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Quetzal 2020 | University of Waterloo’s Online Arts Magazine2020-07-15T15:02:06-04:00

Photography

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Poetry & Prose

Perception

Perception by Varun Batta Always thinking against it Despite all the praise Always thinking otherwise No matter what they all say Receiving compliments all the time Searching for the flaws I perceive Listening to them with a thankful smile Yet never will I actually believe These thoughts [...]

What The Ads Don’t Tell Her

What The Ads Don’t Tell Her by Ashley Nicolas Tell her she’s pretty. Tell her often, tell her always. Shout it to the mountains and whisper it in her ear when You exchange your goodnights. The world is always telling her that she needs to Be [...]

“Solstice” by Alexia Lima

Solstice Alexia Lima Published Spring 2020 Every effort I made at conversation Brought the revelation of a new man And every morning, I dreamt of a life where Adoration shielded me.   You told me stories of my childhood How I would pick tomatoes in [...]

My Alter Ego

My Alter Ego by Ayooluwa Solaja My alter ego is everything I'm not: She's not second-best at anything, She's artsier than I am, Loooovvves math, Is never rude, Comes up with the best comebacks, Is comfortable in her own skin, And is nothing short of a [...]

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Visual Arts

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Short Stories

New Beginnings

 New Beginnings by Edward Liu It was a troubling time. Seventeen years into life; too many left until the end of my days. “Too many indeed.” What was that voice? “It’s me! You’ve known me for awhile now.” What were those thoughts I didn’t want circulating through my head? “I have feelings too, you know?” What were those disheartening memories? “She only broke up with you a few months ago! You couldn’t have already forgotten.” I hadn’t forgotten, but I had tried to. “I miss her.” I missed her too, but I could not afford to miss her. I could not afford to think about her any longer. “That’s impossible. We will practically see her everyday. With him.” It didn’t matter. I had to work my way around it. I willed myself to, “Yeah, okay. Good luck with that.” I had to somehow make it through my final year of high school with two unwanted parties tagging along with me, holding me back. It was a difficult task, and I attempted to accomplish it through willpower alone for a small while. “You tried your best for two months. It just wasn’t meant to be.” Two months was approximately [...]

One Dance

One Dance She’s fucking Alexander, Theo reminded himself. He was standing by the bar, waiting to order a rye and coke. His gaze was directed towards the dance floor where he spotted Lily and Emma in the crowd. The rest of the crew seemed to have disappeared into the pulsing array of flesh, the other guys each on their own personal mission to get some. Usually, Theo would be on his own personal mission to get some, but whenever Lily came out with them, he couldn’t help but not care. For some reason, he just wanted to be around her. He didn’t want to think about it too deeply beyond that and he made sure to remind himself every now and then that she was sleeping with one of his closest friends. Theo finally inched his way to the front of the line. The busty bartender gave him a sultry smile and asked, “What can I get for you, sweetie?” “I’ll have a shot of whiskey and rye and coke...make it a double,” Theo replied. She punched in his order on the register. She poured the shot of whiskey and handed it to him. He took the shot [...]

“The Time Twister” by Suhana Kumar

The Time Twister Suhana Kumar Published Spring 2020 ` Sarajevo, 1914 The air was smokey, clusters of particles floating through as if time had stopped. Maybe, in a way, time did stop, and it was as if the streets of Sarajevo knew something was going to happen. Or, as they say, the calm before the storm. He woke up at precisely 6:30, and dragged himself out of bed to dress. He had to look his best, today was the big day. He grabbed the letters that piled on the broken side-table and shoved them into his coat pocket, and finally, retrieved a gun from his closet and putting it in his inside coat pocket. The boy looked into the dirty mirror at his shorn hair as he covered his demons with a cap. What did I get myself into? But you promised me. So why does it feel wrong? His long, unkempt bangs fluttered in his face as he tugged on his cap, stepping out into the streets. He doesn’t know why he was feeling so self-conscious, living in Sarajevo meant that you were a nobody. A nobody… It took him 15 minutes to reach [...]

My Hands

My Hands by Emerald Naylor He could hear the murmur of voices on the other side of the wall. There must have been hundreds- no thousands- of people waiting for him. He rolled his shoulders back and tried not to think of the crowd. Priscilla was still standing in the doorway behind him. She glared at his back. “I can’t believe you- doing this again.” Her voice was steady, but he could tell she was trying hard not to shout. He turned around to face her. “I’ve told you, I have to do this. This is who I am; I’m their hero.” He started to turn back towards the arena when something in the shadows caught his eye. “For gods sake! Stop being the damn hero!” She was yelling now. She sounded exasperated. He took a step towards the shadows. “You don’t have to be their hero. Come home with me; be mine. Be my hero,” She whimpered. “Priscilla, shush.” He narrowed his eyes. There was something there, right in front of him. “Lionel,” He stepped closer. He could make out the outline of the figure through the darkness. There was something in its hands. The shadowy figure [...]

It Started with a Whisper

It Started with a Whisper by Edward Liu Why are you still alive?” I remained silent. “You didn’t jump that day. Why didn’t you jump?” “Because I was afraid of not dying,” I said. “You didn't choose a tall enough building.” “There's always a slim chance of survival. How would I jump again if I somehow survived with every bone in my body shattered? Repeating the task would be near impossible,” I said, but that wasn't all there was to it. Thinking about suicide is simple. Initiating the act was a whole other story. At least for me. Why was I still alive? I wondered that myself. It was almost a year since the lowest point of my life. What had I accomplished since then? ■ ■ ■ It started with a whisper almost four years ago, a small voice in the back of my head. “This is bad,” it said softly as I stared at my score on the math test I had just been handed. “I’ll make up for it,” I said. Mathematics was my best subject growing up. I liked math. It was the only thing which I felt like I excelled in. My [...]

“The Lupercal Lake” by Justin Wayne Blake

The Lupercal Lake Justin Wayne Blake Published Spring 2020 ` A sour, irritating stench had wafted through the air and troubled the boy's nose. He reached an arm up to scratch it, just as the beast leaped towards him. 1 "My father told me never to go into the forest," said Olivia as she let herself be dragged along. “He says that it's dangerous.” “Well, your father ain't here," said Elias, keeping a firm grasp on her wrist. "And there's nothing in those woods that I can't handle." As they hurried along, they crunched dry leaves underfoot and wiped the sweat from their brows. A slight breeze was blowing, which was cool enough for Elias, but not for Olivia, who found her patience waning. “Elias...Elias, stop!" she said, as she wrenched her arm from his grasp. “I can't walk anymore. I'm tired and my feet hurt. Let me rest for a while." Almost breathless, Elias turned and gesticulated towards the rough path they were following. "Resting is what I'm trying to do. The lake I was telling you about is just over yonder. We can rest there." Olivia smiled as she remembered when Elias first told [...]

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