Submissions are accepted on a regular basis, year-round.
Can include, short stories, essays, poetry and prose.
Must not exceed 3,000 words.
Must be written by a current ESA student, or alumni.
Submissions are accepted:

Thursday, 5 March 2015

The Sun Only Sets in The East

The midsummer sun lit the field to reveal blades of grass towering over others. The path of its fading rays raced to patches of grass exposing different shades of green. Despite their even nourishment, nature had intended for a spectrum of colours.
 A narrow trail led two familiar friends into the field. To the west of the boy, some distance away, was a railroad. The railroad was separated by a tall fence which enclosed secrets in the field remaining from the times they had met here in the past. The silence of the grounds with the exception of a train passing made it ideal for confidential matters. Rarely, they would share the fields with a dog walker chasing his dog. However, they were no threat to the two  because they minded about their own business. 
The girl gazed at the military of hydro poles planted in the fields.
 “ They kind of look like people,” she said.
“ You’ve always been the artist, I don’t really see it,” he said. 
“ Don’t you think they’re sculpture-looking? I mean, if you look at their outline and block out the shapes inside,” she said.
“ I guess I can see it,” he said. 
“ What if they began marching towards us and-“
“ That’s impossible Sky, they were built with specific structures and shapes, ” 
“ I know, it would be cool though,” said Skylar. 
They steered away from a puddle of mud which formed in the morning rainfall. 
“ Okay. Then how about this Miles…How about jumping from your shadow, do you think that’s possible?” asked Skylar.
“ Impossible,” said Miles.
“ When the sun goes down,” insisted Sky.
“ That doesn’t count,” said Miles. 
Crestfallen, Skylar looked down at her muddy sneakers. Miles was at a loss for words as he didn’t know the reason for their meeting.  As much as the silence of the fields was comforting for secrets, when neither of them uttered a word, the space felt empty. 
Finally, Miles broke the silence.
“  Can we stop talking about jumping shadows and marching hydro poles and talk about what’s on your mind?” he said.
“ Well… I wanted to talk to you about Will,” she said. 
“ He’s your boyfriend…” he said.
“ I mean, not about Will . About me dating Will, us not hanging out as much… Does it bother you that I’m dating someone?” she asked. 
“ Of course not, I’m happy for you. Besides, I’ve been hanging out with Logan from my cycling club,” he said. 
“ Ok, its just cause Jenny was telling me that I should bring it up with you because you might be jealous,” she explained. 
“ Jealous? Don’t flatter yourself,” Miles replied promptly. 
“ I was just asking. I mean it’s perfectly normal, we’ve been friends since the first day of Kindergarden. In most of those cases, one of the friends ends up developing feelings for the other,” she said.
“ Sky, I don’t like you that way,” said Miles.
“ It’s okay if you do-or have-I have at times in the past,” said Skylar.
“ Really?” gasped Miles.
It was often hard to tell if Skylar was blushing or it was the complexion of her rosy cheeks but this time it was clear that it was provoked. 
“ Whoa. I can’t believe I just told you that. It’s always been impossible for me to say.”
Skylar could not associate the expression on Miles face with the ones she knew. It was as if she had learned to read the cursive of his expressions and suddenly, the letters shuffled into words she could not make out. She believed she had destroyed their precious friendship forever. 
“ It’s okay, I don’t like you now- I mean I can’t like you now… I’m dating Will and I like him,” she tried to convince herself. 
“That’s great,  I’m really happy for you,” he said confidently.
“ Why do you have to be so weird about these things. Theres nothing wrong with liking me,” she said.
“ Sky, I told you. Plain and simple, I don’t like you,” he said in hopes of her giving up.
“ Then why are you acting weird about me dating Will. How could you be so smart but so immature?” she asked.
“ You’re making this something it’s not Sky...” he said.
It began to sink in that Miles may be telling the truth. Perhaps the idea of mutual feelings had been nothing but a fabrication of her wishful thinking. 
“ I guess I was the only one,” she muttered.
Miles looked at her apologetically. “I think.. I think that I would like you Sky if-“ he said.
“ You don’t have to apologize about not liking me. You’re making this more embarrassing than it already is,” she interrupted.
“ I really wish I could explain it to you, but I don’t think I can,”he said.
Suddenly, the roles had been reversed.  It was as if Miles had brought Skylar into the fields with an important revelation instead of her.  
“ Those things are usually black and white, Miles. You either like someone or you don’t. Pitying me will just make this more painful… Can we just talk about something else?”Skylar pleaded.
Miles was insistent on explaining himself.
“ Sky, the reason I cant like you is that-“
Suddenly, the roaring sound of a train passing by muted their words for what felt like the longest minute. The train, however created an excuse for them to take a break from the subject. 
When the thunder of the train was distant, Miles observed the hydro poles. 
“ If you look at them for long enough, they do start to look like people,” he said.
“ I told you,” she said.
“ Except for their interior shapes aren’t full… you can see right through them,” he said.
“ You always come around,” she said.
“ Well do you think that maybe they’ll hear us and tell the neighbours through the lines?” he asked worriedly. 
“ You sound like me. No, don’t be silly,” she said reassuringly.
Miles looked towards the cloud of dust that the train left behind in its tracks.
“ Hey, do you remember that DNA lab we had to do in chemistry a couple of months ago? They asked us whether we could see the double strand when really, it’s impossible to see, even scientists with super high tech lab equipment have never been able to see it. Anyways, they asked it as this kind of trick question, like as practice for university just to see if we’d have the honesty to submit the results we really observed… and we both thought that maybe we could see the double strand if we changed the enzymes, temperature, you know, different variables…” Miles rambled. 
“ Miles, I honestly don’t have time for this. I’m meeting with Will to go to the party at 8:00, I really don’t have all day,” she said.
“Sky, this is important,” said Miles.
“ Then why are you talking about a DNA lab we did months ago? We’ve been in this field for nearly an hour and you haven’t said anything,” she said.
“ Its impossible,” he said flatly. 
“ What?”
“ Just like jumping your shadow or marching hydro poles…” he continued.
Skylar looked perplexed, more so than she had during this entire conversation. 
“Wait. But how about Logan, you’ve been hanging out with her. I thought you might like her.” 
“ I do like him,” he said.
A sigh of relief echoed through the fields. For the first time, the silence between them felt comfortable. The release of his secret felt as if the wind was trapped by a net on a windy day and that its woven strings had finally been untied.

The open field allowed the sky to be seen in its entirety. In the horizon lay a palette of colors projected by the sun setting. They both looked down at their shadows which were now slightly angled because quite some time had passed. 
“ We may be unable to jump shadows. But Miles, do you think the sun would ever set in the east?” asked Skylar.
“ I’m sorry to disappoint you again Sky, but that is impossible.”

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