Wednesday, November 26, 2008


And then she looked at me, through tear-filled eyes and asked softly, “But when you die. What happens when you die?” I choked back tears, fighting the urge to cry. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. Here was this girl, this child, who was much worse off then me. She wasn’t crying; I wouldn’t either. “I don’t-” I began, then stopped. I didn’t know. I wanted to reach out and hug her, wash away all her fears, but I was afraid I would break her. She looked so fragile, like one tiny breath would smash her into a thousand pieces. She looked up at me, her big, brown eyes looking deep into mine. It was unnerving, as if she was staring into my soul. I was afraid to look back, afraid to see what she had seen. I looked away, ashamed. She coughed softly, then lay back onto the hospital sheets, her face pale. Suddenly, a rasping sound came from her throat. I looked up – right into her eyes. They were a milky white, and I knew that she couldn’t see me. I screamed as she continued to choke, gasping at the air. Her body shuddered violently, spasming out of control. “Help! Somebody – anybody!” I screamed until nurses ran into the room, pushing me aside. “No – wait, she needs me – wait!” They took me by my wrists and pulled me from her bedside, I struggled, against the nurses; and the need to cry. I would not cry. I would be strong - for her. They pulled me into the waiting room as I continued to scream. I collapsed on the sofa, the tears flowing down my face. I couldn’t stop them. I lied there, wishing this was a dream. I knew my daughter was in the room next to me, dying. Without me. Alone. I did not know what time it was when they told me to visit her for the last time. I didn’t care. I felt like days later, but it could have only been a few minutes. I sat beside her bedside, holding her hand. It was cold as ice. I kept repeating, “I’m here, mummy’s here.” while I wished with all my heart that she wasn’t in any pain. Suddenly, she sat up straight, her eyes staring straight ahead. She looked past me, her eyes glazed. Her whole body tensed, her hand pulling away from me, her legs to her chest. Then she relaxed, and her eyes rolled back in her head as she slumped forwards, her head on the sheets. That was it. In two seconds, everything I lived for was gone. Nurses came rushing into the room as they lead me out. I didn’t care. I let them help me out. I didn’t even notice I was in the waiting room again. I didn’t notice when they offered me food or water. I suddenly felt very tired. Overcome by the exhaustion, I slumped in a chair, falling into a deep and dreamless sleep. When the first beams of light streamed through the small window above my head, I stirred. For a minute I was disorientated. I had no idea where I was, and that shocked me. I wondered aloud whether or not my daughter was up. I called her name softly, then, as I looked up at the pale blue walls, it all came flooding back to me. My daughter was not coming back. My daughter was not ever going to sit on my lap, or laugh with me again. My daughter was dead. My daughter was dead. The words echoed in my mind, screaming them at me like daggers. A scream of agony escaped from my throat, filling the room with the echo. I collapsed on the floor, still screaming. I glowered at the pale blue walls, I was angry at everything. The walls were too blue, too relaxing. They didn’t fit here. The glass of coloured jellybeans sat on the bench in the corner. They were too colourful, too bright. Too happy. Nothing should be happy here. I reached out and grabbed the glass throwing it onto the floor in my blind anger. I needed to go home. To go somewhere familiar. Maybe it wouldn’t seem so real then. As I reached my car, I felt a soft hand on my shoulder. “Don’t drive. It would be tragic if something happened to you too.” I shrugged off the hand, not looking into the face of the nurse. “I’m fine.” I mumbled. She shrugged. “It’s your life I guess.” Then she walked away. I stared at my car, and then kicked it angrily. I hated everything. I decided to walk home, to give me something to do. I knew that when I got home I would just sit there, doing nothing. As I walked in front of the row of shops, people walked past me without a glance, laughing and talking happily, oblivious to my pain. Nobody even stopped to ask me how I was. I shoved my hands deeper into my pockets, looking up briefly at the brightly lit shop. I noticed the red and green decorations in the window, and frowned, confused. Then I remembered. Christmas. I sighed, sad. I had forgotten that the world still continued its daily routines. I realized that everyone walking past me didn't know anything about my life, about my pain. I walked through the laughter and sunshine to get home, ignoring everyone. It didn’t seem happy to me. Even though there was laughter and joy all around, I knew there was something missing. My daughter.
I walked through the door of my house, and I realized that it was quiet. A sob of grief escaped me, as I walked s lowly to my room, collapsing on the bed. My daughter was dead, she was never coming back. She was never coming back.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


The girl had not been at school that day, or the day before. He had not really been all that concerned, she had skipped school before; but this time she hadn’t called him. He called her that night, over and over again; nobody picked up. The first couple of times he had shrugged it off. With four brothers, her house was often too loud to hear the phone. Then when she nobody answered the twelfth time he called, he began to get worried.
