Friday, 1 June 2012


by Peter Newman

I tire of them.

Generation after generation, all the same, always asking, never listening. Humanity fails to inspire.

Arms reach upwards, spindly spears, brown and pale, bruise-mottled, desperate.

“Help us!” they say.

Obligation weighs deathly on my shoulders. With great power comes great drudgery. Once an oracle now a shepherd, I show them the only paths left.

One mouth moves, shaping the panic of many. “We’re running out of time!”

Reflected in my eyes are the husks of stars, stillborn.

I could have made worlds with them, unfolded minds into dream sails, glittering.

The clock ticks, too late.

“Class dismissed.”

Author Bio: I write, I run, I work, I sometimes remember to smile.

Stories & Blog here:
Banter here: @runpetewrite


  1. Yep, my sentiments entirely. We are so tiresome a species & one that demands a lot of childcare for its adults...

    marc nash

  2. Oh Pete, you tricky old devil! Love it.

  3. This was good! Is it too late of mankind - such a sad thought. I loved this line "Reflected in my eyes are the husks of stars, stillborn."

  4. We really are a bunch of whiny children!
    "Once an oracle now a shepherd" - such a succint way to put it, love it

  5. I don't know why I read this in the Tim Curry Pennywise voice, but it's very amusing done that way.

  6. This was awfully deep for such a short piece. Oracle turned shepard? I thought maybe a god…

  7. Nice one. I sympathize with the Oracle/Shepherd's weariness and impatience!

  8. I like the twist at the end that recasts the way I viewed the story before. I like the way it leaves whether it's the teacher or the student who doesn't measure up unanswered. (And perhaps, I'm the only one who read it this way.)

  9. That phrase 'unfolded minds into dream sails, glittering' makes me ache with remembrance of infantile ignorance. The pity is it's a downward spiral. Well done.

  10. Y'know Peter, the scary thing is, there is so much truth in this. We are not the species we have the capability to be, nor do we aspire to be the species we have the capability to be.

    A short, but very powerful tale.

  11. Such punch in so few words Peter! I love the line: "Reflected in my eyes are the husks of stars, stillborn." Wonderful work!

  12. I absolutely love this piece, beautiful descriptions, evocative, with a dark turn at the end and deeper meanings. There's a reason I picked it to lead the charge and be the first contributor 101.

    Thanks, Peter.

    And thanks to everybody for reading and commenting, a great start. ^_^

  13. Nice one. I love the way you distilled the frustration found in too many classrooms.

  14. Not the teacher we want, but the teacher we deserve.

    And not the students they want, but the students they deserve.