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Creative Corner

Creative Corner: The Spontaneous Placidity of Hyde Park

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Creative Corner is a space to share your creative writing at Roar! We hope you’ll enjoy the short stories we publish, all of which are written by current KCL students.

I found homage under a thick barked tree, neglecting the bench that was around fifteen meters to my right. I wasn’t planning on coming here, which meant that I had no picnic blanket or anything of that sort to sit on, further italicising my depreciation of the wooden bench. No, I’m not being very honest – I have no personal vendettas towards benches, truly! But today, seeing how I ended up in this park – no other option seemed plausible, but for me to take my black button-up off and lay it on the grass, leaving my arms bare victims to the crisp London wind. Littered with the fall leaves, I feel that if someone were to see this ground from a height, a reasonable one at that – it would seem like a green tapestry with a plethora of brown freckles. The sky was a bright, yet pale blue; it looked as if one had put a transparent page, with a greyish tint over a very vibrant cerulean. 

All sorts of people walk through Hyde Park. Whether it’s the familiar intellectual-looking university student sporting a black turtleneck and tote bag, or stylishly challenged women ranging from about age twenty to thirty, wearing her beige-coloured pants, combat boots, and unfashionable shirt. Continually “capturing the moment” on their cellphone cameras, this occurrence was one that irritated me, inexplicably so. Maybe it was because of the glimpse of hypocrisy I saw in it; maybe because of the annoying rise of social media, whose purpose in some cases is purely sharing or rather proving how wonderful one’s life is and to competitively compare it with individuals one knows; but then again this vexatious habit is not much different than what I am doing, “capturing the moment”. Although I am observing, I am possibly missing quite a lot, as having my head down, sunk into my notepad prevents me from witnessing the park to its full potential. Back to the diverse Hyde-attender population, passing by are also the fitness aficionados, who by the way always have a reddish-pink tint to their face – evidence of their vigorous training regiments, with their tight fit outfits or unusually short shorts. 

A cyclist comes around every so often, either riding a classic metal bike or those provoking red rental ones. How can a colour be so pungently smug? I couldn’t properly justify my contempt towards those bikes, they seem so distasteful; like blemishes that uglily protrude from the otherwise poised face of the park. And the dog walkers, oh how I love the dog walkers; one can see dogs of all breeds here at Hyde Park. In the past ten minutes as I sit here writing this piece, I have seen a joyfully mischievous French bulldog puppy with dark grey fur pass by me, and later on its walk back, it seemed tired and its human companion picked it up and carried it – a phenomenon which seemed to greatly delight the young canine. A very polite-looking brown-furred poodle, walking loyally by the side of an old white-haired man bouncing a basketball – which oddly enough did not seem to impel the dog of straining from his manners. I also saw a jumpy Jack Russell terrier that seemed just a small hop away from chasing its own tail.

Having university to worry about, an overload of coursework and new meetings sitting over my chest, even writing this tightens the knot the year has tied in my stomach. The holidays are approaching, a fair combination of anxiety and stress, but so is exam season, which lacks the aforementioned fairness in the distribution of emotions. Yet Hyde Park, this cheap and easy location, can assist one in finding, even for a flash, the slit of serenity one needs to motivate the sustaining of themselves and enduring the weeks to come. Whether you wish to sit under a tree or on a bench, bike around, in whichever colour of the steel machinery you wish, read a book, write a story or merely observe, the benefit is almost guaranteed; pay it a visit.

You can send your short stories, poetry or creative nonfiction to [email protected].

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