That night when he went to bed, he tried to convince himself that she had just gone on holiday, “That would explain everything” he thought. But somehow, he couldn’t quite believe it.
In the morning he went over to her house and rang the doorbell over and over again, but nobody let him in. He texted her on her mobile, and called her friends from school; nobody knew where she was.
That night at around 10PM, his phone rings. As he answers, he realizes that something is terribly wrong. On the other end of the line is an odd, cold voice that he doesn’t recognize. The voice says words that chill him to the bone. The voice informs him that they work at the local hospital. He automatically assumes they have the wrong number, and asks why they are calling. The answer he gets makes his heart stop. His girl is in a critical condition and only wants to see him.
His blood runs cold. He loves her more than he had ever loved anyone.
He runs to the hospital as fast as he could, and it is almost too late. Lying there in the hospital bed, she looks so helpless, so frail. He reaches over and holds her hand; it is as cold as ice. Using the last of her strength, she opens her eyes and whispers “What would you do for me?”
He stares into her beautiful blue eyes, and knows that she won’t be around to hear him tomorrow. “I would do anything for you. I would breathe my last breath for you; I would take a bullet for you any day babe. We will always be together.” She struggles to breath but her next words were as clear as crystal. “I love you.” She said.
He realizes that he doesn’t know why she is here. Before you even ask, she says “My cancer came back.” Then, seeing the puzzled look on his face, she continued. “Last year, I went through loads of chemo because I was diagnosed with Leukemia. That’s cancer of the blood by the way.” Here she sighed, as if every word she spoke caused her the pain of a thousand knives. But she went on “I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to hurt you. The doctor said I had a few more years to live; so I got on with life. Then, yesterday, I collapsed at the bus stop. They sent me to the hospital and ran lots of tests.” A deep sorrow filled her eyes now “I’m on my last few hours.”
He lied with her all through the night, on the cold, scratchy hospital sheets, and cried.
He awakes early in the morning; the girls’ breathing is becoming labored. One last time she whispers that she loves him, and then nurses rush into the room, pulling him away from her.
He screams and cries, not letting go of the girls’ arm. “She will die without me! No, you can’t!” The doctors and nurses fill the room. They ask him, and then tell him, to leave. “You don’t understand! You can’t! No! No!” A doctor comes in, and physically removes him from the room. Still screaming, he holds on to the girls’ hand until he can’t anymore.
He takes one last, desperate glance at the girls’ eyes. They are wide, frightened and full of pain. He knows that she needs him, but there is no way they will let him in. He bangs on the glass window, tears streaming down his face. Staring at her, he knows that he will never hear her voice again.
That is where he stays. On the cold hospital floor, outside her ward. Even after the nurses come out and tell him that she is gone. After they tell him to leave. He stays. Only when the undertaker comes and wraps her body in a horrible white sheet does it hit him. She was gone for real.
He flies into a rage, screaming at the nurses. “How dare you let him die! How dare you underestimate the power of love! How dare you not feel any guilt-” The nurses desperate attempts to comfort him were met with more screaming. “YOU LET HER DIE! YOU MURDERED HER!”
He turns and runs home, tears of anger, grief and confusion falling from his eyes. He feels like nothing else mattered; his girl was gone.
Then he realizes what he has to do. He remembers what he said, and knows what has to be done. He left a note, and said he loved has mother and father, then he signed it goodbye.
Then he went into his fathers’ cupboard, and got out his fathers’ gun. He cried, then pulled the trigger; and with that he was gone.

The next morning the boy was found dead on the bathroom floor, a gun in his hand. He had promised to take a bullet for the girl any day, and he had kept his promise.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Alicia nodded, afraid that if she spoke she would cry. “You understand that you are not wanted here?” Mrs. Verdent said “People here don’t want you, they, and me too, I am not afraid to admit, call you street trash. You should get an education, get a job, and then come back. We don’t want you here while you look like this.” Mrs. Verdent surveyed Alicia with her cold, heartless eyes. She seemed to look at her as if she was no more than a rat from the street. “You’re no even listening are you?!” Mrs. Verdent screeched at her, and Alicia managed to say “I am, listening that is, I am-” But Mrs. Verdent just laughed. “Why are you crying? Big girls don’t cry, no one must see you cry; ever. Now if you want to help out, you’ll start by walking out that door there.” She pointed to the front door, the one Alicia walked in with so much hope in her heart.
