A Collection of Creative Writing by Students of Ladysmith High School in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa

Saturday 21 March 2020

Sindiswa ~ Siyabonga Dlamini

I did it again.

I sigh briefly, staring endlessly at the long, sharp knife held up in my hand, covered in dark, crimson by blood along the edge of the blade and oozing tiny plops onto and staining the leathery car seat.
I look into the horror-filled eyes of the dying person whose lap I‟m sitting on, his hands clutching his knife-bruised and blood-stained throat as he takes his last few breaths, the stream of blood gushing out slowly from his neck at this rate and I can‟t help but form a smile.

Poor guy, he did put up a fight but then again so did all the others and this is how it always turns out.
He was cute though, I think to myself as I gently wipe my murder weapon on his jeans-or at least the small part that is not stained by his blood- and plant a kiss on his cheek one last time.
“You were great,” I whisper into his ear as I gently try to get myself off his lap.

I reach for my handbag from the backseat and pull out a cloth. I thoroughly wipe my face off of his thick, warm blood that got splattered onto me during the massacre and the remainder of the blood on the knife before carefully open the driver‟s door handle with the clean side of the cloth over my hand, careful not to leave any fingerprints and step outside. I reach for the pack of cigarettes from my bag and pull one out, ready to take a few pulls from the cancer stick.

Damn it, I don‟t have a lighter; I realise with the cigarette on my lips and proceed back inside the car to search for one from my victim. He probably has one.

As I proceed back into the car, I can‟t help but stand by the door and just admire, impressed by the graphic yet beautiful scene I have painted. The scene would be traumatising to anyone else but not me. If anything I find the whole ordeal arousing.

I stare at the slowly dying body seated in the car. His mouth is ajar from the last attempts to scream for help which unfortunately for him never came to any fruition after I mercilessly lodged the blade in his windpipe. His once white T-shirt is covered in so much blood that you can barely make out the word „Raw‟ which is boldly written across the chest. His jeans are also drenched in his blood along with his car seat and the lower parts of the passenger‟s car seat where I let his blood drip from the knife.

As satisfying as it is watching the aftermath of my deeds, nothing beats being in the moment and enjoying the whole process of taking a life.

The whole scene just sends me through a rollercoaster of strong emotions and I can't help but replay the whole scene in my mind all over again.

The power and control I felt over knowing that I entirely had someone‟s life in my hands and could end it in the blink of an eye, the pleasure of having him struggle and his body convulsing uncontrollably not only trying to fight me off but to also try and stay alive. The joy of watching him struggle to scream or let out even the tiniest shriek because of his voice gurgled out and drowning in his own blood but out of it all, nothing beats the euphoric rush of watching the blood gush endlessly out of his neck and spraying all over, staining everything in its path and flowing through my hands and spraying all over my face, its warm and soothing embrace as it runs along my palms without ceasing, reminding me of just how much power I have in those hands.

That alone sends me through a trip that no drug can mimic. It is so satisfying and I just get so lost in the pleasure of the horror. Like any wild animal, the thrill is in the kill. Orgasmic, if I were to try and put it in words.

Despite all these dopamine-fuelled emotions, there is a voice at the back of my head that still wants me to feel guilty for all this. A voice that still wants me to feel bad for taking someone‟s life. It is my stupid conscience along with all the other voices in my head that start chiming in after, one trying to be louder than the other as if competing to see which one can drive me to insanity first.

Forgetting about all the other voices, with all the kills I‟ve been engaging in lately, I really thought my conscience would have died out or at least silenced itself because there is no way that I‟m going to give up on my favourite hobby just because my chest suddenly feels a little heavy but as for the other voices, the solution will present itself in due time. For one to choose something so gruesome and horrifying for a hobby there would have to be one or two chemical imbalances present in the equation and maybe that is what is wrong with me.

Maybe that is what keeps causing me to lose it like I am. The menacing voices in my head grow louder, causing my suddenly rapid beating drum of a heart to sink further, dissolving the ecstasy from my kill instantly. This is how the story always plays out, with the strong and powerful conscientious feelings at the end that take the fun out of the whole thing and stabs me with unavoidable shame and guilt over my murderous actions.
Quickly, I snap out of my heavy thoughts and decide that I need to find that lighter immediately because if I don‟t light this cigarette and regain my composure, then what might follow next inside my already messed up head, will be nothing short of the stuff of adult nightmares.

