Thursday, 7 October 2010


This is another AS piece, and it's supposed to be in the style of The Hours. Not sure if it is, but anyway...enjoy!


The date of the party was set for the eleventh of April, that very evening, and Julia was very busy as she rushed around trying to make the final arrangements. Tonight’s dinner party was very important to her, and to her husband, John, who was retiring from his job as a banker. However, John wasn’t old enough for a proper retirement; he was leaving work for the sake of his health. Many people spoke behind John’s back and said that he had nothing between the ears, and however much it hurt Julia to hear those things said about her husband, she herself was not completely innocent of the crime.

John was sat in his chair in the garden and his head was tilted slightly to the left. Although his body was relaxed, when Julia got closer to him, she could see that his face was screwed up like a bulldog’s, and his lips were as thin as paper. His eyes stared out towards the gardener, who was taking a short break from collecting any apples that had fallen from the large tree at the back of the garden.

When Julia saw him like this, it pulled on her heart strings. John was such a good banker, so good that he alone had paid for their grand house, and he had made sure that Julia had never had to work. Yet, he was now tied to his chair, and was entirely dependent on Julia to get him around. John just sat there, day after day, hour after hour, sinking steadily into the other world, where his brain wanted to take him. Julia knelt down gently next to John’s chair.

“Good morning John.” Julia said.

“Is it still morning? It’s so bright I thought it must be the afternoon.”

“It’s nearly the afternoon, there’s only seven minutes left of the morning.”

“How slowly the time goes.” John looked towards his wrist to check the time, but Julia had forgotten to put his watch on that morning. Or perhaps he had forgotten to ask her. “I heard that we are having lamb.”

“Yes we are.”

“I don’t like lamb.” John interrupted.

“I can arrange for you to have something different.”

“No!” he shouted, “I’m sick of being the special case.”

“What would you like to eat John?” Julia watched as John tensed up in concentration, then he squeezed her hand and looked into her eyes.

“I want lamb, Julia.” He said brightly.

“I thought you didn’t like lamb?” Julia whispered.

“I love lamb, it’s my favourite meat.”

“Lamb it is then.” Julia went to stand but John clutched tightly onto her arm and elbow.

“How was the party?” He said.

“We haven’t had the party yet, it is tonight.”

“Really? Whose party is it?”

“It’s your party John, you are retiring.”

John threw down Julia’s arm and held onto the armrests instead. The leather creaked and groaned as John’s finger nails scraped against its surface.

“I’m thirty four! I have a right to work”

“You are retiring for your health John.”

“I’m healthy.”

“The doctors...”

“The doctors are wrong!” John whined, “I’m only sick because you force me to be.”

“I don’t force you to do anything John.”

“Yes you do, Julia! You force me to sit in this chair, and you force me to eat lamb.”

Julia stood up suddenly and held her breath to stop herself from shouting. She couldn’t shout at John anymore, it wouldn’t look right for her to be shouting at a sick man.

“Perhaps you should come inside now John; it’s getting warm all of a sudden.”

“I want to watch the flowers.”

John took his foot out of the rest and put it on top of his other foot. He often did this, to make sure that the floor was still there. His chair made him feel like he was floating above the ground, like a zombie.

Julia walked quickly back to the kitchen door. When she reached the cover of the trees she started to fan her eyes to stop the tears from rolling down her cheeks. She’s not allowed to cry anymore either, as she has to be strong for John. If she were to lose her mind too, then nobody would have any control and the house would completely fall apart. Soon, she thinks, she will renovate the east side of the house to make a business of her own, something she has always dreamed of. She will be a seamstress at last and her business will provide for their new income.

Once back inside the shade of the house, Julia walked briskly to the nursery, to find her son Edward. He was playing with a toy engine when Julia ran into the room and swept him up into her arms.

“I’m going to make a cake today, Edward.” Julia smiled.

“Can I help you, Mummy?” he asked.

“If it makes you happy.”

“Who is the cake for?”

“It’s for daddy, to show him how much we love him.”

Julia carried Edward to the kitchen and set him down on the counter. Edward watched as she took eggs, flour, sugar and butter from the shelves and measured out all the ingredients on the scales. Then she put them into a mixing bowl and added some vanilla. Whilst the cake was baking Julia takes Edward out to the front garden, away from John. Then the cook started to yell from the kitchen and Julia ran back inside. When Edward toddled after her, he found her hanging her head over a something that was as black as the fireplace.

“What’s wrong Mummy?”

“I’ve burnt it.” She said, “I’ve burnt the cake.”

Julia was ashamed of herself, she had made thousands of cakes before but this time she had set the oven too high. She pushed the cake away from her as she doesn’t want to be associated with something as dreadful as a burnt cake. She slammed her way out of the kitchen door and stomped down the hall. As she pulled the front door open she walked straight into Ellen, her greatest friend, who gasped and used her free hand to protect a bouquet of fresh flowers.

