"Áron Antal"

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Crossing the Line

Áron Antal

Today I got an F in math. This was the final one I needed to have to repeat this year. I knew what this meant. I just don’t want to go home. They would never understand. They say that I have to go to college, because that is the only way for me to have a decent life. Well guess what. I screwed up again. Can’t they understand that I hate school? I want to find a job and have a decent life that way. I always struggled with education, why can’t they understand, why the insistence?

These thoughts and many like them were screaming in my mind, in the same way that the math teacher was screaming in my face. I didn’t care. I just stared blankly at the green board as the class laughed at me. I had got used to it by now.

When I arrived home, I heard them arguing. Great, just what I need. The fact that I just failed math surely will lighten the mood.

–Oh hi there you dumb…

–Hi Dad. How was your day?

–Oh just fine! Even better after I got a letter from the principal. Would you be so kind as to tell me what you were thinking? Can’t you concentrate? How could we raise you this stupid? Where did we go wrong, huh?

–I’m sorry, it’s not your fault.

–It sure isn’t. Get out of my sight.

I rarely talked back, as I was lectured with shouting when I did. But now I couldn’t hold it back.

–You know what? I don’t think you understand me at all!

–What did you say?

–You don’t understand me! You don’t know me! And you judge me without knowing!

–I know you all right; you are a dumb, ignorant, untalented piece of human garbage, that is what you are! I would be glad if you weren’t a failure!

–Okay then, we will see about that.

I slammed my door.

At night I couldn’t sleep. I was thinking: how could I endure this torture, day by day? What really keeps me here? If I really wanted to, I could pursue my dreams. I am an adult now. Why should they tell me what to do? I don’t need them, and I don’t need anyone. I won’t be a failure any longer, I will stand up, even if it means I must leave everything behind.

It was 2 a.m. I started packing up. Put my better clothes in a duffle bag, shoved my laptop on top, and put all the money I had in one of its side pockets. I earned it when I worked at my friend’s dad’s place for the summer. They lived about six hundred kilometers away. They were my destination. I know they will take me in until I can sort things out. Daniel works with his dad at their farm. I hope they have a job.

It took me fifteen minutes to pack up. I went to the kitchen where my dad had his old Chevy’s key on the counter. I grabbed it, then I climbed out of my room’s window.

Technically the Chevy was mine, it was in my name, I paid the insurance, but he drove it, and didn’t let me behind the steering wheel since I got my license. I bought it, but he didn’t have a car, so you can guess the rest of the story.

The night was dark, cold and quiet. I could only hear some dogs barking and an ambulance siren in the distance.

The old Chevy hesitantly came to life, its headlights sparkling in the dark. The sound of its engine tore the silent fabric of the night as I slammed down the gas pedal and rode off into uncertainty. Except one thing was certain. Anything is better than this life.

I should have made this decision much sooner.

Letter from the Editor

Folyosó is now three years old. The class that inspired it has just graduated; the pandemic, which gave it its initial urgency, has subsided, at least for now. What is Folyosó for, and why does it continue? I usually answer that it means a lot to students at Varga and beyond; that it gives them a place to write for an actual readership; and that it provides a forum for a range of forms, themes, ideas, and turns of phrase.

All of this remains true, but there is more. First, it comes as a joyous surprise when students submit pieces on their own initiative: that is, not within the context of an assignment. Several prolific contributors, including Áron Antal and Lilla Kassai, have kept Folyosó richly inhabited over the past few years. Last autumn, Milán Galics submitted his poem “Season of Death,” which deserves many rereadings. This time, the independent submission comes from Zalán Nagykovácsi, whose poem “Silent Reflection” is featured at the top of the Spring 2023 issue. This introspective, meditative poem drew me in with its rhythm and sound, its mood, and its rhymes that lead into surprises of meaning.

Second, the journal is closely connected with our study of literature. Whether directly or indirectly, the writings draw on influences from Shakespeare to Faulkner. Literature in English language class need not be an afterthought or frill; it is through literature that students encounter the possibilities of language: fresh expression, wit, risks of form, and something that matters, something that must be said.

