Category: Stories

Endings

(Don’t worry, no spoilers in the post, may be some in the comments)

The Hunger Games. My favourite series. When I originally read the final installment, I was consumed for weeks. I couldn’t even look at the damned book for a few days. I don’t know why it has such an impact, perhaps it’s the immense journey undertaken by the characters, and as a result, their development. The constant twists that force you to read on and the numerous decisions taken by each character, which makes you ask, “what if…?”.
I understand that it isn’t a literary masterpiece, but I would say it’s a powerful series of books.

I know a lot of people didn’t like the ending of the Hunger Games trilogy.
They say she (Collins) rushed the ending. I sort of agree. They may also dislike the whole of the last book, as Collins tried to expand the universe too much, but I don’t agree.
The departing of some characters was quite sudden, devoting only one or two lines to major characters. However, I think it is rounded off sufficiently, just to give enough information to describe the lives some go on to lead, so that it’s not a cliffhanger, and leaving the rest to the reader.

These are the ending lines of the Hunger Games trilogy:

It’s like a game. Repetitive. Even a little tedious after more than twenty years.

But there are much worse games to play.

Every time I read this, I die a little inside.

 

Teachers, Exams and Riots

Revising for exams now, not much time to write so I put in a couple of links instead.

Although on the subject of exams, it’s probably a good time to fit in a quote during my hours of totally-revising-and-not-procrastinating: 

“When students cheat on exams it’s because our school system values grades more than students value learning.”

– Neil deGrasse Tyson

http://www.guardian.co.uk/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2013/may/11/secret-teacher-teaching-climate-fear-ofsted

I would say that this is quite relevant to the UK, and that the education system is now just Michael Gove’s (minister for education – in case you didn’t know) plaything.

There is a reason why the UK is in downturn, and it will continue in the future. The youth are being disregarded, even though we are the country’s future. Whilst David Cameron is making statements like this, proving that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-13173505

The obvious disregard for anyone else other than his rich bum-chums is blatant, even for a 16 year old. How is it that the corrupt politicians get away with a scolding when they are obviously lining their own pockets; the bankers only lose their knighthoods after crippling the financial system and ruining people’s way of life, yet those who retaliate (london riots, anyone?) are immediately locked up and silenced? It’s pretty pathetic when the only voice some people have is mindless violence. Oh, don’t forget the sacrifices Cameron made during the riots: he had to cut his luxury holiday to Italy short. 

“They were careless people… they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

– Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, The Great Gastby

Life of a Bunch of People

Palms are sweaty. Knees trembling, unable to carry my weight. My stomach is doing backflips.

Keep calm.

I close my eyes, exhale. It’s good to be nervous.

But I’m not nervous: I’m terrified.

The doors open, a crack of light intrudes the dark elevator. My calm has been broken. Terror clamps back onto me as I recoil back into the walls of the elevator: my final sanctuary. I resist as I am forced into the bright, harsh light of the dressing room. I am bombarded with advice as my prep team work, I try to remember, but my head is filled with death. I try to stay focused, but I feel dizzy and lethargic. My hair is wrenched back into a pigtail as I am wrenched back into the reality of my situation. Keep calm.

I am going to be sick.

I am marched down a hallway, the white harsh…

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The Alley

The figure in the trench coat dragged his feet down the alley. He glanced up: the sky was a black as a hearse. His aged, mottled hands were shielding something precious, varicose veins danced along them. His large hat obscured the bruises running down his face, even though it was a cool night beads of sweat dripped from his contoured face and his heart was thundering in chest. He took out his old brass pocket watch, with small, precise engravings. A present from a past lover. It read ten minutes past eleven. They were late.

But ‘they’ were not late. They were already there, but he did not know this. He did not notice the three figures silently slither through the smog. Nor did he notice the glinting of light from a steel switchblade. When they were very close, the man heard the sound of feet against the dirt path and turned.

“Thank God you’re here, I have had enough of this entire affair. I have what you want. Now leave me out of your matters. I need to get back to my life, my family.”

His voice voice was harsh and sad, and he choked at the last sentence. His eyes wondered to the blade and widened in horror. He tried to call out for help as he realised their treachery, but it was too late. The man’s plea for mercy was cast into the indifference of the wind. 

The last thing the old man saw was the starless sky, offering no reconciliation as his life came to end. One of the hooded figures knelt down to pry the hidden object by the man’s hands. It was a small mahogany box, engraved with ornate patterns around the edges. They then turned round with box in tow and the man remained under the inky sky.

The brass pocket watch was left in the dust.

 

 

The Oncoming Tide

He loved the countryside. He woke up to a concert of sweet birdsong. He swung his legs out of bed as his joints gave a collective groan. He grasped the lightly decorated mahogany desk and pushed himself toward the kitchen. His hand were pale and slender, used for the most delicate of work; his grandchildren called them “piano player’s hands”, his face was angular and sharp his protruding nose gave him the nickname “Pinnochio” as a child. While he thought about his childhood, his expression, which almost always hid the ghost of a smile, turned to one of sorrow. He frowned, causing the abundance of wrinkles on his forehead to fold in on themselves. He decided to forget and concentrate on the matter at hand; his stomach concurred by giving a low, monotonous growl. 

He lowered two slices of bread into the toaster, his hands unsteady, shaking. He glanced outside the window, watching two bees entwine in a graceful arabesque as the sun rose, bathing the sky in a glorious conflagration of pink and yellow. The toaster beeped, signalling that it had done its job and he was dragged back into the reality of his own banal existence. 
 
After eating, he quickly rose and made his way, slowly, to the bathroom, he gently combed over the thin wispy strands that covered his scalp; he didn’t bother shaving and quickly threw on some old clothes. He was a rustic man, and as he shuffled outside, he felt the sunlight fall on his face in a golden shower whilst the cool breeze gently caressed his face. His bare feet gently trod on the dirt path, enjoying the sensation of the sand flowing between his toes as he passed a field of workers, plucking the earth’s bounty with expertise, with a technique refined and perfected from one generation to the next. He yearned to join them, yearned to make a contribution, yearned to have a purpose; rather than stay at home, following the same pointless routine everyday, waiting for death to embrace him like an old friend. 
 
He plucked a green fruit from one of the hundreds in a row of identical bushes and popped it in his mouth. Flavour rolled around his tongue and down his gullet;his shoulders, knotted with thin spidery veins, relaxed. 
His moment of euphoria ended as quickly as it began when his attention was diverted to the thick, black smoke emanating from the power plant in the distance. His hands did not clench as they did before, nor did his face darken in anger: he had come to accept the immanent arrival of the city. He was indifferent. He knew he would be long dead before it would arrive to harm him once more; and this he cherished as his final victory.