College Insider at St Anne’s

Our insider pens a desperate plea to the outside world from the cold, dark periphery of Oxford University

SOS—if this letter is found please send help (51°45’43.6”N 1°15’45.4”W).

It’s been 54 days since we lost contact with the rest of Oxford. In that time we have seen no sign of life save for a few squirrels (which we have taken to eating raw out of pure desperation) and the odd Hugh’s student, on whom we have given up taking pity—they truly are a lost cause and I hear they already have a conch. We huddle on the quad in order to shelter ourselves from the bitter north wind where, if you’re lucky, the masses of people block out the sight of the brutalist monstrosities which, in all honesty, look better now they have been left to decay.

A new principal has arisen from the anarchy and we gladly obey her, fearing the wrath of her law enforcement background. Between you and I, if anyone is in fact reading this, I fear an uprising. As food supplies run out and tensions build, certain members of the college have only grown in self-importance. A journalistically-minded student has donned his blazer and has begun discreetly spreading his agenda through a crudely constructed pamphlet of propaganda, using dry leaves and what I presume is pigeon blood from the grotesque red colour.

The new library looms tall over us, a cruel reminder of a future that might have been. But, despite the hope it was intended to create, its box-like structure is a daily reflection of the Jericho cage in which we are trapped, cut off from society.

It is well known that Anne’s chose to build a coffee shop in favour of a chapel, which is a cruel kind of irony now that we are in such dire need of salvation from a higher force. We pass around an iced latte as a sort of communion wine, but the effect is not the quite same.

I have been writing these letters daily, in part for my own sanity, and attaching them to the back of Ali’s kebab van, in what is probably vain hope of rescue. I fear that, once supplies run dry, things might take a turn. Luckily, due to our foundation as a women’s college, I am unlikely to be chosen as the first sacrifice.

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Please, if you find this, contact the authorities. Faces look increasingly gaunt, and the men look increasingly nervous.