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Recto Verso literary magazine, december 2018

Editors in chief

Noor-Elise Kamaruzzaman, Aïsha Philippe

Editors

Thomas Bouzereau, Marguerite Cartron, Santiago Heitner, Juliette Lassus, Isabelle Navolio, Béatrice Piché, Mme Marie-Hélène Fèvre

Chief Layout & Design

Lucie Merlet, Emilia Klause

Layout & design

Marie Ducruet, Santiago Heitner, Isabelle Navolio, Béatrice Piché, Annabelle Piot

Artists-in-residence

Sylvie Bartusek, Nour Ben Ltaifa, Alexandra Bodelle, Oscar Byrne, Yanis Caillaud, Marie Ducruet, Alexei Kaloshin, Juliette Lassus, Lucie Merlet, Isabelle Navolio, Annabelle Piot, Alys Shah

Team leader & faculty advisor

Kaila Hall, Ms. Erin Finney

  • Cover photographs by Alexandra Bodelle 1e
  • Special thanks to Mme Henriette Angoulvant, art teacher

A beautiful woman

by Esfandyar Sadrieh 1e

artwork by Annabelle Piot 1e

A beautiful woman running through my mind sparked a redness in my heart

Numb to other emotions a bond had been formed

Permeating in my soul nothing could take us apart

Greenness had grown and hope was born

Her silky smooth touch had sunken in my skin

My extensive passion like a vast blue sea

A slave to my companion the redness turned black

Obsessed with a feeling not capable to lack

Hanging a rope around my neck, there is no going back

Oscar Byrne 1e

The Machu Picchu Adventure

by Donya Alimoradi 6e

photograph by Alexandra Bodelle 1e

Far away, in a place called Machu Picchu roamed the hundreds of new tourists who visited per day. It was a beautiful place covered with trees, green grass, and all the rocks on the tall mountains that were cutting through the clouds. It was especially beautiful during sunrises.

Willow, a brave young lady loved to climb. Whether it was rock climbing, mountain climbing, or even tree climbing, she loved it all. One day, she and her friends decided to travel to Peru. Their plan was to take the plane to Cusco, stay at a hotel to get a good night sleep and to get energized for the next day, then to take the four day trek tour of the Machu Picchu mountain. After that, they planned to stay at a luxurious hotel for a few days to relax from their big adventure. Until this day arrived, Willow and her friends were jumping up and down as if they were rabbits chased by a fox.

Henry was a mysterious, yet very courageous young man. He lived in an old shed infested with spiders and other insects. He was very strong, too. One of the reasons why he was so peculiar is that he carried a strange shaped slingshot wherever he went. Little did everyone know that this slingshot was no ordinary slingshot. He always wore a dark black cloak in which was what everyone knew him by. Sometimes he could look like an evil vampire looking for blood, but if anything he was a hero. He loved saving people's lives and getting so many wonderful thank you letters. He didn't like to consider himself a hero because he could not save his family from a terrible fire that had occurred ten years ago. Everyone thought he was so depressed because of that event. Often, he spent his time saving family and friends from terror.

The next morning, when Willow and her friends got on the plane, they all looked as if they were doing a staring contest with the ceiling of the plane. No one could stop dreaming of reaching the top of Machu Picchu. People started thinking that they were sleeping with their eyes open.

They all arrived at their hotel shortly after the plane ride. On the way, while Willow was looking out the window, she saw a dark cloaked creature wandering on the street. She thought he looked “other worldly” because his cloak made him so frightening. She stared for a second or two, then shook her head and moved on. When Willow and her buddies arrived at the hotel, they ate a large dinner and hurried straight to bed as planned. The very next day, the adventure began.

Night after night, they and the other hikers made their way up to Machu Picchu. The views were spectacular! There wasn't one moment anyone was able to look away. However, that night, before the last day, unbeknownst to them, rolling down below were hurricane force winds. No one had noticed at all, not even the tour guide. At last, the group made it to the top. All of their heads were blown off when they saw the top view. The hurricane got closer and closer every second. Out of the blue, the hurricane struck in one blink of an eye, and a huge gust of wind blew all of the hikers right off the unsteady cliff. Catching a rock with her left hand, Willow saw some of her friends fall off.

