Fiction - Page 3

The Story of the Potatoes and Fries

Lili Barta

In the past, potatoes used to be very different than they are now. These little creatures lived in Idaho, which is still famous for its potatoes. I’m saying “little creatures” because they were freely moving around in the wild with their little arms and legs. Eating potatoes was the habit of wealthy people, as it was hard to hunt them.

A very wealthy woman who lived in Idaho liked eating potatoes even more than others did. She could eat potatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she was thirsty she drank potato juice, and when she was craving something sweet she had some potato cake. One day she woke up and told her chef to make her some potatoes for breakfast. The chef told her that hunters couldn’t hunt any potatoes that morning because they ran away too fast. The woman got really mad and told her hunters to find every potato in the state and cut off its legs and arms. It took the hunters five days, but they came back with all the legs and arms of the potatoes. The woman asked her chef to fry the limbs. This new type of potato became her new favourite dish, and she called them fries. From that day all potatoes lived without limbs, so it was easy to get them, and the cut-off limbs became everyone’s favourite snack.

And this is why potatoes are just irregularly shaped roots now, and that is how fries were made.

Surprise Destination

Odett Tajti

The ship just arrived at the port of New York. Anna got off board and then had to walk to the parking area where her uncle was waiting for her. She felt so tired because she had never traveled by cruise ship before and the journey had lasted for two days and she couldn’t sleep well.

As she got closer to the parked cars she saw a middle-aged man waving at her. It was her uncle. He was standing next to his old-fashioned blue vehicle, and he had a big lovely smile on his face. After packing the suitcase in the back, they hit the road.

On the way to the home of her uncle, Anna shared her experiences of the cruise. She told everything. How she travelled by train to France with her mother and how she met those interesting strangers on the ship. The people who were full of stories and energy. The French model, the Russian engineer, and the good-mannered British singer. The meeting seemed unbelievable for her, because in her country she had never met so many different people her age.

After three hours of driving they finally got to the house. They spent the rest of the day talking. Anna was promised that tomorrow they would go back to New York.

When the girl got to bed she was exhausted, but she couldn’t fall asleep. She was thinking about the next day and hoping that she would meet somebody from the ship someday.

In the morning around ten o’clock she was looking out of the window of the blue car, which was heading towards the big city on a highway. Her aunt was talking to her about what Anna should definitely visit and see. Luckily Sára, Anna’s oldest cousin, came with them to accompany Anna in the city.

New York was the soul of the American Dream in the eye of every foreigner. The city had an extremly gripping athmosphere and energy, which charmed everyone who visited the megapolis. In the streets the people felt like they were part of something, something big and special.

Anna felt the same. She was amazed by the  noisy streets, the crowded roads, and the high, bright and  strange buildings, of which she had never even dreamed. The girls started their sightseeing on Times Square. Anna couldn’t even close her eyes because she wanted to see everything, every single detail. The big screens, the flashing signs on the buildings, and the people around her.

They spent some hours in the shops and department stores and then decided to see Central Park. The girls took a bus and went there.

The park was the complete opposite of the beating city. It meant calmness, safety, and silence for the people living in the center of New York. Anna saw playgrounds, where children were playing, big old trees, which gave a home to sweet squirrels and various kind of birds, and grassy fields covered with picnicking people.

The girls were standing on the walking path when Anna saw a familiar figure among the strangers. She couldn’t  believe her eyes, because the young man, who was sitting in front of them on a bench, seemed to be the English boy from the ship. Anna told her cousin to go up to him.

– Hi – said Anna nervously and waited until the man looked up at her.

At that moment she saw the familiar green eyes and the square face shape with the strong cheekbones.

He also recognised the girl and hugged her.

– Hi, I’m Matthew. Nice to meet you! – he introduced himself to Sára and shook her hand kindly.

The three started talking, and then Matthew said that he had to go, because he was going to perform with his band in a club nearby and they had to practice before. He invited the girls to the concert, and they accepted it.

Hours passed and it was time for the party at a jazz club, thirty minutes far from the Park. Anna and Sára waited excitedly in the back of the bar.

The club had a gracious interior, the walls were decorated with photos and posters, and place was lit with different coloured lamps, which gave it a futuristic but familiar vibe.

The concert started.

The musicians came up to the  stage. The drummer, the guitarist and Matthew , who was carrying a bass guitar with him. As they reached their places they immediately started playing. The audience got energized, they started jumping on the beat and screaming the songs at the top of their lungs.

The band played skillfully, all of them were talented and had great musical sense. The guitarist played quikckly and he made incredible jazzy (and rocky) inprovisations, which at some times sounded harsh and at other times soft. The drummer used varied beats and gave so much power to the band and his presence made the show and the music uncommon. And then there was the singer, Matthew. He didn’t have a flawless voice, but it was raspy and filled with power, sometines  even clean and soft, he kept it in balance.

