography and poems to us at WORDLYmagazine@gmail.com. Or just send us your coolest cat memes and we’ll send you some back. Keep informed by liking WORDLY Magazine on Facebook, or joining the Deakin Writers page (as a member)!

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