August 2016 Issue Rust


Memento Mori – Sophie Yu (age 17; New Zealand)
The Trophy Has Rusted – Maddy Horton (age 10; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Rust – Harry Knight (age 11; Christchurch, New Zealand)
the night – Lottie Heywood (age 12; Christchurch, New Zealand)
I’ll Be Watching You – Jana Heise (age 11; Lamu, Kenya)
Rusty – Maya Wylie (age 08; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Rust – Daisy Aaron (age 09; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Ant – Maia Cardew (age 10; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States)
Summer Freckles – Kristine Brown (age 25; United States)
Piano – Monica Koster (age 14; Christchurch, New Zealand)
The Rust Maker – Hugh Ryan (age 09; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Rust – Xanthe McElroy (age 09; Christchurch, New Zealand)
Rust – Millie Murray (age 04; Mount Maunganui, New Zealand)
Rust flower – Amelien Fox (age 10; Christchurch, New Zealand)
A Night in Madrid – Ellarose Riddle (age 14; Maryland, United States)
The Ladder – Jana Heise (age 11; Lamu, Kenya)
Sunflowers – Sophie Yu (age 17; New Zealand)
To a Broken Sky – Russell Boey (age 15; Christchurch, New Zealand)
He Digs with a Suit – E Wen Wong (age 13; Christchurch, New Zealand)

Memento Mori – Sophie Yu

01 - Sophie Yu - Memento Mori

Sophie Yu is seventeen years old. She lives in New Zealand.

The Trophy Has Rusted – Maddy Horton

Squeak said the mouse
Squeak said the cheese
the trophy has rusted
the moon has turned blue!
Use fire said the mouse
Use water said the cheese
the trophy has rusted
the dog said meow!
Wash the rust said the mouse
colour the moon green said the cheese
the trophy has rusted
a statue came to life!
So they talked and they whispered,
and they shouted and they yelled.
The trophy has rusted
and we know what to do!
So they all took the trophy
and said the secret words,
and the trophy became silver
shining red and gold.
Now the trophy stands
proud and tall
Squeak said the mouse
Squeak said the cheese.

Maddy Horton is ten years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Rust – Harry Knight

My old house was as neglected
as a wheel barrow outside in the rain
the colour of burnt toast
like a bronze Olympic medal
smelted like old golden syrup
rusty, rickety crumbly bricks

Harry Knight is eleven years old. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.

the night – Lottie Heywood

the vivid outline of the fascinating moon
strengthens the hope around me
the misty night sends some thoughts
shuddering down my spine
the wall between reality and dreams
never opening
the black cat creeps on the rusty board
the light of this magnificent moon
blinds me
as strong as it will ever be
the black cat creeps on the rusty board
the rusty surge comes whispering
the piercing water eddies and swirls
the black cat creeps on the rusty board

Lottie Heywood is twelve years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.

I’ll Be Watching You – Jana Heise

I'll Be Watching You

Jana Heise is eleven years old. She lives in Lamu, Kenya.

Rusty – Maya Wylie

Rust covers the window sill
Blocking the view of the whale.
The dog scratches at the door,
I open it.
The cold air brushes my hair
I see the whale stranded
His eye is rusty blood.
His back, hot and dry,
Burning in the sun.
I have a wish
On all stars falling
May the world of whales
Stay safe.

Maya Wylie is eight years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Rust – Daisy Aaron

Today is my 9th birthday!!! And I got… oh. A
screwdriver. I’ll leave it in the garage. To be old, to be
forgotten, to be nothing.
Today is my 10th birthday! My dad told me to look in
the garage for my present!!! I got a new bike and—oh. A
rusty screwdriver. I find some sandpaper. I scrape the
rust off and it falls like morning rain. Underneath, the
screwdriver is gold. Solid gold.

Daisy Aaron is nine years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Ant – Maia Cardew

My instincts tell me not to move,
But I find myself under hoof.
While tigers, grizzlies, and polar bears
Find their bodies sold at fairs,
I tumble forever on the ground,
My body spinning, ‘round and ‘round.
I’m just a silly, blank, old bug,
To humans unworthy of a rug.
Eventually, I’m ground to dust
My destiny to die in rust.

Maia Cardew is ten years old. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States.

Summer Freckles – Kristine Brown

Summer Freckles - Kristine Brown

Kristine Brown is twenty-five years old. She lives in the United States.

Piano – Monica Koster

rustic music
___glides from yellowed keys
crooked legs sway to the beat
____pedals clunk, burnt stardust sifted
___________over metallic shapes
paint peels, plastering
___the ground with shards of age
a legato lullaby drifts… a melodic trill,
___a few staccato riffs
my fingers fumble,
the piano is rusty,
and so am I

Monica Koster is fourteen years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Rust Maker – Hugh Ryan

A clear blue sea making grains of solid rust,
a gold for fools,
a sign of intelligence and age.
A wise rusty anchor,
a rusty pipe,
the skeleton of a sunken ship.