No longer paying any attention to the corpse laying on the driver's seat of the matte-finished BMW, I frantically attempt to jump over him and onto the blood-stained passenger seat. Without as so much a second to lose, I pry open the glove compartment and search for the elusive lighter, the interior car lights putting everything into full view. I am positive that this is where I will find it because this is where most of these idiots hide it as a desperate attempt to make a good first impression to us women as non-smokers, along with condoms and wedding rings.

Searching the chaotic space with the car the interior lights being my only source of illumination, I unfortunately find nothing except the glistening foil packets under the lighting. Condoms as expected, typical. I tell myself that it must be in his jeans pockets. I picked the wrong day not to bring a lighter with me. What if I needed to use it as part of my operation? It's a small mistake, though and I can‟t beat myself up for it, after all no serial killer is perfect. I move onto his jeans pockets and start patting the blood-stained fabric around frantically, searching, much to my satisfaction because I find it in his right pocket next to a small round shape, his wedding ring. He was a bloody cheater, too? Some of these women should thank me because I am doing them a favour by eliminating such scum from their lives. As for the kids, they will grow up just fine without their father. Trust me when I tell you that it is an overrated experience.

Stepping out of the vehicle once again and hurriedly placing the cigarette back in between my blood-stained lips, catching my breath as I gently draw in air into my lungs through my nostrils, I flick the lighter in between my shaky fingers and bring a small flame to life. Bringing the yellow flame in proximity to my face, I pass on the small flame onto the cigarette, continuing to inhale. Within a few seconds, I gently exhale a small, grey cloud that is barely visible in the darkness of the night. I let out the smoke along with all of the guilt from my actions and find myself regaining my equilibrium once again. Continuously inhaling and exhaling from the personification of relief in between my lips as I lean against the car in the middle of nowhere on this cool summer night, I can feel myself getting back into my mental sanctuary of post homicidal bliss.

At this point in time after my rushed effort trying to find the lighter, I am pretty sure my damn fingerprints are all over the scene, but as I said, no serial killer is perfect and I am still learning. I still need to take care of my fingerprints, though, so as I finish the last few puffs, I toss what remains of the cigarette back into the car while I play with the lighter in between my fingers, bringing another small flame to life. With a wide grin, I toss the lighter into the car and watch the flame grow. This is the only way to get rid of all traces of my presence. Had I not found the lighter, it would have taken a bit more hard work to clean this up but what‟s hard work to experienced hands like these? Incineration is the quickest way to take care of this whole mess, even though it means also destroying my beautiful masterpiece in the process.

Unlike how it is always portrayed in the movies, the car doesn't necessarily explode into a million pieces on the spot, though, but rather the flames slowly build up, taking their time to engulf anything and everything. Looking back at the scene from a safe distance with my handbag safely clutched under my arm. The beautiful red flame builds up quickly, devouring everything in its path and feeding its hunger with no intention of ceasing as long as it gets the chance to spread. It is pure anarchy with no order and it is so mesmerizing, so enticing yet so deadly.

With all those traits, it reminds me exactly of myself because that's just how I am. It's an exact metaphor of me and my somewhat obscure desires and blood lust, except I am inextinguishable and broken beyond repair. Watching the flame engulf the crime scene and associating it to my wayward thoughts just sends more thrills coursing through my system. Daddy would be so proud, I mean after all it's his actions that turned me into what I am today, I finally toughened up. To say I have "daddy issues" would be an understatement. It is one thing for your biological father to constantly remind you that he would have preferred a son over a daughter, but for him to openly subject you to all kinds of abuse as a way to "toughen you up" your whole life definitely does not count as affection. All of my childhood memories centre on scars too painful to relive.

Finally satisfied by the now dancing flames which have consumed most of the visible items in the vehicle, I decide that I have to catch a move on. At this point, I am satisfied that all traces of my presence have been completely incinerated. They may find this guy and his car but they'll never know that I was here. No one ever will. I can't even remember his name. I do remember him introducing himself at the club about an hour ago before offering to buy me a drink, though. I think it was Sandile, or Sam? I really can‟t remember but then again he's dead so who cares?