This year, one of my classes read and discussed Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “The Fish,” which begins, “I caught a tremendous fish” and ends “And I let the fish go.” We looked closely at the words, the detailed vocabulary, to figure out how the poem moves from the starting point to the end point. Toward the end of this discussion, we compared the poem with Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Archaic Torso of Apollo” (in the translation of Stephen Mitchell). The whole discussion went well; I was just starting to wrap things up when a student raised her hand. She had more to say. She pointed out that in Rilke’s poem, the speaker perceives the beauty of the torso right away, whereas in “The Fish,” the perception of beauty comes slowly, and eventually becomes so overwhelming and complete that when the speaker lets the fish go, it is with no regrets.

It is not only that kind of insight, but also that kind of urgency—having something to say even after class is technically over—that keeps Folyosó going. Even when these discussions do not end up in Folyosó, they are in the air, and something about them will wend its way here.

In his Nobel Banquet speech, delivered in 1950, William Faulkner speaks of “the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself,” which, according to him, are the only things worth writing about, the only things that can make good writing. Anything else lacks urgency, according to Faulkner; anything else skims the surface. My students in Class 12.C read and discussed this speech in one of our last lessons together. We spoke of “the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed – love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice.” The last concept, sacrifice, has particular meaning for students, since they know well that no matter what anyone says, it is impossible to have or do everything. At some point one thing must be given up for another. Our sacrifices shape us and take place even when we don’t see them. Even setting words on paper or the screen involves sacrifice, since one thing must be said instead of another.

Even so, worthy writing can do something other than contend with universal truths: for instance, it might play. Play itself could be a universal truth, but by it tosses such dictums in the air. Play can relax and stretch our formulas, our sense of what must be. Its fun needs no justification. Folyosó’s playfulness has brought cheer and liveliness to many a day.

The writings in Folyosó come from students trying out their style and ideas in a foreign language. For this very reason, they make for meaningful reading: here are young writers finding their way, sometimes to their own surprise. We are fortunate to have many talented contributors not only from the Varga Katalin Gimnázium, but also from the Lycée Sainte Pulchérie in Istanbul and (on one occasion) Columbia Secondary School in New York City; their writing has been featured in our international contests.

The next issue will come out in November 2023—with the results of our new international contest, the theme and rules of which will be announced in September. Until then, we wish you good reading. Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at diana.senechal at vargaszolnok dot hu.


Diana Senechal
Founder and Editor of Folyosó

Issue 4:1 (Spring 2023)

Welcome to the Spring 2023 issue of Folyosó, and happy third birthday to the journal! This issue—with cover art by Emese Kassai— features poetry, stories, monologues, and more. We welcome your readership!

The class that inspired Folyosó during the pandemic—this year’s Class 12.C—is now graduating; a number of pieces are by members of this class. Thank you, 12.C students, for your many contributions to Folyosó over the past few years.

Letter from the Editor


Reflections (fiction and nonfiction combined)


A Few Treasures from the Archives

Submit to the Autumn 2023 issue!

Cover art: Emese Kassai.

All of the contributors to this issue are students of the Varga Katalin Gimnázium in Szolnok, Hungary. In the archives selection, all contributors are from Varga except for Roza Kaplan and Fatma Irmak Tuncel (Lycée Sainte Pulchérie, Istanbul). The Autumn 2023 issue will once again feature our annual International Contest.

Goodbye Forever

Áron Antal

– Good morning, dear.

– Morning, Mom.

As soon as she closed my door again, I wanted to fall asleep, but I just couldn’t. Kept turning for ten minutes until I got tired of it, and left my room. The sunrays struck my eyes like a car’s highbeam on a dark night.

– I made breakfast for you – said mom.

She made the best bread with eggs, and tomato salad to top it off. Salty and dripping with vinegar.

