Category Archives: Poems & Stories

The Overthrow by Ayaan Rashid

I plugged the drive into the USB port. “Come on, come on!” I said to myself quietly.

“Begining transfer now,” the metallic computer voice said. This better not take long. I have to get out of here as soon as I have all the files. I know I’m going to get caught if I stay. Who knows what they’ll do to me if they find me.

“I would stop that upload if I were you.”

I spun around to see four heavily armoured assault droids supporting ten armed peacekeepers. The captain leading the massive force aimed his gun at my head as they slowly advanced towards me. “Put your hands up, Smith. It’s all over for you.”

I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t give myself up and surrender. I would be letting everyone down. Our operation’s success and our own survival depended on me getting these files. “Whoa there, Cap, you don’t need your gun! Chill out!” I said, trying to sound cheery.

“Are you trying to be funny?” he yelled as he stepped forward, aiming his pistol at me even more intensely.

“As I just said, take a chill pill,” I replied.

“Take out the flash drive, now!” he commanded.

“Ok, look, I’m taking it out,” I said as I stepped in front of it, shielding it. I rested my hand on it.

The captain pointed the barrel of his pistol up and down a few times, signaling he wanted me to pull the drive out.

“Transfer complete.” The metallic computer voice said.

As soon as the computer said “transfer complete”, I yanked the drive out and shoved it in my pocket. I bolted off to my right, towards my escape.

The Captain was unprepared for what I did, but he quickly yelled, “Open fire!”

I dove behind a table and sheltered there while hundreds of rounds were being fired at me each second. I stayed hidden behind the table until I came up with a plan of action.

I slowly stood up, my hands above my head. “Hold your fire!” the Captain commanded. The firing stopped. “Turn over the USB.”

I pulled it out of my pocket. “Here it is,” I said.

The Captain cautiously walked towards me. “Don’t do anything stupid,” he said. He reached out to take the USB from me.

“Not so fast. I’ll only give it to you if you let me free once you have it.”

“Fine, just give me the drive.” the Captain said.

“A-a-ah, not just yet. Tell your units to stand down. Make them put their weapons on the floor.” I instructed.

He turned to his units and told them to stand down. They did what I had requested.

“Here is the drive.” I dropped it in his hand and dashed away to the exit. I got in my pod and headed back to my squad’s rendezvous point.

“Let’s see what he tried to get.” the Captain said. He plugged the drive into the computer. After waiting for a minute, the computer said, “No information.” in its metallic voice. The Captain screamed as he yanked the USB from the computer and hurled it to the ground and shattered into a million pieces. “Go get him!” he yelled at his soldiers.

“A very special thank you to my handy-dandy backup flash drive,” I said as I plugged the real USB into my ship’s onboard computer. I watched the screen as all of the files in the Archives appeared. “And now, it’s time for a promotion!”

The Hidden City–Dystopian Scene by Ayaan Rashid

I was running as hard as I could. The guards were still on my tail. I had to lose them somehow. Down the street, there is a supermarket. It’s always packed with people trying to get their groceries quickly and get out. I dashed into the blob of people standing outside the entrance, through the doorway, and into one of the aisles. I slowed down to a walk, trying to regain control of my breath and not attract any attention. I stood facing one of the shelves when I heard an announcement on the intercom.

“If there is a Mr. Hamilton here, could you please come to the front of the building?”

I immediately knew it was the guards. How had they searched everywhere already? I thought. I bolted out of the aisle trying to find the closest exit. It happened to be an emergency exit, but between me and the door were at least 50 people, a ton of small shelves, pastries, and two guards. I cautiously approached the door, every so often stopping to take a look at the bakery items on the tables. It looked like the guards didn’t see me. I was blending into the population. The guards eventually turned around, and that is when I made my move. I sprinted to the door, threw it open, and darted as fast as I could away as I heard alarms and screams coming from inside the shop. I ran with seemingly no guards chasing me. When I turned back around to see where I was going, I saw a concrete wall rapidly approaching me. I had quick enough reflexes that I stopped just short of the wall.

I knew the guards would find me soon, considering I escaped through the emergency exit. I debated my options. If I went back into town, there was a high risk of getting caught. By now, there must be hundreds of guards searching for me. I could follow the wall and see where it leads me. I could end up in a safer area where I could find shelter, but it could also signal where I was to the guards. I’m not certain, but I think there are motion detectors every so often along the wall. However I’m positive there are cameras. Any sudden movement could trigger an alarm.

“Hey you!” a voice from behind me said.

I spun around and froze when I saw a squad of guards encircling me.

“Raise your hands and kneel on the floor.” The captain instructed.

I didn’t move. I was still in shock at how quickly they had found me.

“Do you hear me!” the captain yelled. “Put your hands up and get on the ground!” he screamed angrily.

I had no other choice now. I had to jump the fence. I slowly advanced towards the guards. When one of them stepped forward with handcuffs, I turned around and ran straight at the wall.

