Home' Focus : 2014 College Yearbook Contents 70
MIDDLE SCHOOL CREATIONS
Year 7 short story runner-up: Charlotte Rand
Year 7 short story winner: Anneliese Gulliver
Year 8 short story winner: Sophia Evans
Year 8 short story runner-up: Jeanmarie Els
The arena was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Thousands of spectators
were eager to watch the violence about to erupt before them, for the
pankratin was about to begin. In one swift blow, my spouse fell to the ground.
A face I recognise all too well displayed a world of agony and pain. That was
all it took for victory to become bestowed upon the brutal competitor and
death upon my husband. I profusely wept as I came to terms with what I had
just seen. I felt a hand on my shoulder shaking me lightly.
Opening my eyes, I see my youngest daughter, Alala, who was distraught
as she told me I had been screaming in my sleep again. For weeks I haven’t
been able to sleep, as the date of the Olympics draws closer as does that of
my husband’s debut pankratin event. This time, however, it felt different; this
time, the dream felt real.
Many days passed and the same torturous dream kept occurring. I had
tried to talk my husband out of entering the event; however, he was too
stubborn to listen. The truth is we desperately need the money winning would
provide us. Lately, we have been struggling trying to provide for our two
young children. Not only can we not afford clean bedding, our two children
will soon face the reality of life without a proper education - never able to
learn the basic skills for living a happy, healthy life. This morning is different:
when I awake, my husband is not lying next to me and it dawns on me that
today is the dreaded commencement of the Olympic Games. I arise out of bed
to see if the children are awake and begin to get dressed. My hands tremble
and I struggle to put my tattered peplos over my head. I fear my dream may
soon become a reality and that I may never see my husband alive again. My
mind races with ideas, but struggles to come up with anything realistic. One
insane idea, however, sticks in my mind - the possibility of somehow attending
the games. It is strictly forbidden for any women to attend the Olympics but
I have heard of it happening in previous years and they did not get caught.
It is an enormous risk; however, it is one I am willing to take to support my
Alala and Nana completely understand my concern and both understand
how I must take this risk. The Olympic stadium is only around one dialous
away. It is an easy walk for a man but not so easy for a woman. I have decided
if there is any way I am getting through the guards to enter the stadium and
support my husband, I am going to have to disguise myself as a man.
I pull his ragged old chiton over my peplos. Alala and Nana help me hide
my long, blonde locks under his old Ulysses headdress. I believe this will be
convincing enough to get me through the front gate and past the guards. I will
have to be careful not to speak too much - my higher pitched voice will most
definitely give it away.
Usually it would be too early in the morning for me to eat breakfast,
although, this may be my last meal. I want it to be special. I cook up some
porridge and barley cake, and put the last of the grapes and figs into a bowl;
it will be a feast. I feel selfish using up all of our precious food but if my darling
husband wins this event we won’t need to worry about money again; whereas,
if he dies we are too poor to buy anything. Alala, Nana and myself would be
sold into slavery. A life like that would not be worth living.
I give Alala and Nana a huge cuddle; I don’t think they truly understand
that I may never see them again. I close the door to our tiny, dishevelled house.
The sun-dried bricks are crumbling away and the clay roof has a vast hole,
letting all the bad weather inside. I close the single wooden shutter which is
covered in mould and decayed, only staying on by its one rusty hinge. I turn
around and start to walk as fast as I can towards the roaring sound at the
stadium. I hope I am not too late.
The roaring of the stadium is getting louder and louder as I get closer and
closer to the stadium. I reach the front gates - there are around thirty people
in the line. My nerves are bubbling up inside of me, my hands are trembling
uncontrollably and sweat is dripping off my face. As I don’t have authorization
to enter, I need to sneak past the guards. The line is moving rapidly now - I am
only two people away from entering. I pull myself together, hiding my nerves
as best I can. I step up with a group of men. They have authorization and are
allowed entry. I pace in through the gates. The guard hasn’t seen me, I am safe.
I feel sheer relief.
