A free English-speaking club located in Chelyabinsk, Russia

VI Writing Contest

Daria's picture

The following are the works submitted by Speak Freely members in the VI Writing Contest.

Note to the readers: to ensure that the competition is fair, we ask you to kindly take time to read all of the works and vote for the one you like most until February 16, 2017 on our VK page (vk.com/speakfreely) or by leaving a comment here. Please leave the comment under your personal account so that we know it's you and no one gets to vote twice.

 

by R.M.

First came the warp. Buzzying and clattering sounds, emanating from nowhere in particular, finally took their finite yet unfathomably haphazard dimensions. Vibrant, boisterous, uproarious torrents of thoughts and ideas were ferociously and relentlessly assaulting the void and spinelessness within, thereby altering and moulding the shape thereof.

Then, malignantly or simply out of ignorance and his boundless ego, came a raft of actions and wrongdoings, sincere, cruel, heinous, malevolent, fierce. 

Then came the payback.

Having scraped through the following vortex of desolation, alienation, hopelessness, fear and utter despair, his spirit was born anew, having been baptised in that all-consuming voracious merciless fire.

Then came the era of conscientious self-exploration and great deeds. Never before had the man been so single-mindedly focused on his aims, never before had he managed to muster all his assiduity with the efficiency that only as craving and relentless spirit as his could harness.

Time went slowly by and then, all of a sudden, everything had changed once again. A quicksand of misery had encroached in no time. Be that as it may, if the whole story is to be believed, perseverance and unshakable faith were the magic bullet, the prerequisites of success. So were those archetypal images, either laying dormant or relentlessly chasing and tormenting his soul. Having been forged in these storms of vicissitudes, his spirit was no longer feeble; it became unperturbed, unabated by all those misfortunes; finally, it relished the deserved and long-awaited fruits.

A happenstance, a serendipity are amongst the things that seldom occur in the swamp of our daily routine. However, the hand of faith sometimes has some aces up its sleeve. Little did the man know that the world of what-would-have-been would suddenly become a reality he could not have dreamt of. Having been hitherto dormant for all these unfathomably long six years that went by on a breakneck speed, on the blink of an eye, hidden in the darkest corners among the other scenes and images in the tempestuous vortex of his Weltanschauung, having been bound to explode and set the world alit, the Supernova finally caused a havoc on that unforgettable star-studded night.

The feelings of boundless elation, exuberance, sadness and something vaguely and yet so acutely unrequited were abound.

Perhaps, for the first time in his entire life he was finally feeling the sense of contentment, serenity and tranquility. 

Lounging in that post-cognitive glow, he was finally glad to have gone through whatever he had been subjected to and he had no regrets for what he had done whatsoever.

 

by Der Visionär

Idealists always lose. Caesar was betrayed as he was embodying his aspirations. Gatsby was killed after the crush of his lofty ambitions. With his dreams ruined, the Führer shot himself in his bunker beneath the Chancellery in Berlin, on the verge of the Götterdämmerung of the Reich. The death of the Übermensch has preceded his birth. No matter whether these legends about idealists come from the book pages or from our reality and history; what matters is that we do know that the outcome will be the same. 

But who is to say that these people do not represent vital motion, driving force, spearhead and thrust of history and civilizations? A veritable panoply of theories are known to have been forged in tears, infernos, and storms of steel, emanating from the history of broken and devastated. How many paintings and laudatory ballads have been created, based upon the fabric of their lives! A raft of aristocratic intrigues, plots, havocs of wars, tempestuous and lascivious embraces; all these things have coalesced into a cloud of insidious, inebriating might of dreams and ideals. 

Quench that insatiable thirst of the pantheon surrounding you, with that omnipotent might! Gain their applauses and kisses! To speak, to enthrall, to create – all these actions are vital in a never-ending carnival of formation, as is a bow to the craving public around. Planets, as they are barging in a star system, stay on its orbit, whereas a luminary, even when emanating bigger or smaller amount of light, immutably stays at the center. However powerfully deceptive an assumption of our movement might be, we always stay at the center, unyieldingly, adamantly, totally merged with the luminary of our dream. 