“Ellen, you’re early!”

“I’m sorry.”

“No, no it’s fine.” Ellen gave Julia the flowers and the smell of them calmed her down.

“Thank you for getting the flowers, they’re beautiful.”

Julia led Ellen through to the kitchen and seeked out a vase for the flowers. She was calmer now that Ellen was there, and already she was beginning to laugh at her attempt at baking.

“How is John today?” Ellen asked.


“Is he excited do you think?”

“I think so.” Julia didn’t think that she was lying, as she knew that John would enjoy himself when his old friends were there.

“What’s that I can smell?” Ellen said, sticking her nose into the air.

“I burnt the cake.”Julia sighed.

“I can pick one up for you and I’ll be back in time for the party.”

“Thank you.”

Ellen leaned forward and offered her cheek, but Julia kissed her on the lips, only for a short time, but it seemed to her like the right thing to do. Ellen squeezed Julia’s hand before she leaves. She understands what Julia is going through, and although she can’t see any way to help, she feels that she can help Julia with the little things, even if they do seem insignificant to her.

Julia was glad that Ellen had come early because now all of her plans for the party had been made. When she took John upstairs, she was scared that he would start to fuss and complain. He was humming lightly to himself as Julia pulled his chair up the many flights of stairs, but as soon as Julia took his dinner suit from the wardrobe, he groaned loudly.


“What’s wrong?” she said.

“I don’t want to go to the party.”

“Don’t be ridiculous John, all of your guests are here already.”

Eventually, John gave in to Julia and as soon as he was smart enough, Julia wheeled him to the dining room. They were both silent as they made their way down the stairs, whether they were both nervous Julia couldn’t tell.

When Julia took John into the dining room, the other bank employees got to their feet and many of them raised their wine glasses high above their heads to him, and John greeted them warmly, much to Julia’s relief.

When the meal was served, Julia was pleased with herself because she had ordered pork as well as lamb. She was happy with her party now and she was especially pleased with the flowers. They stood tall and proud around the room, none of them with broken leaves or unopened buds. They represented her feelings, and perhaps Julia herself. As she watched John laughing and joking with his old colleagues, she (the only woman at the table) sat with a straight back and a large smile. She attracted more attention than John as the evening went on; everybody was interested in her business plans.

Julia thought that it was time for women to stand out. Instead of clinging onto their husbands elbow, their rank in society and their money, they should make something of themselves. Just like she has stepped up to the challenge of looking after John. None of the guests at the table could notice the difference in John, the way he changed the topic of conversation without any warning, and how he tended to talk more to himself than to the guests, only Julia could see that.

It was very late at night when the last guest finally left. Julia was exhausted, and John was asleep in his chair. Julia wondered whether John had had a nice time at the dinner party, or whether she had stolen his spotlight. He used to be in charge of the dinner parties, and he was so used to hosting them, but now Julia was in charge of everything.

Julia took John straight upstairs and she took her time taking him up the last stair case so that she didn’t wake him, but he sat up anyway when they get to their bedroom. Julia got John ready for bed first and she was surprised to find him still awake when she pulled back the covers and climbed into bed next him.

“Will you tell me a story about your day?” he said.

“I had a busy day today. We had a party this evening.”

“Did we? I don’t remember it.”

“What about your day John?”

“I stayed in the garden all day and watched Edward play.” He said

“Did you?”

“No. I think I watched the flowers.”

“Edward was with me today John.” Julia said.

“But I watched him play in the garden.”

“Do you have a headache John?”

John touched his fingertips to his temple, and then he shook his head. Julia picked up her favourite book and turned to the place marked by the bookmark. John was fascinated by the cover. It was green and black and on it there was a child wearing a scarf.

“Is that your favourite book?”He asked.

“Yes.” Julia mumbles. She had been captured by the words in the book.


“Goodnight John.”

“Yes.” He agreed, “I have to be up early tomorrow for work.”

Julia watched as John laid back into the pillows and pulled the covers all the way up to his chin. She placed her book on to the table next to the bed and laid down next to John. The dinner party, she thought, was a success and it didn’t matter that she cannot bake a cake or choose the correct dinner, she is good at her main job, at caring for her husband.

The Investigation

I've discovered lots of my creative writing pieces for my AS English, so I thought I'd share them all on my blog.


The car tyres crunched over the golden gravel and squealed to an abrupt stop in front of the rusty iron gates. Detective Holloway rolled down the driver’s windows so that there was a gap just big enough to slip a bony hand through. He used the radio on the dashboard to contact the police team, who were all ready on site, and waited patiently for the gates to be opened.

