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Twinsite Stories-4

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Artwork: TwinSite Project Members

  • Joined Jun 2019
  • Published Books 2
Twinsite Stories-4 by Birsen Sarıtoprak - Illustrated by TwinSite Project Members - Ourboox.com

Chapter 1- Mafalda PT, teacher Elsa Fernandes

 

Ingolstadt, a city in germany, where the site for the headquarters of a prestigious automobile manufacturer is located.

Diogo is usually on schedule for work, but on this day he rushes to eat his breakfast since he overslept which is a rare occurrence. It is almost eight in the morning and his commute takes twenty minutes, so he must get on his bike as soon as possible in order to get to his workplace on time. Finally, Diogo manages to leave the house and notices the clear blue sky, however it was bitterly cold and in some places he could see a thin layer of snow. Diogo hopes he does not get caught in the rain even though the weather can be quite changeable where he lives, meaning that it could start pouring rain any second.

Throughout the day Diogo keeps himself occupied, he is a proficient engineer at the automobile manufacturer, therefore he is the one that typically gets the most challenging jobs. For some reason this day has been more arduous than most of the other days, because of that Diogo thinks he would benefit from a short night out with some work colleagues. He starts packing up his belongings and notices that Finn is doing the same so he decides to ask him to go to the local bar with him.

-“Hi man, how was your day?”

-“Hello, it was fine, you know, the usual: fixing a car here and there, it was pretty much just that, what about yours?”-Finn is a humorous and righteous person, just what Diogo needed that day.

-“My day is not going that well but I hope you can help me change that!”- Finn has an intriguing look on his face as he waits for Diogo to continue- “what do you say about going out to that bar around the corner with me?”

-“Yes, let’s go, you haven’t had such a great idea in a while!”.

Diogo has been feeling much better about his new life and he is appreciative of the help Finn has given him at adjusting to a different country. He immigrated to Germany when he was only 20 years old, from a small island in Portugal. Not many people are aware of that place and it did not offer the best opportunities for Diogo to pursue his dreams, hence why he left and made the decision of going to Ingolstadt. It wasn’t always easy, there were a lot of times where he felt like giving up and returning to the palace he was brought up in even though, now, he cannot imagine himself anywhere else in the world but Germany. 

 

Chapter 2- Mafalda Pt, teacher Elsa Fernandes

 

Lost in the middle of the cold waters of the Atlantic ocean there is a small island, just like a forgotten rock, where common ravens have coexisted with humans for thousands of years, some may even regard them as pests. Ravens are such a significant part of the island that it has in fact been named after them. These are extremely intelligent creatures that have taken over Raven island and changed it forever. What once was a pleasurable place to live, is now shunned by most citizens, even the ones that once lived there do not want to return for the simple fact that the only way to survive there is to be adventurous and face the perilous ocean and that surrounds the island in order to sell fish. The island has become so sculeded from the rest of the world that no one wants to visit it and the younger generations only think of leaving. 

An old fisherman named António gets ready to board for his night out in the ocean, however, the weather conditions are terrible, heavy rains and extremely strong winds make the already challenging job, even worse for the fisherman. As he is almost on the boat his granddaughter, Ana, chases after him pleading for him to not go:

-”I am not sure about this granddad, I feel very uneasy about this trip, what if something happens? This weather is so dangerous!”

-”Do not worry about me darling, I have been doing this since I was a small child, I know the sea very well and I know that it won’t deceive me”- the fisherman reassures Ana.

Ana believes her granddad is fearless, she has a lot of respect and praise for him, for what he has been through and for the amazing things he has done for her. Life has not been easy for them, ever since her brother got employed in another country she was left to take care of herself and help her grandfather in what she could. 

She is making herself a cup of hot tea while she wonders what her life would be like if she had gone with her brother to Germany, certainly it would be a lot better than in that dark and ugly island where nothing happens. 

Ana wakes up the next day and her grandfather still has not arrived home and she gets even more petrified, she does not want to think the worse so she decides to go look for him. After 30 minutes looking around the dock where he left she finally sees him in the distance sailing towards her.

-”Hello! I was getting really scared, you took way longer this time granddad.”

-”You needn’t have to worry about me, see? I am well and alive, I actually had a great time fishing, we have a lot to sell today and some for us to cook for the rest of the week.”

-”I am glad that is the case”

A massive flock of ravens flies above them, the ravens have been reproducing faster and faster and they have outnumbered the citizens of the island, but today it looks as if they doubled overnight. 

