A Vicious Darkness Within

White Wolf:

The snow crunches beneath her paws as she laboriously pushes forward in the storm. Forest trees surround her in the dark, her silver fur glints under the crescent moon, her eye sharp and gray, cunning like the edge of a blade, cruel, like the taunting glint of a diamond one cannot have. Marred flesh cover the spot where her other eye used to be, a reminder of the past that never seems to go away. She is blinded by the ice cold rain, slicing into her back like a million tiny hooks piercing through her skin. She stumbles in the snow, her stick-thin limbs unable to hold her own weight, and the hooks on her back pull, yank, dragging jagged lines across her back. She focuses her eyes on the village she is heading to, pushing through the pain and fatigue and slowly, painstakingly, making her way towards the brightly glowing dot in the distance.

She turns to look back at where she came from, her pawprints already disappearing in the snow. Once again, she starts to doubt her decision, glancing at the empty spaces beside her. If her wolf pack were here then they would help her up when she stumbles, lend her a hand and lead her to safety. Together. If her wolf pack were here then they would help her up, only to push her back down, harder, lend her a hand with a gentle smile and lead her to the edge of a cliff. They would watch with a wicked grin as she topples over, plummeting into the welcoming arms of death, down and down until her body hits the jagged rocks below, her bones splintered, her scarlet blood splattered onto the slick rocks. And then the ocean would do its work and the waves would wash her away, cleaning up the mess, already forgotten.

At least this is what she would do. Push yourself up so you can push others down. Rise before they rise before you. Rise, and to rise alone. The whispers giggle in her head, tiny claws sinking into her brain, poisoning it with a shade not quite black. However, the whispers are the only voices she has heard in days, and their invisible presence is a burden that lifts her up instead of weighing her down.

Nearby, a frozen bush rustles. The white wolf swivels her head in that direction. She hears the sound of snow crunching under paw or feet, and the soft, panicked breaths from her victim…or are there more than one? Her sharp gray eye twitches, and she silently stalks towards the bush. Her hind legs bend, ready for action.

A blur of animal skin darts away from the bush. The desperation for food gives her a burst of energy, and the wolf strikes. Aiming for the neck, her sharp claws piercing through the layers of leather and into its soft skin. She realizes that it was a young girl hiding behind the bush, now skewered by her claws, her screams echoing through the dark, silent night. The girl has silver hair that shines under the moonlight, shifting like the shadows. But what surprises the white wolf the most are the angry red scars covering the skin where her left eye used to be. She looks just like me.

The girl’s friend, the other noise from the bush, manages to get away, desperately running and screaming back towards the village, already forgetting his dying friend. This is what friends do: They leave you behind and cast you out when you need them the most, the whispers giggle excitedly, Go on, finish the job!

The white wolf looks into the girl’s dull gray eye, already draining of life, filled with terror and stupid hope that she will live. The wolf steels her heart, flicking away the silver of vulnerability that had claimed her earlier, then sinks her fangs in the soft flesh of the girl’s neck. She feels the veins and arteries burst as she bites, the sweet, warm trickle of blood running into her mouth. She can’t deny the satisfaction, the delicious smell of blood in the middle of ice.

The white wolf watches as the girl’s bright blue eyes go vacant, their luster dimmed. She could feel the girl’s heartbeat slowing until there is nothing but silence in the dark night. She is once again alone. Good.

The white wolf then drags the body out of the woods, towards the village. Yessss, you did it. Now you can show them who is in control, the whispers say. The wolf grins, and the vengeful darkness in her heart churns, the chittering of the whispers louder, pushing her forward, as she takes step after step, each one closer to ultimate justice revenge.

Once upon a time, a white wolf had a family, a lover, and a pack of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all. The white wolf stopped before the village, let go of the body in her mouth, tilted her head back and howled, long and great and filled with hatred and fury. Now the villagers know. Know she is the enemy, the beast let out of its cage. She is the White Wolf, and she is not afraid.