“ Help! Help!,” she cried. No one came. She screamed again. Her sweaty hand was slipping off the rock. Suddenly, the people from down below heard a cry of terror approaching them, getting louder and louder:

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

She screamed so loud that the mountain shook, like a mini earthquake. Her friends and all the other hikers were still falling too. Out of plain sight, everyone felt a swoosh and saw a big black bird that came flying from below and that caught everyone. Willow squeezed her eyes, then opened them again. She then realized that the big black bird was the cloaked creature she saw earlier. He was human. He made it back up to the mountain, then jumped right back off, landing perfectly and safely on the ground. As soon as they arrived at the bottom of the mountain, the towns people all cheered from inside their houses. He quickly brought them to shelter.

“W-What are you?,”one of them yelled.

“I'm Henry.,” he said in a deep voice.

“How were you flying?,”another blurted out in a softer voice.

“I wasn't.,” he replied. He showed the slingshot to them.

“Wow!,”they all said. They put out their hands and presented themselves.

They all thanked him profusely. His face was no longer depressed, it was more like the face when someone would find their first friends. He had. They spent some time together and became the best of friends. Willow and her friends had to go back home, but they all still kept in contact. It was the first day of Henry’s life that he had real joy. No one ever forgot it.

Alexandra Bodelle 1e

Lost Identity

by Nikole Irigaray 3e

My head was continuously ringing with the maddening blare of sirens. Everything went black, and suddenly I woke up to the view of a lovely nurse. She was wearing a pasty white vest and her curly blonde hair was tied up with a beautiful turquoise ribbon. Her eyes were deep like the ocean and stared at me with pity.

“What am I doing here?” I asked.

“You have been in a car accident and have suffered severe head trauma causing your memory to only last three minutes,” she responded.

I woke up and saw a cute nurse roaming around my room. She had wavy blond hair that was in a ponytail. I started screaming and could not understand what was happening, couldn’t remember who I was or what I was doing here. The nurse next to me said in a calm, deep, and assuring voice, “You have been in a car accident and have suffered severe head trauma causing your memory to only last three minutes.”

I tried to get out of the unbearable bed I was in, but I was unable to walk. A nurse told me that I had been in a car accident and that I was paralyzed. She told me everything was fine, but it wasn’t since I didn’t remember who I was and couldn’t walk anymore! The nurse told me to have a bite of my food. I took the fork and knife and ate the meal in front of me while tears streamed down my face.

I woke up in a small room, with a nurse by my side and a knife in front of me. I was extremely confused, and without even thinking, I took the knife and stabbed the nurse. I was in a state of extreme shock; I was trapped in a bed and couldn’t move.

I forgot everything about myself, couldn’t recognize my own face and wondered why there was a dead person by my side covered with blood. I decided to start screaming so that someone would tell me where I was. An old man walked into the unembellished chamber and told me to regain my composure. I started shaking and choking, unable to breathe. The man started shouting, “He is seizing up!” A few moments later, my vision was exceedingly blurry and I had a whirling sensation. The only thing I could see was a policeman.

I was very tired and famished when I was told that I was going to go into surgery to remove a clot in my brain that had caused me to forget my identity. One of the surgeons said I would regain my memory if the surgery was successful. I started feeling hopeful.

After the surgery, I remembered who I was, and everything that had occurred before the car accident. I was a college freshman who had recently moved to the United States. I told the doctor that my name was Julian and that I was eighteen years old. The doctor said, “Well Julian, you have been admitted to a psychiatric ward.”

Annabelle Piot 1e

Heart of Darkness Collection

inspired by "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad

by Charles de Canecaude Tle

artwork and photograph by Yanis Caillaud Tle

HEART OF AFRICA

INTRICATE IVORY

THE STEAMBOAT

This is me

by Jean-Alexandre Gaultier 5e

artwork by Charlotte Wellington 5e

short film inspired by Alice Walker's novel, The Color Purple

by Kenan Gustafson, Adele Lezec, Nour Ben Ltaifa, Antoine Pangas, Aïsha Philippe 1e

Mathilde Rodriguez 5e

Great Uncle Sydney’s Watch Shop

by Sophia Mansour 6e

photos by Alexandra Bodelle 1e; drawings by Lucie Merlet Tle

One cold winter day, a young boy named George was very happy. It was his best friend’s birthday. All he could smell were the beautiful flowers. All he could see was the delightful blue sky. He thought maybe he could get his friend a watch, and he had seen a fabulous one at his Great Uncle Sydney’s watch shop. So the boy gobbled up his breakfast and took a stroll to the shop.

“Hello, George! What brings you here today?” shouted slightly deaf Great Uncle Sydney.