The beams of light from the headlights cut through the darkness that was swallowing the car, showing all of the dust and sand that had been disturbed by the sudden number of cars that had come to visit the derelict farmhouse on this cold night.

Who would have thought that somebody would have strayed so far off the beaten track to creep to this house? As the gates creaked open and the car trundled up the gravel pathway, full of weeds, the house finally appeared through the fog.

From the outside it looked inhabitable. The bricks on the chimney were twisted and crumbling, and the roof tiles that remained were clinging on by one rotten nail. The house was once painted white, but over the years, the dirt had built up, and now it is as grey as the storm clouds on a winter’s night.

Many of the windows had been boarded up with mouldy cork; however the few panes of glass that had survived the bitter weather, now resembled the windows of the nearby church. In that, they had turned to so many colours that it was impossible to see into the rooms beyond.

The history of the house is painted upon the windows, as clear as the ocean. From the burglaries, to the proof of squatters; it could all be seen in the windows. As Detective Holloway pulled up next to the other squad cars, he saw the window that bared the next chapter of the story. It was cruelly smashed, and the wooden frame had been pulled roughly from the wall of the house.

The police station had received the call about a disturbance in the dead of the night. An old lady, who lives not too far from the crime scene, had said that she had heard high pitched wailing and screams. At first, nobody had believed her, but because every call has to be followed through, the squad cars had been scrambled anyway.

As Detective Holloway pulled himself from the warmth of his car, he took his torch from the door pocket, and shone it towards the broken window. He could vaguely see into the room beyond. A four poster bed was squashed up against the far wall, with its sheets striped and the wooden headboard was dusty and chipped in several places. Leaning up against the bottom of the bed were some unused artist’s canvasses. One of them had been ripped from a shard of glass that had flown into it when the window had smashed. A low dresser had been pulled slightly away from the wall and its drawers were all askew. Detective Holloway quickly came to the conclusion that this room was the place that the crime had taken place, if there was a crime anyway.

The torch in Detective Holloway’s right hand flickered and died. He tried to revive it by shaking it vigorously, but it was completely broken. Being careful not to trip on any stray branches, or slip in the sticky mud, Detective Holloway carefully made his way to the other police officers.

All of the other officers were focusing all of their attention onto the old lady who had made the phone call, so none of them noticed Detective Holloway join them. They all shared the same expression of confusion and chagrin. When Detective Holloway was within earshot of the old lady, she was halfway through answering the officer’s questions.

“I was putting the cat out.” She said, “And I heard the loudest scream I’ve ever heard in my life. It was high too. It didn’t sound like a person because it was so high it made my ears ring.”

“So there wasn’t any screaming?” Detective Holloway asked, making the two officers next to him jump out of their skins.

“No, there was screaming as well.” The lady replied indignantly.

“How far away do you live?”

The old lady scowled at Detective Holloway and reluctantly pointed towards the front gates. In the distance, Holloway could just make out a stone cottage that he hadn’t noticed on the way in.

“How would you say you’re hearing was nowadays?” Holloway asked sincerely, but a couple of the other officers smirked. The old woman put her hands on her hips and tapped her toe impatiently. From the faint light of the car headlights, Detective Holloway could see how sunken her stern eyes were, and her collar bones that were protruding through her skin. She looked half starved, as if nobody had been to check up on her in a very long time.

“Are you saying that I’m lying?” she said through her teeth.

“Not at all.” Holloway assured her, “I’m simply pointing out that it is a very long way for a lady of your age to hear such a thing.”

“A lady of my age!” she shrieked.

“Why were you putting your cat out at such a late hour?” Holloway continued.

“She wanted to hunt.”

“Surely you could have done that earlier in the evening?”

“I forgot.” The lady replied hesitantly. Detective Holloway sighed heavily; he didn’t have time for this.

“Right, well, thank you, for your help. We’ll do our routine search and then continue in the morning I think.”

“I’m not making this up!” the lady cried desperately, “I really did hear something.”

Detective Holloway smiled at her encouragingly and walked away, back towards the house. The babble of police officers followed him.

“Do you think that this is a false report then?” one of them whispered.

“She’s an old lady; I don’t think all she’s saying is true.” Holloway laughed. “Let’s just do the search for the paper work and get back home.”

Suddenly, the window next to Detective Holloway exploded in front of his eyes like a firework. He threw his arm up to protect his face and he felt the shards of glass drop to his feet, ripping gashes into his clothes. A nearby door was flung open and it creaked loudly on its rusty hinges, causing all of the police team to swing around in synchronisation. Two figures, dressed entirely in black, sprinted from the house and disappeared into the corn field behind the house. The one in the front was extremely tall and lanky, and the one behind ran as fast as a cheetah.

As the officers stumbled into a disorganised chase, Detective Holloway faintly heard the old woman grumbling angrily.

“I told you so.” She murmured harshly.