These idiots always make it so easy for me to kill them off. Forever fuelled by uncontrollable lust, they will play along with whatever I suggest just to get what's in between my legs. It's always the usual meeting at the club, a few drinks in and suggesting that we take it to a more private location which always ends with me wiping blood off my face after getting my thrills. That's how I get my kicks. I've done this more times than I can count and as unexpected as it is, it's not just these testosterone overflowing males that fall for my schemes but more or less the same number of females have met their demise in my capable hands. All I have to do is gently whisper the right two or three words and they're sold, an art I've learnt to perfect through experience.

A killer leaves no evidence of the crime behind, so the clothes also have to go and as per usual, there is a second outfit that I retrieve from my bag and don it on in an instant. Tossing the blood stained pitch black, short dress into the flames from a distance and putting on an exact replica, I disappear from the scene and strut onto another street in the hopes of hitching a ride back to my place, or better yet to my next victim. I stride along the quiet, dead streets in the middle of nowhere. There is no other sound in the vicinity besides that of my high heels hitting the road, as I strut forward without looking back knowing very well that despite it being 3 AM in the morning, some car will pass by and give me a ride. As if reading my mind, I hear a faint sound of a vehicle approaching from the distance and proceed to halt it, an explanation ready in case they start asking too many questions. The vehicle halts momentarily and I speak to the figure inside, a male in his late twenties.

You see, I come from a country where people have learnt to mind their own business so much so that you could get robbed in the middle of a crowd and no one would help you and good Samaritans often died for their deeds of courage, so the chances of this man actually bothering himself to find out what the smoke rising in the middle of the night from the distance is about, in the middle of nowhere, are very slim. The only advantage I have to make him stop his car in the middle of nowhere is the glistening of my thighs in the headlights under the short dress that barely covers them, which would catch the attention of any male.

As bad as it is that people aren't bothered about what is going on with the next person. It is worse with the authorities because they don't care about their jobs. In a country riddled with cries of murder, rape and fear all over with no police force whatsoever to intervene, why would anyone else be bothered to offer their help when even the authorities couldn't care less themselves? After being motioned to jump into the front seat and driving off, the curious questions about me start.

During the interrogation session as we drive off in the quiet night, the faint sound of the radio tuning itself being the only other audible thing besides our voices, I realise that this might be my next victim yet and judging by the way he keeps shifting his gaze from the empty road and onto my legs, bright under the sharp, interior lighting of the car, I realise that this will be easier than I thought. Feeling my blood boiling suddenly and the dopamine rush of my thoughts, already imagining pressing the sharp metal blade against his soft, delicate throat and twisting, I can‟t help but smile. One more kill for the night won't hurt, right?

It may be out of curiosity at this point that you are wonderin about the motives behind my heartless killing spree.  Well, in order to understand that we'd have to journey into the dark corners of my head that I am too afraid to venture into on my own.

Sindiswa. J. Makhathini, my birth given name,is  about the only thing I can appreciate from my parents, or at least my father - if that's what I can even call that monster. I don't remember too much about my mother except that she left when I was very young. She couldn't take that degenerate's abuse and disappeared in the middle of the night, leaving me behind in her place to endure what she had been put through. There was no last kiss on the cheek or even a goodbye left behind, only a dark void that was impossible to fill. I guess she had endured enough and had decided that at five years old I was old enough to fend for myself, and so ran away and leaving me behind. Her departure bore hell for me on the very same day she left because that very morning I got a taste of what my own blood tastes like after my father beat the hell out of my fragile five year old body, any and every way possible as he blamed me for her departure and saying it was because I was too much of a responsibility that never should have existed, while knowing very well that it was his actions that drove away the person we both so dearly loved.

The only difference was that my love wasn't shown through black eyes and shattered ribs like his was. As strange as it was, even after she left me in the hands of that monster, there was still a deep longing in my heart for her warm and affectionate touch, her soothing and healing kisses and the best of all was her heart melting smile but that is about as how far my memories of her go back. I missed and loved my mother but I guess her love for me was limited. It had already been enough that that monster had made it clear that he never wanted a daughter from the start; the abuse was just the cherry on top. The merciless beating I received that very day was nothing but the tip of the iceberg because what followed long after for years, I still wonder how I survived.