– Would you mind turning on the radio, please? – asked my mom. – If you bought it at least use it once in a while.

I bought this old humongous radio at a garage sale down the street a week ago for half a dollar. It was a beauty, made from wood that was in good condition, and I had a bakelite plate player as well, long, middle, short and ultrashort reception with a ferret-antenna, and at dawn you could even get Japan on it, although with a lot of static. My mother hated it.

So I pushed the ON button, the radio sizzled, and the old speakers started to play a song from the 70s.

– Where is dad? – I asked.

– At work as usual – she replied. – He said that after you woke up, you have to help him. They are fixing a harvesting machine or something. So when you finish your breakfast, you have to go help him.

– Okay – I said, and continued to consume the delicious breakfast. Our dog was sleeping on the porch, turning from left to right, sometimes yawning. The birds were chirping in the garden, and the sun was rising higher form the horizon. It was quite peaceful, considering the fact that a war was raging in our “neighbor.”

The news came on the radio:

– Mortality rates are increasing while there seems to be a stalemate in the war….

My mom took a leap forward to the cord, and pulled it out.

– I hate when they speak about the war. Why can’t we live in peace after hundreds of years of wars? Humanity has had enough bloodshed already.

– I have to agree, but what can you do about it? Next year, if I graduate, I will buy Bill’s old BMW, and go travel for a bit in the summer.

– If you can earn the money, then you may. Although I will miss you – said my mom with a frown on her face. – I even miss you when you spend two days at Jack’s working.

– I should go now, or dad will rip my head off.

– Yeah, you should go. Be careful while fixing that harvesting machine, I have a bad feeling. You know maternal instincts!

– Yes I know, be assured, nothing will happen. Bye mom.

I walked out to the garage, where my motorbike was parked. At the moment I started the engine, our dog was standing next to me. She always got here so fast when someone was leaving, you would think she could teleport or something. She looked at me with a sad face.

– Okay girl, I won’t be away forever. When I get home, I have to fix Mr. White’s Honda, I will play with you while doing so, okay?

She was just staring at me, but I know that she could understand what I said, or maybe not understand but just feel from the tone of the speech that I had some good intentions for her.

I opened the gate of the garden, and went on the road. The traffic was minimal, as one would expect from a small agriculture town in the middle of a plane, or in the middle of the geographical location, where nothing happens. Life just flows like in a spring, never disturbed and uninterested in what happens.

As I was going on my way, enjoying the warm weather of May, in front of a house with a detailed fence stood a man in army uniform, around twenty, getting hugged by his mother, his father waiting in the car.

– Poor fella – I thought. He enlisted for what? To die out on the field “protecting his country.”

Soon I arrived at the ranch out of town, at our family ranch. Although the word “ranch” is quite demeaning, as our “ranch” had forty-five thousand tonnes of grain storage, eighty thousand liters of gasoline and thirty thousand liters of nitrosol artificial fertilizer storage capacity, so it was big to say the least. As I rolled in the main gate and went behind the mechanic hangar, my blood froze in my veins.

Two tanks were parked there and a military truck. My father seemed to be arguing with an officer.

I stopped at the gate of the hangar, and with rapid steps approached the vehicles.

I always had an amazement for huge and heavy machines, and was a great heavy machine operator, but now I was terrified by the sight of the tanks.

– Good morning – I said with a resonating voice.

– They want to take you away!’ – cried out my father. – They will take you away.

– What?

– Good morning Mr. Goodman – said the officer – your father is quite right. We have the order to enlist you and some of the workers of the facility, while placing it under military control.

Two soldiers approached me, took me by the hand, and led me towards the truck where George the tractor driver, John the mechanic and Nate the heavy machine operator were sitting with their heads hanging low. They were between the ages of 19-23. I couldn’t say a word as I stepped up onto the truck. I turned back when we were driving away, saw my father crying while he was waving goodbye, maybe forever, and heard him shouting something like: “How could this happen, why not me, your mother…” but I could barely even raise my hand to wave goodbye to him. I didn’t even know what I would have to do, whether I would be deployed almost after enlistment or stationed until the time came.