“Today is Jordan’s birthday, and since he broke his old watch, I am going to get him a new one,” replied George eying one of the red watches.

“Well then, let’s hop right to it. How about this green one? It’s one of my best models. It lasts easily two years,” explained Great Uncle Sydney proudly.

“I was thinking, maybe that red one back there,” ventured George.

“Great choice, but I am afraid I might have to do a little repairing on this one. It will take about thirty minutes,” answered Great Uncle Sydney.

“That’s fine, but can I help, please?” begged George with huge puppy dog eyes.

“Gladly, but you must promise to be careful, and to do exactly as I say,” demanded Great Uncle Sydney very seriously.

“I promise I will make an effort,” pledged George wanting to get started.

George enjoyed this exciting experience very much. Using all of the intriguing tools really made him feel like an expert. Although, he did not enjoy that odd smell of old wood. He had never done anything like this before; apparently, he was far too young to play with father’s heavy metal tools in the shed. It truly made him feel older and more mature.

“So, what is this for?” inquired George with a confused look on his face.

“Watch out! That is a very dangerous tool,” roared Sydney snatching the deadly tool out of George’s hands, “This is made to screw in the pieces of the watch, but if you pinch yourself with it, you could really hurt yourself.”

“I’m so sorry, I won’t do it again,” promised George whimpering a little.

“That’s okay, don’t worry about it, you didn’t know,” sighed Great Uncle Sydney.

After that accident, George was much more conscious of what he was touching. He learned a lot about how to make watches; one wrong move could ruin the whole job. He understood why he was restricted to certain things. Great Uncle Sydney finished up and packaged the watch in a wooden box topped with a curly red ribbon.

“There you go, all done,“ stated Great Uncle Sydney happy to have been of service.

“I really enjoyed this! Thank you so much.” George said excitedly.

“You’re very welcome, anytime,” reassured Great Uncle Sydney happily.

“We are going on a camping trip next week; it’s the best! We go to the beautiful forest behind Stone Bridge Valley. With its tall trees, wildlife and crunchy bed of leaves, it makes the trip so worth it and enjoyable. You can almost smell Fall. It is super fun; we go fishing at the lake and dad makes a fire. I could ask my mom if you can come with us,” offered George kindly.

“Of course, I’d love to. Goodbye George,” answered Great Uncle Sydney.

“Great! I will let her know then. Bye!”

by Jasmine Wong 1e
by Alexei Kaloshin 5e

Bullies vs Watchmaker

by Benjamin Fonseca 6e

artwork by Alexei Kaloshin 5e

There was once a boy in a small town on the southern coast of the United Kingdom, so intelligent that he had skipped two grades. He preferred to wear a pocket watch rather than the fancy gold and silver wrist watches of his companions.

One day while roughhousing with his friends, the boy’s pocket watch slipped out, the glass cracked, and dangerous glass shards flew everywhere. Luckily, nobody was hurt, but the boy was in tears; he swiftly picked up his watch and rushed away. He ran through the busy streets to the pocket watch repair shop despite the violent threats of his peers, “Come back here or we’ll punch you in the face!”

He got to the front door of the repair shop and opened the door, entering a dark, gloomy room which smelled like acid and smoke. An old man sitting at his wooden desk saw the boy and quickly turned on his flexible office lamp. The boy handed over his broken pocket watch in despair but he began to calm down as he observed the man taking out his special tools.

The man was in the middle of repairing when he asked the boy, “Do you have any pounds to pay?”

“I think so but I don’t know for sure.”

The man barked, “Well aren't you going look at least?”

The boy searched but found nothing. Just when the man was about to say something, the boy heard the voices of the others who had been chasing him. The boy pleaded, “I promise I will pay you after, but right now I need help.”

“Of course! Hide under my desk. And here, take this lamp. My name is Rockwell Hemmington, you can call me Mr. Hemmington,” whispered the man.

“Thank you, my name is George Amadeuz,” replied the boy.

“Great to meet you, George,” said the man quietly.

“Where’s that kid?” one of the bullies screeched. “Have you seen a kid, about 13 years old, short for his age, have you seen him, old man?”

“Do not speak to me that way!” shouted Mr. Hemmington.

“Well you see, old man, we’re not here for you, we’re here for a boy. We know he broke his watch, and this is the only repair shop in town,” explained the teenager. “My name’s Robert, and my friends' names are William and Oscar.”

