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Twin Shadows by Jeremy Mifsud

Twin Shadows by Jeremy Mifsud

Raquelle adjusted her earpiece as she strode towards the Rotunda of Mosta. Its cross glistened under the Maltese sun. Perfect—she performed best in warm weather. “I’ve arrived. Whom shall I blast?” “We’re uncertain. Minimal levels of suspicious activity are being detected. You might have to […]

Hitchhiker by Claire Bugeja

Hitchhiker by Claire Bugeja

You don’t notice it, at first.  It infiltrates your life slowly, measuredly, amalgamating with your life seamlessly. It’s only when it begins to dig into your brain with fingers of liquid darkness that you notice it for the first time, the chill dread of its […]

Track the Dead by Sarah Zammit Munro

Track the Dead by Sarah Zammit Munro

She knew what she was getting herself into. She always did. Into the black, into the dark unknown, unfathomed by all who see the light. A mind capable of standing out in the crowd, a deep crimson stain growing, eating the body alive, the monster that reflects the inner self. Sometimes it takes over and there’s nothing you can do about it.

The train was coming.

The station was a barren space, her footsteps echoing alongside the tracks. She wore a pair of chunky boots, covered in the dirt that was left behind from her past mission. The spikes protruding from them disguised their intended use well. It would only take the click of a heel to send one flying. It was an accomplishment to have plucked out two eyes at once, in less than five seconds, not even blinking. It was like crossing off a to-do list, except it was not simply like getting from one place to another – it was more like getting a soul from one realm to another, wherever that might be.

It was life. It was about making a living. She never thought that she would resort to this. Blood was merely a red consequential colour, nothing more, nothing less. Incapable? Unable? Such words didn’t exist. Darkness is found in everyone, she thought, but some hide it better than others. It takes a specific memory, experience, or harmful event to trigger the pain, exposing it. ‘Assassin’ might be too harsh of a word to describe her line of work. It was a rather odd kind of profession.

It was almost like social work. Her lonely chuckle echoed in the eerie station. She was helping society through her contribution, she thought. Dealing with her anger whilst purging humanity from people who are inherently evil was a win-win situation in her bloodshot eyes. She was merely accomplishing what others were too scared to attempt.

She snapped herself back to reality. She was still at the station. The train was still coming.

She could feel the tension in the air rising as she waited. He would appear any time now, and he’d better come soon – she needed to act quickly.

A voice. She turned her head sharply and her long black ponytail followed. It was him. The memories flooded back and she remembered hands; hands creeping up mercilessly, and a helpless body, stiff and paralysed. She shuddered and hatred started boiling up inside of her. He would pay. All men would pay for dehumanising her and reducing her down to body parts. He would soon find out what that was like.

Her fox-like ears kept track of his every movement. She was good at hiding – after all, she had spent her whole life hiding from the world.

He walked along with large strides to the edge of the station platform. She could sense that the train would approach any time now. She knew that after this was over they would come looking for her. They were already doing so, but she was always on the run – some would say she took the fast lane on the highway to hell, but that was their opinion.

She hid behind a column and counted down the seconds.

7

6

5

Her mind was racing. She should escape and attempt to live her life elsewhere. This would be her last job. She was tired of running. She wanted this to be her best work yet, to see the terror and pain sparkling in his eyes.

4

3

2

1

She sprung out from behind the shadows just as the train burst through the arches. With great strength that was not her own, she shoved the man onto the tracks, head first. The railway was poised to tear him apart like a piranha’s fang-like teeth ripping him into shreds. With no time to react, he started to topple over, almost too slowly.

His eyes registered panic and then shock as the train lights shone on her face and he recognised her. As he turned his body during the fall, he grabbed hold of her ponytail and yanked her with him onto the tracks. She screamed as their bodies were hurled downwards. The oncoming train slammed into them with such great force that their bodies shattered, just as she had predicted. She had wanted to see his limbs tear apart, his skin and bones crumbling under the weight of the train carriages and yet, her remnants and his became one as the train sped on to the end of the platform.

