Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Dark Falling by Madison Morris (First Completed Assignment for Young Writers Programme)

I didn’t mean to fall from heaven. Call it fate or destiny or whatever but it was all the fault of a malicious black cat.

I was sitting beside the lake of my childhood summers, Lake Stephanie, with my legs knee deep in the shallows when it approached. I was gazing at the red and gold fish swimming lazily in the sparkling water, the aquatic blues and greens merging into each other, like the paua shells my little brother Thomas used to collect. I was so deeply immersed in thoughts of happier times with Thomas, that when a dark shape appeared beside my reflection in the water, it scared the hell out of me, it's intense blackness stark against the whiteness of my skin.
I stared at it for a few moments, but all I could see of the reflection next to me were swirls of black, and the red flashes of the fish who were hurriedly swimming in frightened circles. I turned my torso around, and it was then that I saw the animal’s features for the first time. It was the tallest cat I had ever seen; it towered above me. It’s needle-like whiskers and sharp dagger shaped ears framing ruby eyes, so mesmerising that I couldn’t bring myself to tear mine away.
When the beautiful creature caught me staring however, it gave me a long hard glare before it turned around and leaped away into the bushes that surrounded Lake Stephanie. It briefly occurred to me then, that with its height and body, he or she could just as easily be a larger feline, like a leopard or a panther. In fact it looked exactly like a larger version of my beloved Sophie, my pet before I had come to this place.
I stood up quickly and felt a wave of dizziness hit me, as faint fragments of memories swirled around my mind. I realized I had no idea how long I had been sitting here alone, at the edge of the lake, comforting myself with memories of endless summer days, swimming and laughing until I cried. I was startled to realize that I had almost forgotten what it was like to love and be loved, I had almost forgotten those I left behind. I turned to look at the bushes; this creature had entered my heaven, but how?
The thought of following the cat terrified me but so did the realization that if I didn’t, I might be alone forever. I walked towards the bushes searching for the track of paw-prints. I quickly located them in the soft ground and started to make my way through the undergrowth. For a moment I hesitated. Looking behind me I was startled to find that my beautiful heaven had disappeared behind a white mist. I had no choice but to continue after the cat.
I pushed through the bushes after Sophie. Sophie??? The thought froze me solid in the middle of the bush; did I really think the large feline that had crawled through these bushes minutes ago was the same cat that had been mine as a child? The same Sophie who had slept curled on my bed every night until...I....left? Is that how I had come to be in this place? I started to move forward again, if I stopped to ponder these strange thoughts, I would lose track of Sophie.
Less than five minutes later I emerged from the bushes. And the second I stuck my head out I wished I hadn’t. The scene before me was like something out of a sickly twisted horror movie. It was pitch black, despite the fact that it had been daytime just moments before. The only light was from, wait for it, Sophie’s eyes, and let me tell you those flashing rubies were less inviting than the darkness. I tried to manifest some sunshine or light of any kind, something to help me break through the darkness, but it was no use. This was Sophie’s domain and whatever powers I had were useless.
In one of the most horrifying things I’d ever seen, Sophie gave a huge growl, and before I could react, bounded towards me, tearing at my pure white wings, my head and my arms, ripping with her razor sharp teeth and claws. Worse than the scorching pain was the betrayal, why would Sophie - dear sweet Sophie who I had raised from a kitten - attack me so brutally?
One second I was in the sky being shredded to the pieces by Sophie and the next I was waiting for my soul to be destroyed the way my body had been when death had come the first time.

“Ohmigod she’s waking up! Somebody get me a nurse!”
I opened my eyes to see the tear stained faces of my family leaning over me.
“Oh Rachel, honey, you’ve come back to us finally, we thought...” My mother’s voice was hoarse with emotion and her make-up was dripping down her face.
“Mum.” I croaked. “What’s happened, where am I?”
“Rachel,” said Dad, giving mum a hard look and taking my hand. “Don’t worry sweetie, just rest now, we’ll talk some more later.”
I frowned and started to ask another question but found myself slipping into sleep, had this all been a dream I wondered? Heaven, Sophie, the lake? It had all seemed so real. I felt a soft brush at my finger tips and I struggled to open my eyes, Thomas’ face appeared at my bedside, no longer the sweet little six year old I remembered, he was now a young man. He leaned forward to whisper in my ear and it was then that I could have sworn the same big blue eyes he’d always had, flashed red.
“This belongs to you.”
I looked down at my hand; there nestled between my fingers was a small pure white feather.


Sarah (Chez Lee) said...

Oh Madison, I am hooked! Please tell me there is more to come? I am was totally gripped to your original story line and poetic, descriptive prose. You are so talented. I can't wait to read your first novel! Keep at it as surely this talent will be recognized and rewarded one day. I am sure your tutor will be blown away!

Laura/CenterDownHome said...

Wow -- really cool, Maddie. Interesting, chilling, leaves the reader wanting to turn to the next page. It will be wonderful to watch your future unfold, even if it is from far, far away. :)

Jen said...

I love how descriptive your writing is
I agree with the other commenters you have a talent here and a bright future
I am sure that you will be a great New Zealander writer one day :)

Anonymous said...

Goodness me Hay - you've got a writer in your midst!

Karen said...

This is wonderful--I love the details, the images. Another writer in the family, indeed!!

The Word Party

Loving words clutch crimson roses,
Rude words sniff and pick their noses,
Sly words come dressed as foxes,
Short words stand on cardboard boxes,
Common words tell jokes and gabble,
Complicated words play Scrabble,
Swear words stamp around and shout,
Hard words stare eachother out,
Foreign words look lost and shrug,
Careless words trip on the rug,
Long words slouch with stooping shoulders,
Code words carry secret folders,
Silly words flick rubber bands,
Hyphenated words hold hands,
Strong words show off, bending metal,
Sweet words call each other 'petal',
Small words yawn and suck their thumbs,
Till at last the morning comes,
Kind words give out farewell posies....
Snap! The dictionary closes.