*          *          *

Once upon a time, there was a little girl and a little boy who were best friends forever. The little girl once had golden hair and blue eyes before they took it from her, stole her left eye and gave her silver hair. The little boy was unmarked, smooth and beautiful and normal. They grew up together in a cozy village surrounded by the great forest in the South, and the unfathomable ocean in the North. They would always pretend to be magical hunters in the woods, running around, giggling with their sticks as swords, their stones as fireballs. On one unfortunate night, the girl and the boy were playing in the woods, but this time it was different, there was a colder chill in the air. Something was wrong. They hid behind a bush, hoping whatever it was, it would go away soon. For a second, it seems as if their hoping had worked, but then the beast strikes, sinking its claws into the girl’s chest, her screams piercing through the night. The attacker was a huge white wolf with a shining silver coat and one eye, it’s vicious fangs gleaming under the moonlight. Out of terror and disbelief, the little boy got up and ran, too afraid to meet his friend’s dying pleading gaze. Later that night, the wolf emerged from the forest, with the dead girl with silver hair and one eye in its jaws, its eyes two veiled storms of hatred and fury. The wolf drops the girl carelessly to the ground before the village, tilts it’s head up and howled, long and great and filled with hatred and fury. Now the villagers know, know the white wolf who killed the monster marked girl. Now they will build a wall around the village, to keep the monsters out, and the children in.

-The Wall Around the Village, an ancient folktale

White Wolf:

The reflection of a whole moon flickers and rolls on the glassy surface of the ocean, sifting with the gentle waves. The night is without stars, the utter blackness of night overwhelming. Dreary clouds drift lazily over the moon, leaving only the outline visible. Stray fragments of light peeking out from the clouds color the night a hazy gray. A lone wolf sits still on the rocky seashore, her glazed eye fixed on the hidden moon. Her silver coat gleams under the light, ever shifting in a million shades of gray.

Deep inside her mind, darkness rises and pools on the clean white tiles of the floor. It is a dark liquid, not quite black, but in-between the shades of gray. The darkness slowly rises, the puddle quickly turning into a river, flooding the hallway. Rings of water expand on the surface as the whispers pound on the doors, their hushed voices taunting: Let us out! Don’t let them in! The doors quiver. The whispers chitter excitedly, waiting for the moment of release. They keep going. Why do you care about them? Fool. We were here for you when they were not. We encouraged you when they pushed you down. So let us out! Let us out! The door splinters, the whispers are almost free. Their screaming overlap one another, the noise bounces off of the walls, every door in the hallway breaking, giving in to the whispers’ demand.

Meanwhile, the darkness flooding the hallway still rises, threatening to drown their screaming. The hallways are now filled with screeches, a mix of wailing and moaning and the anguished sound of suffering. The soundtrack of old memories meant buried deep in the hallways, lost with the turns and dead ends, sealed up tight with 3 doors and 13 locks, now reverberate off of the walls, roaming free in the hallways that were meant to keep them in. The whispers claw at their doors, screaming, crying, begging to come out. With a final crack, the doors burst and the whispers finally break free from their rooms, plunging into the cold darkness, free at last.

Back on the seashore, the white wolf stays still. The waves creep slowly towards the rocky shoreline before running away, the water beating peacefully against the jagged rocks. The clouds pass over the moon, no longer obscuring it, and full moonlight shines on the water, awaking something deep inside. A low rumble shakes the shoreline, and the waves beat against the jagged rocks with crushing force, the rhythmic sound like drums of war pounding in the dead of night.

A soft breeze shakes the white wolf’s fur, and a long, low whistle travels through the wind. Voices rise from the black ocean, carried by the wind. Tears not quite black, but in-between the shades of gray, fill the white wolf’s glazed eye, still fixed on the moon. Tendrils of darkness swirl inside the teardrop, and soft hisses vibrate from it. The tears drip from her snout and fall onto the rocks, bursting when they hit the ground, turning into a small puddle that has its own voice. They hiss and chitter, speaking nonsense or order, but whatever they are saying, it had caused the wolf to stir. She moves. Gets up and leaves her perch on the rocky seashore. She walks towards the ocean, closer and closer still. The voices and whispers grow louder and louder, cheering her on. Her paws touch the water. The coldness seeps into her fur, leeching onto her bones, it’s small claws gripping and stabbing, never planning to let go. The white wolf steps deeper into the ocean, eye still fixed on the luminous moon. The water rises to her chest, the voices and whispers screaming for her to go on. The water rises to her snout, to her unblinking eye. She goes under. And stays. The voices and whispers stop, the waves once again gentle, the moon less bright, the air still. The night resumes back to its hazy gray.