Time stood still. A man silently approached the gruesome scene. This would be her last, he had heard her say multiple times before. Now it finally was. As if he were a shadow, he walked towards the train and with his gloved hands, picked up pieces of the woman’s skin and bones. He placed them in a transparent sachet with her name on it and stuffed it in his pocket. He loved working for her agent, his rival. He would tell him the good news and continue to track the dead.

 

_

About the Author: Sarah Zammit Munro is a third year, studying Communications with English and has a passion for writing. She is also interested in poetry, theatre, dance, filming, and photography. 

The Anguish of an Echo by Ian Zerafa

The Anguish of an Echo by Ian Zerafa

It wasn’t the most pleasant of murders. I’d like to say that I wasn’t taking it personally – Elijah and I had been trying to kill each other for years. But he was definitely crossing a line here, this was my home! I must’ve really […]

Horror: Short Story Competition | TEXT

Horror: Short Story Competition | TEXT

Terror, when you come home and notice everything you own had been taken away and replaced by an exact substitute. It’s when the lights go out and you feel something behind you, you hear it, you feel its breath against your ear, but when you […]

Ash Stash by Maria Fsadni

Ash Stash by Maria Fsadni

A thief broke in for some cash,

Found boxes kept in a stash,

Filled with powder so fine

He snorted a line,

But alas, it was dead man’s ash.

DESA | Call for Submissions – Life, Mortality, Friendship, and Loss

DESA | Call for Submissions – Life, Mortality, Friendship, and Loss

As always, we editors of TEXT are thematically linking this call for submissions to an upcoming 2018 literary event. This time in connection with the 132nd anniversary of Emily Dickinson’s death, which falls on the 15th of May.   Although Emily Dickinson was an American […]

Who Run the World? Girls by Rachel Caruana

Who Run the World? Girls by Rachel Caruana

Asher shuffled across the cobbled pavement with short, tentative steps; his head hanging and his eyes coyly lifting every now and again to quickly take in his surroundings. A row of neatly packed, red-brick houses lined the street, with their bold, bright green gardens that […]

The Thing About Andromeda by Steve De Marco

The Thing About Andromeda by Steve De Marco

Samson loved his job. Whenever he thought of all the things he had given up just to be where he was, he felt no regret. He could have found someone, fallen in love, maybe he would have had kids, who knows. But no, he had chosen his path long ago, a dark and lonely path. This was why he was sitting in his car at midnight on a Friday, staking out a building. Yet, it is not strictly correct to say that he had given up everything. After all, there was Andromeda. Whenever he thought of her, all the stress of the case seemed to dissolve. There was something about Andromeda that was special, real, and yet it was something he could not put his finger on. But now was not the time to think of Andromeda, not while there was a psychopathic killer loose in the city.

Though Samson was no longer leading this case – in fact he was no longer on the investigation – he could not just give up, not now, not after he had gotten so close. Catching serial killers was his job and he was intent on doing so even if the Agency felt that he had lost his grip – as a matter of fact he had. For the past three months, this lovely city had been plagued by a killer, endearingly nicknamed ‘The Grim Reaper’ and Samson was going to be the one to catch him. The more Samson thought about the name given to the killer – no doubt by the local newspapers – the more fitting the name seemed. During his ten years in the line of duty, he had never encountered a killer such as this. Each and every victim, eleven so far, seemed to have died of natural causes – absolutely nothing to suggest foul play. Save for the fact that all of the victims were men, aged around thirty to thirty-five, all in peak physical fitness and nothing to suggest they had any medical issues. But the intrigue only begins there. Each of the victims was found suspended from the ceiling of their apartments by a rope tied around their torso, while all the doors and windows were locked from the inside. To top that off, all of their heads had been surgically removed post-mortem. Yet, somehow this seemed to be the least confusing aspect to Samson who had come to expect such behaviour. The ‘Grim Reaper’ indeed! All these details had been passed on to the press and the general public but one detail had been withheld. A note had been found on every victim, nailed to their chest, and read P.S. I love you. Samson had long given up trying to psychoanalyse this killer. It was pointless. All that Samson knew was that he was going to catch him.

