Wednesday, May 22Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Pen to Paper


“It’s not like stopping for McDonalds twice in one trip would be a bad thing.”


Anna rolled her eyes, turning slightly in her seat, a trace of fond exasperation gracing her features. She was unsurprised when her gaze met the back of Riya’s dark, disheveled hair. The younger woman’s forehead was pressed firmly against the glass of the passenger seat window, already having moved on from their last altercation to a cluster of lights in the outlying night. Smirking, Anna reached forward to hold a button and the window proceeded to hum to life. Riya yelped as her makeshift pillow lowered and her head jarred against the frame before she took advantage of this lack of restraint and launched her head through the gap. Anna, momentarily distracted by Riya’s hair flying through the wind as the car accelerated, almost failed to notice how uncharacteristically silent the other girl was being.


Riya’s eyes were fixated on a swarm of blinking illuminations in the distance. As they drove closer, colour began to take shape against the night sky; a large tower, a windmill-like structure, constellations of small flickering tents and, in the centre of it all, a ferris wheel at least nine stories high. Her eyes widened as they shot from one ride to another, head whipping left and right excitedly as a series of flares guided her around the carnival. She spun around to face Anna before hanging her head out of the window again, careful never to tear her eyes from the fair for more than a second; as though if she did it would disappear from the roadside entirely.

Hannah Davies


A Thousand More

The strings began their story,
So quiet at first, but my attention was captured,
In a beautiful way the melody played,
It spoke a thousand more words than a picture did.

The sound was gentle and weightless, it lacked gravity,
Music never felt so full of love and urgency,
A perfectly written love letter that pleased the ear,
It spoke a thousand more words than a picture did.

The violin trembled in its sound,
As if its heart was breaking at that moment,
The loss of love the composer felt,
It spoke a thousand more words than a picture did.

The volume increased as the darkness did,
The sadness became impenetrable,
Angellic voices echoed his pain,
It spoke a thousand more words than a picture did.

Tomike Adeniji