In The Begining

2nd in the 'Imagine That! 1999' competition

Adam Evensong pushed his way through the tendrils of mustardsmoke to the perspex counter, and the bartender swiveled his head round in recognition. Adam looked down. His flask flickered in glittery imitation of the heavy rain outside, and he kept his eyes on it, as though mesmerised into stupidity. Etiquette was outdated. The bartenders knew what he wanted. For heaven's sake, he came here often enough, didn't he?

The empty flask was zoomed away by anonymous hands and returned frothing oil slick-drops onto the worn counter, where they hissed, as though the surface was very hot. A lacy star of happiseed sat delicately on the accompanying white glossy plate. With half-hearted surreptitiousness, Adam tipped the collapsing star into a small blue pouch and stuffed it into his overall pocket. It was no secret that people were hoarding hallucimatter. The end was sure to come, within the next few months, at most, weeks.

People liked to be prepared. He drank his flask of Neptunia, watching the snatches of quiet conversation swim through the air in holograph, like tropical fish in turquoise water. The grey light from the window exploded into spinning multi coloured stars, the scent-pattern of Neptunia buzzing counter-clockwise above it. Stuff freedom. When it came to the bottom line, it was all an illusion, anyway. All you needed was hallucimatter. The wavy end of a forgotten TV jingle brushed through his head.... 'don’t you natter/stop your chatter/all you need is/hallucimatter…bah dum tiddely-dum…’

He'd stopped chattering ages ago. Nattering, too. And yet...
‘You Adam Evensong? I'm a representative from NuTime firms. If you'd just step outside I'd like to talk to you about something...’
Following. Go with the nice man, Adam.
‘I have a proposition to make. My company is researching the effects of time travel on the human metabolism and we believe you are a perfect candidate for a new method...’
The persistence of a lullaby. Don't worry, Adam. All the hallucimatter you need...
‘Yes,’ he said.

In the control room the screen flickers and I have to thump it before the crackling dissolves into a clear picture. The fool is lying dazed on the disgusting primitive earth, looking as if this occurrence is the best thing ever to have happened to him.

‘Probably is,’ laughs Marie from my left. She is dictating specifications for a 4D diagram that we will use to track the specimen's progress. I can see over her shoulder the co-ordinates – 20,000 x 300y, 14678z, 56 859t. The numbers flicker slowly as the specimen stands up and jerks around ridiculously. Withdrawal symptoms, probably. Fool.

Now it becomes interesting. He has found the bag of happiseed and appears to be attacking it. We did not predict this. Like a frenzied organism, he rips open the sack and stuffs fistfuls of happiseed in his mouth. The seed sprays everywhere, glittering through the air, into the fertile brown soil of the past, and green tendrils push furiously through the dirt to the sky. Buds on the new trees. Fruit.
Obviously the specimen cannot contain himself and he picks it, raising it to his lips. Juice down his chin.

And there is evening. And there is morning. This first dawning day.


25 was established in 1997, and since then we have successfully completed numerous short story and poetry competitions and publications.
We receive an overwhelming positive feedback each year from the teachers, parents and students who have involvement in these competitions and publications, and we will continue to strive to attain this level of excellence with each competition we hold.


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