So, this is why Samson was sitting in his car at midnight on a Friday. After the seventh victim, an anonymous caller hotline had been set up to aid with the investigation, but so far, all the hotline produced was bored teenage pranksters and dead-ends. Clearly the city was terrified of this ‘Grim Reaper’. However, it was a lead from this hotline which Samson was following up, off the books of course. Something seemed different to Samson about this lead, something felt real. By now, he had been sitting in the same spot for the past five hours. The street lights only emitted a faint yellow glow and the silence was eerie even for this hour of the night. Samson thought that everyone would be at home with their doors locked. The block of apartments, identified by the anonymous call, seemed to stick out from the rest of the houses on the block. Samson would have thought the block derelict had it not been for the faint glow of lights emitting from the windows. For all his time spent staking out this place, Samson had nothing to show for it. During the five hours all he had seen was an old lady on the first floor emerge every half hour for a cigarette, and a cat which had definitely seen better days.

The past few hours had been torture. Samson played and re-played the anonymous call over and over. It was a woman’s voice, young and definitely scared, so much so that Samson was convinced she knew the real identity of the ‘Grim Reaper’. While Samson would have loved to stay there for another few hours, he knew that he could not. He had promised Andromeda he would meet her at a jazz bar just around the corner. He was not sure why. It was not the greatest part of town but she had insisted.

So fifteen minutes later, Samson found himself sitting in front of Andromeda at the bar. He had not known Andromeda for long, in fact they had only known each other for three months. All the same, things were moving fast but Samson did not mind, he felt comfortable around her.

He had only just returned from a trip to the gents when Andromeda took both his hands in hers and gazed deeply into his eyes. This would have been rather normal, had it not been for the words that came out of her mouth.

‘P.S. I love you.’

Samson felt as if he had been hit by a truck. As a smile began to curl on her lips, Samson started to feel rather weak, as if his legs would give out at any minute. He tried to stumble away. He tried to get to his phone in his jacket pocket but it was not there. A darkness seemed to have descended over his eyes as his limbs grew weaker. As he faded, the feelings of betrayal, anger, horror at the situation faded too and he remembered nothing else.

Andromeda moved quickly, even though the lump of a detective was weighing her down. She managed to get out of the bar without a problem. Just another drunk, they must have thought. The look on his face was priceless, if only she could have saved that moment for the rest of her life. He knew exactly what that phrase had meant. The person he had been pursuing for the past three months was the woman whom he recently fell in love with. Top that off with the fact that he thought the ‘Grim Reaper’ was a man. He must have been a blockhead not to realise. He even fell for the anonymous tip! In any case, there was work to do now that her final victim had been caught, and it was about time she moved on out of the city; somewhere warmer perhaps, and start the cycle once more.

END

The Celiac Killer by Samuel Azzopardi

The Celiac Killer by Samuel Azzopardi

Rufus Cayce looked over the corpse of the thirty-year old hotel receptionist. He could already imagine the headlines printed in large black lettering on the city’s newspaper front-pages: Serial Killer Strikes Again – Police at a Loss. This was now the sixth murder perpetrated in […]

DESA | Call for Submissions – Laughing Limerick!

DESA | Call for Submissions – Laughing Limerick!

Whilst hoping that you all have a wonderful Easter, we editors of TEXT bring to you our next call for submissions, this time linked with the comical theme tied to the 1st of April – April Fool’s Day! Keeping this in mind, all writings are […]

DESA | Call for Submissions – Dystopia

DESA | Call for Submissions – Dystopia

Taking inspiration from current events, as well as the local and international news feeds, we editors of TEXT feel that this Dystopian theme is something to be discussed and put forward.

With this in mind, all writings must be done and submitted in the form of prose. Whilst the structure can take any shape or form – ranging from excerpts to short stories, we do suggest that a word limit of not more than 2000 words be adhered to.

During the planning process, we encourage all potential writers to consider their time-frame, location and landscape, narrative structure, and styles of discourse within their writings.

Furthermore, writings can be set in the past, present, or future. Whilst also relating to any historical and/or actual events that have transpired, or to completely fictitious situations and settings.