Hugh Ryan is nine years old. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Rust – Xanthe McElroy

like a painting
dancing upon the old metal car
complaining as the engine tried
to put itself to use
like the one that must decide
when something is too old
when something must be forgotten
the rust enjoys taking over
eating up the goodness
until it simply has destroyed
and taken all beauty

Xanthe McElroy is nine years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Rust – Millie Murray


Millie Murray is four years old. She lives in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand.

Rust flower – Amelien Fox

The land where the water flows in rusty shades of brown
the trees sing whispers to the once green leaves
the galloping horse’s shining brown back
glowing in the light of the sun
the forest of the copper winged birds
there falls the night sky where the stars don’t shine
the bodies of the fallen
the colour of the world is lost
rust grows over the remains
except for the red poppy that brings hope

Amelien Fox is ten years old. She lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.

A Night in Madrid – Performed by Ellarose Riddle

Ellarose Riddle is fourteen years old. She lives in Maryland, United States.

The Ladder – Jana Heise

——I am not of the hard scales and fire of dragons, nor the soft, tough armor of a fish.
——I am not of the shiny, hard metal of a flashy watch, nor the over polished chrome on a power boat, hardly used.
——I still feel myself dissolve and melt in the arms of the not-so-blue salty water that chips away all my defenses. My muscles unclench, spin out and stretch. And then they seem to disappear, and I feel like exhaling. I want to sink, deeper, deeper, deeper, then below the sand and rock and coral, dead just because we like the flavor of king prawns and caviar. I will become one with it all. I will be like the ladder on the raft. The one that turned red, and flaked over the holey wood planks and then finally gave out, falling into the water, slipping down, coming to settle in the mud.
——I am not iron. Steel? Nope. Just me. A human, capable of rusting, capable of recovering, capable of disappearing beneath the waves when the water finally distorts me to the point of failing. To the point where fingers can’t cling to the surface, where lungs can’t generate enough to float, where eyelids can’t open, where no amount of WD-40 will breathe movement back into my stiff joints.
——I will reach that point. And then exceed it.

Jana Heise is eleven years old. She lives in Lamu, Kenya.

Sunflowers – Sophie Yu

Sophie Yu - Rust [Photograph; Untitled]

Sophie Yu is seventeen years old. She lives in New Zealand.