The sun shone on the back of my neck as the truck bumped on the road, and I was just thinking: I couldn’t even say a proper goodbye. Who will play with my dog, who will fix old Mr. White’s Honda, who will buy that old BMW and who will stop my mother from throwing out my radio? The answer is easy: no one, because I won’t be there.

Value What You Get

Áron Antal

I have been sitting here for more than two hours. Some modern music blasted in the background, people were talking to each other, some were sitting around me in the living room. I was staring into the abyss of the striped grayish white carpet on the floor, while holding a can of beer, my fourth or fifth along with countless shots, I couldn’t remember.My childhood was on my mind.

….oh my God, why don’t you leave that fool, you deserve better….

I was at my grandparents’ house. I remembered playing in the garden with my sister. I was frustrated because I hadn’t seen my dad for weeks.

All of a sudden my mind switched back and realized that staring at a carpet while people are talking around me is kind of rude, so I raised my gaze.

– How drunk are you? – asked Samantha. Her high-pitched voice was like a police siren screaming in your ear. I didn’t even know why I had been sitting around the girls. I wasn’t even remotely interested in any of them. I wasn’t even sure what on earth I was doing here or why I had come.

– Let me assure you that I am not  – I said, stood up, took a last glance at the grey carpet on the floor and walked towards the kitchen.

George was creating some sort of abomination out of whiskey, tequila and rum. I stared at it in disgust, but my stomach was made of steel. Greg’s wasn’t, because as soon as he drank up that fence ripper, he threw up. Loud cheering followed, and Greg received a pat on the shoulder from Mary, and an F for effort.

– Who will come to the next party on Friday? – asked Jack, half drunk, from among the crowd.

– Meee, Weee!- shouted everyone; everyone except me.

– Come on man, why not? Don’t tell me it’s a bad party!

– It’s not that, Jack. I have to work starting next week.

– Pfht! – he said and made a sluggish movement with his arm, denying the sentence I just told him, in the effort of which he knocked over a shot glass that shattered on the floor. He stared at the shards for twelve seconds, tried to walk over them, which resulted in him stepping into them, and held me by my shoulder.

– Your father can’t be so cruel as not to let you come.

– He wouldn’t be. I don’t want to come. I wouldn’t have the time and energy, and couldn’t be in proper shape for the next day.

– Then you are just a wuss! Ahhaha!

– Yeah, go to hell then!

He stood there laughing, still standing in the shotglass he knocked over as I walked out to the street and directed myself towards home, still holding that can of now piss-warm beer, drinking from it on my way.

The day arrived when I had to work during the summer break. My alarm clock rang at 6 a.m. I got up so rapidly from my bed in excitement that I left my blood pressure under the blanket, so I had to sit back down for a moment. My father was already up, and after half an hour of gathering, we sat in the pickup and drove out of town to the ranch. The morning attendance meeting started at 7.

I shook hands with all the workers who were there, and with all the others who came in late.

– One sugar and milk right? – asked Anita, the measurement facility’s operator.

–Yes, please – I answered.

By the time my well-awaited coffee was ready, the instructions were given out. I was tasked to prepare my tractor and wagon by 9 a.m., and then go out on the back gate, turn right, then turn left and go until I saw the harvesting machines. Today was the first day of harvest.

I drank my coffee like a shot of whiskey, and walked through the ranch to where my tractor and wagon were parked. I drove the Old Lady, the 1993 John Deere 7600, which had a 40 speed gearbox (20 forward, 20 backwards) that could be operated with two gear levers. It was an art to drive this beast. Last year I had a 2017 John Deere 7230R, with a 40 speed automatic, but I hated the on-board computer and the fact that everything was electronic. That’s why I asked specifically to work with the Old Lady.

