I’ve decided that today I will share with you some of my writing. I haven’t only just written it, I’ve had for a while. I wrote it while I was at college and shared it with the creative writing group I went to at Wednesday lunchtimes.
Now, I’m a shy person. I hate that about myself. I’m way to scared to go up to people and just strike up random conversation, whenever I have to do a presentation I panic majorly because having to talk in front of a class of 30-odd people is terrifying.
But somehow one of my English teachers at college, who also put together the creative writing group I went to, managed (and I still can’t figure out how) to convince me to take part in something called Wordfeast.
It’s something my college does every year and it involves people getting up in front of an audience and reading either an original piece of writing or something that they admire and everybody is invited to watch.
So I agreed to let him put my name down on the list thinking ‘well I have an English lesson between now and then, I’ll just politely chicken out at the end of it’.
Somehow that never happened and somehow I found myself going back to college a few nights later with my chosen piece of writing in hand and my mum and a friend in tow.
I was terrified. Absolutely terrified, I felt so sick and a dreaded the moment that Wordfeast would begin because I would be the fourth person to read. And then when it finally was time I got to the front way too quickly and I noticed for the first time just how many people were there and I really, really, really wanted to be back at home away from all those eyes.
I don’t actually remember reading it but I’m sure I must have been shaking (I was when I read something else to three whole people) but I do know I managed to get through it with minimal mistakes, which I put down to the fact that I was practising at home for ages beforehand.
The next day, a Wednesday, I went back into college, at lunch I went to creative writing and my teacher told me that someone came up to him and said that my piece was the best original bit of writing of the night. I was quite surprised by that, I didn’t expect anyone to say anything like that about my writing. But then a teacher I had in my first year of college came into the room, saw me and said that she thought it was good too.
My point with this lengthy back story is I’m glad that I let my teacher talk me into Wordfeast, it gave me a confidence boost, one that I probably needed. I’m still not overly social I’m still shy but not as bad as I used to be. So while this piece of writing probably isn’t all that good two years later I’m still glad that I wrote it and I still appreciate my teacher for helping me out.
I hope you enjoy it, although towards the end it’s a bit violent or gory or whatever word best describes it.
Suddenly I was standing ankle deep in a field of discoloured grass, ugly though it should have been, it was beautiful, swaying casually in the lazy breeze, somehow absorbing then reflecting the light of the sun. A cacophony of birds added their song to the chatter of insects and the scurrying of animals. Relaxing me, calming me.
As I closed my eyes to enjoy the breeze, my unsuspecting piece of paradise turned into a terrifying illusion.
The rays of the sun beat down upon the earth, the water of the lake had all but disappeared, the flaccid bodies of fish roasted in the heat. A stag burst from the dried bushes, breaking the complex web of twigs and thorns. I was surprised anything could live; it seemed so uninhabitable, so hostile.
Without warning the breeze went the same way as its surrounding environment and ravaged my face, stinging my eyes until reluctant tears were forced to surface, until my hair was reminiscent of the complex web that the magnificent beast had destroyed, until my face was so completely numb that a shard of stone could have skinned a strip of flesh from my face and I wouldn’t have known any different.
The deadened grass succumbed to the force of the wind, bowing before its power in one direction, pointing behind me, into the forest, a forest of nothing but dead trees and dehydrated shrubbery. I took the hint and forced myself to move in the same direction. I stumbled through the desolate forest with a pace that was unnatural, as if the wind had given me flight. Each step revealed new sounds to me, the creak of trees as they tried to expand in the heat, the squeals of animals as they searched desperately for refuge from certain death, the horrified screams of people as they were attacked. The closer I grew the louder the screams became, drowning out the creaks and squeals, the closer I grew the more recognisable the voices became. With sudden insight I hurried my pace, I had to help. This time I wouldn’t be defenceless, I wouldn’t be useless.
As if mocking my silent vows a root of a nearby tree looped round my foot throwing me to the ground. For a moment I was disoriented, I couldn’t understand why the aroma that filled my nostrils was a mixture of earth and smoke. There was a strange burning sensation in my mouth as if my tongue was being slowly mutilated by fire. I sat up in the sea of grass and quickly spat the offending plant from my mouth into my hands, despite being torn from the ground the grass still squirmed and flickered like a flame. I looked at the discoloured mass that surrounded me, I wasn’t in the middle of a field of grass, I was amidst a raging fire. But it didn’t scorch my skin, didn’t singe my clothes, just drenched my garments in the heavy scent of smoke.
The pleading screams continued to assault my ears, as I pondered the mystery of this newly dubbed Firegrass, prompted me to abruptly return to my feet and follow the path only revealed to me by the tormented song.
In the distance I could see it, a scene I had managed to cage deep into my subconscious. A small house was on fire, people crowded outside of it. A woman convulsed in a puddle of her own blood, a man, her husband, tried to save her, ignoring the liquid that pulsed from his recently severed arm. A girl looked at me, looked through me with desperate eyes. A Vampire held her close, brushed away her hair and looked at her neck with a ravenous gleam. He plunged his fangs deep into her soft skin.
My worst fear had been realised. I was staring into my past.