“He’s going to jump it!” one guard yelled.

I put all of my energy into my legs. I sent myself high up in the air and over the wall. The guards stood in shock. I hit the ground and rolled away from the wall, my limbs flailing. I lift my head up to see a lake filled with cool water, shimmering in the sunlight. Surrounding the lake are tall green trees, whose leaves blow in the crisp wind. The farthest area I could see in the distance was a long chain of tall snow capped mountains. I pulled myself towards the lake when two people stepped in front of me. “Don’t hurt me, please!” I cried.

“Don’t worry, we won’t. You made it out of that terrible place,” one of them said.

They helped me up and took me to their city. It was a megalopolis. Bigger than anything I had ever seen. Somehow they had hidden this city into the quiet nature of the lake. The buildings were huge, so tall it seemed they could touch the moon. People and cars quickly moved about. I was shocked by what I saw. I was struggling to take it all in.

“Let’s head to the Centre, shall we?” one of the people asked.

“Let’s go,” I said, not really thinking. Off we went, to the Centre, wherever that may be in this huge metropolis.

The Threat: A dystopian scene by Ayaan Rashid

 I walked down the pitch black road. The only light was that of the moon that made it into the narrow street. I looked up at the tall buildings to my left and right. There red light of the security cameras followed me as I walked briskly. The camera eyed me suspiciously. Just keep walking and keep your head down, I thought.

    I made a left at the next junction. This was one of the few roads that had street lights. Every so often, there would be a military checkpoint. These checkpoints stretched across the road, so there was no sneaking around them. There was barbed wire lining the fence behind the piles of sandbags sheltering hidden soldiers. There were machine gun nests and squads of riflemen. No one else was waiting to be checked, so I made it through quickly.

    I continued down the street. In the distance, I could see a huge barrier. This must be the cordoned off part of town, where they take all of the “threats”, I thought. I couldn’t imagine the things the government does the “threats” inside that dark, lifeless brick building.

    I sat down on a bench on the sidewalk. I pulled a book out of my coat pocket and began to read when three soldiers appeared. I looked up and the officer in the middle asked me for identification. I gave him my papers. “You’re Shane Morgan?” he asked.

    “Ye- yes, sir, I’m Shane Morgan.” I replied, stuttering.

    “Well, Mr. Morgan, you’re under arrest.” The officer said calmly. As soon as he said it, the troops to his sides pulled their rifles to their shoulders and aimed them at me.

    I threw my hands in the air. “Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!” I cried as I curled up into a protective ball. The middle officer handcuffed me as an armoured car pulled up.

    “Get in,” he said.

    The officers shoved me in the car and slammed the door shut. Then the car shot off, back towards where I came. It stopped and turned into a checkpoint. But this checkpoint was under a wall. I was going into the building of “threats”.  I was a “threat”.

 

Joseph Baldwin and the World of Magic Chapter 2 by Jonathan Zhang

***
I lifted my head up and felt my eyes well up for the first time since my parents left me. But this wasn’t because I was sad. It was the thought of how far I’d come since my parents had abandoned me in this dense forest. They’d left me in this forest isolated from all mankind. I hadn’t seen another fellow human since four years ago. My only friends now were the stars. They among everything had never abandoned, disowned, attacked, or tried to eat me. They stayed by my side the entire time comforting me and sharing my sorrows.

I stood up shakily and smoothed down my blue denim jeans. My clothes, it seemed, had been one last parting gift. I had clothes of every size and every style. As if this would make up for their abandoning me. I descended down the metal ladder that connected my roof with my attic. The house, was a two story building made entirely of dark brown wood. The house didn’t run on electricity and I had to use a large number of candles to keep the room alight. My house always seemed far too large for me so I ended up staying in one room most of the time. The library.

My library is probably one of a kind. The room is shaped like a giant circle with thousands upon thousands of books on long curving bookcases that surround the perimeter of the room. Through the hatch I can gaze up at the stars and all around me are thousands of comforting books that I can’t wait to read. Each book is another adventure to distract my mind away from my painful sorrows. Each book an anecdote for my long harbored pain. Each book alleviating the crushing reality of what had happened to me. Each book the friend that I could’ve had. I sighed gently to myself. I gathered some of my favorite books promising the others I would come back for them and walked into the next room.

Chapter 1: Joseph Baldwin: The World of Magic by Jonathan Zhang

My life was ruined on my 13th birthday. On that day my life was put into a stranger’s hands. Fate. I realized that I myself didn’t make my future. Fate made my future. Fate was my future. At least in my world it was. Hello, my name is Joseph Baldwin and welcome to my world. A world past reality. A world of… magic.

I don’t really know how to explain my life. Explaining your life is more like trying to explain a picture that you didn’t draw. But I guess I’ll do my best. In our world there are many possibilities. These possibilities flutter around us each day like snowflakes dancing in the cold bitter wind. By grabbing out at a snowflake you make a choice. Looking back, I can tell you I’d wish anything that I’d chosen a different snowflake. Or better yet, simply not made the choice to choose a snowflake in the first place.