While the band was playing, the people in front of the stage went through all kinds of emotions. The whole show felt like a dream, after which you only remember small things and the feeling that filled you up.

Too Many Days in France

Emese Kassai

I planned every single detail of the trip. Obviously, it still didn’t go the way I wanted.

I couldn’t sleep the night before the flight, I was extremely excited. Probably that was one of the reasons that I had to run as fast as I could, so I was able to catch my flight to Paris. The plane took off, and I, being relieved after my rush, could finally rest. I watched the clouds beside us turning from white and fluffy to the most gorgeous shades of orange, red and purple. I could see lights from the cities below us.

After the landing, I grabbed my bags and caught a bus that would take me to my hotel. I was basically stuck up against the window. Looking at the old, lighted up streets of Paris felt like I was dropped into another century. I got so caught up in the view that I almost missed my stop. My hotel was only a few blocks away from the bus stop, so after fifteen minutes, I was already in my room, checking if I had everything. I had only booked my room for two nights, which doesn’t seem like much, but it would have been just enough for me. Anyway, I ate my last sandwich for a very late dinner, then literally fell in the bed and didn’t get up, until my alarm went off.

The first day was the most exciting. In the morning I went to a little, old-fashioned bakery, where I had to try some traditional croissants and some other pastries, next to my usual morning coffee. After breakfast I went sightseeing. I strolled across old and new streets bathing in the sun, rambled in a park filled with the smell of roses and freshly cut grass, and took at least a hundred pictures just of the Eiffel tower. I felt like all my stress had disappeared. Then I got back to the hotel. They refused to give me food. That only gave me back all of my stress. I missed lunch and there was still one hour until dinner. Have I mentioned that I was starving at that point? Finally, after I begged for something to eat, one of the cooks offered me a cheese plate. I happily accepted.

18:05. That was the time, I had to leave to arrive at the concert on time. I decided to walk instead of taking the bus again. Thankfully, I didn’t get lost, and I got to the concert just in time.

I had the time of my life at the concert. I was screaming, singing and jumping. I took so many photos and videos that my phone storage has filled up. I laughed, and I felt like Paris was the best place ever. I was dog-tired by the time I got back to the hotel, and I still couldn’t sleep. I just kept grinning like some teenager who just got a message from their crush. For an hour. Then I fell asleep. Next day I felt like all the muscles in my body had been torn apart. And that was just the beginning.

I packed my bags and went to catch a bus to the airport. As I was about to check in, the loudspeaker spoke.

“Attention! Attention! We would like to inform our passengers that due to a technical problem all the flights from Paris to Budapest have been canceled for two days. For further information please go to the information counter. “

For a few minutes I didn’t understand. Then it hit me. That was my flight.

After my great discovery I was practically broken. I had no place to sleep and almost no more money to spend. I just wanted to lie down on the ground and cry. Sadly, that wouldn’t have helped, so I pulled myself together and went to find an information counter. A lady stood there with a big, fake smile. Great. According to her badge her name was Marie. With high hopes, I told her my problem and politely asked for advice. She told me that I could go back home on the next flight. Obviously, Marie couldn’t help me find a place to sleep. I wanted to cry again. I took a deep breath, grunted out a “Thank you” and walked away. I kept thinking about a solution. I could have slept at the airport of course, but for two days? They would have probably tossed me out. I didn’t have enough money to book a room for another two nights. I definitely didn’t want to sleep on the street and I didn’t know anyone who lived in Paris. I searched for a motel, or a youth hostel near the airport on my phone, but all of them were above my budget. I felt hopeless, so I started crying. Of course that did not help with my situation or with anything else at all. A few people stared at me. I really wanted to go home. After three minutes I decided to stop crying. After another three minutes I actually did stop crying. I was in Paris. I spoke French. Somehow I had to find a solution. I looked at my phone again. I searched: universities in Paris. I thought that there must be a uni nearby with dorms and maybe some of the college students could help me stay alive for two days. And I was right. I found a uni near the airport. It was time to socialize.

I still do not understand how, but my plan worked. It was late at night and I was sitting in a bed, chatting with a bunch of college students. We all were almost the same age, so we could easily find a common subject. I already told my mom about the plane, and how I solved the problem. She said she was proud of me, and I was pretty satisfied with myself too.

I spent the next day with my new roommates. It was Saturday, so they didn’t have to go to school and they insisted on showing me the city. I accepted my fate and let them take me from one place to another. I was laughing and walking all day long. At night I went to a party with my new friends, and it was almost as awesome as the concert.

They even came with me to the airport. We hugged goodbye, and they made me promise that I would tell them when I got home safe and sound, and that I would visit them someday.

The airplane landed. I was still smiling like a dumb teenager.