-”Grandad look! There are so many ravens today, what do you think this means?”- Ana has always been intrigued and quite worried about the ravens and questions her grandfather about them frequently but he dismisses the conversation as if it is something that upsets him. 

-”I have no clue, sometimes it means that you have something unhealthy that you need to let go of, what I can tell you is that it can’t be good. Ravens can be a really bad sign, usually they bring loss and ill omen. Needless to say they are regularly associated with death. I do not know much more, and sometimes the better option is to stay in the dark about some subjects. I would advise you to stay away from them. Come on, let’s get inside and prepare our lunch for today.”

 

Chapter 3- Mafalda PT, teacher Elsa Fernandes

 

-”Hey man, we should get going, it is getting late and we have had enough to drink today!”- back in Germany Finn and Diogo have lost track of  time and the amount of beers they have had at the bar. It has certainly been a great time however, Finn is trying to convince Diogo to go home since it is already midnight and they have work the next day.

-”Yes, maybe you are right, let’s go then!”- Diogo finally agrees.

They have to ride their bikes back to their respectives homes but since they had too many beers they decide that it is best to just walk since it is not a long way. 

  As they get to Finn’s house, their first stop, they catch a glimpse of some animal, but as they look closer they see that it is a raven. Although Finn does not think much of it, especially because he has always heard that ravens symbolize recovery and healing, Diogo is certain that spotting one of these creatures is usually a terrible sign. Ravens have always brought terrifying things to the island he was raised in therefore, he thinks about them as a negative sign.

-”Finn, keep aways from that bird, it can’t be good news”- Diogo warns Finn but he just laughs about it.

-”What are you saying? It is literally just a bird, do not overthink it.”

-”From experience, I can tell you that they can destroy places, anywhere they are, somehow people get caught up in bad situations.”- Finn realises that Diogo is honestly scared of this situation so he tries to calm him down.

-”Do not worry about this, it is just an animal, go home and rest, do not show up late for work tomorrow, our boss won’t appreciate it.”

-”Yes, sure.”- Diogo says as he rushes home. He cannot stop thinking about the raven. What does it mean? He knows for certain that it does not mean something good but what does the animal want specifically? He has not seen a raven since he left for Germany, why now? He thinks of the countless options for the raven’s meaning. He is so drowsy that he falls asleep on the living room couch but wakes up two hours later from a frightening nightmare. What he takes from the nightmare is that he has to go home and find his family however he does not have a lot to go home to, sure he misses his sister and grandfather but he does not want to go back to the awful life he had in Raven island. 

Even though he does not know what he is going to look for he starts packing as fast as he can to be able to catch the next flight home. Adrenaline takes over him and when he notices it he is already inside an airplane to Portugal. 

The next day Finn shows up to work but notices that Diogo is not there and he tries to call him a few times without any answer but then he remembers the raven from last night. He is certain that Diogo left and went to look for something, he just does not know what.

-”I just hope you do not do something stupid Diogo”- Finn thinks outloud as he sits at his desk and worries about what Diogo could possibly be doing. 

 

Chapter 4- Mafalda PT, teacher Elsa Fernandes

 

Diogo sits on the boat that takes him from mainland Portugal to Raven island, the crisp air and clear sky energising his thoughts as his breath steams  the air. He starts to regret having made such an impulsive decision but now there is no going back. An older woman sits next to him and starts making small talk, although he is quite distracted. 

-”Hello, I did not miss this weather. You know, I have been living in Brazil for so long that I have forgotten what cold feels like”

-”Yes it is freezing here”- Diogo answers without really paying attention to the woman.

-”What made you decide to come back to this miserable place?”

-”Oh, nothing much, just visiting some family”- he starts to feel uncomfortable with the conversations but does not want to be abrasive towards the woman. 

-”I trust that family is not the only reason for you return”

-”I do not know what you are implying, I am sorry but this conversation is making me uncomfortable and we are almost arriving so I think that I should get ready to go”

For the next hour, Diogo hikes on the island trails trying to find his childhood home and finally he catches a glimpse of it. Knocking on the door feels strange but as soon as his sister opens the door for him it is as if he never left.

-”Diogo, what are you doing here?”- his sister, Ana, jumps to his arms for a hug even though she is confused, she thought he would never come back home. 

-”I came to visit you and grandfather, where is he by the way?”

-”He went to the grocery shop but he should be back shortly. What have you been doing in germany?”

