Den Viktorianske skrivekonkurransen mellom KKG og Vennesla vgs. endte med seier for tredjeklasse med engelsk litteratur og kultur fra Vennesla!
Kort oppsummert handlet Skrivekonkurransen om å skrive enten et dikt eller novelle med viktorianske temaer. Det sto mellom Cecilie Tengesdal Pedersen fra Vennesla vgs. og Tonje Røsnes fra KKG. Engelsklærerne Brandon Trung Moen og Marte K.H. Johnson var veldig imponert over bidragene og kvaliteten på tekstene som kom inn fra sine elever. Til slutt var det Uia professoren Michael J. Prince som avgjorde vinneren. Han hadde hørt om konkurransen gjennom Facebook og kastet seg på sjansen for å kunne bidra med å hjelpe. Både Cecilie og Tonje har tenkt å studere og jobbe med engelsk videre og vi gleder oss til å kunne lese videre på det som blir skrevet.
Vinneren ble kåret på skolens bibliotek. Diplom og diverse bokpremier ble overrrakt de to finalistene av skolens rektor, Thorkild Haus i en passe høytidelig sermoni.
Her er vinnerbidragene:
1. plass - "Dense Fog" av Cecilie Tengesdal Pedersen
Everything was grey.
The semi-permanent haze covering the city. My torn up, old dress. The dust covering the abandoned harbour. My nearly translucent skin. His shirt. The slow, yet steady stream of water next to us. His eyes.
The euphoric feel of dipping my feet into the cool river brought a sigh to my lips. This merciless day was soon to end. The day filled with the struggle of making ends meet, and exhausting myself as I wandered all over the Square Mile in my tattered and feeble footwear.
I turned to him, smiling, as I playfully moved my feet around in the steel coloured liquid. He already meant a great deal to me, and had to some extent been the guardian angel to my brother and me for quite some time. We were barely managing to get by, essentially living from day to day. I noticed his gaze wander down to my wrist, and I knew what was to come.
"Florence, why are you not wearing it?" His voice held a trace of hurt, and I found myself lowering my head in guilt. I fiddled with the stitching of my dress, not wanting to view his face. I felt as if I was too unappreciative of his generosity.
"It is in the jewellery box at home with the others, Blake." I lied. I misled him, reminiscing back to my various outings to the local goldsmith. The last one in which I had brought the elegant silver bracelet with me.
"I want to save your gifts for a special occasion," I told him before continuing. "White veils and silver look so beautiful together." I was carefully implying my feelings for him, wondering if he against all odds might feel the same way. It was very unlikely though, seeing as I was of less than modest means.
I knew the statistical probability of him falling in love with me was unimaginably low. However, I could not help but hope. I felt so lonely, with only my little brother keeping me company a few stolen minutes per week. After the death of our father due to a frayed rope at work, our lives had become cruel. Our mother had prioritized my brother and I over herself, saving every resource she could get a hold of for us two. In the end, she starved herself to death for our survival. The only thing left after her was a simple, golden wedding band that I kept under my pillow every night.
Soon after my mother's death, my father's employer came looking for my brother. They needed William to work, tied to our father's contract with the factory. His death was his own fault they said; therefore, it was only fitting that his son should continue his work, by carrying out the contract. I barely ever saw him anymore. He was either working our father's old hours at the young age of thirteen, or working extra night shifts. It was barbaric work, virtually torture.
My heart ached for someone to take care of me. Love me. Lighten the burden of responsibility, which threatened to suffocate me, off my shoulders. I was alone most days, with no company whatsoever. It felt wrong putting every last ounce of effort into keeping my brother and I on the edge between life and death. This was no life, and as egotistical and selfish as it might sound, at the age of seventeen I wanted something better for myself.
"Do you not appreciate my affection for you, Florence?" He asked me in a monotone voice, the words making my eyes widen in horror. "You never wear anything I give you."
"Oh no, Blake, y-you are gravely mistaken!" I stuttered, stumbling over my words in a moment of consternation. I had offended him. I had offended someone in power, someone who could complicate my life even further.
"I really do appreciate you, and I am forever in your debt for everything you have done for me and my brother." My words came out in a frenzy, and I watched as his eyes softened a bit. A slight smile appeared on his lips.
He was beautiful when he smiled. He generally came across as a very well composed and strict young man. He was a lean type, who seemed to tower over me with eyes sharp as a claymore sword, hair black as ravens and skin as pale as snow. Sometimes I felt as if I lived in a colourless world. His smile always seemed to dissolve his draconian demeanour. It made me see him in a different light than the public, as he barely ever beamed like that in the company of others.
"I wonder where this relationship will go." I mumbled to myself, unaware of the volume of my voice. I failed to notice that Blake overheard my rambling. However, his stance suddenly became stiff and his body algid. I admired his profile as he turned away from me.