The Magical Island

When my friend Alice flew to Seattle last year, we joked that she wouldn't have her flying partner there with her. When we went to California, we spent the entire 10 hour flight talking non-stop, watching films, playing cards etc, and it was such a fun journey. So this time, I made her a book to entertain her for the 8 hour flight. It had puzzles, jokes, random memories from our California trip, and a short story that I had written specially. So, here it is!

The Magical Island

Beyond the horizon of the deepest, bluest ocean, is an island where nothing happens. The grains of sand on the beach lay baking in the sun, the turtles stay tucked up in their shells, and the coconuts hang patiently form the trees, waiting for even the lightest wind to knock them to the ground.

After a storm, close to the strength of a hurricane, knocked a small fishing boat of course, this was the island where Francis Child was washed up, coughing and spluttering on the beach. The storm had destroyed his boat some way off the shore, and after a mile long swim through choppy water, Francis could barely move a muscle.

Like the sand, he lay frying in the summer heat for hours upon hours, blinking the salty water out of his eyes. It was his raspy throat that brought him back to consciousness. It felt like double-sided sandpaper scraping against his raw, sun burnt skin.

Though he was still exhausted, he slowly stood up, squinting against the dazzling light, and made his way for the cover of the trees. He tripped and fell every few yards, but eventually he made it to the refreshing shade. His throat was still on fire, and Francis knew that he desperately needed water. All of the vivid colours around him were merging together, and the world was swirling in front of his eyes. Francis smiled, everything was so beautiful.

The petals of the flowers were clear mirrors for the rich barks of the trees. The sand glistened as if there were tiny diamonds mixed in with the pearl sand grains. Small rock pools were dotted around the trees, each one holding resting wildlife, and fish swam effortlessly down the ribbon streams leading to the glorious and powerful ocean. It was all so bright and alive. Francis felt like he was in heaven.

A small coconut fell silently from a palm tree. It gathered its breath, then began to roll. Over and over until Francis began to follow. Its oval shape made it as clumsy as Francis. Bouncing off trees and wobbling precariously on the banks of rock pools, it steadily led the way to the very heart of the island.

The sight that Francis saw there was the most sublime setting he had ever seen. A magnificent waterfall fell from the dizzy heights of a sheer rock face. The water slithered over the edge and floated like a feather to the pool below.

Francis was amazed. Ignoring his bucking knees and furious throat, he ran laughing into the soothing water and dove head first into the ice cool waves. The small coconut watched as Francis dove and danced in the water, splashing around until he finally gave in to the protests of his throat. He gulped down the water as if it were oxygen. He crawled to the shallows, washed his cuts and bathed his bruises. After drinking so much fresh water, he lay on his back and within seconds, he had passed out, his legs still floating in the sweet oasis.

When Francis Child was rescued by a search team, roughly two days since the storm, he was rushed by helicopter to the nearest hospital on the mainland. The doctors said that he had suffered severe dehydration, and that it was a miracle he had found fresh water, as he must have been hallucinating since the moment his boat had overturned.

But to this day, Francis still clings on the dream of the magical island. He keeps the small, chipped coconut that was clutched tightly in his hand when he was found, and he tells his story to as many people that will listen.

Every summer, on the hottest day, Francis sails his new boat back to the island where nothing happens. He lays on the beach, the coconut in his left hand, and remembers the time when nature saved his life.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

"Young Ones"

I recently watched a documentary on the television about the ways in which society treat old people. It was a "Big Brother" type programme, where researchers had put elderly celebrities into a house and took away everybody who cared for them. The idea being that when they had to look after themselves and just generally do more, they would feel younger and their health would improve. I found it an incredibly heart warming programme, and it really changed the way it which I perceive old people to be. Everybody tends to stick to the stereotype that old people are completely incapable of doing anything for themselves, they all lose their minds and are vulnerable. When actually, they are nothing of the sort. The research showed that these particular old people were like the stereotype because, quite simply, they had complied to the stereotype and grown used to relying upon other people to help them. One lady, who played Mrs Cropley in The Vicar of Dibley, said that it was her sole ambition to be able to walk with one stick. She accomplished it in one day because she walked to the kitchen carrying a cup of tea, and so only had one stick. She was even dancing in a short space of time, showing how she could really do the things that she feared she couldn't. They all said that fear played a part in the way they lived there lives. The lady had suffered two strokes, and since then she hadn't picked up a paintbrush because she was so scared that she wouldn't be able to paint the way she used to. When she was persuaded to paint again, she was really good, and the researchers said that that act alone could prolong her life, simply because she is following a favourite hobby. My best moment by far though was when one of the men, who said that he hadn't been able to put on his own socks for around ten years, managed to put on both socks, shoes and tie his laces all by himself. But even reading that last comment I made, I have implied sympathy, but I really shouldn't have done. Just because he's old, doesn't mean I should pity him. Putting on your socks is hardly the sweetest of actions, and yet because he was old, I found it adorable!
This one hour long programme has taught me that old people should be pitying me. They have lived for longer, they have seen more, experienced more, and so I have no right to pity them or treat them like children. Old age is something that people take for granted, and for the people who reach their elderly years, they should be allowed to carry on believing that they are young, because this research showed that they will lead a better quality of life if they do so.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Creative Writing- YASS

This was my overall final piece for the course. It's a little depressing, I must have been in a solemn mood when I wrote it, and a bit cringey as well so I must have been in a reflective mood as well, but it got me my high mark so I don't mind!

