Niczym zalążki obiecujących powieści, wyłonione zostały dwa fragmenty konkursowe – wysokich lotów, z dużą dozą twórczości i zdecydowanie gwarantujące mix emocji: czasami uśmiech na twarzy, a czasami dreszcze na ciele.
VII edycja Creative Writing to dwie zwycięskie prace. Brawa i gratulacje (oraz nagrody) dla:
DOMINIKA KOZIMOR z klasy 2Gin
KAROLINY BAK z klasy 1me
Zwycięskie prace znajdziecie poniżej. W międzyczasie, zapraszam na kolejną edycję konkursu piśmienniczego w języku angielskim Creative Writing!
- Praca powinna być napisana w języku angielskim, samodzielnie w przedziale do max. 4500 – 5000 znaków w edytorze tekstu np. Word (2 strony A4)
- Termin wysyłania prac przez dziennik Librus (Joanna Seweryn) lub e-mail służbowy (firstname.lastname@example.org) to 31 stycznia 2021 (niedziela) 23:59
Tematy VIII Edycji:
1. Write a poem, story, or journal entry where the current pandemic situation influences the main character’s life greatly.
2. Write a story that begins with the sentence: “Every day is a fresh start. Is that so?”
DOMINIK KOZIMOR, 2GIN
Topic: Write a story from the perspective of a person in the year 2550
“By far, the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it.”
— Eliezer Yudkowsky
It was a vibrant morning in the city of Malton. Just as the first rays of the rising sun shone down on the sprawling skyscrapers, millions of people – all of them worried about their own businesses could be seen crawling between the metal giants that defined the landscape of the city. Vivid neon lights and advertisements strapped on almost every high-rise building couldn’t outshine the morning sun, although they still added a colourful vibe to the overlook from Winston’s tiny window. He woke up at 6:30 am, awakened by the annoying buzzer sound from the alarm clock pre-installed in his bionic hand. A swift rub on his right hand silenced the loud noise. You could tell by the weary look on his face – he got off on the wrong foot that day. Scratching his balding head, Winston reluctantly got up from the bed, stretched out a bit and let out a loud yawn. As he strolled through the tight corridor in the apartment, he sniffed a fresh scent of pancakes prepared by the automatic oven – just the pure thought of such delicacies made him almost drool.
The tenant entered the bathroom and looked upon the face in the mirror. The filthy, unshaven person stared in his own sea-blue eyes and wondered – how did he end up in this exact moment of life? It is advisable you hurry, or you might be late for the work, Winston – a synthesized voice originating from the implant echoed in his head. This was the type of morning that would make everyone wish that they wouldn’t have to attend their daily routines at all. So desired the man, trying to wash away the feeling of tiredness with water and soap. Little did he know, he would soon regret this dream with all of his heart. As he left the toilet in order to finally munch on the sweet pancake dinner, he was shocked by the sight of a police drone which apparently got into his apartment.
An unsettling voice message announced:
Winston Adams, you have been invited to the Malton Central Police Department in order to attend the law court by the judge because of an offense against the law, and thereby, your work contract has been terminated. We require your attendance today, 7 o’clock. Disobedience is punishable by force. There will be no further communication.
The automatic door to his apartment opened, and the security drone left silently
Winston, already stressed out by the circumstances of this morning, dressed up as quickly as he could. Too bad, the entrance to his apartment wouldn’t open automatically as usual – the doors jammed! Out of his mind, the man angrily hit the apartment door with all his might – they would have been torn off the hinges, had they not been reinforced with steel. A loud, metallic bang helped him to come to mind, and as the door opened he rushed downstairs, and left the flat immediately. Soon he blended in with the colourful crowd venturing the city of Malton.
As soon as he entered the grey, unwelcoming building of the police department everyone’s eyes fell on him. That stressed out the middle-aged man even more – do they know something he does not? Suddenly a bulky, armed-to-teeth security guard appeared out of nowhere and signalised with a quick shake of his hand that Winston was to follow him. For a few minutes they walked slowly, but it felt like an eternity for the already stressed man.
A set of automatic doors opened silently before them as they entered an enormous courtroom. At first glance there was already an unsettling aura in this place – most of the audience looked like they were past their forties, some of them wearing clean white lab coats. Among them Winston spotted a few of his friends and relatives. The attorney went against the rest of the people in the room – she was a young, energetic girl in her middle twenties, with a half shaven head and dyed green hair. Her rebellious look contrasted with the elegant toga on her, even more with the seriousness of the situation.
