Passengers

Saturday, December 24, 2016 - By: Aidan H, Ellis ‘17; Photo by Dan Norman

Each term tour students participate in a creative writing contest, named in honour of long-time Brentwood English teacher, yearbook editor and houseparent, Ms. Beth Meluish. Below is the dramatic monologue composed by the Grade 12 winner, Aidan H, Ellis ‘17.

Passengers

cue 4:38 of Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Op. 11

Passengers:

This is your captain speaking,

It grieves me to say,

That if you glance to your left,

Those dark, billowy clouds,

Deceive you. There is no thunderstorm

In the sky today. And the mechanical

Screech is as unnatural as it is worrisome.

Again I hear! The wretched clank and sputter

The loss of elevation, speed, and control,

As the dark fumes envelop the fuselage, please

Don the oxygen masks,

Buckle seatbelts,

And listen;

This purely mechanical failure,

Unforeseen by all, the likeliness is

Miniscule at best.

If only the danger was none,

Null and perfect,

But probability is an unchangeable danger

Weighed by all, yet judged by one.

Cursed by a malevolent tick of a gear,

Or loose bolt.

And as the black smoke taints the starboard side,

It is clear that optimism falls prey to the

Preconceived notion of disasters,

Such as this.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Miracles have been made

In the past,

And with the skills and training and

Hours upon hours of dedication, practice

Expertise bestowed upon me,

I beg you not to abandon hope.

As the cockpit is baptized in smoke,

You are reborn. Absolved through treacherous

Circumstance. And recognized immorality

Confessed. Like grit in white sand washed

Away by a twilight tide.

And in this final hour,

Little remains, but every second is saved,

And with this grey spirit sinking,

It is only a bringer of new things; good and pure.

For no deft maneuver will sanctify

Our desecrated turbines

Hope will undoubtedly

Hallow my hand in this trial by fire.

We, even in peril, are blessed

By this chance communion.

Revel in solemn contemplation

Of the gift bestowed to the selective

Few. But do not hesitate for an instant,

To acknowledge debts unpaid,

To reminisce upon decisions made,

To utter words prayed,                                  

And to appreciate the gracious gift of life.

I beg of thee,

Glance with me, towards the sunshine on white clouds

All that is right with the world;

Innocent and virtuous.

One last moment, do not acknowledge the peril,

Do not succumb to the fear,

But go into the unknown,

Pure and unblemished.

And do not blame the sum of your actions

To the effect of fate.

And if this wingèd beast do crash,

It will be my soul only,

 to bear the gash.

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