Running Late

Bernadett Sági

Rose started her day just as always. It was a Thursday morning, which meant she had to go to work. She was a financial manager for a quite large company, and she lived for her job, trying to do her best every day throughout the year. On that Thursday morning, looking at the clock, she realized  she was late. Getting ready in a hurry, Rose left her apartment with less than fifteen minutes to get to the building of her company. She rushed along the way between her flat and workplace while giving finishing touches to her hair. Stopping at the crosswalk in front of the company, she started panicking. She had already imagined her boss firing her, making all of her hard work meaningless. Staring at the red lights across the street she became more and more worried. Then she suddenly heard a loud crashing noise from behind and instantly turned her head towards the sound. Not very far from her Rose saw two  cars clearly bump into each other. Everything around them turned silent; people who were also in a hurry  stopped, and everybody was looking at the scene in front of them. They just stood there not knowing what to do with the situation. After a few seconds of shock, people slowly went about their business one by one, leaving the street. Rose looked around and saw that nobody seemed to help. She made a small step towards the cars because she really wanted to do something. But then she took a look at her watch and realized that she had nearly five minutes to get to work. The lights at her crosswalk turned green and she hesitated. She made a rapid decision and walked through the crossing all the way to her workplace, then stopped at the entrance. She took a glance back at the crashed cars and felt relieved as a man hurried to the vehicles, checking if anybody was hurt. He was holding a phone to his ears, probably calling the ambulance. Rose slowly turned again and opened the door. She stepped in, ready to start her day.

Walking the Line

Dorottya Turza

Our world is constantly changing. Some would say it is for the better, some think the complete opposite. Even with the bad things in our mind, we can’t deny that in many aspects our current society surpasses that of our predecessors. Living conditions are certainly better than before. We gained a bigger space to freely practice our rights, as well as many opportunities for workplaces and ways to engage ourselves in our free time. Considering the above, many would even say that parents have a much easier time raising their children. It sounds good in theory. However with our continuously altering society, the problems haven’t disappeared. They have simply changed as well.

My husband, Ben, and I met during our teenage years. We clicked pretty much instantly. In a blink of an eye we were already living together, and not long after that we got married. And a few years later we were expecting a baby. Her name is Emily. The moment she was born she became my whole world.

Surprisingly (considering our stubborn personalities) she turned out to be a precious angel growing up. Still had her temper tantrums as no doubt every baby does, but I like to believe that we handled them properly. I much preferred to talk things out rather than just plainly brush them aside. Maybe I was a bit soft-hearted at times, but I had Ben at my side on those occasions to help me navigate through them.

Emily’s bond with me was extremely strong. She used to tell me everything from mundane everyday things to more serious matters. She seemed to naturally gravitate towards me during those times and await some advice or even just an opinion. For a parent it is certainly a relief to know that your kid trusts and values your thoughts enough to approach you and consider them.

So it was all the more frustrating and at the same time crushing to know that something could alter this state of affairs.

The change was so sudden it felt like a slap to the face. One day she happily learned a new braiding style, and the next day she wanted to shave her head completely. I wasn’t against the idea, simply curious as to where this came from. However, when I asked her she went berserk. She started to yell at me that I can’t understand her and finally shut herself in her room. I was stunned. This kind of breakdown had never happened before. At that time it surprised me, but I simply blamed it on puberty..

I was entirely wrong.

These kind of situations became more and more common. We coudln’t even remain in the same room without one of us shouting. It got out of hand. Until ultimately she confronted us.

She told us that she didn’t feel like a girl and she felt like she was born in the wrong body. She said she was a boy and would like us to accept her. I like thinking that we received it well. As well as we could in that moment. The fact that your child isn’t comfortable in their skin is quite shocking. Especially at first. So what do you do in that situation after the temporarily freak out? We asked a lot of questions. I mean a LOT of questions. She (he?) answered all of them. After all of this, we reassured him that we will try our best to make him fell accepted and comfortable in our home.

The next weeks were really awkward, because we didn’t know how to behave around him. For a long time we slipped up a lot, but with more time we adjusted relatively well. He looked extremely happy, and it seemed that our problems were solved at last, or at least I hoped so.

Then it hit again…

One evening he came forward with a serious face and claimed that he was a non-binary individual with ADHD. This time we were a lot more skeptical. The rapid identity changing was bizarre to say the least. And compared to the previous conversation we were at a complete loss and couldn’t understand half of what he said. Apart from this we moved on, with difficulty.

Later at night I discussed the issue with Ben, but from his attitude it appeared he had kind of given up and taken it as a phase that would go away. Simply going with the wave didn’t soothe me, just made me feel even more lost.

Now the slowly built up routine fully crumbled, and the uncomfortable atmosphere appeared once more. We tried to get back some normality, yet the absence of communication did the complete opposite instead. Usually we avoided any topic involving gender or sexuality. As well as calling Emily/Emil by name, instead using pet names like darling, sugar, etc. This condition lasted till it was time for high school, when everything finally made sense.