"I have to go," he told me, before leaning in for a brief and delicate kiss. It was almost just a second long touch of our lips. He turned about, rapidly making his way onto a path that distanced him from me. He did not bother to say farewell, which left me quite baffled.
I lit the torch I had brought with me from home, desperately in need of a source of light. The ashen mist was draped over the city of London as securely as a comforter, making it nearly impossible to see more than a few steps in front of one self. I had no desire to face a destiny similar to the ones of drunken men, stumbling into their own graves as they fell over into River Thames at night.
William was waiting up for me once I had made it the long way home, hoping he would be able to get a glimpse of me before we both went to sleep. He had left for work some hours prior to me waking up that day, which sadly enough had become our routine.
We greeted each other silently, both too fatigued to acknowledge one another in any different way. As I leaned forward to embrace him in a hug, I was startled as he bent over in a series of harsh, raspy coughs. He had struggled with a cold for quite some time now. However, we were unable to get a hold of any medicine or herbs that might be able to cure him. We lacked the wherewithal to pay.
The next morning I awoke to the sunset, as it painted the room in the colours of copper, amethyst and azure blue. The celestial sphere was on fire, a kaleidoscope of colours. I spent the day once again roaming the city, running errands. I had managed to get a hold of a few potato seeds, which I perchance would be able to grow in one of the old, ravaged baskets we kept outside our home. If fortunate, they might evolve into the source of our survival.
Without warning, the door was hurled open. I turned abruptly, astounded. In rushed two grown men, both with greying hair, carrying William between themselves. He was coughing immensely, a white, stained cloth held in place in front of his mouth. I rushed to him as they sat him down in the middle of the room.
"Miss, don't come too close," One of the men warned, making me pause. I stood still, studying my brother's weak condition, as I tried to defeat the urge of rushing forward and taking his small frame into my arms. I felt an icy sensation thrive in the bottom of my stomach, giving the illusion of drowning in cold water. My hands instinctively went up to my face, settling onto my cheeks and temples. My skin prickled with distress and I could not breathe properly. William was hurt: he was my responsibility, my little brother, the only person I had left. I could tell that a cold had not been the case; there was something severely wrong with him.
"It is the White Plague, miss." I gasped at the old man's words, tears threatening to spill from my devastated eyes. We had not the coins to pay even for pectoral balsam of honey, a cure for tuberculosis or a stay at the sanatorium would be inaccessible! A sob escaped my lips. I could not lose William- I would not be able to survive.
"It cannot be… It is impossible!" I howled, lunging forward towards William like a she-wolf protecting its threatened cub. I cradled my little brother, enveloping his static frame in my arms.
"He was brought to the physician for testing," The man added. I closed my eyes and sank down onto the stone-cold floor, too troubled with anxiety and sorrow for my mind and body to function properly. The heavy, hoarse sobs continued.
"He had all the symptoms; a weak heartbeat, pale skin, a low body temperature, swollen and red eyes in addition to a bloody cough."
"You are wrong! He has never had a bloody cough before," I tried to prove him wrong, denial being my only escape from this new reality. I opened my eyes again, studying my brother thoroughly. His skin was a pale, sickly shade of green- it was even worse than my own. His eyes were red, indeed, appearing especially sore and puffy today. How could I not have noticed how bad it had become? I tightened my grip around him, desperately clutching onto him. I could feel the slow, unsteady heartbeats, and felt a single, lonely tear make its way down my cheek. William lost hold of the cloth in front of his mouth, and it fell to the floor.
"Get out," I hissed at the two strangers in my house. I wanted to be alone with my brother. I needed to be alone.
"Get out!" In desperation, I threw the nearest object I could find towards them. I heard the door close, and saw a novel laying on the ground. Its yellowed, tattered pages were scattered on the ground after the spine had separated. It added to the chaotic atmosphere of the house.
Some days later, I had yet to come to terms with William's prognosis of death. I found myself spending every waking minute catering to my brother's needs, attempting to prove the diagnosis wrong. After all, the symptoms might merely be a coincident. I was running out of clean cloths for cleaning up the blood, and decided a trip down the well near the harbour was necessary. I hated leaving William for more than a few minutes; however, his condition seemed to be quite stable for the moment. All he ever did was sleep, barely moving an inch.
A shout broke through the silence as I neared the harbour. As I turned around to face the source of it, I recognised a very composed and slow Blake, calmly making his way towards me. His shirt was the colour of ice today, matching the ice-like lump in my throat.
"I heard of your brother's illness. I am so sorry." He uttered the words in quite a formal tone, leaving me feeling rather estranged. Ever since the first time he approached me, we had been relatively friendly. I would always be there for him, whether it meant conversing with him whenever he needed the company or simply just clearing my schedule for him. Therefore, his formality came as a considerable shock to me.