An excuse can only be used so much before it loses its taste but not to my father because my mother's departure to him served as every excuse for his ill treatment towards me. For when he needed a punching bag, no one served better as one either than the person who chased his wife away. It never stopped with just the punching and kicking, though because there are sharp words and insults I still cannot comprehend to this day but the worst of all was when he would come home drunk and in need of satisfying his ever growing lustful desires and who more to force himself on to satisfy those desires either than the person who was a spitting image of his wife?

It occurred all too often for me to cry about but only got worse in my teen years when my body started to develop , where it was almost a daily phenomenon where he would even call me by my mother's name during his vile acts. I guess the liquor made it too difficult to distinguish between his wife and daughter; I literally became everything that my mother was to him, everything that she no longer wanted to be and ran away from.

As if the long, dreaded nights of feeling all his weight on me and sharp, alcoholic stench enveloping my nose weren't enough, the mornings were only followed by more beatings and hurled insults in my direction along with accusations of seducing him. I was spared from no insult. I knew every single crude and cringe-worthy word for a promiscuous female before I was even 13. Unapologetic about any of his actions, his only excuse was that he wanted to toughen me up because the world was a rough and hellish place for weak females, but hell honestly seemed a lot better a place than what I called home.

Having suffered your whole life, most people eventually become numb to their aches but not I because like hell, the Devil I lived with always found a way to escalate my pain to a greater degree. No form of tablets haven‟t touched my lips, no bottle I haven't knocked back, no drug I haven't tried all in an effort to forget about the pain for just a second. No suicide attempt was a success to save me from the misery. Lacerations both self-induced and abuse inflicted decorated my arms but never for the world to see. The pain never left, it never went away but from all the self-medication, something else made its way into my miserable life. At 18 was when the voices started and we had decided that enough was enough.

You can study a person for so long to pick up their habits and having lived with the man for all my life, I knew everything that went on in his head and had acquired way too many skills to finally decide to put my suffering to an end. It did not take long for him to return from one of his liquor binging sprees when I executed the plan I had had in mind. Having let him purposefully have his way with me, he did not expect that the brown beer bottle he had come back with would be what ended his sorry excuse for a life. Breaking and shattering it into tiny fragments all over the floor, the sound had him startled and waking up right on cue only to be held back down swiftly by me. Having vocalised all my pain to him my whole life only to fall on deaf ears, there was nothing more to say, only execution.

Without a minute to spare and looking deeply with hatred into the eyes of the monster held down onto the bed by me with a bottle piece highly raised above my head, it didn't take long for my hand to come down and lodge the sharp object into his throat. Had I not let my emotions to get the best of me, one stab would have sufficed but instead I sliced and diced mercilessly, blood spilling all over the scene and onto my clothes. With his horrifying screams echoing throughout the whole house, and resonating in my head, I only got more aggressive. His incoherent apologies drowned by the blood spilling out served no remorse but rather sent a strange feeling throughout my whole body as his frantically continued to struggle to get free but the alcohol in his system served him no justice. Surely I was relieved that I was finally free from this monster but this new feeling was stronger than that, more satisfying the more aggressive I became. The more blood that got spilt, the more excited I became which was when I realised that the thrill was coming from the kill. I had never felt more alive in my life. After he had stopped moving and the rollercoaster of emotions that washed over my body started to escalate more, I realised that I had to have this feeling again which was when my lust for blood worsened.

Had the police actually cared, they would not only have ruled off the murder as an act of self-defence but rather dug deep into the matter and gotten me psychological help which would
have eliminated this ever growing thirst for blood, but as previously said that they genuinely don't care, it drove me deeper into the rabbit hole and making their job even harder for them. After being relocated to live with relatives I had never heard of before who genuinely showed me the love I deserve but what's glue to a broken piece of glass? What's love to an already broken soul? It was too late for love to change me but I wasn't going to show it. I had decided to play along but pursue what pleased my soul in secret.

Three years later after so many massacres of both males and females to satisfy this ever growing hunger for human life, here I am seated in the passenger seat of this stranger driving me back to town. The way he has been stealing glances at my thighs and his excessive licking of his lips, I can tell that allowing him to have a taste of what he so desperately wants would ease his soul before I take it and I gently proceed to touch his arm, leaning closer to him and whispering something into his ear.

