Destination / Extermination

by Ruida Ding


Four past twelve. ‘Forty-two seconds left to make it to the Exam 

Schools’; I took in a last eyeful of the resplendent Oxonian 

architecture and let out a deep long sigh, ‘My sincerest gratitude, 

dearest punctual lecturer.’ A swarm of students made the beeline for the 

Bodleian transport booths and I swiftly buzzed along. Bearing witness to 

a seemingly incessant stream of farewells, my Bod card was then 

promptly pressed (or, more accurately, slammed) onto the reader, for an 

equally uncomfortable and contrived contact. Starkly juxtaposed with the 

sparks of technological modernity in the transport centre, antiqued 

paintings sat snugly on-top marbled walls, evidently unrepresentative of 

this frantic predicament I have found myself in.


Beep. Blink. Nope. Nada. That vexing red light. That bloody red light. A 

metallic thud reverberated through the facility, resonating with my 

frustration. Another thud, this time an intimate contact of my foot with 

the now firmly shut booth door.


Though long accustomed to such streaks of bad luck, I found the 

slight misfortune rather peculiar. Did the Bodleian Transport System 

breakdown? Were there some cryptic Terms & Conditions I had hastily given consent to? No way… Those were outlawed way back in 3218…


Five past twelve. Et tu, BTS? I would have already arrived by now!


No more time to pause and ponder: clock’s ticking, time’s slipping. And 

then there is light. All-engulfing light.


Destination: Extermination. We have arrived.

The Poor Print

The Oriel College Student Newspaper. Run by students, with contributions from the JCR, MCR, SCR, Staff. Current Executive Editors: Monim Wains and Martin Yip

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