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Monster in the lake after John Collier

Monster in the lake after John Collier

Monster in the lake after John Collier


As he shaved, Mr Beaseley examined his face in the mirror. ‘I’m getting older,’ he thought. ‘But what do I care? I don’t care, even if Maria does.’
He put on his tie and hurried downstairs. He didn’t want to be late for breakfast. Immediately after breakfast he had to open his drugstore, and that always kept him busy until ten o’clock at night. He never made much money, although he worked very hard. Sometimes, during the day, Maria Beaseley came into the shop and pointed out the mistakes that he was making. She did this even when there were customers there.
He found a little happiness every morning when he opened the newspaper. For a short time he could forget his boring life. On Fridays he enjoyed himself even more. On Fridays he got a copy of his favorite magazine, Nature Science Marvels. With Nature Science Marvels he escaped from his hopeless life into an exciting world.
This morning, exciting news came to Mr Beaseley in his own home. It came in a long envelope from a lawyer.
‘Believe it or not, my dear,’ Mr Beaseley said to his wife. ‘Someone has died and left me four hundred thousand dollars.’
‘Where? Let me see,’ cried Mrs Beaseley. ‘Give the letter to me!’
‘OK!’ he said. ‘Read it! Push your nose into it! Do you think it will help you?’
‘Oh! Oh!’ she cried. ‘The money has already made you uppish!’
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The Teacher by Catherine Lim

The Teacher by Catherine Lim

The Teacher by Catherine Lim


‘Look,’ said the teacher to the colleague who was sitting beside him in the staffroom. ‘Look at this composition written by a student in Secondary Four. She’s supposed to have had ten years of studying English, and see what she’s written! I’ll read it to you. The title of the composition is “My Happiest Day”.’
The teacher read, pausing at those parts which he wanted his colleague to take particular note of: ‘“My happiest day it is on that 12 July. I will tell you of that happiest day. My father wanted me to help him in his cakes stall to sell cakes and earn money. He say ‘I must leave school and stay home and help him. My younger brothers and sisters they are too young to work so they can go to school. My mother is too sick and weak as she just born a baby. ” Can anything be more atrocious than this? And she’s going to sit for her exams in three months’ time! And listen to this:
‘“I was very sad because I don’t like to sell cakes I like to learn in school. But I am scare, my father, he will beat me if I disobeyed him so I cannot say anything to him. He asks me to tell my principal of my school that I am not going to learn any more. I was scare my principal will ask me questions.
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The Elevator by William Sleator

The Elevator by William Sleator

The Elevator by William Sleator


It was an old building with an old elevator — a very small elevator, which could carry only three people. Martin, a thin twelve-year-old, felt nervous in it from the first day he and his father moved into the apartment. Of course he was always uncomfortable in elevators, afraid that they would fall, but there was something especially unpleasant about this one. It had a baleful atmosphere. Perhaps this was because of the poor lighting and the dirty brown walls. Perhaps it was because of the door, which never stayed open long enough, and slammed shut with a loud noise. Perhaps it was the way the elevator shuddered each time it left a floor, as if it was exhausted. Maybe it was simply too small. It seemed crowded even with only two people in it.
Coming home from school the day after they moved in, Martin tried the stairs. But they were almost as bad, windowless, shadowy, with several dark landings where the lights were not working. His footsteps echoed behind him on the cement, as though there was another person climbing, getting closer. By the time he reached the seventeenth floor, which seemed to take forever, he was out of breath.
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Concrete Island by J. Roger Baker

Concrete Island by J. Roger Baker

Concrete Island by J. Roger Baker


When he found the first one, Simon didn’t tell anybody. He hid it in the pocket of his dark grey overall suit and joined the other children who were playing in the sand-pit. That night, when his mother kissed him good night and went out, he examined his discovery.
It was most interesting: soft, but not squashy, a beautiful new color, and the scent was strange. He sniffed it again, it made him feel uneasy somewhere inside. It reminded him of something, but he couldn’t remember what.
The next day its color was darker, almost black. Later it got nasty and squashy and Simon threw it away and went to look for another.
He ran across the paved playing area and climbed down the vertical ladder to the lower level. This was forbidden territory for the children. The sun was hot.
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The Pedestrian by Ray Bradbury

The Pedestrian by Ray Bradbury

The Pedestrian by Ray Bradbury


Ray Bradbury (1920-June 5, 2012) was one of America’s best-known science fiction and fantasy writers. He has inspired generations of readers to dream, think and create. His most chilling stories comment on the human consequences of progress. ‘Science ran too far ahead of us too quickly,’ he once said, ‘and the people got lost in a mechanical wilderness.’ Bradbury believed that one purpose of science fiction ‘is to warn about negative things that might happen in the future if care is not taken in the present’.