The Magic of Music
I eased open the door to the playroom, and it creaked precariously on its hinges. I stood on the top step and squinted into the dark and dusty room. The velvet wallpaper was as horrible as it ever was, and I could still see the pictures that my brother and I had drawn on the wall under the window. I smiled as I remembered the trouble we had got into for that. As I tip-toed down the steps, my footsteps were dampened by a thick layer of dust. My old wooden toy boxes were stacked in a neat pile next to the stairs, never having been moved up to the loft. The carpet was tread-bare and the colourful pattern was barely clear. A thick brown rug covered the stain my Brother had made when testing out the paints he had gotten for his eighth birthday. He had got in trouble for that as well.
The only object that hadn’t been ruined in the room was the ancient piano that stood quietly in the far corner of the room. I ran my hands over the rich wood and blew the dust from the pictures sat on the top. I carefully lifted the lid and admired the symmetrical keys hidden beneath it. I took a long breath and played a tune that my Mum had taught me when I was a small girl. My fingers moved delicately over the ivory keys and blissful music reverberated around the bare playroom. As I played, I stared at the clouded photograph on top of the piano, and smiled sadly. My Mother smiled sweetly back at me. Her image was as still as a statue, but her eyes were so full of life. I gazed into them, and lost myself in the music.

Before she tragically died two years ago from cancer, my Mum was the cleverest person I had ever met. She was terribly outspoken and loud. When she laughed she sounded like a hyena, and when she was cross it was as if she had a loud speaker system installed within her vocal chords, but that was what I loved about her. I got all of my confidence from her, as well as my mousy blonde hair and poor eyesight. I loved it when people said that I reminded them of Carol, because I was always happy to be compared to her. Like my Mum, I always tried to be honest, and I never seemed to be best at any academic subjects at school. Instead, I shone at music. Jazz was our passion and classical piano was what we lived for. When my Brother and I became too old to make full use of the playroom, Mum brought a second hand, worn down piano and put it in the far right corner of the playroom. It was magnificent.
It was the 18th of March, and like every Saturday, my Dad and Brother were out cheering in vain for their football team. Mum and I had just been out shopping, trying to find some new curtains for the living room. When we arrived home, Mum covered my eyes with a woolly scarf that she dug out from the cupboard under the stairs, and lifted me up into her arms.
“I’ve got a surprise for you Holly.” She said to me.
“But it’s not my birthday yet.” I gasped. Mum just laughed and I could tell that she had taken me to the playroom because she stepped on the squeaky toy I always left by the door, and I could smell the salty odour from the play dough.
Mum took my blindfold off and I screamed when I saw the beautiful old piano in front of me. The wood was dark and unvarnished, the white keys had a yellow tint to them and there was a small pink flower sticker on the highest key, but it was by far the best toy in the playroom. Mum had tears in her eyes when she sat down softly on the padded stool. She took a deep breath and started to play such a beautiful melody. She closed her eyes and swayed gently to the fresh sound of her new piano.
“Music is the most powerful thing in the world.” Mum sighed wistfully, “It can provoke emotions within you, and it can clear your mind of all worry and stress. It is a salvation, an oasis, and should be enjoyed by every person in the world.” She pulled me up onto her lap and taught me the tune she had just finished playing. It was very difficult and I couldn’t play different tunes with both hands, so I ended up getting quite frustrated.
“I think I’ll let you play Mum,” I said, “I can’t do it.”
“You don’t have to be a virtuoso to enjoy music,” Mum laughed, and she tweaked my chin playfully, “Just play the first tune then and I’ll play the second.” I tried again, but I still pressed down all of the wrong keys.
“I can’t do it!” I moaned.
“Well don’t give up.” Mum said sternly, “I doubt Mozart ever gave up.”
“Well Mozart was better than I am.” I mumbled. Mum made me try over and over again and eventually I made my way successfully through the piece. After that, I couldn’t stop playing it.
I played the piano every day for hours upon hours. I remember the day that Mum and Dad told me that Mum was sick, because that was the day when we perfected our very first duet. I couldn’t quite believe it at first, Mum was never ill. She went to work every day and never put her feet up at the weekends. After they told me though, everything moved very quickly. Mum grew tired all of the time, and her hair fell out in big clumps. The worst time was when Mum was too tired to play the piano, and I would record myself playing all of the songs I could remember, and take them too her in the hospital. She said that she listened to them every night. So often in fact that her nurses started humming my tunes as they tried to make her better.
I met a really nice nurse at the hospital. She was called Julie, and she was a short and slim girl. She had only just left nursing school and my Mum was helping her with her bedside manner. She was so funny, and often said that if she wasn’t so passionate about nursing, she would become a stand up comedian and make people feel better that way. She made me laugh because she was completely tone deaf. Mum and I would hum our tunes and Julie would add her own melody without even realising it. Mum was proud of her though, because she didn’t even stop when a stroppy old lady with grey hair and wrinkly cheeks complained about her. Within a week, my Mum had the lady converted to music, and she would join in too.
“Any message can be given through music.” Mum said to her, “You can shout to the high heavens, or write down all of your thoughts until you run out of ink, but add even the shortest melody, and you can get across to anybody.”
The nurses let Mum go home for a couple of days when she was feeling a little better, and as soon as we opened the door, my Dad carried her to the piano. She sat in a wheelchair and quietly rested her hands on top of the keys. Then Dad brought in hot chocolate and he had even put marsh mallows in the cups. We sat in the playroom for hours, playing games and talking. I beat my Brother at Monopoly for the first time, and my Dad pulled all of his muscles playing Twister. We ordered a take away pizza and Dad made us ice cream sundaes with chocolate sprinkles. It was such a lovely evening that we hated taking Mum back to the hospital for her last treatments. She was always optimistic though, and she continued to pester me and my Brother about homework even when she wasn’t at home. She made me promise to carry on playing the piano, and become the best pianist in the whole of Europe, but after she died, I couldn’t bring myself to even lift the lid of the piano, and our house became deathly silent for many years.

