At this part of town – Mia Scowen – THIRD PLACE!
At this part of town, grim fog clouded the streets, cars and city buildings, barely visible. Evidently, nobody felt safe walking down the alleyway. The cold gaseous substance some people called air bit your cheeks as dancing figures of wind twirled around you. I would often visit this morbid town, avoiding the alley; until now. My temptation to go there was unreal. I wanted to see the things I had never seen alone.
Cold and solitary, I edged towards soldier alley, I had always wondered why it was called this. Well, I soon found out. A deafening screech pounded on my eardrums, all of a sudden a cold bony finger swiped up against my shoulder. I revolved trying so hard to breathe so hard, that I couldn’t. A bloody figure dressed in camouflage, with a bullet in his head, is what I saw. This is why it was called soldier alley, I did not think that at that moment as I could not I was to horrified. I stared at his solid body and wondered how a solid figure appeared out of thin air. His eyes radiated a bright red colour quite demonically and his clothes and hands were stained with mud and… fresh blood? My heart was pounding, my hands clotted with sweat. I fainted, and woke up in a strange room. It was the psychiatrist’s office.All I could hear was my name being called over and over again… a bell ringing in my ears. Apparently that was the story I had told him. I thought that it was nonsense but it felt so non-fictitious. I squeezed in a “thanks” and left not remembering anything we had spoken about.
My name was Aimee, I was 21 with a delicate face and hazel eyes. I used to have long, coffee-brown, wavy hair that just sat on my shoulders, but that was when I was 21, I’m dead now.
After I came home from the psychiatrist’s, I was exhausted, and thirsty… I walked into my kitchen and my legs collapsed and fell to the ground; blood dripped down from the ceiling and on to my hands. I shut my eyes. Opened them. It was gone. I had been hallucinating ever since my parents died, I never knew if I should believe what I saw because it always looked so real. But soon enough I forgot about the hallucinations and continued to make a cup of tea; my hands shook until i spilt the fiery liquid down my dress, this just reminded me of the soldier. I gave up on the drink and trembled up the stairway which had seemed much longer than usual, when i finally came to my door i hobbled in, so tired i could have slept forever. That’s what i did. I turned as i shut my door and he was behind it. The soldier. Words came from his mouth as he strangled me. He whispered “when the army dies, the world dies with it”.
Is This The End For Me? – Evie Martin-Cuthbertson – SECOND PLACE!
The rain poured down, drenching my surroundings in water. Smartly dressed people walk nervously past me, eager to start work for the day. Children skip past whilst others get scolded by their mothers for jumping in the ever growing puddles. One creeps slowly towards me, slithering swiftly towards its prey. An old coffee cup lays in my lap with very few coins but enough to keep each other. Business men and women stroll swiftly into the enormous sky scraping tower blocks. People glance around when they suddenly start to get a glimpse of me. “Aye you’re a wee lass now aren’t ye?”. A tremendously tall man, wearing what looked like a dinner suit, stood in front of my frail body. Only after a few minutes had I realised that he was holding out what looked like warm milk with a rich, velvety syrup drizzled on top. ” Aye take it now lassie as ye know that I don’t have all day?”. I hesitated but he insisted that I take the warm substance. “Aye, good girl. Drink all of it and get some strength in ye bones! Oh! I almost forgot,”. He reached into his briefcase and gently revealed a huge brown paper bag. Before I had time to thank him for his unimaginable kindness, he was already two blocks down the street, dodging the rain droplets. Carefully, I opened the big brown paper bag. I stared in awe as what I saw was unreal; a Thermos flask filled with a homemade vegetable broth, two more flasks filled with more of that milk with the velvety syrup, a loaf of freshly baked bread that was still warm with some butter and at the bottom of the bag was a small, pale white envelope.
There was nothing much inscribed on the envelope apart from my name Tilly Daventon. Inside, a smaller piece of card also had very little words written on it; an address and a bus ticket to Lennox Hill, Manhattan. The address was unrecognisable to me. I decided to go to the address place the day after the next. I did not know what to expect really as what had happened so far had happened so quickly. I stared into the old coffee cup, filled to the brim with water, to see a undistinguishable face staring back up at me. I knew I didn’t belong in this rural world. The day had finally come. My heart was beating wildly like a the drum in a single march. I soon arrived at this monumental structure of glass. Was this really it? It looked more like a sculpture more than an apartment. I falteringly rung the bell. It echoed throughout this building until I heard a sudden bang of high heels on stone. A lady, caked in makeup, opened the door and beckoned me to come. I stared around in wonder as a man had his back to me. He turned around to reveal the unmistakably, loving face of my father. ” Hello Tilly”.
What lies within the walls – Jaz Skingle – COMPETITION WINNER!
The night is cold and gloomy and I’m lost. Lost as a person, not really fully human. The blades of the wind cut my fragile fingers. The cold surrounds my lips, trapping them in his frosty prison. Looking out of my shattered window, we continue along the velvet path of the moon. The trees bang against each other like two boxers fighting for their lives. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live a life moving from house to house? I move because I have no choice. The thick leather boot of injustice always sneaks up and kicks me out of my home. My wondering eyes fall upon the moon, the last ray of hope. But he is clawed away as the hands of the grimy clouds create an abominable chamber of doom.
At last the huge house that has the word enigma written all over it faces me and the creaking shutters the welcome into this mysterious building within the mist. The house is so intricate; the wood carves a story; the bricks relate to the destiny of those who live within; the roof, so unstable even a feather could send the house to its death and the windows, watchful eyes of that prepare to consume all. As I step up to the crumbling stone stairs I hear a scream. A scream of warning, a scream of knowing. I listen, waiting for another, yet silence falls upon the wood like a sound proof blanket, putting the baby to rest. My fingers turn forbidding door knob.
The grand hallway sparkles like a thousand stars. Running up the stairs a silhouette, black and deformed, races across the narrow hallways that go on forever; a labyrinth of mystery.
Chasing the strange noises, my eyes fall upon a hole in one of the walls. One foot after another I peer in to see what lies before me. An eye with flames dancing, hypnotising me, luring me closer. Flaming hot tails wrap around their prey. Not one but two eyes stare back, piercing my soul. Daggers of evil prepare to slice me up. Paralyzed. What to do, what to do? Oozing out of the hole is a reflection of my saviour in the sky that shines so brightly without the masking clouds. The path. The path to outside.
The contaminated mud beneath my feet is as deadly as gas, swallowing all my sanity. The trees bend over like hags and the mist is stronger, darker. The moon, that last ray of hope, seems to turn on me. An evil glare, invading the night like a warrior searching for land. The screams chase like a pack of wolves and memories ricochet around the forest, echoing in my mind. The darkness is too strong and I am falling. I lay upon the cold bed of death and peer through the hole, I see myself. It’s not possible. Stop! No! Don’t come any closer! The screams that swallow my soul. The night is cold and gloomy and I’m lost. Lost as a person, not really fully human.