-“I am an engineer at a prestigious automobile manufacturer. The quality of life there is better and…”- They hear the front door of the old house squeak and turn to see their grandfather, António, stop at the door and look at Diogo with a shocked expression on his face. 

-”Diogo?”

 

Chapter 5- Semiha, teacher Aynur Korkmaz

        -”Grandfather. I know it’s been too long. Sorry…I saw a raven last night on my way home, at midnight! I thought it wasn’t a good sign, but I tried to ignore it. That doesn’t make sense, I know but I saw very terrible things in my dream just after that raven and here I am!”

Grandfather and Ana are both pleased and nervous about what they hear. Diogo is at home soon and as seen he is worried about them!

        -”Diogo, I saw a flock of raven here yesterday! Grandfather, remember?”

        -”Yes, you’re right Ana. I thought it wasn’t a good sign too but don’t know what’s the sign of it.”

All three are worried about the raven story. Could ravens really be a sign of bad news when the epidemic is being talked about? As the three give each other curious glances, they hear a distant scream. They run quickly in the direction the sound is coming from. The sound comes from their neighbor Artigo’s house.

         -”Oh my God! How did that happen?” cries Ana.

In the middle of the room, Artigo is on his face on the floor and blood flows from the back of his head. His daughter stands next to him, frozen in fear, motionless looking at his father. Grandfather checks if he is alive or not and makes a glance that expresses his death.

        -”Who did it? Fruta! Can you hear me? Please talk to us! What happened?”

Fruta is both scared and upset. Although she tries to answer, not a word comes out of her mouth. Diogo brings her some water. After taking a sip of it, all she says is “It is back again!”.

            -”What do you mean Fruta? Who is it?” asks grandfather.

           -”The raven curse! It is back!” replies Fruta.

Grandfather stands up in fear and begins to remember old events about the raven curse. He remembers the days when he lost his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and many of his relatives due to the raven curse. How painful it hurts even to remember.

         -”Grandfather! We have to do something. It returned for us! Me and Ana!”

              – “I know! Let me think about what we can do…” says grandfather.

 

After Artigo’s funeral, grandfather, Anne, and Diego come together to work on the grandfather’s plan about getting rid of the raven curse. Since the raven’s curse occurs at night, they will do all their work during the day and stand in a sheltered area as much as possible at night. Meanwhile, they will let the only man who can sweep the curse away know about the situation they are in. He is half human half soul man, Deserto. Deserto couldn’t do anything while grandfather lost most of his family members since grandfather couldn’t ask for help at the right time! But now, he is conscious of the situation and knows how and when the curse is on!

 

2

WHITE DISASTER

 

I woke up early on a snowy and foggy day. When I saw the snowy weather, I gotreally excited. I thought we could play snowball with my friends after school. But itwas time to go to school now. My family and I had breakfast together. Then, I went to the garden to wait for my school bus. By the time I went to the garden, the driver – Uncle Joe had already arrived at our garden. Uncle Joe said, “Good morning, how areyou?” Without waiting for my answer he said “Come on, be quick, fasten your belt,girl !”. I thought he was in a hurry or he was thinking of something else. I was a bit confused about his behaviour but I ignored him. Maybe he could have a problem that morning. As usual, I took my seat near my friends- Sally and Mike.

 

When I got on the school bus,Sally and Mike were talking about their geographyhomework. So, I also participated in their conversation. Unfortunately I had forgottento put on my seat belt while I was chatting with my friends. Mike asked Sally: “Have you done your homework? Sally said with surprise,“No, did we have homework?” Sally had forgotten to do her homework as usual.

 

At that moment, there was a nice song playing on the radio. I was dreaming of playing snowball and making a huge snowman with my friends happily while watching the snowflakes coming down from the sky. Uncle Joe was a good driver. He had been driving for years. I would never feel afraid when I was with Joe even when driving through sharp bends. He was always driving slowly and carefully. Uncle Joe started singing a song. He tried to look happy but he seemed as if he had wanted to forget about something. We all started to sing together. We continued to move towards the school with the joyful laughter of my friends.

 

Everything happened suddenly. The laughter stopped. There were screams spreading only for fear of death….There was a dense darkness, the voice of my crying friends, whispering prayers….

