Issue VIII March 2014

Cover image created by Milly Peng


Welcome to the first issue of The Scribbler 2014. I trust everyone has had a good summer break and that you have all been making grist for your contributions to this year’s installments. To our new members, please don’t feel shy; rather feel free to send in any thoughts and stories you have that you would like to share (or tips on how to properly use semicolons).

I have always known that New Zealanders are patriotic overseas, wearing black and busting out the haka. However over the holidays, I learned that perhaps we do not expect to bump into other kiwis, who are also closet patriots back home. It so happened that I was overheard explaining the meaning of JAFA to an Australian (hailing from Dunedin, can I plead city patriotism as a defense to my crime?). To my horror, an Auckland businessman overheard me. In Shibuya station. In Japan. Among millions of people. Like a handsome ghost he caught me out. And carried on walking. I was left in his stead, embarrassed and feeling very small. The power of words. They can be bullets turned on ourselves (why I am therefore repeating my embarrassment?).

So scribble on and send in your thoughts and stories.

- Ruth Madden


Summer, to me, is now distant fragments of memory, some have stayed; some have lost; and some have turned into words.

Fragment I.

I found myself inside an underground cathedral beneath a mossy forest, paddling a boat through dark water, while the cry of waterfall echoed between stone walls. Above me, myriad bioluminescent stars shimmered across a sky so near.

“These are the larvae of Arachnocampa luminosa,” I was told, “they glow to lure prey into their long silk threads. Like the real night sky, aren’t they? But in the case high population density, they may become cannibalistic.”

Star eating star.

A neutron star named IGR J18410-0535 came into mind. According to a National Geographic article, this dense, collapsed star was reported to have blasted super-flare after devouring matter emitted by its companion blue supergiant star.

And then I was astounded, by how mind could form connection between two such fundamentally different phenomena, just by metaphors.

Fragment II.

I was at the shore of Long Beach, where Ruth enshrines her childhood memories. The water glittered with celestial lights arrived from ancient times, and a golden moon conducted a song of tides. There, we, along with many fellow The Scribbler writers, were all adventurers. We discovered a cave between sand and sky, the kind one might expect to encounter a sleeping dragon dwelling within. Yet as we all swarmed inside like a group of young courageous dragon hunters, we only frightened a penguin.

Fragment III.

On one of the last days of the season of floating dandelion seeds, I sat in my glass house, looking through tiny pieces of environment fragments that I had collected in small bottles. They included a moulted insect exoskeleton, and different species of seeds with various designs, anemochorous, zoochorous or toxic. Everything in this world is so wondrous, I thought.

And with this thought I created your cover image.

Enjoy the essay, story and poems in this end-of-Summer issue of The Scribbler. We also look forward to your Autumn stories.

- Milly Peng


Table of Contents

Individualit├Ąt durch Zeit: “The political and the personal” – an essay by Ruth Madden
Discussing the relationship between youth and individuality in German literary works during the twentieth century. Ruth is a 2013 Austrian Literature Scholarship winner for her German studies.

Watch 9:54 P.M. – a short story by Isaac Yu
A romance started with a watch...

After Mopping The Fruit Shed Floor – Ella Borrie
Burning With Tired – Campbell Calverley
Pearls Of Hyde – Campbell Calverley
The Pastor – Giles Graham
Dandelions – Rory Herd
The Wizard’s Garden – Rory Herd

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