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Tips, exercises and fascinating articles for English learners from A2 – C2 levels.
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Many of the blogs below were published on the Le Temps newspaper website during the past six years.

An apple a day keeps the scientists away

A short story collaboration by Maria Duran and Garry Littman

“Thanks for the apple, mate.”

As my eyes slowly start to adjust, I make out the shadow of a person standing over me.

“You can speak, can’t you?”

“Yes. I can speak,” I reply with difficulty. My body feels like it has been disassembled and reassembled, molecule by molecule. All things considered, that’s probably what has happened.

“Who are you?” I ask weakly.

“My name is Felix, and I suppose your name is Mark,” he replies brightly.

“How do you know that?” I ask, my head spinning.

“Oh! It’s written on your lab coat,” he replies and motions for me to follow him. I do, with great effort.

“You are the one who sent the apple, aren’t you?” Felix asks. I do not reply.

“Where are we?” I ask suddenly. Felix turns and gives me a cryptic smile.

“You’ll see!”

He leads me through a curtain. I cringe from the sudden brightness. I look up and I am greeted by 25 men and five women all wearing white lab coats and almost all of them wearing glasses, and all and every one of them, staring at me.

“Everyone, this is Mark,” Felix exclaims. He turns to me.

“Welcome Mark, to the greatest gathering of teleporting scientists on Earth, or somewhere, sometime, some place, at least!”

They continue to stare at me. I offer a weak smile.

“Oh, you must be hungry,” Felix says suddenly.

“Do you want an apple?” 


I shake my head. What is his obsession with apples? I sit down at a table and rub my throbbing temples.

Apples, apples, apples…. Finally, something clicks, and I remember the moment, our very own Gala apple disappeared from the launch portal of our teleporter. And the hush of wonderment that followed.

I remember returning to the laboratory that same night, crouching in the portal, the blinding flash and the feeling of being dismantled organ by organ, cell by cell.

My stomach clenches and I feel the nausea again.

“Mate, you really look like you need an apple,” Felix’s voice brings me back to reality. He sits down in front of me.

“Don’t despair. There is some good news.  First of all, thanks to you and your colleagues we have an endless supply of apples. But the most exciting news is that Martin, the scientist who had been here the longest, just got sucked back home. He’ll be going home to quite some accolades, maybe a Nobel prize!”

I perk up and try to unscramble my head.

“How long has he been here?” I ask as professionally as I can.

“Precisely 16 years, 40 days, 5 hours and 10 seconds,” Felix answers checking his watch. “Unfortunately, that seems to be about 4.76 seconds of what we used to consider normal time. A bit of rude glitch in time, I’m afraid.

“According to our calculations, Emma is going to be sucked back in around an hour,” Felix continues without pause.



“You should come watch! I have to go check on the apple trees, but feel free to look around.”

I watch him leave. My stomach rumbles. I reach for the apple Felix has left on the table. It is a Gala. It looks somewhat familiar. I take a large bite. I feel like Alice in Wonderland.

I think I know what this wonderland is. I am eating a teleported apple in a wrinkle in time between two teleport portals.

How am I going to describe this in the Modern Science Journal? I shake my head. I don’t need to worry about that now. After all, I have a long time ahead of me to think about it, as I take another bite of my Gala apple. Really quite delicious.


“An apple a day keeps the scientists away” is a short story collaboration that originated from a brainstorming session during a writing course at The Language House.

 Maria Duran is a 17 year old student at College Emilie-Gourd.


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All our blogs are written by our trainers.
Director and senior trainer Garry Littman 
Trainer, Benedicte Gravrand
Academic Director and senior trainer David Creber