I did what always had to be done: checked the oil and coolant level, the pneumatic and hydraulic hoses, the wagon attachment, and the connectors of the hydraulic cables and brake valves. I also brushed out the interior. When I looked at my watch, it was 8:56, so I was ready to start. I sat in the seat, pulled the steering wheel up against me, and turned the ignition key. The engine started after two seconds of cranking, shooting a cloud of soot up to its white cousins. After the air pressure reached 4.5 bar, I put the main gear lever in B, and pulled the second gear lever from Park to Neutral then into the fourth gear forward, and left the ranch.

It was midday, the June sun was scorching the surface of the earth, and by that time, there were no clouds to at least ease the heat.

I just had my lunch, which was pasta with cottage cheese and a hint of wheat stalk. I put it out on the hood of the tractor with the hope that it would heat it up, because I had picked it up from the fridge the second time I went back to the ranch with a full wagon. Unfortunately, as it was working in the sun, and I fell asleep because two tractor were ahead of me, one of the harvesting machines passed by, covering me and my lunch in dust and straw.

After an hour it was my turn finally, and after relieving three harvesting machines of eight tonnes of wheat each, I headed back.

This went on until 8:30 p.m., when after arriving with my final delivery, I could go home.

On my way home, I asked my dad to stop for a minute, because I wanted to have an ice cream to crown the day.

And to my suprise, Jack was there, with another guy and three girls, all of them dressed up in fancy clothes, and expensive ones at that. I was approaching them in a torn shirt covered in dust and sweat.

– Ay man, how’s work going? – he asked.

– Fine, I guess.

– You look like crap, maybe you should just quit – said Jack, and all of them giggled.

– Yeah, this is so lame, working all day. I can tell you I wouldn’t even talk to a guy who is not available for me the whole time – said one of the girls.

I took my ice cream, paid the guy, turned toward them, smiled, and said:

– All of you are worthless.

Jack hopped up at the instant I finished the sentence, and tried to hit me in the face. The outcome of this event was that I hit him in the nose as he changed his mind after I sent my arm toward his face before he could hit me.

I think it goes without a saying that after this incident I was never again invited to his parties, which I will not miss. I realized that with hard work, you can make a difference, which you can’t do by just wearing expensive clothes and drinking your mind away.

Beyond Perception

Áron Antal

I went to the bath at 7:40 pm. The warm water filled one third of the tub. I submerged my body in the warmth and washed my body. It was time to wash my hair. I applied shampoo, washed it down, but felt a warm sensation and an urge to remain submerged. The only thing I could hear was the changing of the rhythm of my heartbeat according to my breathing. Inhaling; heart beats faster. Exhaling; heart beats slower. My head was about at the middle of the tub, hands folded behind my head, my feet up on the wall. I was lying in that position as my head sank in the water that was just high enough to keep only my nose above it. Then I lost my perception of my body. It felt like I was in the womb of my mother. Then I lost my perception of time. It felt like a make-believe concept, and I existed in a realm of timelessness. I was aware of what was happening, but I couldn’t do anything. Then thoughts rushed through my mind, many nonsensical thoughts, disjoint and unintelligible. This happens every time before I fall asleep. Yet I didn’t fall asleep. I existed between two concepts; I wasn’t quite sleeping, but I wasn’t quite awake. Then I encountered myself.

– Hello! – I said with doubtful confidence.

– Hi there! – I replied.

– Are you my subconscious? – I asked.

– I am.

I noticed that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t think or even say a word in Hungarian, my native language, no matter how hard I tried. I have been learning English for twelve years, and had many dreams where I spoke it, but I never sensed that Hungarian could feel so remote from me.

I wanted to see if I was having some deep thought process, or if I was really “face to face” with my subconscious.

– Prove it! – I said. – Show me a memory that only I can know, a memory that is so important that my consciousness couldn’t recall it.

I saw my perspective when we moved to our newly built house in 2007, with me sitting in the kitchen gazing out the window. I was two years old at that time, and from around this age I only had two memories of our old house; all the memories I could recall were after the birth of my sister.