But wolves can’t breathe in the water.

*          *          *

Inside my mind, darkness rises and pools on the clean white tiles of the hallway. It is a dark liquid, not quite black, but in-between the shades of gray. It turns from a puddle into a river, chasing me as I try to escape. The darkness touches my bare foot. It is ice, cold like the whispers that haunt you in your sleep, like the monsters hiding under your bed, like the vicious darkness within that waits with open jaws to swallow you whole. The darkness rises to my ankle, my knees, my waist, my shoulders, and finally it pushes me under. I try to swim up, but already I am drowning. The walls of the hallway disappear, replaced by an infinite blackness. I realized I am in the ocean and the waves are dragging me down, and the hands of darkness are claiming me and all the life boats are deflating and all the buoys are sinking and I can’t swim and I won’t swim I am sinking… I am dying in the never-ending hallway of my own mind, swept up in the chaos of darkness. I will not die I will die. Because they have bound my wrists and ankles together, threw me in the ocean to drown. Because I am trapped in a rusty metal cage 204 meters down, and I can’t break out. I’m plummeting into a dark place, an empty world. I’m a feature in the current, submerged until I’m all gone.

*          *          *

When will I be free? I often wonder this, sitting in the middle of my glass cage bubble with a porcelain mask over my face. People walk around my bubble, ignoring it because I am invisible because they have other things to attend too. Occasionally, a person or two would stop by and peer into my glass bubble, smiling or just simply curious at what is inside. But for most of the time, I am left alone with my thoughts, with the doubt and hatred creeping up, stepping out of the shadows when the sun goes down.

Why am I such a coward? Why can I shatter this glass cage? Why do I always live in the fear of hurting myself when I break out? That the glass will slice my skin and I will bleed and die? Because there is always a thief, a thief who will steal all the stars that light up your sky, until you are surrounded by darkness, forever alone. The whispers battle with their words, stabbing and hurting, waging war with the bit of light in my being.

I stand up from my seat in the cage. Today is the day, where I will not back down and I will not let the whispers empower me ever again. I walk towards the glass and pound on it with all my might, each blow of my hands creating web-like cracks on the glass. It’s stupid really, to think this 1 cm piece of glass is separating me from a life. I pound and scream and kick for days, until I lose track, until my throat is parched and raw, hands red and bloody, feet swollen and oozing…But I will not give up; I will break free.

At last, the prison shatters, the glass that seemed so menacing and sharp, now a glittering confetti shower, catching the light from the setting sun. I breathe in and out, and step over the threshold.

Outside is an unfiltered world. I don’t see it through the glass, not ever again, but I see the truth. And it’s breathtaking. Beautiful. I try to take another step forward, to savor the precious moments of freedom, but I can’t.

 

It starts with a tingling in my heart. Then a numbing cold seizes my body, captures me in its frozen embrace. I can’t move, my feet stuck on the ground just outside of my prison. My heart feels like it’s turning into stone, hardening and cracking before finally splitting in half. Then sensations come flooding in. A whole river. An ocean, bursting into my body. Pain grips my throat, choking me, strangling me until I can’t breathe. My body turns colder. I claw to stay in the warmth of my conscious mind, my nails digging and scratching and finding purchase, but I lose my grip and plunge into the depths of my callous heart…And then a burst of a blackness so dark and vicious jolts me awake, blowing up from my chest, and into the approaching night beyond.

 

It was the darkness that saved me at the end. The darkness that is now part of the night, the shadows, the darkest corners of the universe. My mask shatters, falling from my face and breaking into a million pieces. They catch on fire as the sun disappears, the last bit of warmth fading away. I stand alone, with the shattered remains of my mask, the last embers winking out of existence. I look back at the prison that once held me in fear, now broken, the glass a harmless pile of confetti at my feet. For once maybe I am free. I am not afraid to break out of my glass prison. I am alone I am an individual. I need help to break free  I am strong, and I will rise. Alone.

*          *          *

Somewhere in the night, a white wolf howls, long and great and filled with joy. She is alone in the night, silver fur shifting with the shadows. She is alone, and free.