Alicia turned and ran, tears welling in her eyes. She couldn’t understand what she had done wrong. She reached the bus stop as it was beginning to rain. Clutching the book of poems to her chest, she stood in the pouring rain, waiting. Time and time again she slipped in a puddle, dropping the book. Now it was soggy and ruined. Alicia cried, “What did I do? Does anyone deserve this?” Crushed, she sat down on the wet grass and put her head in her hands, sobbing. Soon a freezing wind howled through the street, whipping rain into Alicia small, shivering frame.


“Many thousands of years of wisdom were within this place.” The old man wheezed to me. I was shocked. Here? Here, where the dry, parched seabed “Once,” He continued “Once, this place was beautiful. Over towards the rocks were the Intaïnten village, and under the cliffs was Ütãtica's hut.” “Ütãtica?” I questioned “Who was Ütãtica?” Here the old man stopped walking and turned to me, sadness in his eyes. “Was? Who was Ütãtica? I think you mean, who is Ütãtica.” I expected him to continue, but he didn’t. He just looked out to sea, lost in his memories. I encouraged him. “Go on.” I said “Really, I want to hear.” He smiled at me, and laughed softly. “They all do…” he said, “They all do.”
“Once, a long time ago, right here where you’re standing, there was a beautiful village. There were birds, land creatures, people, and magic.” “Magic?” I questioned. “Magic, yes.” He continued. “All types of magic. We had magic, and we had a lot of it… I guess that was the problem.” Here he sighed. “You, see, people came form all around for our magic. A few of the boys in our village started a sort of Black Market, selling our magic. But the Leaders forbid it. They called the boys outlaws and criminals; this was a crime of the highest offense. Then, before all of our eyes, the boys were hung. We were forced to watch…” Here his voiced trailed off, and I could see tears in his eyes. But he wasn’t finished. “One by one, they were led up to the platform, and the noose placed around their neck; but the last hanging was what changed this place forever. As he came up on the platform, he removed his hat and coat. We in the crowd gasped, as long golden hair fell over ‘his’ shoulders. “Ütãtica?” An old woman whispered, almost inaudibly. Ütãtica looked at the old, frail woman and her eyes flooded with memories. “Mom?” She asked. Tears welled in her eyes. “Mom, I didn’t mean to run away. I didn’t- I just, it was just that, Mom, I’m sorry.” The old woman sobbed and turned her face towards her daughter. “I thought you were dead… I … when the boat tipped, and you were captured by the raging sea… I didn’t think I’d ever see you again; now here you are… a criminal! My only child…” Her voice trailed off. Ütãtica was crying freely now. “Mom, please… forgive me… I didn’t mean to do this, I didn’t know how to survive and I just; it was desperate. Please Mom- it, I-” She pleaded “Please… please… I only wanted to stay alive so I could come back to see you; I travelled half around the world, I am your only child, please forgive me…” The old woman looked up, pain in her eyes. “You are no child of mine Ütãtica, you can die.” ”
The old man looked at me. “Ütãtica died that day, along with all the other boys. She was the only girl there, and… her mother… she… well.” “She… what did she do?” I asked. The old man sighed. “I guess she didn’t want to have a criminal for a daughter… she let her die.” I was shocked. “But… how? Why? I mean… I don’t know. It’s just not right!” “I know, I know.” He continued. “But that’s the way it was in those days. The parents had the right to kill their daughters if they disappointed them… I guess Ütãtica wasn’t good enough for her mother…” He sighed “Do you wish me to go on?” “Oh yes.” I replied. I did really want to hear Ütãtica’s story… it sounded so tragic.
The old man sighed, and went on. “Ütãtica was gone in body, but not in spirit. That night, her mother had heard banging in kitchen, and glasses of water smashed onto the floor. In terror, she fled. That night, she stayed at the magic mans hut; for protection. But it wasn’t enough. Ütãtica came back that night, and we all lay in terror as we heard our neighbors’ huts crash to the ground. We stayed in the forest that night, as the village was torn to shreds by Ütãtica; returned for revenge. We returned to the village in the morning, and it was a living hell. Bodies of the dead were strewn across the ground, amidst debris from destroyed houses. Blood, fear and hate were everywhere; you could feel it in the air.”