 

“Angela! Open your eyes! Angela!” I was awakened by the voice of Mike. Everything seemed blurry, there was severe pain in my left side. I slowly started to remember the screams, my falling from the bus seat and hitting my shoulder…No no no! There was a huge avalanche on us. Sally tried to save me up but I was stuck, I wasn’t able to move my body, especially my shoulder. Uncle Joe was trying to calm the crying students. “Stay calm, calm down, of course we will go out. Don’t move. Stay calm.” His voice was stressful and anxious. There was snow all over the bus. The windows on the right were cracked, ice-cold air and snow filled inside. No

one was able to move. My friend Lisa, who was sitting on the right seat, was unconscious. The closest person to her was me. I should have reached her, but how? It was really hard to move my body.

BRANIMIRA’S STUDENTS:

Uncle Joe managed to pull out his phone and dialed the emergency number. He gave a quick and clear explanation of the situation. During this time, Lisa began to regain consciousness. All the children on the bus were in general good condition, but very scared. The mountain rescue service came very quickly, but for us those eight minutes were an eternity.

They immediately began to tunnel through the snow. We heard their voices and started shouting “We’re here!”

 

Apparently the rescuers had included a dog in the action as we heard his barking. After a while we saw the dog’s head on the left side of the bus. The rescuers widened the hole a little more and pulling us all out.

 

Our parents were waiting for us with worried eyes. We were all happy and grateful to be alive and well after this avalanche.

 

CREATIVE STORY

STUDENTS OF SUZAN & BRANIMIRA(C1-C2 LEVEL)

 

 

 

 

 

3

TWO’S COMPANY

 

 

What are the special ingredients which underpin working relationships and make them so successful?

 

  1. Mark Sainsbury talks about Samuel Clark, with whom he co-owns a successful restaurant”

 

“Our parents were friends and we’ve been on holiday together for as long as I can remember. I was also responsible for introducing Sam to his wife, Samantha. When they started going out, we all decided we would up a restaurant together. Sam and Samantha are now the chefs, and I am the rest of the operation.

Sam and I are very different, but our relationship is full of respect. I care about all the non-cooking details, if the mirrors are polished, that sort of thing; I prefer to do things thoroughly and well. Mark would be hopeless at that. He’s also too thin-skinned to deal with customers – he’d find it too hurtful when they were rude, whereas it doesn’t bother me at all. However, he’s absolutely brilliant with the chaos in the kitchen, and at dealing with the unexpected, which would throw me completely. So we support and balance each other really effectively.

But our relationship hasn’t been a complete bed of roses. What helps us to get on is a clear demarcation of the area we’re in charge of; we don’t tend to tread on each other’s toes.”

 

  1. Tim Bevan talks about Eric Fellman, co-chairman of the film company that produced Four Weddings and a Funeral and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

 

            “Film production is a lonely occupation, and it’s much better doing it as a duo. We discuss most matters. It’s crucial to have a partner who you can bounce ideas off. We haven’t had an argument in ten years, we trust each other absolutely, and we see or speak to each other every day although, funnily enough, we don’t see each other socially.

In this business you can be the greatest person one minute and losing millions the next. Through the highest of highs and lowest of lows, we help each other to be objective about things, without giving up or getting above ourselves.

Character-wise, we couldn’t be more different. I’m very pro-active and probably more aggressive in attitude, whereas Eric is much more cautious. He can sometimes make me less impatient, and I can make him less hesitant, so we bring out the best in each other. He’s very good socially with people, fair-minded, with an extremely good sense of humour, which you need in this game.“

 

  1. Ian Hislop, political editor and comedian, talks about his writing partner, cartoonist Nick Newman

 

“Nick and I were at school together, and I was very envious that he could be funny as well as being able to draw better than me by a mile – most of us had only one skill. Despite his talents, he’s not full of himself and he certainly doesn’t take himself too seriously.

He’s very, very good company, he makes me laugh more than anyone I know. The best thing about working with him is that it doesn’t feel like work at all. Although, working so closely together, it can feel a bit like a marriage at times – squabbling about who left the top off a pep, that sort of thing.

I don’t think there’s any rivalry between us, although I think that Nick gets irritated if my so-called celebrity status means I sometimes appear to be the one chosen to do a particular job. I can’t imagine a situation where we’re not working together a lot of the time. If you’ve known somebody for that long, you’ve the right to say “That’s not funny!” without any of us feeling crushed by it. It saves a huge amount of editing.”

 

 

 

ANSWER THE QUESTIONS

 

 

  1. Who is Samuel Clark?
  2. What does we don’t tend to tread on each other’s toes” mean?
  3. In what ways do Samuel and Mark differ from each other?
  4. Who is Eric Fellman?
  5. What is Tim Bevan like?
  6. Who is Ian Hislop?
  7. What is the best thing about working with Nick Newman?
  8. What are the names of films produced by Eric Fellman’s film company?
  9. What does “our relationship hasn’t been a complete bed of rosesmean?
  10. Who were at school together?
4

Reviews and books selling: which relationship?