Without so much as a second thought, he pulls his car over next to the road and I proceed to sit on his lap, planting a few kisses as he loses himself in my touch.
“Close your eyes,” I whisper into his ear as I reach for handbag from the passenger's seat, "I have a surprise for you,”
Those are the last words he'll ever hear…

© Siyabonga Dlamini

Matriculant 2016

Friday 21 December 2018

The Final Hours ~ Vuyani Ntshingila

Everything happened so quickly. It was two months ago that I transferred from the CIA to the FBI New York office as deputy director of the FBI. My unpopular move had left many people unhappy at the CIA, but it was just something they had to accept I was tired of that life. I almost lost my life three times in one year alone; it was time for me to move on to greener pastures. This high-level office job in intelligence was the perfect thing for me.

I had been at my new job for only a month when I got a visit from OPR. They were investigating a breach of security from my office. I was aware that files were being leaked from my office so I had initiated a complete file lock down and had one of my senior officers investigate. The director sending in OPR meant that the leaked information was now endangering national security.

The OPR investigation took two weeks and no evidence was found. They ordered a lift of the file lock down that was initiated by me, claiming that I had no grounds to keep the office under lock down anymore and that I was halting progress of important and pending investigations.

A week after I lifted the lock down six new files on impending cases were leaked. These were high level cases that were going to expose the CIA for operating outside of their jurisdiction. That’s when I became suspicious of OPR. A low-level trainee could have figured out that there was a breach in this very office that I was in charge off.

I decided to do an investigation as to were these files were being sent. The IP address turned up at an old CIA drop site that only a few people knew about. (In hindsight I should have informed Kurt Weller, a friend from the CIA about this, but I was unsure about whom I could or could not trust.)

My decision to investigate the drop site alone is what eventually led to the unfortunate events that followed. At the drop site I found an old laptop. It was a decoy there was no way that this could have been what was receiving the files the software on this was ancient. My gut was right: it was a setup. I discovered that the CIA had been using the New York office for illegal operations for years and my move there threatened their operation.

I was here for one thing only. I’d seen this a thousand times before but now I wasn’t the one sent to eliminate the target. There was no confrontation, only shots from an automated sniper rifle. After all my service to my country I had been setup to die a villain but they’ll have to find me first. It will take more than a laptop scam to kill this assassin.

© Vuyani Ntshingila

Grade 12

There Was No Possibility Of Taking a Walk ~ Banele Kubheka

It was as if the chosen people had left and the earth had formed part of hell. The sun, perched high up in the sky, was beyond relentless. The roads flowed down the mountain side, shimmering and shining, and fell over the hill into an estuary called, Town.

The wind howled in the distance, calling its brethren from the four corners of the world to join it as it feasted on the emptiness of the valley. The trees rolled from side to side, bending with the remover but were not removed. Enjoying their own company, the tumbleweed cruised rapidly across the streets, stopping to knock on bolted doors.

The water itself had joined the environmental revolt and was in exile, nowhere to be seen; dark clouds stained the sky. The river slithered across the landscape. Its scaly skin yet to be shed with the arrival of the rains.

From my window, I pondered the likelihood of becoming food for the gnats and I marveled at their ability to brave this heat.

Darting across the scales of the river were the growing shadows of storm clouds. Each carrying its own army of water drops, ready to pelt old life to death and bring about new life. Carried by the wind, these dark, sinister wings glided effortlessly over everything. The lightning flashed and the thunder clapped: the marching band of the environmental army.

The wind grew stronger but the trees did not. The sun was hidden but its fury was not. The army was attacking. The soil sizzled and drowned. The gnats were plucked from the sky one by one. The trees bent, rolled over and were uprooted.

Through my window, in the safety of my house, amidst the watery massacre, I smelt new life and creation. I also smelt imprisonment: there was no possibility of taking a walk that day.