I was shocked. This place; here? ‘No,’ I told myself. ‘no.’ It didn’t seem likely… then I looked up. Over the dead grass, the parched earth, everything. I imagined what he had told me; about Ütãtica, her mother, the village. Suddenly, it all seemed possible; I could see the lush green fields that were once here, and the peaceful village; I could imagine the terror and destruction of Ütãtica’s revenge. “Wow.” I breathed. Here, all around me… a secret past. “So you see,” The man said, “Ütãtica is still here. On the clear days, she is the ripples the river, the clouds in the sky; everywhere. She’s not gone.”
I smiled to myself, as the old man turned to me and told me to leave. “You must leave me; I am not as strong as I used to be… it is my time to go.” So I turned and left, but when I got to the forest I stopped and glanced back. Out of the clouds came a shimmering golden light, then its’ features became clear. “Ütãtica?” I breathed; not believing what I was seeing. But it was. I watched as she took the old mans hands and together they rose up into the clouds; but for a moment she hesitated. She turned to me and smiled. I noticed a change around me, then I realized. The parched red earth was a lush field, swaying in the wind. Under the cliffs there was a small hut, and behind me, a village. Then I blinked and it was gone. With one last glance, Ütãtica turned around and walked up into the clouds, gone forever.


“What are you doing?” Kate asked Leanne. “Nothin’; just mucking around.” Kate sighed. “You can’t ‘just muck around’ with matches. Seriously, what are you doing?” Leanne sighed. “Stuff, alright? It’s none of your business.” Frowning, Kate glanced up at the librarian, who was sorting through books at her desk. “Look, it may not be any of my business, but I don’t want to see you get in any more trouble; especially with her.” Here Kate motioned towards the librarian, Mrs. Keene.
Mrs. Keene was a tall, thin, intimidating woman who had a short temper. She always wore bright blue, and her eyebrows were arched high towards her forehead, making it look as if she was always angry. She was in her forties, but dressed as if she was only 18, low cut tops, short skirts, and an overload of makeup. Her lips looked like two short, fat, wrinkly sausages lying on top of each other, her eyes small and beady.
“Whatever.” Leanne replied. “I’ll go outside.” Kate reached for her arm as she got up from the floor. “Don’t, Lee. Please.” Leanne glared at her. “I will do whatever I like thankyou very much Mrs. Goody-two-shoes, and I will not take orders from you.” She got up and stormed away from Kate. “Wait!” Kate yelled down the hallway, “Lee, wait!” Getting to her feet, Kate looked up. Towering above her was Mrs. Keene. “Young lady I have had enough of your noise in here. The library is a sacred place for learning and relaxation, not your social gatherings. Be gone, I don’t expect to see you back in the library for three weeks.” “But-” Kate began. “None of your nonsense now.” Mrs. Keene interrupted, waving her bony hand in Kate’s hand. “Shoo. Be gone.”
Kate crossed her arms and stomped away, mimicking Mrs. Keene. She walked into the bathroom, and stood in front of the mirror. Cracks ran from one side to another, and graffiti covered most of it. It seemed as if everyone who had ever attended the school had written their name on the ceiling-high mirror. It was the only one in the school. She sighed, unhappy with her appearance.
Kate was short, with blond streaks through her straight, light-brown hair. She was not skinny, but not fat either. Everyday, Kate wore jeans and a red top, sometimes alternating between black and pink shoes. She had glasses and braces, and was often teased because of it. As she stood, staring at her reflection, a tear rolled down her cheek. She sat down on the bathroom floor, put her head in her hands and cried.
Soon, a piercing, wailing noise filled the air. Startled and scared, Kate looked up. The red light of the fire alarm was spinning around and around, throwing red light around the room. She could hear the shrieks of fright and excitement coming from outside. Running to the door, she pulled on the handle, but it wouldn’t open. Her blood turned to ice as she remembered that the teachers locked the doors between classes. She had hidden in the bathroom at the end of lunch, and as she looked at her watch she realised that it was now last period.
“Help! Help! Somebody, anybody! Please help me!” Kate started to sob uncontrollably. “Help!” She screamed between sobs and hiccups, “Help!” She could hear the crackle of the flames, and smell smoke; her heart began to beat faster. “Help! It’s getting hotter! Help!” When nobody came, she tried to get out by herself. Hoisting herself up to the window leading into the courtyard, she screamed in terror. Flames licked at her feet as she dangled over the edge. She dropped back into the bathroom and ran to the corner. Smoke began to creep in around the edges of the door, ad flames crawled through the window. Screaming in terror, Kate stood in the furthest corner of the bathroom and cried for help. Smoke filled the room, and Kate coughed as she struggled for breath; she began to feel dizzy, as if the room was spinning around her. Smoke clouded her vision, and she collapsed on the floor.