My shaking fingers clutched onto the notes of the last chord. The music was in perfect harmony. After all this time, the piano hadn’t slipped even a fraction out of tune. I smiled and took a deep breath to stop my tears from falling onto the rich wood. The music gently floated away, and I pulled the cover back over the black and white keys. They would stay hidden, completely untouched for several more years, protecting the precious memory of my Mother, and the salvation she got from her music.

Creative Writing YASS

Last year I did a creative writing course with the open university, and these are the final pieces I wrote for my exam. I was really really ppleased becuase even though reading these back now I would change tons of things, I came out with the highest pass mark and a massive boost to my confidence!

This first one was supposed to written in the style of a child, in the aftermath of an acciedent.

The Dentist
Daddy had said that he would give me a packet of Haribo if I was a good girl at the dentist. But I
hated the dentist. It smelt funny. Daddy drove to the car park by the pet shop that smelt like my old blanket. He parked the car and got me out of my seat in the back.
“Hold on tightly to my hand.” He said, and then grabbed onto my wrist aswell. It hurt a little, so I started to fidget, but Daddy just held on tighter.
We walked quickly down the high street. I kept slipping in the icy puddles, so Daddy had to
put me up onto his shoulders. I felt like a giant; I could see all the way down to the park at the end of the street.
We turned down another street and I could see a lot of people standing around outside of a
shop. I could tell that they were arguing because they kept throwing their hands around, and that’s what Mummy and Daddy did when they argued. There was a really fat policeman that looked like the controller from Thomas and the Tank Engine. He was being bossy and asking lots of questions, which was making all of the other people angry, but he was making me smile. I wanted to know what had happened, so I asked daddy.
“The police are closing the shop.” He mumbled.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because they have to.”
“But why?”
“Because some horrible people decided to…”
“Daddy look at that man! He’s bleeding!”
Daddy quickly took me down from his shoulders and gave me my Haribo before I even got to
the dentist. I was happy because he had got me the fizzy ones that I like to put on my tongue until they melted.
When we got to the dentist I started to cry because I was scared and I had finished all of my
Haribo. The dentist put me in a really comfy chair, and that cheered me up because he kept moving it up and down. The other dentist, who was a girl, like me, sat near my head. She smelt of roses and I could hear her earrings jingling together.
“Did you see what happened? She asked my Daddy.
“No, we walked straight past.” Daddy grumbled.
“Well it was very dramatic.” The flower lady said, “The police were called out first thing this morning because a gang of men showed up and…”
“Yes we saw it on the news.” Daddy said, raising his voice a little and looking at me funny. I was
shocked because Daddy had stopped the lady from talking, and he had told me that that was rude.
“Sorry.” The lady said. Then she looked at me funny too.
After the dentist had cleaned and counted my teeth, Daddy put me up onto his shoulders
again and we walked a different way back to the car. When we got home Mummy was waiting with two policemen, and Daddy wasn’t at all happy about that.