Finally, here are some examples of dystopian literature and films that can get you started:

– 1984, written by George Orwell
– The Handmaid’s Tale, written by Margaret Atwood
– Cloud Atlas, written by David Mitchell
– The Hunger Games Saga, written by Suzanne Collins
– Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott
– Equilibrium, directed by Kurt Wimmer

All emails are to be sent on desa.uom@gmail.com, addressed to Editors of TEXT, and are to include all of the following information:

– Full Name/Pseudonym
– Title
– Word Count

The deadline falls on Monday 26th of March, 2018. The best submissions will then be published on DESA’s writing platform TEXT. (text.desauom.org)

Good luck from your editors,

Alexander and Kathryn
Editors of TEXT – DESA

Thoughts on Arcite and Palamon by Helena Camilleri

Thoughts on Arcite and Palamon by Helena Camilleri

“Of lover in jail and lover free as air. I cannot tell you which had most to bear.” But what is lover free as air with love never returned? A prisoner still, left concerned about what if and what could have been, longing for a […]

A Question of When, Not If by Gabriel Lia

A Question of When, Not If by Gabriel Lia

When books smell of smoke, When poetry mutes When silence disturbs When sweets bitter When stargazing ends When countryside is put aside When flowers become perfume When all we do is consume When acting is life When prayer is ritual When gifts are mandatory When […]

Shakespearean Couplet by Sarah Zammit Munro

Shakespearean Couplet by Sarah Zammit Munro

Their love was based on nothing more

than two genuine souls linked together

through art,

spark ignited through words,

poetry shared from one breath to the other.

 

They were the couple from next door,

you know,

the kind of couple everyone assumed would end up together.

The kind of couple

whose old souls and playful banters

fit together like a Shakespearean couplet.

Assumptions create opposites for hard heads.

A person who is used to going against the current

will only admit to something once almost lost.

Perfect timing.

There were mannerisms that made their heads reel,

their heart flutter.

They were used to each other

and their love remained young.

 

That was an indication for an assurance of a lifetime.

When you want something, you’ll work at it

even if the world throws arrows at your heart.

Pluck them out,

stitch the pieces with threads of golden lips,

fingers intertwined,

and face the worst that is yet to come.

 

The best isn’t over, honey.

Wait,

we will walk to Heaven’s doors

with our heads held high

and our knees on the ground.

 

This poem is one of the chosen entries for DESA’s Valentine’s Themed Poetry Competition.

Honey Eyes by Sarah Zammit Munro

Honey Eyes by Sarah Zammit Munro

I write best when I’m falling in love or falling out of it. I write best when I’m falling. When I was broken, when I was head over heels; When I was overwhelmed, When my heart tossed and turned in the space of in-between; When […]

Valentine’s Day by Jake Aquilina

Valentine’s Day by Jake Aquilina

another one comes another one goes another one with only one participant who’s to say that’s a bad feat? i’d rather be alone than be as two who never knew how apart they’ve grown so please, stop moaning yes, you are alone today there’s no […]

Fearless Firework by Gabriel Lia

Fearless Firework by Gabriel Lia

Normality sleep!

Liquid love arise!

Roll on the carpet

sweet taste of text

unearthed scrolls breathing

eating, hungry hugs

for travel rides; what a stride

blazing chocolate, melting stars

basketball beer bubbling

Fearless Firework

blended

in flowers

floundering

bound, peaceful sound

mind, body, expect soul

and get Her.

 

This poem is one of the chosen entries for DESA’s Valentine’s Themed Poetry Competition.

The Changing of the Seasons by Michaela Demicoli

The Changing of the Seasons by Michaela Demicoli

That blooming May field had been a raging backdrop of pure colour mingling with existence, featuring layer upon layer of pigmented hyacinths and prettier peonies.   This grieving November field indeed sees grave stagnation which brims with tactless incongruity. An exodus of dampened hearts must […]

My Heart by Anonymous

My Heart by Anonymous

My Heart is expectant, but never gets what feels due what should be next.   My Heart is hopeful, and never wavers, till it gets bad, then it quavers.   When will it take for me to feel like it’s getting good and actually real. […]