Somewhere in the shadows, a darkness not quite black, but in-between the shades of gray, slithers down the rocky beach. Whispers call at its wake, a trail of moaning and suffering waiting to infect someone else. The darkness slithers to meets the wailing ocean, calling for its lost child. It gingerly sinks in, finally, ultimately, returning home.

Somewhere in one of the rooms in her mind, or a rusty metal cage 204 meters down, she is continuing to fill her paper with breathings of her heart. She is still fighting the whispers coming from the other rooms, banging on the doors to be let out, still trying to swim when the hallways are flooded. She is trying to be oblivious to her peer’s protests about her writing. But she is trying. Trying to not hide the scars that make her beautiful, the vicious darkness within. And sometimes, trying is all that matters in this bleak world. She could be the weak little girl with silver hair and a lost eye, or the ferocious white wolf—but she still doesn’t know. And perhaps that is the beauty in living a life.

–By Christina Ma

The War on White

by Aidan Wong

 

A formidable blank page looms in front of me, like a wall stopping my progress.

 

I reluctantly pick up my pencil, and desperately search my brain for any ideas, any ideas at all, but none can be found. The wall of white stands strong ahead as tall as ever, grinning in the face of my defeat.

 

Bored, I begin drumming my pencil on my desk. My eraser still shone white, not seeing much use. I look around and see that my peers are having much of the same trouble, bordering kingdoms fighting the same war on white. The white, smooth paper won’t seem to let any of my words get a hold on its’ slippery surface. And then I get an idea.

 

Why not write about this enemy of mine? And my pencil tip dances across the page, letters appear on the page, and sentences eat across the blank space. Several piled together, and a paragraph was born. And another. Letters marched proudly, but with haste across the hills of white, and my eraser finally gets to work.

 

When my hands finally halt, I sit back up straight and notice that I unconsciously leaned forward in my seat during my writing spree. The page of white that had once stood tall had finally been conquered by the might of words, in the war on white.

 

And that’s how this story was born.

The Seasons

by Aidan Wong

Flowers bloom and the grass glows green,
Birds chirp and insects fly, rejoicing for the spring,
The emerald meadow is a sight to be seen,
A song of nature the crickets and animals’ hearts sing!

An orange circle clings to the sky’s center,
The moon is nowhere to be seen,
Eternal day fills the long summer,
The trees, plants, and animals all wonder where the moon has been.

Autumn arrives in a rain of scarlet,
The great land shines orange and yellow,
Skies and clouds blush, admiring the beautiful sunset,
Trees and leaves make their post-show bow…

The chilly air blows through the white terrain,
Animals curl up in their cozy homes to avoid the cold,
Snowflakes drift through the winter skies in cover of rain,
Here and there a lone tree sticks out of the white carpet, ever so bold.

A spring to relax,
A summer to enjoy,
An autumn to marvel at,
A winter to chill out,
All these seasons,
All these sights,
All these seasons to preserve and treasure.

One Step

One Step

by Joyce Jiang

Standing on the top a towering skyscraper,

she gazed down below her feet.

Her hollow eyes blinked limply while her face showed fatigue and numbness.

The pedestrians paced rapidly through the swarming streets.

From her view, they looked like minute ants,

busy for their repetitive and monotonous lives.

The piercing and rigid wind roared,

pushing her closer and closer,

to the edge of death.

One step.

One step it takes for her to fall ungracefully,

plummeting, bumping, and toppling.

Then Bang!

Bones would shatter, gore and flesh would burst!

Her corpse would become a pile of Jam,

surrounded by people and the apathetic clicking flashing sound of phones.

 

How many lives would it take!

How many lives would it take for this society?

To let go their misconceptions, indifference, and stigma on these victims.

And consider this prevalent disease more than what you call “weakness”.

 

When this disease struck, it shredded her normal life brutally down to pieces.

It slowed down her time making 24 hours too long to endure.

Each day’s torment felt harder and harder to bear.

She took a step of courage and asked for help.

But all she received were the uncaring words of her mother,

“‘You have so many things to be thankful for,

why are you still unsatisfied!

There are many people worse than you!”’

She wanted to pour out all her cries that she had suppressed.

But all she received after a few minutes were the hasty words of

“‘Do you feel better now?’”.