The second was to write a scene around an emotion.

Jeanine had fiery red hair and feline green eyes. She had a band of freckles covering her small red nose, but they were covered by a constant layer of harsh make up. She wore a tight, knee length skirt with a floral patterned shirt tucked into an elaborate waist belt. Her coat was draped over her arm and she held her shoes in her hand, to stop them rubbing her heels. She was in her early twenties and a university drop out. She had given up after three weeks when the work got boring. She now lived on the edge of town, in a block of run-down flats. She lived alone, but compensated for that fact by going out each and every night. She had lost contact with her parents at the age of sixteen, and now she attempted to look after herself.
Jeanine stood in the darkness of an abandoned alley, clinging onto a dirty green handrail that
was covered in old chewing gum. The ghostly alleyway was dark and eerie. Water was dripping down the dirty walls, weeds were breaking through the cracks in the pavement and the end of the street was hidden in mysterious shadow.
The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end, and goosebumbs rose up all over her body, so
that she felt sudden shivers run all the way down her spine. Blood rushed through her veins and
Jeanine could feel it pulsing in her clenched fists. Her sporadic breathing was harsh and was making her throat dry and sore. Her knees were trembling as the bitter wind blew through the alley, catching old food containers and rubbish that hadn’t been cleared away in years.
She walked towards the shadows. Jeanine could hear a fox rummaging around in the large
wheelie bins, trying to scavenge a meal for itself. Further away, Jeanine could hear cars speeding past on the main road, and the brakes sqealing and the tyres skidding. Her footsteps echoed off the alley wall, like she was the only person around for miles, but Jeanine was in no hurry to get back to her silent flat. The rooms were so empty that only darkness filled the spaces where the furniture should have been.
She eventually stumbled back to her block of flats, and spent ages searching for her key in the
dim and flicking light. Somewhere in the building she could hear people arguing and a baby crying. A man was sitting on the steps, smoking and staring at her. Jeanine turned round and looked out at the town. The surrounding houses were in darkness, their curtains drawn firmly shut, but they still looked more appealing than her flat. She reluctantly made her way up the stairs, being careful not to hold onto the broken rail. She collapsed onto her threadbare couch and stared out at the houses in the distance, wishing that she could be feeling as safe as the people in them.

I don't remeber the criteria for the third but here's the story anyway!

California Speeding
The six lane highway towered over the busy California city. The palm trees swayed in the light
breeze, and the calm blue sea washed up onto the gentle sloping sandy beaches. On the horizon, thick smog blocked out the clear blue sky, but the suns rays still forced their way through and made the leather seats in my car hot and sticky.
I sped down the highway without a care in the world. My music was turned up to the highest
volume, and I coudn’t hear a thing. I could see my car bonnet gleaming as the hot California sun
reflected off it, making me squint as I struggled to see the cars infront of me. Hanging from my rear-view mirror was a bracelet of small colourful rosary beads that my girlfriend had given me. I cut across three lanes to make a swift andstylish exit from the highway, and within seconds I
reached the town. I slowed only a fraction, so that I could show off my sleek new sports car.
Up ahead of me I could see the traffic lights turning from green to red, so I slammed my foot
down on the accelerator and laughed as the engine came to life beneath me. An old hunchbacked
woman gingerly stepped out into the road infront of me without looking. Fear washed over me and froze my brain. Pure panic seared through my veins and instinction took over my limbs.
I slammed on my brakes, hoping to the high heavens that the brakes would work aswell as the
engine. My fist punched the horn and the woman finally looked up. Still the car skidded in an
uncontrolled frenzy, and I had lost all of the power. My left hand reached up and clung onto the roasry beads. The car opposite on the other side of the road was helpless to my stupidity, and I crashed into its side, imbedding the bonnet of my beautiful car into its side.
I sat stunned in the driver’s seat, unable to move. Burning pain ran through my right leg, and
my ears were ringing. Outside I could faintly hear the high pitched screaming and through the thick black smoke that was billowing out of the front of my car I could see the little old lady, standing on the walkway surrounded by people, staring disbelievingly at the horrific lump of metal that used to be my car. The other driver slowly got out of his car and started to shout at the top of his lungs when he saw the mess I had made. Then everything went hazy, and all I could hear was the blissful silence.
An hour later I was woken by a distant beeping noise. I was in a comfy hospital bed, with
thousands of pillows keeping me upright and comfortable. A policeman stood at the end of my bed, his hands on his hips and shaking his head. I sighed and closed my eyes, but all I could see were the colourful rosary beads that I had originally throught would keep me from harm.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Childhood: The Pirate Ship

A few blogs ago I told you how I had come second place in my first ever creative writing competition, and so this is my story. As always I've found loads of things that I could change when I read it back, but if it got second then I'm proud of it as it is!
p.s- the tree house is real!