– Show me my desire!

I saw an image of a primary school classmate of mine, who I have been talking to on the bus for a month now only on Mondays, but I have came to the conclusion that I like her and probably she likes me too although we weren’t close before, and now we have had about six twenty- to thirty-minute conversations since our coming together. I couldn’t admit to myself that I liked her, but deep down I knew I did.

Then I saw an image of my grandpa’s motorcycle in the garage, a four-year project I couldn’t finish because of school and other activities of mine.

– Can I access my full brain capacity?

My subconscious stood in silence, or so I recall. This response could be interpreted in two ways: that my subconscious didn’t know the answer to this question, or that it refused to answer me.

Then I had some conversation with my subconscious, conversation that I cannot recall, but I felt that my subconscious was superior to me.

I have since then come to the logical conclusion that I was talking to myself in a matter that one would talk to themself if they had a perfect copy standing right in front of them. I “stood” in silence.

I noticed a strong sensation in my body, as if my blood were flowing through my veins and arteries like a rushing river. It felt good. I had zero perception of the outside world, and my body felt alien. I felt that I could perceive my surroundings from a higher position relative to the theoretical position of my physical body. I felt that I was floating above me.

– Can my soul leave my body? – I asked my subconscious.

– No, not yet.

I could feel my soul “reemerge” with my body. Now the only thing I could feel was a strong sensation right in the middle of my forehead, in a spot that was approximately equidistant from my eyes, forming a triangle.

I was in a realm where the absence of thoughts enabled thoughts to be formed. It was thinking without thoughts. The only conversation I can remember was some existential questions I proposed to my subconscious, questions that I cannot recall. It was comfortable. The whole experience was. I heard heavy footsteps approaching, but that was the only thing I perceived from the outside world. Then as the footsteps became louder and louder, I could feel my heartbeat again, the rushing rivers in my veins were reduced to mere springs, and the sensation on my forehead was gone, my subconscious faded away as, triggered by an external stimulus, my consciousness began taking control over my body.

My father grabbed my shoulders and asked:

– Are you alright? It’s been 40 minutes since you entered the tub!

– I am alright, I guess.

I told my parents what I had experienced, and they could barely believe it. Still as I’m writing down these words two hours after this self induced ultra-meditative state I was in for about thirty minutes, I can barely explain and comprehend what went on in my mind. I have never felt so mentally relaxed and calmed before, and I can still barely believe what had just happened and understand how it happened.

I have always had a special way of thinking, perceiving, experiencing and recollecting, but this event was beyond anything that happened to me. It was bizarre, but felt calming.

Old Acquaintance

Áron Antal

– So going back to the previous proof, we can define the sum of the resistances in an alternating current system as the sum of the…

The bell interrupted the physics teacher at the end of the ninth period. He finished his sentence, said something about the importance of these circuits and told us the homework. I didn’t listen to it. I couldn’t. My mind was cut off at the moment the bell rang, and now it was on its way home. My body wasn’t. Some part of me knew that no matter how bad this day was, it couldn’t make its escape yet from the school, that it had to remain in the uncomfortable cold chair in the first row of the physics lecture hall. But as soon as my eyes noticed that the teacher was leaving the classroom, my body hesitated no more, and made its way through the long and dark tall hallways illuminated by a few pale light bulbs.

As I gazed out the majestic windows of the school, the darkness outside made the windows function more like mirrors. I saw that my eyes looked tired and my visage looked terribly beaten up, despite the fact that I had pumped myself full of coffee. Just like yesterday. Or the day before yesterday. I hadn’t had a good night’s sleep in six days. Don’t know why. Sometimes it just happens.

At this moment my mind realized that while it was executing this thought process, I was far away from school, out on the cold damp streets, on my way to the bus station. Not many people were out walking at this time of hour under these weather conditions. Not like cars. So many. Flooding the streets, flooding my head with noise and light. Nowadays everyone has a car. Why can’t people compromise? Why can’t they join each other in the pursuit of a destination? All these people sitting alone in these metal boxes as if a cruel god-like child were playing at home with toy cars while his parents were at work, easing his loneliness with the idea that all car drivers must sit alone in their metal boxes. Humans have become lonely beings.