Four leading publishers have been asked about the effect of the reviews of a book on its commercial success. Here is what they said.

 

Publisher A

 

Reviews are absolutely key for publishers – the first part of the newspaper we turn to. A Book Marketing survey  found some years ago that when questioned on why they had bought a particular book, more people cited reviews than any other prompting influence (advertisements, word of mouth, bookshop display, etc.).

Authors’ responses to reviews are slightly different from publishers’. Both are devastated by no reviews, but publishers are usually more equable about the bad reviews, judging that column inches are what matter and that a combination of denunciation and ecstatic praise can actually create sales as readers decide to judge for themselves.

Publishers probably get the most pleasure from a review which precisely echoes their own response to a book – they are often the first “reader”.

 

Publisher B

 

While publishers and the press fairly obviously have a common interest in the nature of book review pages, one also needs to remember that their requirements substantially differ: a newspaper or magazine needs to provide its readers with appropriately entertaining material; a publishing house wants to see books, preferably its own, reviewed, preferably favourably.

Without any question, book reviewing is “better” – more diverse, less elitist – than 40 years ago, when I began reading review pages. That said, there is still a long-grumbled-about tendency to neglect the book medium read by a majority – namely paperbacks. The weekly roundups aren’t really adequate even if conscientiously done. And even original paperbacks only rarely receive serious coverage.

But publishers shouldn’t complain too much. Reviews are an economical way of getting a book and an author known. There is no question that a lively account of a new book by a trusted name can generate sales – even more if there are several of them.

 

Publisher C

 

It is sure that all publishers and all writers dream of long, uniformly laudatory reviews. But do they sell books? I once published a biography. The reviews were everything I could have craved. The book was a flop – because everyone thought that, by reading the lengthy reviews, they need not buy the book.

Does the name of the reviewer make a difference? Thirty years ago, if certain reviewers praised a book, the public seemed to take note and obey their recommendations. These days, it is as much the choice of an unexpected reviewer, or the sheer power or wit or originality of the review, which urges the prospective buyer into the bookshop.

 

Publisher D

 

The relationship  between publishing and reviewing? I wish I knew! In some countries like the United States it’s simple: the New York Times can make or break a book with a single review. In other countries the people in the bookshops often don’t appear to take much notice of them.

It sometimes takes 20 years of consistently outstanding reviews for people to start reading a good writer’s work. Yet some of the most dismally received books, or books not yet reviewed, are the biggest sellers of all. So it’s all very unpredictable, though non-fiction is less so. Mind you, non-fiction does allow reviewers to indulge themselves by telling us what they know about the subject of the book under review rather than about the book itself.

 

TEACHER GIOVANNA-STUDENT GIUSY

TEACHER BİRSEN-STUDENT ŞEYMA

5

        Things in our lives

 

When we talk about ‘things’ that are in our lives, we mostly think about the material stuff. Stuff is everywhere. Bags, books, clothes, cars, toys, jewellery, furniture. We consider a lot of it ours. More than tools, luxuries or junk, our possessions become part of us. We use them to signal to ourselves, and others, who we want to be and where we want to belong.

 

Today, a lot of people have a problem with surplus and unnecessary stuff at their home. They want to get rid of things but in every person there is a small hoarder who is saying something like this: ‘NO! Don’t do that! Maybe you will need it someday.’ ; or: ‘Hey, it was a present. Do you really want to hit memory that easily?’ And that is where the problem was born.

 

Sadly, people value materialism more and more. They buy things they don’t need, to impress other people they don’t like. A human being became the by-product of a lifestyle obsession. If your greatest desire in life is to own more things, you are setting your potential short. Thinking like that, you will slowly understand this: instead of having expensive objects – I will have myself as a value of human race.

 

Let’s be more simple for life!Simplicity is defined as the quality or condition of being plain or uncomplicated in form or design.Simplicity is freedom from extravagance, luxury and complexity. An example of simplicity is sitting in a lush meadow on a summer’s day.

 

Think about you are alone and you are in the middle of a big island.You do not have your stuff anymore.No jewellery, no furniture, no cars ,no clothes etc.

What would you do in a such situation?Is it possible to go on such a life ?Of course, it will be hard but you can handle it.Then you feel free like a bird!

 

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