But where’s the judge… Why am I here, actually? – Winston thought to himself, strolling calmly towards the defendants’ bench.
Please rise. The Court of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Criminal Division, is now in session, the Honourable Judge Justitia presiding. – the security guard who led the man to this place announced.
Suddenly, a rumble was heard across the whole room – it’s almost like an earthquake was happening! A loud hum became clearer and clearer, seemingly coming from the front wall of the courtroom. Winston panicked, but everyone else in the room looked thoroughly undisturbed. The white front wall began moving, it waved in a strange pattern as the sound pulsated.
A feminine, strong, robotic albeit not monotone voice answered, clearly originating from behind the wall:
– Greetings, humans. As the Judge of today’s case, may I inquire, do I have to adhere to standard protocols, or am I allowed to keep it as simple as possible?
The scientists in the audience were clearly astonished. One of them stood up and waved a hand, signalising a positive answer. Winston tried to make any sense out of the current situation, but he couldn’t – can a machine rule on a human’s case?
– This is a mock of a trial!- the young woman objected vigorously – Robots judging men… Ridiculous.
– Overruled. I am unlike the “robots” you have known before, for I am not less sure of my sentience as you are. This is the first trial ruled out by an AI, and because of the historicity of this moment, I sanction the media to cover the case.
The charged clenched his fist. He felt really outraged at the situation.
-Winston Adams, age 38… Recently divorced, living alone. Do you confirm?
– Yes, your honour. – The divorcee spoke faintly, glancing at the wall in disbelief
– You are guilty of the charge of a pre-crime, a manslaughter.
The face of the accused looked shocked.
– But… I have killed no one in my life, your honour
– My client pleads innocent – the green-haired girl reassured
– Well, of course you have not. Not yet. However, my algorithms have deducted that you are most likely to commit a crime in a matter of days. We are going to arrest you in order to prevent such an event.
– What is the argumentation behind that, your honour – the attorney said these words with such an ironic tone, as if she ended that sentence with an “You electronic parody of a human being”
– First of all – the accused has already been sentenced of an assault before. It’s all in his papers.
The man began sweating nervously. It couldn’t be that ridiculous affair with his ex-wife, could it?
– Secondly, his current job dissatisfies him. He’s living alone, paycheck to paycheck. These are all contributing factors to crime, nowadays and historically.
– And why does that matter? – the man asked in an angry tone glancing nervously at his friends in the audience
– Calm down! – the girl urged Winston.
Ignoring him, the artificial judge continued – Not to mention his anger attacks, the most recent… Hitting the doors of his own apartment. We just want to prevent this unstable individual from doing more harm.
– How do you know that?! – he almost was screaming at this moment, red like a hot volcano
– I understand and know way more than you humans do. Irrelevant question.
He covered his face with his hands, both of them were shaking nervously. The woman, on the other hand, smirked, full of herself. She was about to lay her line of defence before the judge, proving humanity’s supremacy over the AI.
-Well, according to the paradigms of subjective probability, actually…
The girl continued to speak, charmingly explaining scientific concepts to Justitia. Winston’s fate was in her hands. He didn’t understand a single word she was saying at this very moment. Never has he felt so helpless and frustrated in his entire life.
-…and therefore, the percentages do not add or multiply themselves – they end up in an infinite loop. Your honour. – The defendant hoped that the AI’s program will get stuck in an infinite spiral of code, rendering the machine a piece of useless junk. It is so simple to break a computer by a logical paradox… She believed that electronic brains are more fragile than most people think.
– Impossible, my calculations are always correct. You are incorrect, for… Because… – the AI hesitated, unsure of what to say.
All of a sudden, the front wall of the courtroom has started to wave back and forth again, this time more violently. The contraptions hums and rumbles got louder and louder, with a violent cracking sound now and then. When fumes of black smoke entered the courtroom, a few members of the audience rushed to get closer to the wall, but as suddenly as it began, all noise and chaos stopped.
-As expected, these metallic pieces of crap never work the way they should – the girl commented, grinning cynically – Anyway Winston, you’re free to go I guess.
After all of this, being exposed to media, to his relatives and friends, losing his job and being labelled as a sick man… Winston covered his face with hands again, furious and helpless. He started laughing nervously. At this point, the poor man was done with this trial, the girl, and her effortless attitude when dealing with his life. He felt like he could snap at any moment now.
