The Hub: “The Mystery of the S” by Walter Carrera
After enrolling in Professor Robyn Read’s Introduction to Creative Writing class in January 2015, Sheridan Interaction Design student Walter Carrera uncovered his long-lost passion for narrative storytelling; thanks in large part to his experience in CWRT15389GD with Dr. Read, Carrera went on to submit his work to the Sheridan Writing Contest, and his story, “The Mystery of the S” was awarded first prize! Check out the winning announcement here: https://firstyearconnections.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/congratulations-to-our-sheridan-writing-contest-winners/ and enjoy Walter’s story below.
About Walter Carrera:
I am a 21-year-old Interaction Design student, and an aspiring writer. As a kid I imagined myself being as famous as J.K. Rowling, and set out to write short stories and poems. Growing up, I began to distance myself from that dream, frustrated with the English language. I knew however, that I had to create; to imagine and bring to life. Thinking that I had it all as a design student, I found an opportunity to get back into writing. Creative writing class with Robyn Read has brought back a flood of stories into my mind. I had the pleasure of sharing my work with my class, learning how to improve and be comfortable receiving feedback. “The Mystery of the S” is one of the stories I am very proud of. I thank professors Robyn Read and Karen Kachra, my friends and family, and my fiancé for their support.
The Mystery of the S
By Walter Carrera
Getting off the bus, I stepped out onto the curb with a bag hanging on a shoulder. A large letter S, standing on the pavement, greeted me with glowing colors. I wasn’t the only one who noticed. Several students walking towards the school pointed at it and took pictures. “Is this new?” I heard a young girl ask another. “I never saw this on the tour,” she continued. It must be, I thought, as I began to unfold the schedule in my hands. I looked at it intently, and then pulled up a map of the campus on my phone. Right, the lecture hall, I said to myself. Off I went, and as I passed the S-shaped structure, I touched it. It went a shade of red. “Well it’s nice to meet you too,” I said.
In the hall, several rows of seats were positioned as in the theatre. I decided to take a place in the middle row. At the front, a man finished pulling out papers from a messenger bag. “I am professor Samuels, and welcome to your first lecture,” he greeted. The buzz among the seated students had yet to die down. I could already see my peers becoming well acquainted with one another. I merely focused ahead, careful not to lock eyes with anyone. The professor continued, “I’ll start with a bit about myself.” He went up to his computer and suddenly the large screen behind him had an image projected onto it.
“I am an Industrial Designer, and have been working in this industry, as well as other design related fields for, oh, about 20 years now.” Several of his slides on the screen depicted some of his contributions to the world of design. Only one peeked my interest, of which he cared to explain. “This, I worked on with a team. We designed a Smart Rotating Closet.” The volume of the room dropped drastically. The professor noticed this and grinned as he went on. “Its connection to the Internet allows it to know the weather.” Another slide came up and showed technical drawings. I found myself at the edge of my seat. “So say that it’s below 0 degrees Celsius, and you don’t have time to find the appropriate clothes for the weather conditions.” An animation on the screen did the rest of his explaining.
I was baffled by the idea. The closet would change around and give you the clothes you needed! Genius, I thought, until something else came to my mind. I shot my hand up. “A question?” He asked. “What if you’re coming home, and want to change back to shorts?” I could feel many eyes on me as the professor replied, “Ah, good question.” A click on his computer and the screen changed once more. “When you come back in to put away your clothes, it will then switch back to indoor wear.” Loud whispers could be heard in approval. I nodded as he looked up to me. He turned his attention to the class again, “Ok, now that you know a little about myself, I would like you to get to know each other.” I sighed, and then turned towards my classmate.
I got to know my partner well. Selena, she told me her name was. Much like myself she had come to Sheridan College for its new and unique design course. “I’m honestly so happy I came here,” she told me. “My parents wanted me to go to University for a degree in Computer Science. I told them no, that I wanted a College life, even if that meant only getting a diploma.” I shared her feelings. There was no way I would go for theory. I wanted something more hands-on. “But then I found out there are degree programs here too!” Her widened eyes complimented her big smile. I reciprocated it. It was then I realized I hadn’t even begun to introduce myself.
“Alright class, time’s up!” My partner and I turned our heads toward the professor. “Before we leave today, I want to let you in on a secret,” he said. The sounds of the students died down once more. The professor paced around as he continued, “I’m sure most of you have seen the very large S shape at the front of the school.” Ah, my glowing companion, I remembered. How is that a secret? The professor stopped in his tracks. “Do not touch it! I’ve been advised that it has the ability to remember the person who does.” Several whispers ensued, and a student spoke out, “Is it dangerous?” I suddenly did not feel well. “No,” Samuels replied, “but it is meddlesome, and you might regret it.” I looked at Selena sternly, only to find her looking as equally uncomfortable as I did.
Outside of class, Selena and I stood in the hallway as our classmates passed by. “You touched it too, didn’t you?” She asked. I nodded slowly. “What do you think it will do to us?” I shrugged, I wasn’t too sure myself. “Well, I’m sure it’s nothing bad, or else they would have removed it,” she assured herself. I finally spoke, “Yeah, or at least put caution tape around it.” She agreed with me. “Where are you off to now?” She asked. “Give me a sec,” I replied. Then, I pulled out my schedule. I had nothing else for the rest of the day and I showed her. “Same here,” she told me. “Let’s eat first and then we can go back home,” she suggested. “Alright,” I told her, “name’s Wally by the way.”
The cafeteria was much larger than I imagined. Glass panes along one wall allowed the sun to illuminate the whole of the area. Large white tables were filled with people seated around them, conversing as they ate. After a bit of searching, we found ourselves a spot for two. “You have lunch?” She asked as I made to open my bag. I pulled out a ham sandwich and a juice box. “This is all I’ve got,” I told her. She smiled, and took out a large canteen from her own bag. “Chicken soup for me,” she said wiggling the canteen. We ate our food silently, glancing around the cafeteria, and sometimes at each other.
Once done with my food, I pulled out my phone. “My bus leaves in 8 minutes,” I let her know. “Mine as well,” she said, “you take the 46?” “Yeah, that’s it!” I told her. “Well then we have a bus to catch,” she said, as she packed up. We made our way to the front of the school, in a hurry. As we stepped out on the pavement where the large S display continued to glow. I looked at Selena, who looked concerned. We stopped walking. “Something wrong?” I asked. She thought for a while longer. Then, she said, “When I touched it, I wished that I would make a friend today.” She took a few steps toward it as in a daze. “It went a shade of red after that, as if it heard me.” I stood behind stuck to my place. She turned around, “do you think it’s a wish granter?” I shrugged, uncertain. “Come on, we’ll miss the bus,” she added.
As we climbed on, and sat down, the bus began to roll away. I looked back at the S shape, which suddenly turned from its many shades of blue, to a shade of red. It must be, I thought, as I made my way back home with my new friend.