They continued their education in another city, so we had to start packing to be ready on the day of departure. While I was focusing on organizing the different belongings I overheard some things. They were having a conversation probably with one of their friends, where they were speaking about a strange sounding thing. Something called Tiktok. Apparently they did a Tiktok test which told them they have personality disorder and extreme anxiety. These aren’t unheard-of things, but you can’t just toss them around lightly. So I downloaded the application and started researching.

It was certainly an experience. A really concerning one. This platform was stuffed with different kind of influencers. Unfortunately many of them could easily impact people and their way of thinking. Especially children who are still developing individuals. With a curious click they can easily find themselves on more mature platforms. After witnessing a huge amount of people doing the same thing, you feel a strong sense of pressure or need for belonging, so you simply follow their example. These are so-called trends. Trends are circulating through the app, causing people to make instant, thoughtless decisions. Some of them seem fairly harmless (like cutting your hair during the pandemia), but countless others could alter lives forever (like changing toddlers’ gender with different operations, because they don’t like to play with trucks or dolls).

I only needed a few hours to have enough of this. I approached her room, gathered my thoughts, and stepped inside. I told her that I knew about these trends and wanted to know how much of this was influencing her current identity. She flipped, and started to shout that it was completely natural to be a boy today, but a girl tomorrow. That there are certain things that can trigger this. We are the ones who were too conservative to even comprehend this.

From then on I don’t remember much. I felt so angry and disappointed, mostly in myself. I should have paid more attention to her and questioned these sudden shifts more. At the end I confiscated her phone and stormed out of the room.

After I calmed down, Ben and I had a discussion to try to figure out what to do from here. When we came to a solution, we called her in. We told her that we wouldn’t oppose her identity-searching journey, but that she shouldn’t expect us to support it either. If she wholeheartedly committed to it with different kinds of operations or hormones, then there would be no turning back. That she can’t just change gender for the sake of convenience. Also she can’t just self-diagnose serious conditions, even if at that moment one or two symptoms seem plausible, However, if she truly thinks a gender transition is best, then she can talk about it when she reaches adulthood.

Of course after we gave our opinion, our farewell was sour, but I felt much better. We did everything; now the only one who can decide where things will end is ultimately her.

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.

The Way to Civilization

Réka Haluska and Napsugár Molnár


My Getaway from Plorlour

Antonio Markspen

This little brochure is the short summary of my Best Seller (on Earth) called My Getaway from Plorlour.

I would like you to read this not for my own wealth and sake, but for my planet’s citizens. Let’s try to help them together.

Let me start by introducing our solar system:

Our planet has a very strange sun that only emits colorfully reflectable light once a month, on the 11th.

That day may be the time of your life, but do not let this fool you.


Firstly, I will tell you about the day only your richest Earth fellows are familiar with. Yes, this is the only day when you can travel to our planet.

It starts when our own “time square” in the captial city reaches zero. Different time zones’ colourful 24 hours start at different periods of the day.

Everything from that point on is seen colourful, just like the way you see things on Earth every day of your life.

Shops open, people paint buildings, themselves and even others with paint bombs. This tradition is called bovali. There are festivals everywhere, neon signs are lit and nightlife is blooming. Everyone has a day off of work; even the shops are automatic, as we have very advanced technology.

It is a tourist attraction for the Earth’s top-tier man.

You get fireworks, laughs and everything you want.

But reality hits when the colour day is off.


Let me show you the other side of the “story.” The one no one talks about and no one knows about.

Unlike the glorious color day you all know, the rest of the days are cold, bland, rigid and something no one would be eager to visit.

Every single day looks the same, you wake up, go to work, buy groceries, go home, eat, sleep and repeat. This boring cycle is mindrotting, but in the moment you feel like it is worth it for that one day. To spend money, go on programmes. But in reality, is it really worth it?

From my perspective, it is  not. But there, they fill your mind with propaganda, the type that makes you think that this is the greatest planet in the whole universe. A place where people have a reason to keep going. They tell you that on Earth, every day is colourless, which makes you unmotivated to get away from Plorlour.

Now to focus more on the colourless days, I will try to express how depressing all of it is. The atmosphere almost feels like a weight on your shoulder that you can not get off. Most people have mental problems and depression caused by the hopelessness. But how could they be happy? Nothing to do besides work, no entertainment, no funky stores open, no cafes, no clubs, no cinemas, nothing. Everything feels pointless.

I have a request and idea I would like your help with. I think we could make glasses/lenses which polarise our sun’s light in a way that everyone could see colour. Every. Day. This could give hope to my humans and could help maintain our planet.


Story and book: Sára Radó, Veronika Török, Matilda Ősz.

Streetview and cover art: Matilda Ősz.

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