To a Broken Sky – Russell Boey

There was deathliness in the air.
This was not so simple as the stench of rot, or the colour of blood. This was a deathliness of a darker kind, one which originated from absence rather than destruction, one spawned from a vast abyss that seemed to cover this land. Ashe sighed. This was air that would chill the blood, more than any cold of the Long Night.
He stepped forward, holding his lantern high. It felt remarkably clumsy, traversing the junk with only one hand. One false step would bury him in a rain of bronzed iron. He was not built for such terrain – this was a place meant for the lithe and the fearless, not for one scrawny and exhausted.
His lantern illuminated great heaps of rubbish all around him – metal pipes, astrolabes, telescopes – all cast away in hatred or frustration. The only thing that seemed relatively stable was a toppled statue of some saint, his crossed shield providing some sort of footing for Ashe’s feet. He made for it, clambering up until he reached its melted face. One jump took him over, skidding down with the clattering harmony of iron as his accompaniment.
She certainly would not fail to notice him now.
Having crossed over the initial barriers, Ashe took a moment to look around himself. This place was not at all pleasant – the miasma that hung over it seemed stronger now that he was within. But at least some kind of pathway existed, lined by the remnants of rusted solar systems. He threw a bronze Earth away from his feet into the piles around him, listening to it clatter in steady rhythm until it struck the ground.
“Knock, knock,” a voice breathed beside him.
Ashe whirled around, hand at the dagger that was never far from him. But he did not draw it as he saw the speaker.
Nothing about her had changed, it seemed, but her voice, now hoarser – she still wore her girlish innocence, so out of place against her strangely sad eyes. “Finally decided to pay me a visit, Ashe? I’ve been brilliant, thanks. So why are you here?”
Ashe watched his old friend sadly. Perhaps something of her had changed after all. “You were not always so direct, Raina.”
“Well, I appear to have tired of you already,” she retorted. “Why are you here?”
Ashe sighed. No point in arguing with her – he had never won any of those before. “I thought you ought to hear something.”
“Did you? Out with it, then.”
“Must we remain on such bad terms—”
“Really?” she interrupted. “After all this time, you want to try to befriend me again?”
“No. But I would prefer not to tell this to a girl who hates me.”
“Just get on with it,” she hissed, and he would not argue with that voice.
“Ari’s dead.” The words fell out of his mouth with strange simplicity – her voice had surpassed all the emotions that came with saying them.
For a moment Raina stared at him blankly. He did not break the gaze.
Finally, she shook her head. “Damned fool,” she said, but her voice did not contain any vehemence. “He and you both. Idiots. Goodbye, Ashe.”
She turned, and he did not bother to call for her. She would not even pretend to act as if she cared.
He sighed again, and turned away, but for a moment his dead friend’s words played once more in his ear. My sister is not as strong as she seems.
He paused, looking back, and then up towards the heavens. The stars were out for now, taunting as ever. But all seemed safe.
“You will torment me even in death,” he muttered, and followed Raina’s trail.
For all the torment you caused me in life, he seemed to reply, laughing.
She seemed to notice him at some point, turning. “I don’t need comfort from you, Ashe!” she yelled across the plain.
Stubborn girl. He ignored her, following after her swift silhouette. Where had that girl who had run along the shores with him gone?
He supposed that no one had remained, really, after the Long Night.
A few more steps, and she had disappeared from sight. Still he stepped forward – she was no ghost, and she could not simply vanish.
His lantern was guttering. Too late to turn back now, whatever else.
But his search proved fruitless – only the dirt greeted him every step of the way. The lantern turned black.
Finally, a little fear set in. If he had only one flaw, he decided, that would have been it. Fear found its way to him far too late for it to be of any use.
Still he walked, until his legs ached and he had to sit. He had failed Ari in all else – he would ——-not fail him in this. Even if it was only for the sake of a forgotten friendship.
He could not deny that he missed their days of running in the sand.
A small smile crossed his face. The three of them had made good children together. Yet one of them lay forgotten in the dust, and Ashe seemed soon to join him. There would be no more light – morning was as far away as it had ever been, despite his best efforts. Raina was right – he was a fool, more so for bringing another into his foolery.
“God, you really are persistent.”
Ashe jumped again, but still treasured the little relief in his heart. How the girl could see him in this darkness was a mystery, but one that he did not need an answer to.
“I won’t have you and my brother both dead. Come on.” Her voice was frigid as it had ever been, but at least there was no underlying fury now. Perhaps grief had driven it away.
She was moving again, but loudly enough for him to hear. He hastened to his feet.
“How can you stand it here?” he called out, as much for her location as the answer. “It is so—”
“Deathly, I know. You get used to it. Do you know why?”
“It is empty,” he replied with little thought.
“But why is that?” At his silence, she continued. “It is failure, Ashe.” He heard her stop, and could imagine her face – tragic, in that way it had been when he had first met her. “The legacy of man lies dead here.”
They walked on in silence for a while longer, until at last a flickering light came into view. Ashe marvelled as he drew closer – it was electric, no doubt. It had been years since he had seen anything of the like.
“You’ve done well for yourself,” he commented. “Surviving here for three years.”
“Well, we both know that I can handle myself. And there are a few treasures here. More than anywhere else on this half, I think.”
As she ducked beneath the bulb, her hair was the brilliant red that it had been when they were children, and the sun had still shone. He could not stem the stream of memories that that sheen brought back, but only one among the torrent appeared in all vividness – a smaller girl, then, carried in the arms of her bloodied brother.
