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.