Mr. Hemmington did not reply. Hiding under the table, George held his breath as long as he possibly could but had to let it out. Suddenly, Oscar asked Mr. Hemmington in an alarmed tone, “What was that noise under your desk? Is it George?”

“Absolutely not, I do not have anything under my desk,” denied Mr. Hemmington.

“Well let’s check it then,” said one of the boys.

“You have no right to trespass,” warned Mr. Hemmington.

“We don’t care,” announced Oscar as he and the two other bullies pushed by Mr. Hemmington. And they almost caught George, but he spied a rather small door and made a run for it.

The door led to a storage unit below ground with everything you could think of--lavender and rose-scented perfumes, bug repellent and corn, and most of all cardboard. And it was very dark indeed. George panicked but then grabbed a spare match from his pocket and remembering he had the oil lamp Mr. Hemmington had given him earlier, he lit it.

George was in the storage unit for about 30 minutes when he heard Mr. Hemmington say, “Those are the kids, officer! And the boy they are trying to hurt is safe inside.”

Breathing a sigh of relief, George crawled out, thanked the police officer and hugged Mr. Hemmington.

Justify

poem and artwork by Samantha Pressman 5e

Annabelle Piot 1e

The Chess Player

by Daniel Pressman 5e

photo by Alexandra Bodelle 1e

Alys Shah, Rita Raghay

Le tour du monde de James

fable and artwork by Juliette Lair 6e

Il était une fois un garçon de douze ans nommé James. Orphelin de père, il était très attaché à sa mère qui était gravement malade.

Ils habitaient tous deux dans un village méconnu de Bretagne. Le médecin venait régulièrement voir la mère de James dont la maladie s’aggravait petit à petit.

Mais un jour, le médecin décida de ne plus cacher une triste réalité à James et lui dit:

« James, mon garçon, il faut que je t’avoue quelque chose, ta mère va partir pour un long voyage dont elle ne reviendra malheureusement point. »

James ne dit rien, il pleura.

Dans les heures qui suivirent, la mère trépassa.

James, après avoir pleuré toutes les larmes de son corps, fut déterminé à ne plus se laisser mourir de chagrin et de tristesse, et décida d’aller explorer le monde en solitaire.

James partit donc une semaine plus tard pour un tour du monde seul avec lui-même… Il établit une carte de route et n’emmena pour tout bagage qu’un sac avec quelques provisions et des vêtements chauds.

Il commença son long périple à travers les Alpes françaises. C'est là où il rencontra une fermière très aimable qui l’invita à passer trois jours avec elle. Il l’aida à traire les vaches, à sortir le troupeau en compagnie des chiens et de la fermière, elle aussi très seule. Elle partagea son souper et lui offrit l’hospitalité pour un peu de temps. Au bout du troisième jour, James repartit. Touché par la générosité de la fermière, son chagrin diminua doucement.

James marcha longtemps, longtemps… Très longtemps, pour rejoindre le continent africain: son but était d’atteindre les pyramides d’Égypte. Là, il rencontra un Égyptien très bavard mais très drôle qui lui proposa de le guider à travers les chemins cachés de l’Égypte ancienne. À la sortie du continent africain au bord de la Mer Rouge, son nouvel ami l’égyptien lui offrit un Basboussa, gâteau typiquement Égyptien à base de semoule et lui dit: -« hza saeidaan. » Et il disparut soudainement.

En changeant de continent il réalisa qu’il ne s’était pas lavé depuis le début de son périple. Il mit le cap vers le Nord et se rendit dans les forêts de Russie, là il rencontra une fée belle comme le jour. Elle était vêtue d’une robe bleue comme l’eau claire du lac Baïkal. Elle chanta: « Privet, moy rebenok, vous me semblez bien fatigué cher bonhomme et vos habits sont dans un sale état. »

Et hop!

D’un seul coup de baguette magique, elle lui métamorphosa ses vieux habits en une tenue resplendissante aussi bleue que sa propre robe. Pour la remercier de sa gentillesse, James décida de lui offrir la coiffe Bigoudène de sa mère qu’il avait emportée avec lui. Ce cadeau allégea son dos… comme sa tête d’ailleurs. Il traversa la Russie et l’Asie avec la fée et la quitta en arrivant près des temples japonais.

« Do svidaniya moy rebenok! Je te souhaite bon courage pour ton long périple » dit la fée. Et d’un seul coup de baguette magique, elle s’évapora.