The might and power of dreams start at the fatal verge, beyond which an understanding, that a hero is bound to fall dead, accompanied with sounds of a rampant crescendo and surprised and startled shouts and cries of his friends, makes no sense. What a solemn splendor, what a greatness of the last moment! A charm of an idealist lies in his equanimious showdown with his ineluctable collapse and end. 

Any lucid and potent idea goes hand in hand with attraction and magnetism. Boisterously boiling and hissing, the dream evaporates upon a contact with the outer world, and its thin and mellifluous scent veils and swathes us with a palette of exultation, awe and admiration. However, shortly afterwards, nothing remains from the dream itself. There will be nothing but a void. The void without us, without a raised cup in honour of the fragile grandeur of the world that would have been; without the shining and ferocious look of those deep, intense, unwavering, vividly blue eyes, fiercely gazing through the unimaginable abyss and silence of space; without that swift and confident wave of the hand, symbolizing an effervescent onset of an era of rapid changes. 

The only thing alive is my dream. So is my love, giving a pang to my heart. Only as long as I keep pouring life into my dreams can I survive in this dying, decaying, moribund world bound to wither. Oxygen depletion is the single means of survival until the fire emanating from within will not burn me. 

A dead and frigid galaxy is sleeping among the stars turned to ashes. Constellations and black holes meander around its space. Then comes a sparkle; blazes and vortices of instability start to vacillate among lazy and splendiferous assemblages of stars. And that is the most precious thing; graves of idealists will not persuade others to turn their flags upside down. There, the void and despair of the death galaxy are powerless. ‘Whatever it takes’ is an unalterable motto of generations, from cradle to grave. 

I have always known how this would end. In the darkness. 

But is this a reason to stop?

 

by Tom Peterson

Never swear an oath of loyalty to another man. Never should you find yourself waving a placard showing your support for a politician or another eminent public figure. Nowadays there can be none of the figures of such nobility, grandeur, greatness and scale; the figures for whom the very sacrifice of your dignity would make sense, since providing such kind of support would mean deliberate abandoning your own opportunity to become a leader, leaving behind all the lofty ambitions and aspirations aimed at acquisition of your own might, splendor and building your own legacy.

A cheerful crowd choking the name of its own demigod can be often found here, there and everywhere. Elections candidates, popstars, writers constantly attract the attention of mediocrities. Some of those stuck in the swamp of commonplaceness just have a sincere liking for their art or style, but this case seldom leads to something profound. The most fervent and ardent believers in other people are those who used to desperately crave to become someone bigger but who, due to some reasons, could not fulfil their desire. And they will never do that. Having embarked on the path of becoming a vociferous supporter of someone else’s case and their voice, they would eventually lose their own identity and individuality. Eventually, they swim with the tide, having become a side product of politics, grains of sand in motion, active register voters, conductors of mainstream.

The XXth century was the century of the Führers, who have eventually become the relics of that bygone era. Modernity smashes the leaders as easily as insects; they can’t but constantly deteriorate, merely out of necessity, undermining the very idea of any kind of authority thereby. Politics and aesthetics are quite alike, not only because both are sort of a show, but also because there can be no agreement when it comes to preferable political force. What is enticing? What is enthralling? What is charming? Are all these questions negotiable? Above all, apart from demands of ratiocination, authority encompasses the component of emotional delight.

Does it make any sense to become a small leader? It definitely does. This is a stage on the ladder of self-fulfillment. Given that the niche has been chosen wisely, there is the most important lesson that this kind of experience would teach you: how to rise above social hierarchy whilst at the same time having sufficient might. Nevertheless, one should always keep in mind that it is just a game. 

Ambitions of other people should never go to the detriment of one’s own personality, predominantly when those people a priori cannot give something that only a genuine leader can harness and share. It is one thing to feel like a puppet, but to be a puppet on the strings in the hands of the ‘local’, ‘small’ Führer (which is often a prerequisite of a self-installed social hierarchy at work) is something entirely different. 

There will be no loyalty to others. There will be loyalty to oneself.