On Thursday 16 June, 14 artists will share stories of mortification, anxiety and discomfort at Fear View Mirror. Below you’ll find a preview from 5 of our performers – from ghosts, slugs, myki fines, to being a 13-year-old – the stuff of terror.
Pool Party: An Excerpt, by Olivia Lee
My first high school was made up of square-ish brick blocks put together. They’re an ugly 70’s yellow brick, with brown fittings that were painted over in yellow and then blue and then teal. Some of the walls look like they’re actually meant to be driveways; that pebbled concrete that really hurts on bare feet. The buildings are alphabetised starting in the middle of the alphabet. There’s a vineyard and a footy oval surrounded by big pine trees that drip sap and the saliva of young and loved up couples. There’s sheep and an agriculture teacher who drips sweat into the honey he stirs on introduction day.
We sat just inside the school boundaries, in front of the school hall, underneath a corridor and next to the year 10 girl’s pergola. We took up a lot of room because there were a lot of us. We’d all sort of clumped together in the uncertainty of being the lowest rung in the social pecking order; a coagulation of Lynx-smelling, musk perfume-wearing, loud, small and annoying 13 year olds. We laughed loudly, swore even louder. We wanted attention but as soon as we got it, we were petrified.
Olivia Lee is an emerging writer, has written for RMIT’s 2015 anthology, Others, and takes great pleasure in writing her bio in third person.
“Myki Please?” An excerpt from Choose My Adulthood by Lauren Hesp
I reach the station as the train pulls in and slap my Myki on the reader. The dreaded flat beeps – it’s in the negative. I don’t have time to top up so I hop on the train between bodies packed between layers of winter coats and hands full of iPhones. Endless apartment blocks and train tracks whiz by, I lose my footing as the train curves a bend. I get off at the station near uni, pushing past the throngs of people huddled on the platform. I can’t get through the turnstiles so I go up to man in a blue shirt with an orange tie that says Belgrave and Frankston and Craigieburn all over it.
“Erm, um, I didn’t touch on,” I tell him.
“No problem,” he smiles and lets me through. Legend! But they’re there to catch me. The dreaded Authorised Officer, wearing boots far too heavy for someone who scans Mykis and checks concession cards. He’s seen what just took place and rushes towards me before I can escape.
“Can I see your Myki please?” he asks, knowing full well that I didn’t touch off, or on. I look at him, weigh my options. Do I?
- •A) Tell an elaborate lie to get out of paying the fine?
- •B) Do a runner?
Lauren Hesp is a creative writing student who volunteers for children’s storytelling and reading programs with 100 Story Building and Ardoch Youth Foundation.
Two Writers Talk About Themselves to Each Other, with Alex Gerrans and Miles Campisi
Alex: Hi Miles.
Miles: Salutations, Alex.
Alex: Let’s talk about fear.
Alex: What are you afraid of? Start with the funny ones.
Miles: Well I’m like really afraid of thinking someone is flirting with me and then it turns out they’re not. Or even that they are my target audience but they’re still not interested.
Alex: Brutal. I can relate.
Miles: This is a gay fear. That sounds bad, I’d like to clarify. It’s an experience gay people go through more, thus making it a gay fear.
Alex: Shout out to the woman at the bike store. I love you. Can we see this fear in your writing?
Miles: Yes, totally. That is what my piece for our event is about. But in the 19th century. So more Austen-y and with the threat of jailtime.
Alex: I am legitimately terrified of slugs. Particularly leopard slugs.
Miles: When I see a slug, I don’t hang around long enough to distinguish the breed. What makes leopard slugs particularly bad?
Alex: They are really big. They eat your catfood. They leave slimetrails over everything you own. You never know when you’re gonna step on one with bare feet.
Miles: Yes, that’s horrible.
Alex: But I don’t write about slugs in my piece. I’m still processing.
Miles: Okay so what is your piece about then?
Miles: Please elaborate.
Alex: Being stuck, like a slug surrounded by salt.
Alex: Like being emotionally constipated.
Miles: So how is that about fear?
Alex: Fear is all in the mind. Even though it’s a bodily experience. I feel like you’re responsible for your own fears and how they affect you and your behaviour. Fear is a powerful motivator and inhibitor.
Miles: Yes I agree. If I could get over my fear of maybe-straight people I’d just go ahead and flirt with everyone.
Alex: But since you and I can’t get over our fears, come flirt with us, hypothetical audience, at Fear View Mirror. No slugs.
Alex Gerrans is a garbage person living on Garbage Island. She has written for broadcast and print, most recently with the short story ‘Birthday’ published in 9 Slices. Currently she is working on a zine about being a cowboy.
Miles Campisi is a Melbourne based writer and comedian. They have served as emcee at various literary events around Melbourne and currently intern at Alien She Zine. They were recently published in Others: An Anthology of Creative Writing.
The Elm, by Sarah Aileen Bull
Great warriors of an old tribe that the Humans neglected to kill, have long since been forgotten. The tribe once lived near the Elven forest and close to the Humans lands, but they were never seen by ant of them.
It was only until an Elf was exiled, for experimenting with magic and Humans, that the tribe find its way back into the light. Having crude forms of magic used on them all but sisters Natasha and Hayley, died. The sisters were fortunate to discover that their memories of the torture were gone, but disheartened at not being able to remember their family.
Several years after these horrific events, the Elf in question has since been killed and the memories of the life the sisters lost begins to resurface. What is left of the tribe still stands, but now it is worn and ramshackled: the only inhabitance are the ghosts of the dead who refuse to move on.
Sarah Aileen Bull is a student at RMIT and has spent the past three years learning about writing, editing, publishing, non-fiction and fiction. In 2014, she received an Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing from RMIT. The only thing she can say with certainty is that she can write.
Fear View Mirror is on 16 June, at 7.30pm, for free at 1000 £ Bend (Gallery).
Fear View Mirror is presented in partnership with RMIT.