© Banele Kubheka

Grade 12

Sunday 7 January 2018

The Hustle And Bustle: Are You the Man for the Job? ~ Lulama Msomi

  “Beep! Beep! Move man move!” an annoyed taxi driver yells as the traffic lights change from red to green. It’s scorching hot and the sun’s heat punishes the city of the power hungry: Jozi. Women pulling their children furiously across the road respond to the taxi man with irritated smirks. The air is hot and moist. Everything here is bigger and moves as fast as quicksilver.
It’s been months since my mother died in our matchbox of a house and it feels as if it’s been centuries since I escaped the foster care system that used many of my siblings and I for grant money. The escape, however, was short lived as the crime and violence I’d tried to avoid in Thembisa was in abundance when I landed upon Jozi.
  The city is riddled with an immense number of thieves that vary such that some are quick and obvious in their daily grind whilst others are patient and disguise themselves in suits. The “quick” gain little for a short while, whilst the “suits” garner large amounts of money that is enough to last an eternity. They have one goal in common: survival, which begs the question “Are you the man for the job?”
  “Alright, alright Jabu I’m impressed with your recent piece of work you’ve done well, I think you are ready to work with big boys now,” my Pakistani employer, Mr Malik, applauds me. He is a “suit” and believes himself an honest man. He is in fact corrupt and ironically the same man I stole from in an attempt to save my dying mother. He nearly killed me for the parcels I stole from his pharmacy. The pharmacy itself is a façade for his gun and drug smuggling cartel. I never wanted this wanted this life but I had to be the “man for the job to survive.”
  Gunfire thundered through the stale air of an abandoned warehouse. “Where are the firearms boy!” the infuriated drug lord, from whom Mr Malik stole his merchandise, demanded. Hiding behind wooden boxes I fire back hesitantly since it was my first time firing a gun. I shoot blanks but it’s enough to scare off one of the shooters in balaclavas. I don’t know how I got myself into this situation. A situation that could reunite me, six feet under, with my brother and mother but, unfortunately, there was no turning back.
  Mr Malik constantly reminded me that working for him was payment of an infinite amount of debt. His version of sympathy was allowing me to live since I had lost my mother. I was entrapped with as many chances to escape as a man alone at sea on a lifeboat. I had survived many tempests prior to this but this one was sure to drown me…but I wanted to survive, so I must have been the man for the job.

©  Nolulama Msomi

Matriculant 2017

Saturday 11 March 2017

Blackbird ~ Michaela Steele

Jessica Monroe ran for her life.

  Her legs felt as if every muscle was fighting against the instinctive urge to stop. Her lungs burned as if she had swallowed a lit match and the flames were slowly spreading through her airway.
  She would however not cease her mad dash through the woods as the shouts and footfalls seemed to send new circulation of energy through her veins and adrenaline to her muscles.
  'Come on Jess, you need to lose them. They can't get the Blackbird file.' With that fervent mantra repeating in her head she pushed forward and continued to run.
  Jessica stopped after three miles as she came to a rushing river. Not far from her she spotted the deadly rapids and razor sharp rocks. She had made up her mind even before the Russian agents came within one mile of her immediate area. Jessica Monroe would rather die than let the Russians gain access to her father's life work. Blackbird was the only thing she had now.
  The young brunette woman took a deep breath and made certain her necklace was secured and then plunged into the icy waters, she swam in earnest, knowing full well that the rushing waters were just as uncontrollable and dangerous as herself.
  She saw figures running with an effort across from her on the riverbank. They were clad in black and soon enough the barrage of bullets that hit the waters near her confirmed that the men were the Russian agents she was so desperately trying to escape from.
  With a grunt of determination, she dived underwater. The area she was hiding out by was close and she had to get the flash drive containing Blackbird if she wanted to find out exactly what her father had been hiding from her.
  Jessica finally made it out of the numbing waters. She was bruised all over her body and bleeding from her head because of being forcibly pushed by the rapids into numerous rocks.
  Her troubles were only beginning. the once FBI hacker, now a rogue agent and wanted by the agency she once served, she would have to make a daring trek through the woods to get to the cabin she was currently living in.
  The only question that continued running as the shivering twenty-five ear old hesitantly began her trek was what exactly had her father been investigating that would lead to his untimely and gruesome death?
The other question she tried to desperately to answer was whether she was ready to continue her father's mission. She had already lost her career and risked her life for the piece of metal currently hanging by her necklace that contained the 'Blackbird ' file.
  That was not where the danger. She now had Russians after her and they wanted to see her blood spilt.
Was she truly ready to face the enormous amount of danger coming her way, all for a file with information unknown to her?
  For the work of her father, the answer would always remain a solid an unwavering 'yes'.