The arena is hushed; it becomes so quiet you could hear a pin drop. The
pankratin is about to begin. I see thousands of fans eager for the event to
begin. All of a sudden, I know what is going to happen next - this is exactly
what I feared. My dream is unravelling and becoming a reality. Suddenly, the
event begins. In one swift blow, my husband collapses, motionless, lifeless. I
scream. Nothing else matters. I need to get up to the stage. I need to be up on
that stage. He needs help. A hand grabs my shoulder and starts shaking me,
although this time it is not lightly.
Light in the darkness
I awake to the deep rumbling of thunder. Lightning flashes, casting gloomy
shadows across the room of my hut. The trees of the forest claw eerily at my
window. I lay low in my sheets, listening to the rain pelt, slightly afraid. I pull off
my covers and tiptoe towards the kitchen. Lights flicker as the storm grows in
Suddenly I see a shadow that seems deeper, darker, and maybe even fuller.
With curiosity, I approach. Each step appears to pull me away from all light.
Finally the darkness engulfs my stumbling figure.
Cautiously, I feel the end of the inky tunnel with the tips of my fingers.
There, a latch to a door I have never discovered lies. It screams for attention,
for opening. My hands reach for the latch, but it resists, held fast. Shoving and
pushing can’t release it. As hard as I try, the door won’t budge.
I try for hours until I became tired and sluggish. When I finally stop, the
answer becomes as clear as ice. I reach for the latch- there a padlock hangs.
The darkness seems to mock me as I rummage around my hair and clothes,
hoping for a hair slide. My fingers clasp my saviour as I slide it into the lock...
With a tug, the lock clicks and the door swings open with a sigh. I am
pulled towards the door with a powerful strength, almost impossible to
beat. Suddenly my confidence drains and my desire to see what was inside
dwindles. My mind raced through the possibilities, ‘Fear? Safety? Death? Life?
Darkness? Light?’ Finally the pulling drags me inside.
It is completely still, pure white going on forever. There are no walls or
floors. It is vast, spaceless – nothing. I am somehow floating. Thoughts drift
around lightly, keeping memories vague. Then I remember the struggle I went
through to get here, my house and the storm.
“Hello? Anyone? Help?” I scream. The commands echo around the endless
My floating fails and I find myself falling. Wind whips my already
bedraggled hair as I gain speed. As I fall, the pure white starts to turn black.
I sit up. Light streams through the light curtains. My sheets lie drenched
with sweat on the floor. I cautiously walk towards the kitchen, careful not
to repeat history. The light flow through the windows that once had trees
scratching them. Nothing. No door, no shadow. Nothing.
Moaning, sobbing, triumphantly screaming in long, low, ever changing
degrees of violence, the wind raged over the hills. Sometimes it tore viciously
at the land, pulling and tearing as though it wanted to rip it up and fling it
away, but it never could. Other times it seemed to caress the land, flowing,
rippling, curling over each twist of it, swooshing the growth of trees and
shrubs so that they seemed to dance joyfully, springing and leaping into the
air. Then it would calm for a moment... as though it were dodging out of sight,
revelling in its fierce pride as it whipped out of view to take a breath.
And then it flung itself back into motion, with a renewed vigour, wild and
Overhead, the sky seemed to mimic the wind, in a visible form. It heaved
and raced, rolled and tossed like the manes of speeding horses. The black and
deep blue clouds, sometimes touched here and there with lower ones; looking
like spatters of muddy, dusty paint, flew past in a low, brooding, hunched up
Dusk and darkness fell quickly. It came down like a soft blanket, gently
floating around lightly, before engulfing the landscape, leaving it to wonder
where it came from...
And in the blackness the storm shrieked on.
The trees rocked in its clutches. They creaked in a foreboding, creepy
manner, twisting and waving finger-like branches, clutching at the air, catching
at the wind. They seemed to laugh quietly, whipping as hard as they could,
roaring and flicking with a fierce, almost malevolent zest.
The Little Boy
“Catch!” we shout. My best friend dives sharply to his right to catch our
cricket ball. We are using a piece of driftwood as a bat and a muddy tennis
ball we found floating in the river. He catches it while still in the air and
crashes onto the hard filthy pavement in a heap. A loud cheer erupts around
the courtyard. We had just caught out a top-notch batsman. We all run
towards the catcher and congratulate him on his amazing catch. One thing
that always brings us together in hard times is cricket in the courtyard.
