Welcome to my Narrative project! For the Narrative unit, we were asked to first, write short flash fiction on any topic we wanted, and then required to make the story come to life with a recording, and also create a cover image for our story recording.
In English, we were required to write a short story. I decided to take inspiration from what was going at the time, which was quarantine, and wrote a story about it. The story is about two students who stick with each other through a deadly virus, having only each other while everyone else around them was falling dead. For my audio recording, I had a friend help me record the boy/girl parts and put it all together on Pro Tools, and downloaded sound effects that I thought could go along with it. I valued being able to bring my story to life with the audio recording and being able to make it sound more realistic and not just words on a piece of paper.
For the short story album art, we were required to create a short story album art for our story and recording. For this, I wanted to depict the two main characters Abbie and Will, as silhouettes with a sunset in the back. I also created symbols with the hexagon pattern to use for the background and applied a gradient to match the sunset.
Abigail tucked her phone into her backpack. Chairs scraped at the linoleum floors as the students around her took their seats. Mrs. Johnson beckoned to the front of the room, where a seating chart was projected onto the whiteboard.
A groan went around the room, there was a shuffling of bags, and seats, and people. Abigail found herself in the corner of the room, at a group of four, none of whom she knew. Mrs. Johnson switched the projection, announcing a new English unit, but it was obvious that no one was really paying attention.
“Did you hear about that thing that’s been going around?” The boy next to her whispered.
“Yeah, it’s crazy how much it’s spread in a few weeks.”
“I heard people are actually dying from it.” The girl on the opposite side of her chimed in.
“That’s just rumors, nothing could possibly come out of it,” Abigail piped up. “They’re trying to scare us.”
Mrs. Johnson clapped her hands loudly, drawing everyone’s attention back to the front of the room. “Guys, please,” She loudly set down her dry erase marker as the last of the whispers died down. “I know what’s happening right now is scary, but we’re here to learn.”
The boy next to Abby leaned over and whispered, “I’m Will.”
She turned to look at him, “I’m Abigail.”
At the end of that period, they exchanged emails.
Will, 2:00 am
Oh my gosh, have you seen what’s going on? Did you get that alert on your phone? It’s Will, by the way.
Abby, 2:01 am
Oh Woah, hi Will. Yeah, I think my entire family is going insane. We’re not allowed to go outside, right? Just straight up banned from it?
Will, 2:03 am
People have been dropping like flies, I guess it’s probably for the best. Can we make a deal? As long as one of us is alive, neither of us goes out. I just need like, motivation.
Abby, 2:10 am
Oh uh. Yeah, sure, why not.
The sun that night set on the dead.
Will, 4:34 pm
Hey Abby. Good morning. Or afternoon, I guess. I spent all day working on random assignments, but I feel like everything takes longer now. This whole thing is freaking me out. The phone lines are down, all the social media sites have been crashing. It feels like an apocalypse.
Abby, 6:21 pm
Will. Honestly, I think that’s cause it is.
Abby was called down to dinner by her parents.
Abby, 6:22 pm
Bye Will, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
Abby finds trouble falling asleep all night, but realizes that Will is probably asleep and decides to reach out tomorrow.
The sun peaks through her window the next morning, she gets up out of bed, but she notices a note on her desk:
We’re so sorry to have to leave you alone, but we must go.
We are done with this virus, and we are running out of ideas.
We booked a plane to your grandparents’ house in Canada, and we will be back when it’s safe to do so, but for now, you be safe and don’t go out.
We love you, Mom and Dad.
Abby, 10:35 am
Is the lockdown over? People have been going out, I heard. I’m kinda scared, dude. And to make it worse, I just got word from my parents that they left the country.
Will, 10:36 am
Stay inside. It’s not over, everyone that’s gone out so far has been dying. I don’t think they know if it’s airborne or if it’s settled on the trees. You get it if you breathe it in, and if it touches your skin. And then you die.
Abby, 10:39 am
Yeah, I know. My grandma’s dead. It was exactly like the news have been saying, she got a bad fever, and then after a few hours, she was dead. That’s it, the only symptom is a fever. No wonder it’s managed to spread so quickly, no one can tell when its coming. We can get through this though. I think. Promise me, Will, that we can get through this.
Will, 11:05 am
I’m sorry, Abby. I can’t. But we can try. Why have you been talking to me, by the way? I’ve been meaning to ask for a bit but never really found the right time.
Abby, 11:07 am
How forward. I dunno, you’re nice to talk to. It takes my mind away.
Three weeks later
Will, 2:53 pm
Well. My parents are dead. I think my dad brought it home from his job, he works at a grocery store so he’s been delivering everything. I don’t know how to process it. Have you seen anyone outside? I haven’t.