© Michaela Steele

Grade 12

Tuesday 14 February 2017

The Life and Times of my Intrapersonal Conflict ~ Nolulama Msomi

I couldn’t breathe. Every opportunity I took to inhale the rich gas that surrounded me in my moment of despair was stolen by the werewolf. I was being chased. He was chasing me. “I’ll find you,” he threatened, “I’ll hunt you down Blair” His threatening glare and smug façade taunted me. Salvator, Victor Salvator, the night mare of every full moon. The devastatingly gloomy ally  I fled into obscured my vision. I couldn’t see which direction I was heading in, I could not find refuge.
Like white on rice, Salvator was behind me. His teal veins were bulging outside his temples and then I knew then that he wanted my blood. He was thirsty for it.  In fact had it not been for the copious amount of fear instilled in me to save myself from his clutches he would have ripped my limbs apart and devoured them like the savage he was. At this very moment my heart was as heavy as that of cumulonimbus full of rain and my mind plagued by worry and uncertainty as though it were an African thunderstorm.

 I felt this way not because of the overwhelming ordeal I had placed myself in but the thought of the words my mentor, my modern day Mr Miyagi, had told me: “Blair, it always seems impossible until it’s done”. Both curious and confused at this unexpected gift of advise I asked “What is?” I focused my gaze on to a tiny ant crawling on the pebbled pathway that led to the York Canterbury Library. I felt ashamed of not being able to uncover yet another one his mysterious life lessons. “The work Blair, and the odyssey. Where there’s darkness there will be light.” A wise man Clark was, before old age turned him senile. Perhaps, he knew that I would sooner or later plunge into the pool of madness this mystical town had to offer.

The troubled Nancy Drew in me, however, could no longer dwell in the past as reality had settled in to be me of my memories in nirvana. I could feel my heart pounding again ready to jump ship off of this wreck I was in and the tempest moving at an unbelievable pace, the wolf was still behind me. It was unnerving really. However, in that moment I felt a sudden adrenalin rush, a rise in confidence, that flight or fight moment had overcome me and I chose to fight! I immediately halted and faced my worst night mare, my English essay marks, it proved to do harm to me and broke my spirits but surprisingly like the phoenix, I rose from my very own ashes and attempted to flourish yet again…

© Nolulama Msomi

Grade 12

Tuesday 31 January 2017

Hopelessly Candid ~ Ashleigh Skinner

She grappled with the thought of hurting her supposed friends. She knew what the consequence would be if they found out what she has been doing for the past month but she was also aware that it would ultimately be worth it.

She opened her laptop and began to type.

"According to my investigations Jenny has been cheating on Lucas for the last 2 weeks. He's going to find out soon, she's getting sloppy. Why shouldn't he find out? It's not like she doesn't deserve to be caught.

Elisabeth is still trying to hide her depression but honestly it's plain to see although the source of it remains unknown.
More attention will be put on her in the next week.

Brett thinks I love him. I hate lying to him. I know I never truly will because I know everything about him. I know how his mind works and he's not capable of love. Neither am I "

Phoebe closed her laptop and sighed. "I can't get an attack of the conscience now, not while I'm so close" she thought aloud.

This was her big break, the truth. She knew what people wanted to read. The ugly, dirty truth about what real people actually do to each other on a daily basis. People lie, cheat and hide away from who they truly are and -as sickening as it sounds- are entertained by everyone else's downfall.  So that's why began her project. She studied, befriended and faked her way to finding out everyone's dirty secrets and has been putting it into a file named " Hopelessly Candid" ever since.

It didn't feel as wrong after she started adding the truth about herself in too. Of course she'd change the names of her "friends" before the time came to publish but she knew the would be utterly heartbroken when they read her bestseller. Why should she care? All of them are cunning snakes, they don't deserve her empathy but then again she didn't deserve theirs either. Phoebe had been trying to justify it from the moment it began. She'd actually become quite convincing. Unfortunately she wasn't able to persuade the depth of her soul but that was something she was going to have to live with. She didn't want to be one of those washed up poets who only became famous when they died. She wanted the glory soon and whether that made her a pathetic thought of a person or not she was going to get it.

She knew the risks and was prepared to take them. She was only human after all. Greed was a part of human nature. Communism failed for reason. She had to remind herself of this constantly.

Her phone buzzed. It was a message from Jenny. It read: " Elizabeth committed suicide apparently she's been really sad. I had no idea."

Phoebe went ice cold. The warmth from her tears fell in contrast to the chill. Guilt rushed through her as she tried to push away the thought she couldn't escape from.

She knew.

© Ashleigh Skinner

Grade 11