-Man, are you okay? You’re really a nutcase. – she laughed
Winston wasn’t laughing anymore, this was the last straw for him. The way she giggled infuriated him – the smug-faced girl was no better than the cynical machine she hated the most. He smashed the young girl’s skull with a furious blow, knocking her down.
Justitia didn’t have neither the body, nor the muscles to smile, had she had it she would have a grin all over her face. Faking her own death was something simple humans could not have predicted. – the AI thought to herself, as the culprit was laying on the floor next to his victim, with his hands behind his neck and the armed guard pointing a blaster at him. After all, she couldn’t have resolved her first case in a better way, promising a great future ahead. She really does understand and know more.
KAROLINA BAK, 1ME
Topic: Write a story that begins with words: “What’s behind the door? Why is it closed?”
What’s behind the door? Why is it closed? Does that gate at the end of an old, deserted corridor hide something that shouldn’t see the light of day? Or maybe someone just lost the key to it?
It is possible that this door standing here for ages conceals something that our minds may not comprehend. Perhaps it’s a kind of portal to a different world that we don’t understand at all. This gate may hide behind it a universe known to us only from the guesswork of fairy tales writers. What if this is a world where the dinosaurs weren’t even extinct? Maybe they live there among dragons and fairies, leading a pacifist life inhabiting trees of frighteningly huge sizes. There may be creatures that we do not know, even from legends. Very likely they are not even material entities. Or maybe there are beings there that we cannot even put into words. What if this whole world cannot be defined? Only if this mystery door was open, we could find out.
There is a chance that this strange unrealistic vision may be true, but what if it’s not? Perhaps this door is not a portal to another dimension, but maybe thanks to them, for instance, we can travel in time. What if, by crossing their threshold, we could end up in 20th century England? Strolling through those charming streets, we could find a delightful café. Entering it, the unearthly scent of tea combined with the aroma of coffee would float in the air. A dignified old man with a monocle would sit in the corner of the room, sipping a hot drink from a small, decorative cup, carefully reading the newspaper. Approaching him, he would be surprised by our strange and unusual, for those times, clothes, but he would certainly be happy to have an interesting conversation with us. He surely wouldn’t want to believe that we come from the future. Telling him about the smartphones, in-depth, he would think we were crazy, but his elegance would not let him say it aloud and he would listen to us carefully. However, while the curious door is still closed, we do not have a chance for it.
Nonetheless, there is a possibility that this gate is nothing magical. Perhaps this is an ordinary door, not being any portal. But that still does not mean it cannot hold any secrets. Maybe there is a room behind it that is not abandoned at all and its owner opens it only when he is sure that no one can see. What if the key to this place belongs to some madman? He would go there every night when everyone is asleep. There would be plenty of strange equipment and devices inside. This bedlamite could work there on some complicated machine that could destroy our entire planet. But what if this madman was not that bad? Perhaps he would be aware of some catastrophe that could come, and at any cost, night after night coming to this room, he would try to stop it. Or maybe this bedlamite would come to this place just to sit in a dark, cold room. Simply, to sit. After all, madmen are strange. But we are still here, with no key, no answer.
All these visions although insane, have a slim chance that they are real. But maybe this room is like any other abandoned place. Lots of dust, cardboard boxes everywhere. Here and there could be small bookcases with old books with yellowed pages. In the corner, at the bottom of the wall, there would be a hole in the wallpaper that would already be pilling off, in which rodents could make a burrow. The whole room would be covered with cobwebs, still formed by spiders. But if we still cannot get into this room, we will not get the answer.
Although this door does not have to hide anything. Maybe there is a room behind it with nothing in it. Nothing but darkness and penetrating silence. But we still do not know why this door is closed. What happened to that damn key? Maybe this room hides something. Maybe the person who hid this thingy there threw the key to some river. Maybe this human carries it with him all the time, or perhaps they took it with them to the grave? Or maybe, regardless of whether this space hides something or not, the key to it was lost by accident. It may be now somewhere in the grass, in a pocket of unused pants, or under an old wardrobe. But what if this key is not lost? Maybe no one told us where it was. Or perhaps that door does not need a key at all. There is a chance that because they are old enough, they just snapped shut and no one tried to open them. In fact, if the door is still closed, we will never get an answer to what is behind it. Whether it is a huge mystery or nothing.
I only hope that if anyone ever has a chance to enter this room, they will be nice to the dinosaurs.