It was a misty evening in November. Leonard Mead went out into the silent street, hands in pockets. He loved walking in silence. He would stand at an intersection and peer down long moonlit avenues in four directions, deciding which way to go. But it really made no difference; he was alone in this world of 2053 A.D., or almost alone.
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Luck by Mark Twain

Mark Twain

Mark Twain


I was at a dinner in London given in honor of one of the most celebrated English military men of his time. I do not want to tell you his real name and titles. I will just call him Lieutenant General Lord Arthur Scoresby.
I cannot describe my excitement when I saw this great and famous man. There he sat. The man himself, in person, all covered with medals. I could not take my eyes off him. He seemed to show the true mark of greatness. His fame had no effect on him.
The hundreds of eyes watching him, the worship of so many people did not seem to make any difference to him.
Next to me sat a clergyman, who was an old friend of mine. He was not always a clergyman. During the first half of his life, he was a teacher in the military school at Woolwich. There was a strange look in his eye as he turned to me and whispered, “Between you and me — he is a complete fool.” He meant, of course, the hero of our dinner.
This came as a shock to me. I looked hard at my friend. I could not have been more surprised if he had said the same thing about Napoleon, or Socrates, or Solomon.
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Pastoral after Nevil Shute

Nevil Shute

Nevil Shute

Gervase rang up Mr Ellison in the middle of the morning. She said, «This is Section Officer Robertson speaking from the aerodrome. Mr Ellison, you know everybody round here. Who lives in Kingslak House?»
«I don’t know, I could find out for you.”
«Could you? I want to know this morning, if I can.» She hesitated. «I tell you what it’s about. There’s a lake there with a lot of trout in it. Some of us were wondering if the owner of the house would let us go fishing there.»
«I get you,» he said. «Give you a ring back in half an hour.»
He telephoned later in the morning. «About those trout you want to fish,” he said. «You haven’t got a hope. Nobody’s allowed near them.»
«Who does the house belong to?”
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The boy next door by J. London

Jack London

Jack London


Sladen Morris is the boy next door. He has grown very tall now, and all the girls think he is wonderful. But I remember when he refused to comb his hair and wash his face.
Of course, he remembers me too whenever I appear in a new dress and special hair-do, he says, “Well, well, look at Betsy, she’s almost grown-up. But I remember her first party, when she was so excited that she dropped her ice-cream on her best dress, and she ran home crying.”
So when I say that Sladen Morris didn’t mean anything to me, I am quite serious. But I had known him so long that I felt I had to take care of him — just as I feel towards Jimmy, my little brother. That’s the only feeling I had — neighbourly friendship — when I tried to save Sladen from Merry Ann Milbum.
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The one who waits by Ray Bradbury

The one who waits by Ray Bradbury

The one who waits by Ray Bradbury


I live in a well. I live like smoke in the well. Like vapor in a stone throat. I don’t move. I don’t do anything but wait. Overhead I see the cold stars of night and morning, and I see the sun. And sometimes I sing old songs of this world when it was young. How can I tell you what I am when I don’t know? I cannot. I am simply waiting. I am mist and moonlight and memory. I am sad and I am old. Sometimes I fall like rain into the well. I wait in cool silence and there will be a day when I no longer wait.
Now it is morning. I hear a great thunder. I smell fire from a distance. I hear a metal crashing. I wait. I listen. Voices. Far away.
“All right!”
One voice. An alien voice. An alien tongue I cannot know. No word is familiar. I listen.
“Mars! So this is it!”
“Where’s the flag?”
“Here, sir.”
“Good, good.”
The sun is high in the blue sky and its golden rays fill the well and I hang like a flower pollen, invisible and misting in the warm light.
Voices.
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My First Date

My First Date
My First Date by L. Thomas
In the day, shaking and shining, I went up to London on the train and then by bus to the Albert Hall. There she was. Waiting for me! As though I took women out every night, I kissed her on the cheek.
Then things started to become difficult. She grumbled about sitting up in the highest seats, and complained all the way up the endless stairs. When she had gone with Cedric, she moaned, they had sat in the front stalls, just behind the conductor.
‘You don’t hear the music properly down there’, I argued with inspiration.
We sat down. It was like peering into the mouth of a volcano. ‘Up here the music floats to you.’
She kept muttering through the first half of the concert, and then horrified me in the interval by announcing that she really would like a drink. Dumbstruck, I mentally counted the money in my pocket.
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