Abby, 3:05 pm
Will, that’s awful, I’m so sorry! I haven’t seen anyone in like a week. Remember when I told you my dad had died? When they tried to run to Canada but got sick on the way? I just got word from the hospital in Quebec, my mom died too. Do you think that’s it? It feels like there’s nowhere else to go from here.
Will, 3:20 pm
We’re still alive, somehow. That’s something, isn’t it? It has to be, you’re the only thing that’s kept me going. Can we meet? I need to see you. What’s your address, I’ll come to you.
Abby, 3:31 pm
No, not my house. The park. The one near the school.
It was the scariest thing Abby had ever done, leaving the house like that. The silence that had been smothering her for weeks felt heavy, like a blanket. No cars roared by, not even as she crossed the main street in their town. The email she’d gotten about her parents was automated, she could tell, and G-d knew if whoever had logged their deaths in the machine was still alive. Will’s voice was the first she’d heard in days, and when she fell into his arms, for a second it really did feel like everything was going to be okay.
Then she noticed his skin. And he noticed hers.
“You’re sick.” He said, feeling her forehead.
“So are you.” She replied, trying to look brave. They sat on a bench, her hands trembling, though if it was the cold fall air or the fever, she really couldn’t tell.
“I didn’t want to tell you,” Will finally spoke, his fingers fiddling with the sleeve of his sweater. “I don’t know how long I have, a few hours maybe?”
“I only noticed mine an hour ago,” Abby replied, not meeting his eyes. They sat on the bench, not talking, the silence pressing in from all around them. It felt impossible to break it again, like hacking at sheet metal with a toothpick. Her vision, she could tell, was starting to get blurry, her fingertips buzzing with a sort of fragile warmth she’d never felt before. Will let out a pained groan and turned, laying his head in her lap. Without really thinking about it, Abby leaned over and kissed him, his lips so warm it almost hurt to touch them.
“We made it.” He muttered into her mouth. She pulled away, blinking back tears she didn’t know she still had had in her as his face drooped suddenly, his eyes glazing over.
Abby leaned back, as soft black clouds danced in her vision.
Next, we were asked to create an Illustrator project that we would make into something physical. For example, I drew stickers to be printed out. My inspiration for this project was the fact that I recently enjoyed creating stickers out of people, and wanted to continue this, however, with my favorite TV Show: Criminal Minds.
Additionally, for the music aspect, we were asked to create a parody of a song. For the parody project, I decided to use Kesha and wanted to take a twist on it. I wrote the parody in the view of a high schooler and included different aspects of high school life. I started out by downloading the audio of Tik Tok by Kesha and then used Pro Tools to fade out Kesha singing so that it sounded more like an instrumental. Then, I recorded my own lyrics while listening to the music in my headphones. I added my recording to the session with the instrumental and then mixed them together.
Wake up in the morning feeling light and breezy.
Go downstairs to finish work, it’s just all too easy
Before i leave, check the gram, classes just too sleazy
Cause when i leave for the zoom, i ain’t coming back
I’m talking canvas making no sense, sense
Breakout rooms are tense, tense
Grades blowing up our phones, phones
Teachers are heading down to their class- rooms
Showing up to the zooms, zooms
Just to get stuck on a screen share…
Please stop, make it stop
Teacher, raise my grades up
Tonight, imma fight
Just to get those grades up
Tick tock on the clock
but the homework doesn’t stop, no
Oh, whoa, whoa-oh
Oh, whoa, whoa-oh
Don’t stop, make it pop
Siri, play some study bops
Tonight imma write
Till I see the sunlight
Tik tok on the clock, but the homework don’t stop, no
Oh, whoa, whoa-oh
Oh, whoa, whoa-oh
Finally, for the elective part, in Design, we were required to create a creature that represented the characteristics and traits of our main character in the flash fiction story. My main character Abbie had many traits including shyness, smartness, and curiosity. For this project, I combined parts of different animals: the owl, dog, snake, elephant, and butterfly to really represent all these different traits in a creative way.
We first started out by listing the different animals we were going to use by different species (mammal, insect, bird, ocean animal, and reptile.) This was helpful to get a basic idea on where to start for the project.
We then started planning out the background and what kinds of aspects we would incorporate into it. The main part of the background needed to represent a scene from our flash fiction story.
My process began with placing all the different animals into Illustrator and then using the Pen tool to trace the outlines and change the colors according to my different color schemes. This is what the final creature for my project looked like in Illustrator.
Finally, I used an airport scene for my background because I wanted to recreate the scene where Abbie’s parents take off for their flight when they leave the country.
I really valued being able to use gradients, drop shadows, and glow effects to make my photo look more interesting. Overall, this project was really enjoyable and I loved being able to learn new things about Illustrator while doing it.