Her abode was similar to the rest of this place, albeit a little more structured. The walls were even, but no roof existed – though it was not as if one was needed anymore. She sat down, leaning against the old metal with a quiet sigh. “Why did you do it, Ashe, really?”
“What?” He stood uncertainly, fidgeting under her gaze.
“Come on. You’re not an idiot. When the world gets ripped in half, you begin to realise that there’s nothing much to do about it.”
“There was.”
“Temporary, we all knew that, and ridiculously dangerous. You knew that someone would die.”
“But to give up on all hope—”
“The stars themselves tore the world in two!” she cried, with a passion that she had hidden for years. Even their parting had not been so violent, despite him ignoring all that she had implored. “If there is a god in heaven, Ashe, then you are trying to fight against him. When the Earth gets halved and refuses to spin, you begin to realise that some things are beyond man.”
“You were not always so cynical,” he said.
“The world was not always like this. Sit down.”
Cautiously, he did. “How did he die?” she asked, after a moment.
“Fell. Struck the burning rocks.” Ashe laughed sadly. “How else do our kind die?”
“Our kind?” Raina sounded as if she had failed to even smile for a long time when she laughed at his words. “Do you consider yourself something different to me?”
“Noble, first. And foolish. You are right. One does not fight against gravity.”
Raina nodded, as if such a thing had never been in question. But at the sadness in his voice, she spoke. “Hell, Ashe. If you weren’t so noble, I might’ve died as a child.”
“If I weren’t so noble, your brother would be alive now.”
She changed the subject. “So why do you carry that dagger? I’ve never seen you use it before, and I doubt it would help against the Earth’s molten core.”
“Your brother gave it to me. For luck. Because he wanted to keep me safe, repay me for what he thought he owed, or something. I see that now – no one ever believed in hope but me.”
Ashe bowed his head. He’d already shed tears for this death, well and long, but the grief did not stop. It was his doing, after all – his mistake.
“I hope you are wiser now,” Raina said. “Ashe, you ought to have listened to me. That was what hurt most of all, you know – after everything, you still thought that I did not have your best in mind.”
Ashe leaned his head against the wall. “I never doubted you had my best. Only that my best was not enough.”
“Nothing’s enough, Ashe,” she replied. “You’ve travelled far to get here. You must be tired.”
“Are you trying to be rid of me?”
“No. Go to sleep. There is no point in blaming you for this.”
“Then you forgive me?”
“No. But I’m not angry with you, not anymore. Just go to sleep.”
As he lay down, he realised that his eyes had been yearning to close ever since he had stepped within. And it was safe here. Far away from the broken edge of space, from the wild, unfathomable gravity that drew them day by day further from the sun, and from the memories of his dead friend.
In a moment the sun shone in the sky above him, and he squinted against its glare. Raina’s hair glowed red in the light, as she dashed down the beach and yelled out for her brother to join her in the waves. Ari smiled his cockish smile, pushing his windswept brown hair out of his eyes as he turned to Ashe.
“I appreciate this, you know,” he said.
Ashe smiled up at him. “You do what you can, don’t you?”
His eyes followed Raina’s wild path across the sea. Hard to believe that only a few days ago he and Ari had carried her limp form to a doctor – she seemed as well as any other child.
“I don’t want to go back home,” Ari said suddenly, watching her. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to help her next time.”
Ashe grinned a little and punched him on the shoulder. “Well, you know where to find me.”
Ari watched him severely. “Do you mean that?”
“Of course,” Ashe replied.
Ari turned around with a disbelieving shake of his head. “Perhaps the world has some hope after all.”
When he awoke, Raina stood with her back to him, head bowed low.
The ground at her feet was wet, and Ashe made no comment on it as he rolled up. He was fairly sure of what he would see, but it still jarred him to see his friend’s corpse. The fall had distorted his face terribly, so that only a sliver of his brown hair still existed, and all else was unrecognisable. But Raina’s tears were confirmation enough.
“I was waiting for you,” she said, as she hefted something from the ground. He did not bother asking how she had got all this so fast – she had her own ways, now, ways far beyond him.
It was the shield, he realised, which he had clambered on earlier. The cross emblazoned on it was red with rust.
She thrust it hard into the ground above Ari’s head, her hands shaking as she released it.
“Do you have a shovel?” Ashe asked.
“Don’t need one,” she muttered. “It does not do, for him to be like this.”
So saying, she withdrew a flask of oil. This scrapyard truly seemed to hold everything. Pouring it over the corpse quietly, she turned her forlorn gaze to Ashe. “Don’t you dare go back,” she said. “I hated my parents, but then you know that well. In all my life I cared only for my brother and my dearest friend, and I won’t lose both of you.”
She raised her glass high, in some sort of mad toast. “To a broken sky and an endless night.”
Ashe looked at her blankly. “You know that I can’t agree with that.”
“Even now?” She wrapped her hand in cloth. “Don’t you see that there is no way to end them? Let it be, Ashe. We won’t be the ones to die.”
She grabbed the lightbulb, still hot.
“When your brother met me,” Ashe said, “he told me that the world still had some hope in it.”
Raina laughed. “Lot of good that did you two.” She hurled the bulb towards the corpse. It went alight in spectacular fashion as she came to stand by him.
“Raina, I—”
“Just watch,” she said.
And he did. The smoke filled the air, but he did not turn aside from the smell. Instead, he watched it rise, deep into the starry sky, far from the failed legacy of man.

Russell Boey is fifteen years old. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.

He Digs With a Suit – E Wen Wong

He digs with a rusting spade
its face coated in cinnamon,
playing its card
as the cosmic tree of life.
He digs out a crimson heart
speckled with beads of sand,
playing its card
as hope, warmth and light.
He digs out a shard
of raw, tinted glass,
Replacing a stolen diamond
A club will follow suit.

E Wen Wong is thirteen years old, and lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Fingers comma Toes Logo Final

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