By the time I finished this fever-dreamish thought process, I was already at the bus station, staring at the buzzing lights of the platform. Didn’t even notice it. I got on the bus; as I showed my pass to the driver, I looked ahead to search for a pair of seats where no human was sitting. Most of the pairs were occupied by a single individual, except for some where seemingly couples sat staring into the abyss of their smartphones without any interaction and perception of the outside world or each other. So I sat down on an unoccupied pair, closer to the window on the driver’s side.

As hour-like minutes went by as the bus was waiting to leave the station, I was staring out of the window. My face seemed unfamiliar in its reflection. In that reflection, I saw a body standing behind me, and a voice shortly followed its appearance.

– Is this seat reserved for someone? May I take a seat? – said a soothing voice.

– Yes of course – I replied as I turned my head. – Katie?

– Yes, oh my goodness! Long time no see! – said my old classmate Katie from elementary school.

– Yeah. How have you been? How long has it been? Four years?

– Yes. I am fine, thank you! How are you?

– Not in my best shape, but thanks, I’m holding up just fine.

After catching up and properly concluding that four eventful years had gone by since we last saw each other, we started chatting about school, classmates, and then the topic drifted to deeper thoughts. In elementary school, we didn’t really talk to each other, didn’t hate each other or anything, it just happened to be that way. But now I felt  as if we had been best friends all along. Maybe we had just grown up.

The conversation went on and on, and I felt that the world beyond these two seats on this bus wandering in the darkness on a road between endless bare fields had ceased to exist.

– Are you on social media? – she asked.

– Only on Messenger. I don’t have any other social media platform. That is the bare minimum you have to have – I replied.

– It’s for the better, I suppose. I only have Messenger too. All the other platforms just soak you in, ripping you out of reality, right?

– I have to agree. I can’t imagine what people do all day on these platforms, while they could be doing something productive. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t consume any media, but most people have gone overboard. Can’t they feel how short their life is, that every moment spent staring at the screen of your phone looking at celebrities wishing you were that rich or beautiful and wishing for a better life takes your chance away from making your own better? That even the smallest things in life make a difference and they should appreciate the little time every human being is given.

– I couldn’t have said it better myself – Katie replied.

At that moment the bus was approaching the stop where Katie had to leave.

– I was glad that we could talk. It was a pleasure – I said.

– Yes, I hope I will see you around! Have a nice day! Even in this weather.

– You too, Katie!

I was now alone again, but I didn’t feel like it. Her memory was with me, which made my soul shine with happiness on the bus, while all the other people sat there “alone.”

Even these small things in life like an old acquaintance can make you feel better both about yourself and about the world: that you can always find like-minded persons on the busride of life, but only if you gaze in the right direction.

I don’t think I need to mention that I had a good night’s sleep after this day.

Issue 3:2 (Autumn 2022)

Welcome to the Autumn 2022 issue of Folyosó! This issue—with cover art by Emese Kassai— features a double-themed international contest, along with a range of poems, essays, and stories, serious and light. We welcome your readership!

Letter from the Editor

Third International Contest

This year’s international contest had two distinct themes: connections between the arts, and social criticism. We proudly announce the winners:

Connections Between the Arts

Social Criticism

Congratulations to all! Folyosó continues below with its regular and irregular features.




Stories of States and Travel

Submit to the Spring 2023 issue!

Cover art: Emese Kassai, A sárkányok kertje (Garden of the Dragons).

All of the contributors are students of the Varga Katalin Gimnázium in Szolnok, Hungary, except for the following six, who attend the Lycée Sainte Pulchérie in Istanbul: Selin Rana Özkarahan, Fatma Irmak Tuncel, Ezgi Yılmaztekin, Ela Kazandağ, Joshua Robles, and Kaya Tunçer.