I began my 13th birthday gazing up at the stars. The cold wind ruffled my long unkempt dark hair. It whipped around me like snakes camouflaging in the vast darkness. I lay on the black tiled roof of my house and sighed deeply. This birthday like most birthdays would end like they usually did. Me falling asleep on top of my roof. It was lonely but, I was used to that.

My parents had abandoned me here four years ago when I was nine. I felt that when they left they hadn’t just left by themselves they had also taken a chunk of my heart with them as well. I stayed up here gazing up at the sky with tearful eyes and the star’s luminescent beauty consoled me mending my heart slowly but gradually like honey seeping out of a bottle. It wasn’t as if this would be the first time that I would ever feel agonizing despair like this. This was only a small spoonful of the tsunami yet to come.
It was time to leave this misbegotten place, and in that moment I made my choice, a choice that I regret to this day.

Downed by Ayaan Rashid

The plane was in a 45 degree nosedive as I wrestled with the yoke to control the plane. I could hear passengers screaming with fear. How am I going to slow down this plane? My arms burned as I reached forward, and pulled the lever to deploy the speed brakes to 100%. My whole body was falling forward; the only thing holding me in was my belt that carved into my stomach. I must have lost all of my air; my heart beat faster, and I was panting to stay conscious. I used all of my strength to reach forward, and grab the control column. I gripped it so tightly my knuckles turned white. I heaved it all the way back, my muscles tightened as I struggled to hold the yoke back. The plane slowly pulled up, exerting a great deal of G-force on the airframe and everyone on board. My legs stiffened so much that I couldn’t feel them. They must have hit the rudder pedals because the plane yawed left and right a little bit. I ignored the passengers’ wails as best as I could. One of the overhead baggage compartments got unlatched, allowing suitcases to fly about the cabin. As the overspeed alarm continued to go off, I was thrown into the bottom corner of my seat. The altimeter on my instrument panel now read 3,000 feet.

The plane plummeted at an extremely dangerous rate of descent at 25,000 feet per minute. While the rate of descent had slowed to 10,000 feet per minute, we were still alarmingly close to the ground. The altimeter was violently spinning counter-clockwise. When we hit the 2,000 foot mark, what felt like every terrain alarm blared. Pull Up Terrain, pull up terrain, pull u-terrai-pull u-terrain… All of the alarms blurred together into one undecipherable word.

At 1,000, feet I looked at First Officer Charlie Walters. His resigned eyes looked back at me as he picked up the phone, and said solemnly, “This is your First Officer. Brace for impact.” I gazed up from the instrument panel and felt a strange sense of peace. My muscles relaxed as I saw an open, lush, green field, dotted with grazing sheep. The yoke fell back into a neutral position. We’re not going to hit the ground. There were a few men running in and out of a deep red barn in the distance. One of them looked to the sky, and they stopped in their tracks and looked straight at me. We can’t hit the ground! The men dropped everything in their hands and ran to the sides of the farm.

Oh, God, no. There was a loud bang. Then everything went black.

The Door by Nadia Calder

Every thought, every bone, every cell in my body told me not to open that door, yet my overpowering curiosity was already winning, as it did every time, as it would this time.

Goose bumps appeared on my arms, even though it was a warm summer evening. The moon’s glowing beam of light shied away from the doorway, fizzling out. Nothing could be seen through the crack above the dark oak door. The door was warped and up close I could see long, thick scratches, as if someone, no something, had tried to claw their way in. Snarling and growling filled my ears in an uneven rhythm. And yet, my hand still inched forward until I grasped the door knob. All sounds stopped and a frozen chill filled the room, starting at the door and clawing its way through my body, a chill that my robe and slippers did nothing to help. Along with the slight rust, my hand clung to the knob as my palm grew sweaty.

I opened the door, and I woke up. I was panting, and sweat gleamed on my hands, just like in the dream. Normally, I would dismiss it as any nightmare, except that I had had that same recurring dream for the past week. And the door in my dream was the same as the one in my basement. As I did the past seven nights, I untangled myself from my twisted sheets, pulled on a satin bathrobe, and shoved slippers on my feet.

I padded to the basement and jerked the creaky door open. The stairs were worn beneath my slippers as I crept down them. Spiders crouched in their homes, made in the crevices and cracks of my basement ceiling. On both sides of me, a blanket of dust covered the clutter filled basement. No sounds were omitted through the door. I turned with a sigh and trudged back up the stairs. But then I heard a noise. Again I heard it– definitely a growl. I took a tentative step. The noise grew, shaping into a feeling; fear. I let out a small sound, maybe a gasp or a quiet yelp, I don’t know. Whatever it was, was greeted by sudden silence– a pulsing, awful silence. I shrunk back.

There was something behind that door, some thing, and it couldn’t be good.