Despite my slight anger towards him for not showing up at an earlier occasion, I nearly fell into his strong arms. The bloody cloths I had carried fell to the ground. As his arms tightened around me, I could not help the tears that stained his shirt. I was far too emotional to wipe them away.
"I don't know what to do anymore," I admitted, my voice breaking due to my hopelessness. I took a deep breath, a last attempt at calming myself down.
"I am very much tempted to visit my brother's workplace, begging them for compensation," I told him as I exited his embrace, using my right hand to dry the tears under my eyes. My voice was hoarse.
"I just need enough for some medicine or a treatment. After all, their working conditions are to blame for this."
"Which factory did he work at?" Blake asked me, narrowing his faded grey eyes at me. His hands rested on my shoulders, as he gazed deeply into my eyes. I practically felt lightheaded and my knees went weak. That was the effect he had on me.
"The Blake & William's factory in Whitechapel. I honestly do not think that we can survive for more than a couple of days now," I mumbled, as I let my eyes trail across his tall figure. I could not believe how lucky I had been in life.
"Are you related to the owner by any chance?"
He shook his head softly, an apologetic grimace on his impeccable face. He proceeded to remove his hands from me, leaving me yearning for his warmth. A timepiece was pulled out of a waistcoat by its chain, before his thumb suddenly brushed against my flushed cheek.
"You do know that I care about you, darling?" His voice was soft as silk, contradicting his harsh stare. It did not seem as if he truly expected an answer, as his lips were on mine only seconds later.
It was very unexpected, and I found myself stumbling backwards at the sudden impact. I tried to relax, as I really did care for him as well. He had been my rock for quite some time: the only company I had been able to keep whilst my brother was at work.
His hand suddenly fell onto my thigh, and I felt his warmth spread through the thin fabric. However, I froze as if it was ice.
"Blake," His hands were suddenly all over me. "Blake! Get your hands of-" He turned his head towards me, his intense gaze frightening me. I pulled away in an instance.
"Have you forgotten that I want to wait until marriage?" I inquired, frustrated with him. His arms fell loosely to his sides, a sigh escaping his throat. He inspected the timepiece once more.
"Our time is up for today, I will see you tomorrow."
I remembered his words four days later, as I was walking into the city. He had not shown himself after the scene at the harbour, and I felt both relieved and deceived. He had never broken his word before.
William's employer turned my request down at the door. I had never felt as humiliated as when he laughed in my face, telling me that they would do nothing for us.
Sometime later, I walked out of the market feeling rather miserable. Now my mother's last memory was gone, and I felt as if I had betrayed her. However, deep inside of me I did know that I had no other choice. Our lives meant more than a simple, golden object, no matter its sentimental value. I knew that both of us would still carry her with us in our hearts.
My back was leaned towards a rugged, solid wall, and I felt my back scratch as I slid down towards the grimy ground. A newly polished, charcoal black horse-drawn carriage drove by, pulling to a halt only a few metres away. I recognised the first person to step out. Blake.
"Jonathan, I have to say that your behaviour recently has made me pleased to call you my son." An older man spoke to him in a weary tone, supporting himself on a mahogany cane. "Someday, this will all be yours, and I have no doubt that you will make me proud." He motioned towards the Blake & William's factory.
My breath hitched.
He was a cunning, condescending man, and I took a step forward, readying myself to call Jonathan out on his lie. As I took a step forward, someone grasped my arm and forcefully yanked me back. They pulled my away, down the busy street as I struggled to get loose. That was when I saw his murky face, sorrow clear in his deep blue eyes.
"We have got no time, it is your brother." The tone of his voice exposed the true meaning behind his words. There was no hope left for William.
2. PLASS - "Houses" av Tonje Røsnes
there is a house at the end of the road
and it’s empty, and it has always been empty, and it was empty before
anyone moved out, and it was empty before
anyone moved out again and took the flatscreen TV with them.
the doorknob is rusty now, tastes of a flatscreen artery,
something in our lungs that we can’t quite place.
you carry the groceries inside but you got the wrong kind of idea.
the house was empty before there were any cups in it.
broken glass, porcelain feet; you pull the shards out and say
there’s a roof here and there are floor boards
and what you fill the middle with is up to you
but this was never a home, this was just
curtains that change colors with the seasons and spare change behind pillows.
i slept where you left me, in the middle of the porch.
i kept the key that you left me and locked the door.
there is nothing inside but i would like to protect it.
people come and go and they take the flatscreen TVs with them.
av Brandon Trung Moen (tekst) Gustav Hårtveit (foto), publisert 11. mai 2016 | Skriv ut siden
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