Se retrouvant seul, James prit soin de regarder sa carte et s’arrêta pour visiter les temples japonais. Là-bas, il fit la rencontre qui allait bouleverser sa vie: un loup blanc comme la neige qu’il nomma John en hommage à son père qu’il n’avait jamais connu mais qu’on disait aussi rapide et intelligent qu’un loup.

« Moshimoshi » après ce mot et ce premier échange, James et son loup ne se quittèrent plus jamais.

Ils voyagèrent ensemble jusqu’aux plages d’Indonésie. James se sentit de mieux en mieux et reprit confiance en lui. Il commença à se faire à l’idée qu’il ne reverrait plus jamais sa mère.

En Indonésie, plus exactement sur l’île de Jakarta, ils rencontrèrent de nombreuses personnes très souriantes et généreuses qui vivaient dans une grande pauvreté mais qui avaient de l’espoir et le plus beau sourire du monde. James recommença grâce à eux, à sourire.

Ils prirent ensuite un bateau qui les emmena en Amérique du Sud, précisément en Argentine. Ils y rencontrèrent une petite fille qui leur offrit de beaux ponchos avec des pompons multicolores. Touché par la générosité de la petite fille, James lui offrit des crêpes, une spécialité de sa Bretagne natale.

John le loup et James remontèrent ensuite côte à côte l’Amérique et arrivèrent aux États-Unis. Parvenus dans ce pays, ils y rencontrèrent Jane, une adolescente d’un quartier défavorisé de New York.

« Hello, my name is Jane. » Les deux amis se présentèrent à celle-là. Elle les reçut dans sa famille, très émue de rencontrer une personne qui avait découvert tant de pays et surmonté beaucoup d’épreuves, accompagnée de son ami John le loup. La famille les hébergea pendant trois jours. James apprit à danser le Hip-hop et en échange il lui enseigna une danse bretonne : l’An dro. Ils reprirent leur route, tristes mais heureux d’avoir appris et partagé.

Ils décidèrent qu’il était temps d’achever le périple car James se sentait plus mûr, plus fort. Il avait lutté contre le découragement, contre les éléments et s’était fait plein de nouveaux amis.

Ils avaient décidé de finir leur périple au Canada. Dans le joli parc du Bic, James et le loup tombèrent sur une sorcière en apparence bien peu commode, au nez crochu et à la chevelure violette. Elle leur proposa de passer la nuit chez elle. James et John le loup, bien que peu rassurés, acceptèrent car ils étaient très fatigués.

Le matin, surpris de ne pas avoir été transformés en crapauds, ils décidèrent de rester une nuit de plus. Cette aventure dura encore et encore… La sorcière devint leur amie et leur apprit des tours de magie et James comprit aussi que même les pouvoirs magiques ne pourraient jamais faire revenir sa mère. Un soir de pleine lune, la sorcière leur dit : « Pourquoi restez vous chez moi ?

Tout le monde m’appelle pourtant l’affreuse sorcière de la rue Cuillère. Je suis la cousine de la cruelle sorcière de la rue Mouffetard, alors je suis censée faire peur ! »

Les deux amis lui répondirent cependant :

« Nous ne te trouvons pas si sorcière que cela car avec le temps nous avons compris qu’on ne doit pas juger quelqu’un à son apparence affreuse mais à son joli cœur. »

Cette dernière, fière du compliment qu’on lui avait fait, se fit encore plus gentille et généreuse avec James qu’elle ne l’avait jamais été. La sorcière décida qu’il était grand temps pour James et John le loup de refermer le cercle de leur aventure. Il fallait maintenant que James retrouve son village d’enfance.

Pour les aider, elle prépara un breuvage magique avec une mèche de ses cheveux. Elle l’enroula autour de son index et leur conseilla de fermer les yeux et de penser à l’endroit où ils souhaitaient aller. Le doigt de la sorcière se mit soudain à briller; James et le loup s’évaporèrent. Quelques temps après ils se retrouvèrent dans la forêt voisine du village natal de James comme par enchantement et comprirent la bienveillance de la sorcière.

Le loup et James, décidèrent d’y construire leur cabane et d’y vivre leur nouvelle vie.

Et c’est ainsi, qu’un loup et un être humain devinrent les plus fidèles complices que le monde n'ait jamais connu…

Moralité : Ceux qui vivent sont ceux qui luttent.

Rita Raghay, Alys Shah, Annabelle Piot
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