I start to jog back to my position when I see a young boy peering from
an alleyway. I give him a smile and gesture for him to join us. He sinks deeper
into the alleyway nervously. After a few seconds he reappears. I give him
another smile. He smiles faintly back. I slowly walk towards him holding out
my hand. As I get closer I notice scars and scratches on his young face. He
can’t be older than 6. I am now metres away from him. His smile spreads
across his tired, innocent face and he steps out tentatively to greet me.
I gasp, horrified at what I see. The little boy only has one arm, the stump
of the other hangs limply at his side, covered with a stained, tattered cloth.
Who would do this? Also, his ribs are sticking out and there is no tissue to his
bones, he mustn’t be well fed. I look back at his face and notice the sad look
that has spread across it. I give him a sympathetic smile and take his small
hand. As soon as I touch it I feel just how cold it is. This little boy has been
through a lot.
I hear the ‘thonk’ of ball on wood and a second later our cricket ball flies
past us. I let go of the little boy’s hand and jog to the ball, I pick it up and hold
it out to the little boy, but he shakes his head slowly. I throw the ball back to
the bowler and hear a call from my mum to come home, I see her appear from
the same alleyway the little boy had come from. She walks towards me and
tells me again it is time to go home. I turn to the little boy, “do you want to
come?” I ask him. His face brightens at the invitation and he nods vigorously,
still not saying a word. I look back at my mum and she nods with a sad look
on her face. She takes the little boy’s hand and we head to our simple house
in the shantytown
As soon as we get to our tin shack we prepare to eat what little we have
bought and scavenged for dinner. As soon as the little boy sees the food he
rushes towards it and fills his tiny mouth with all he can. He turns to me and
gives me a toothy grin, exposing his rotten teeth. I now understand why he
was all alone. He doesn’t know who his family is, he hasn’t eaten for a while
and he has been in the middle of a very violent fight, which explains the scars
I sit down on our cold floor and look down at my food in front of me. I
sigh and hand it to the little boy; he is probably hungrier than I am. He turns
to me with an inquisitive look on his face, I nod. He sighs and stuffs it in his
mouth. I may not have everything I need, but he has less than me. I make
a mental note to care for this little boy, no matter what, to keep him by my
side and to protect him. I feel a hand on my shoulder; I turn around to find my
mum. I look deep into her mysterious blue eyes and know that she is thinking
the same thing. Somehow we must keep this little boy safe, we must make
him part of our family and nurture him back to full health. We hear two small
words from beside us.
Year 6 earth art on camp
Year 6 earth art on camp
On the bare slopes of the wild hillside, the toughened, low shrubs stirred.
The wind made them stronger, stunted, worn. It made them dry, dead-looking. It
made their bark thicker, pushed them lower, and it sowed earth colours over the
In the distance somewhere, a lone owl, battered by the storm but nonetheless
resilient, wavered on an eerie note.
Then, all of a sudden, from behind the dashing clouds, an ethereal glow
began to shine. The clouds parted, and a huge monster, an enormous yellow
globe, bigger than the trees appeared. It loomed, dominating the scenery, adding
a new power to the event, causing the wind and the trees to howl in salute.
Slowly, up like a giant, the Moon rose.
Upon the hillside, a figure appeared. She was mysterious, a black silhouette,
running, running, through the turmoil. She was dressed in draping grey. Her
brown hair flung and tossed, wild and with a life of its own, flying out behind her
in the wind. She wore a long, moss green cloak, billowing and fluttering around
her like leaves tumbling in the wind. There was a secretive, mysterious, rejoicing
and knowing smile on her face, and her dark eyes glowed.
She ran, not in a straight, even, constant sprint, but much like the wind,
leaping, twisting, carried on by the storm, a part of it. Sometimes she stopped,
standing, arms outstretched, feeling the power and energy of the wind. She
swayed, her movements at one with all around her.
The whole scene danced in harmony, one rejoicing, wild display; the trees, the
wind, the Moon, the mysterious girl, as one.
And in a cosy bedroom, deep in the thick, warm, fluffy blankets, the girl
snuggled down and went to sleep, the wildness raging on outside.
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