They considered her depression,

no more than just irrational sadness.

 

 

 

 

She felt she was drowning in the deep sea.

No matter how she wailed or struggled,

her agonizing pain shall never convey to anyone,

just like words shall never be heard underwater.

Little by little, losing the oxygen of hope and left with the suffocating solitude.

If this was living with depression,

death presents to her as a holiday on a beach.

 

She stood on the edge of the towering skyscraper.

The sky was painted navy blue.

The boisterous and bustling streets gleamed with neon light.

The world became colorful.

She was still grey.

The piercing wind shoved her with its hand of indifference.

Her heels raised.

Her arms opened wide.

Her body leaned closer and closer….

Abruptly, a hand jerked her back.

It was the hand of compassion and support.

One step.

One step it takes to reach out your hand.

To sooth the wounds deep in their hearts.

To pull them back.

One step.

One step it takes,

For you and I to make a difference.

What Happened in the Heaven

Three gentlemen died during an accident. They both walked into heaven and met the God.

 

The God said: “You can do whatever you want, just make sure don’t step on a duck.”

 

“What happens if we do?”

 

“There will be punishments.” The God replied.

 

Three gentlemen walked into heaven. There were ducks everywhere on the road. The first gentleman stepped on a duck in 5 minutes.

 

“This is the punishment you will get,” The God brought an ugly woman over, “You two are chained together for the rest of your lives.”

 

Time passed away, the second gentleman stepped on a duck after 4 months. The God soon grabbed another ugly woman over: “You guys are chained forever together now.”

 

The last gentleman didn’t step on a duck for a whole year. Later on, the God brought a beautiful girl over: “I wish you guys good luck. Be together for the rest of your lives!”

 

The gentleman was so surprised, he exclaimed: “What did I do to deserve this?”

 

The beautiful girl replied: “I don’t know what you did, sir, but I stepped on a duck.”

 

——BY JASMINE Z

 

 

 

The Seasons

by Aidan Wong

 

Flowers bloom and the grass glows green,

Birds chirp and insects fly, rejoicing for the spring,

The emerald meadow is a sight to be seen,

A song of nature the crickets and animals’ hearts sing!

 

An orange circle clings to the sky’s center,

The moon is nowhere to be seen,

Eternal day fills the long summer,

The trees, plants, and animals all wonder where the moon has been.

 

Autumn arrives in a rain of scarlet,

The great land shines orange and yellow,

Skies and clouds blush, admiring the beautiful sunset,

Trees and leaves make their post-show bow…

 

The chilly air blows through the white terrain,

Animals curl up in their cozy homes to avoid the cold,

Snowflakes drift through the winter skies in cover of rain,

Here and there a lone tree sticks out of the white carpet, ever so bold.

 

A spring to relax,

A summer to enjoy,

An autumn to marvel at,

A winter to chill out,

All these seasons,

All these sights,

All these seasons to preserve and treasure.

 

 

 

Smoke clouded the sky…..

Smoke clouded the sky. The Matawi screamed and shouted at their family to leave them and run. No one did. Each family held hands and prayed to the gods to save them and one by one, each family was devoured by the molten lava. Their skin erupted into flames and their bones into ash. Ali was crying. As little as she was she understood the meaning of death. Blip ran towards the running hot lava, hoping that everyone would somehow survive. Mama hugged Ali close to her and closed her eyes and stood still as the river of lava rushed forward to meet her. Papa was already gone. He was one of the fifty that adventured onto the volcano to check if everything was normal. He was one of the first that died. My entire family had embraced death. All except for me. Me, the only Matawi that didn’t believe in afterlife and gods. Everyone around me burst into flames. It was a cruel, evil ending of our people even though it will be probably painless. I looked around me. I was the last Matawi standing. I looked around me once again. Nothing was recognizable except for the volcano far away. I looked at the sea surrounding the island that was home. Many Matawi tried to swim but the sea gods did not favor us for we worshipped the gods of death and afterlife. Lava surrounded me at all sides. I closed my eyes and images of home, family and friends flashed before my eyes. I opened them again only to find nothing but darkness.

 

More of this amazing drama to come in Fall 2018 Inkspill…..

 

Sherry Chen