The Silence Before the Storm

Áron Antal

I arrived at the construction site at 6 a.m. We (and by “we” I only mean Jack and Walt) were working on this mechanic station, where we were given the task to renew buildings with the crew. My uncle Jack said that he would appreciate my help because I had worked here before, and the crew was severely understaffed because most of them had got the flu.

—Today we will dig the ditch—said Jack before taking a huge bite out of his sandwich.

I just nodded and Walt lit a cigarette, as usual, while he started to walk towards the trencher.

As he walked, my uncle was staring at the old gas pipe peeking out of the wall of hangar 2, which was to be left alone, even though no equipment in the building will work with gas.

—What do you think, how deep does it run?— I asked Jack.

—Deep enough that we shouldn’t disturb it—he replied.

—Won’t there be any problems with it? Have you called the authorities about this?—I asked.

—Don’t worry about it. This is not some sort of puzzle or problem that you have to crack. This isn’t school. It will be fine. When we dug there you see, we didn’t see any sign of it, and then we dug deeper than we will now, this will turn out to be just a sewage pipe, for God’s sake.

When he replied, the trencher, although hesitantly, started up and began to approach us.

—We will be done with this by 11 a.m.—Jack said. We have to. See the clouds gathering? Hey Walt!

—What now!—said Walt with a freshly lit cigarette in his mouth.

—Start here, right at the edge of the building, and we will move towards the pit there, you see!

—Right—said Walt and enabled the stabilizer hydraulics on the trencher.

—Now go get the loader—said Walt to me. —We will put all the dirt we dig up in the grab bucket, and you will take it to the heap, okay?

—Okay—I said. I walked to the loader and climbed into it. The terrible smell of the smoke-soaked cabin invaded my nose. I started the engine and rolled next to the trencher. I put down the grab bucket next to the trencher, and got out of the cabin to see how the trencher was doing. The bucket bit into the ground, and took out a huge chunk of the ground. And from the ground, a pipe became visible.

—Stop the trencher you moron!—shouted my uncle to Walt.

—Why?—and while he was asking that, he pushed down the button of his lighter.

At that instance, a fireball started expanding from the open window of the trencher. It engulfed Walt, whose face just blankly stared at the end of his cigarette. The fireball continued to expand, like the Universe when it was born, in an astonishing yet devastating way. The screaming of the gas became quiet as the sound of the flames dominated the air.

—It wasn’t as deep as you thought it would be, Jack. It wasn’t nearly as deep as you thought it would be. If you would have just let me investigate a bit…— I thought to myself as I closed my eyes and put my arms in front of my head, thinking that it would protect me from the rapid gas explosion four meters away from me.

Issue 3:1 (Spring 2022—Second Anniversary Issue)

Welcome to the Spring 2022 issue of Folyosó! This second anniversary issue features pieces having to do with puzzles, pieces inspired by Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America, and two utopia/dystopia projects. We welcome your readership and comments!

Letter from the Editor

Puzzle Pieces

Puzzles come in myriad shapes, sizes, and forms. Some are created intentionally; others arise out of ordinary and extraordinary situations. The following pieces grapple with puzzles in some way.

A Tribute to Trout Fishing in America

Richard Brautigan’s novel (or collection of connected vignettes) Trout Fishing in America has a semantic peculiarity: the phrase “trout fishing in America” can function as an adjective, a character, an act, and more. Similarly, or not so similarly, the following pieces, written by students in Class 9.B, use the phrase in whatever way they please.

Utopias and Dystopias

What perfect or nightmarish world, based on an idea, can you imagine and describe? Here are two projects by five students in Class 12.C.

From the Archive: Scenes Based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream

In honor of this year’s Shakespeare Festival, which took place on April 22, we are republishing a Shakespeare-inspired section from Issue 1:3 (Winter 2020–2021).


Submit to the Autumn 2022 issue!

Cover art by Lilla Kassai.

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