At the far end of the garden, hidden amongst the leaves and branches, is a magnificent tree house. The walls are hand made from the strongest wood, and the roof that was originally made from thatch was covered with a thin layer of plastic, to protect it from the weather. The beams are chipped and beaten, and the ladder is rickety and unstable. But inside, the walls are painted to be camouflaged against the bark of the tree, and the ceiling has been covered in flowers and moss. The furniture is hand carved and the small picnic table is cluttered with games, toys and dressing up props. On the opposite side to the ladder is a bright blue slide, which takes you down to the hole in fence that leads you through to next door’s vegetable patch. In the centre of the tree house, the trunk of the tree breaks boldly through holes in the floor and ceiling. It is decorated with fairy lights and homemade posters of fairies and wildlife. Three branches stick neatly out from the tree trunk, and they are a natural ladder up to the roof of the tree house, where you can squeeze through and sit on the very top of the tree if you are small enough. This old tree house is the best for miles around, and it has never grown to be unsafe, dusty or forgotten.
Everyday at half past three or first thing in the morning at weekends, the tree house was invaded by a rowdy party of pirates. They scramble up the ladder, slide and branches, scraping their knees and getting splinters in their hands. The eldest pirate is the captain, and he scales the tree trunk to look out for enemies, and the other two pirates begin to prepare the after school feast, which consists of a few chocolate bars and freshly picked strawberries that had sneakily been taken from next door’s food supply. Often, there was an extra pirate, who had come over for an hour after school to play. They would scramble up the rigging and through the captain’s living quarters, admiring the ship in amazement.
“Enemy ahead!” the captain shouted from above. The pirates rushed to their spy holes, and the captain produced a toy telescope, that only let you see a few centimetres in front of your nose. “Prepare yourselves shipmates,” he said, “They may want to invade the ship.”
At the top of the garden, the children’s mother stepped quietly out of the back door, carrying an armful of washing and a bag full of pegs hung loosely around her wrists. She walked over to the washing line and hummed gently to herself as she put the clothes out to dry. She loved the peace and quiet, and cherished the precious moments away from her hectic life.
Back in the pirate ship, the captain was preparing his men for an attack.
“The enemy has a thin wire rope, and is attaching material to it, be careful men, this could be a trap. Lucy, check the horizon.” The youngest pirate, barely six, flew up the tree trunk, quick as a flash.
“She’s coming closer Jamie,” she called down. Lowering his telescope, the captain turned solemnly to his first mate.
“Prepare the canons,” he said softly.
Their mum bent down swiftly and retrieved the cotton handkerchief that had been blown out of her hand by the wind. She brushed off the mud, and as soon as she had smoothed out a new crease from the fabric, she was hit on the shoulder by a water bomb. She jumped to the side, gasping dramatically. From above her she heard muffled laughter. Gingerly she made her way to the tree house.
“The enemy’s still approaching Jamie!” The youngest pirate called down in shock. The captain pulled back the slingshot and another water bomb missed the enemy by a few inches. The youngest pirate opened fire with her water pistol, and at the same time, she hoisted the skull and crossbones, in the hope of warding off the enemy.
“Jamie!” the enemy shouted angrily. “Get down here right now!”
“Ignore her shipmates,” the captain shouted, “She is guarding shark infested waters.”
“We could make a compromise,” the first mate suggested. She crawled sluggishly over to the window. “Mum, just five more minutes, please.”
“You’re in your school uniforms!” the enemy shouted. “If you get them dirty I won’t have time to wash them.”
“We won’t get them dirty then.” The first mate laughed.
“Don’t be cheeky young lady. You can carry on playing after dinner.”
The youngest pirate slid down the tree trunk as the first mate moved away from the window in a sulk. The captain ordered the pirates to stop the attack, and abandon ship. The youngest pirate stepped onto the gangplank first, but the ladder wasn’t securely against the wall of the tree house, and after wobbling precariously in the air, the youngest pirate fell into the deep water below with an almighty splash.
“Man over board!” The captain shouted. The pirates shot down the slide as quick as a cannonball, and rushed to the youngest pirate with the lifeboat. They pulled her aboard and mopped up the salty water that had gotten into her eyes.
“That’s enough now,” the enemy said, “You can play again tomorrow.”
Mum picked up her youngest daughter in her arms and gave her the handkerchief she held in her hand. Her other children slouched behind her and once inside, told their Mum about their boring day at school whilst eating their dinner. Later that evening, Mum took them all up to their bedrooms and settled them down in their bunk beds. She watched as her children gave in to sleep and entered dreams that were powered their colourful imaginations.
Outside in the garden, the pirate ship rested, tethered at the harbour until it was time for the pirates to set sail tomorrow evening.