The Immortal by Ocean Tawiah

“Though my life is ever-lasting, I have not truly lived in a long time,” I explained, “There was not enough passion in these brittle bones for living so I have spent my life in eternal stillness. I’ve walked this earth wanting nothing, accomplishing nothing, waiting for my ashes to be swept away by the breeze- but it was never meant to be. Death has been as elusive as finding a reason to live.”

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Childhood by Sarah Barber

When do children cease to be children? When do they realise that the world is not their sanctuary, that there is darkness in the lightest corners of the earth, and that monsters aren’t beneath their beds but are the ones making their breakfast, lunch and dinner? Lily Beech knew all too soon. 
She knew where the monsters lurked and how to find them.

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Heartbreak and redemption by Sol Cross de Idialu

It was my day off from work, and it had been raining all morning. It wasn’t until
sixteen hundred hours that the rain stopped. Having been indoors all day watching
movies in bits, I was feeling a bit boxed in, so I decided to go for a little drive towards
the outskirts of town. Putting on a fresh Tee to go with my shorts, I grabbed my key and made my way out. That sweet soothing smell-petrichor hit me. Definitely a lovely time to take a slow drive around town. After driving for about fifteen minutes, I hit the freeway. Cars were few and in between, probably because it wasn’t rush hour, nor was it the
weekend yet, when folks will usually be rushing in and out of town. Taking in every little detail as I drove, I came close to the bridge that led to a couple
of suburbs and also led out of the city. Then I saw her. She was no taller than one hundred and forty-two centimeters, and couldn’t have
been a day over thirteen. Standing in the middle of the bridge and staring down into the water, I wasn’t sure
of what to do. What would a child so young be doing by the bridge alone, I wondered.

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MADNESS by Caitlin Cording

Sometimes my skin itches, but not like on the surface where all my freckles and scars are visible. It itches in a place my nails can’t dig. It’s as though there’s something trapped between the layers— something that wriggles and squirms and yearns to gush through my pores. Sometimes I hear my brain buzzing, and when it does, it conjures memories that sting. I prefer silence for that reason. Stillness too. Whenever I take a bath, I hold my breath and stay as still as I can so the water can’t slosh around. Sometimes I envision myself in a lake and duck underneath. When my throat starts burning like there’s larva spurting from my stomach, I break the surface and gulp the steamy air.

I suppose if I had to label it, I'd call it a need for control. I don’t know why I need it. I guess I just like to be reminded the world can be paused sometimes—that the heart of the hurricane is a serene one, and I can stay there, in its eye, and observe mass destruction without being a part of it.

Is that it? I need to believe one's soul can find peace even in the midst of chaos. Is peace what I’m truly seeking here?

I run my finger over the barrel’s grooves and its scaly leather handle and contemplate the plausibility of this theory. I give it a three out of ten and sigh. My breath vaporises. It shouldn’t be this cold in here. I touch the radiator, then snatch back my hand. It’s not cold in here.

More insight. I’ve got to jot that down.

I grab my diary from the top drawer, take a moment to study the planets and stars adorning its cover, then open to the relevant page and scan the list entitled, 'Epiphanies in Order of Appearance.'

1) I can leave my body

2) I see things; ghosts?

3) I hear voices

4) They tell me to do things

With each day that passes since that day, I've leant something new about myself. Or maybe it’s an old personality quirk I never realised I had until now.

I scrawl, ‘5. My surroundings do not affect my body temperature,’ and slam shut the notebook. It makes a satisfying clap. I smile. Okay, maybe I do like some noises.

My gaze shifts to the gun.

I started scribbling down everything when I began losing track of whatever is happening to me. I thought keeping a diary would help me feel normal again after he had tainted me. I believed if I could find an explanation for each one of these things I experience now, then I realise I'm not the maniac the world suspects me to be. It’s ironic, really, because after tonight, if the police uncover this and stamp it as evidence, then it’ll be my ticket to the mental institution. Does realising this fact prove I’m sane? I don’t know.

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