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