After many drafts this student wrote a piece of creative fiction that we studied at some length in class. It hits all the narrative and linguistic aspects of writing we have studied, and won a national writing competition. Enjoy!
The vile smell hit me before the pain did – rotting flesh. My wound was worse than ever, the blood had dried and formed an expanding bubble around the claw marks. It had my scent and it wouldn’t be long before it caught up again. Though I did slow it down; I lost my knife. Defenceless in the middle of the forest, the trees were leaning and closing in on me but I could still see the moon. That large pale moon followed me, watched me… haunted me.
I clutched the side of a tall oak tree, my other had on my forehead. Sweat had stained and soaked my clothes. Taking deep painful breaths I felt it. It was like something was in my head, clawing at the inside of my skull. My leg was on fire, or so it felt. Desperate to end the pain I rubbed my wound hopelessly – dabbing my torn fabric on the red skin.
A shadow. The distorted figure of a wolf like figure appeared on my side. I turned, only to face the glowing silver eyes of an abomination that walks the earth. “Werewolf.” I growled. My skin tingled and my eyes dropped to my hands. Fur. “No. NOT ME!” I screamed.
I woke with a start.
I tug on my blanket and pull it up over my face. Another nightmare. Abruptly my eyes open and I roll out of bed, the front door had been opened. Every time, I can recognise the light creak of the wooden frame. I take heavy, sluggish steps downstairs. “Mom?” I groan my throat crackling.
Something flashes in the corner of my eye but once I turn there is nothing. I can feel my hear beat in my head and my fingers curl into fists. I slip into the kitchen and I smash into another person:
“I didn’t see you there, kiddo.”
“You scared me.”
“Sorry dear, can you help me with the groceries?”
My hands grab two bags and I place them gently onto the kitchen table. I notice a small package in the plastic bag, a neatly packed in brown paper. Before I can resist I slide it into my pyjama pocket. I quickly stuff everything in the fridge. “Done. I’m going to go back to bed…?” I feel shaky; I’ve never had to hide anything from my mom before. We’ve gotten closer ever since dad left us, I always say ‘us’ to make my mom feel better – I still hear her crying at night.
I feel a spark run through my body and I toss the package onto my bed. “Ouch.” I sit on my bed for a while, merely staring at the odd thing, trying to decide whether to open it or take it back. Restlessly I rip open the wrapping paper, and my eyes widen in shock.
I see nothing but I can feel it. Not physically – mentally. It’s so strange that I almost feel afraid of it. I place it in my drawer in between my math books.
Then my mom walks in, furious, with her face red. “You took it, didn’t you?” She roars.
“Took what?” I try to make myself look confused by raising my eyebrows. She slaps me. Right across the face. I feel her warmth as it vibrates through my cheek in painful waves.
“I’m sorry, honey. I didn’t mean to…I am…” I can see it hurt her more than it hurt me yet I can feel the tear drops forming in my eyes.
“You hit me?” I mumble glancing at her face and then at the ground in shame. Her hands brush through her tangled hair, she does so when she is stressed.
“You’re my son.”
“Mom, just go.”
She takes a long pause and then walks out of the room.
For hours I stay wide awake, my eyes fixed on the ceiling. The paint has turned from a bright shade of blue to a dark gray and my wallpaper is pealing, yet I’ve always insisted on not repainting it…it was a part of me, from childhood. I try to think of other things but my mind replays my mother and her hand slamming against my face. She’s never been violent, ever. What could make her be someone she never should have become?
In the morning I don’t speak to her, we just nod at each other once I leave to school.
The bus is late. I stand at the sign my fingers tightly hidden in the sleeves of my coat. That’s when I notice them, those eyes – silver eyes. I blink. They’re gone. I crane my head and look down the road, the bus is no where to be seen. Shrugging, I drop my bag onto the side walk and run across the street and onto the opposite side walk. Now I am facing the forest, scenes from my dream cloud my mind.
I step onto the drying grass and slide in between two trees.
I’m lost before I know how long I’ve been walking. “Hello? I know you’re out here!” I shout my hands around my mouth. In rage I snap a branch and send a bird soaring into the sky.
My feet feel heavy and I lean against a log, sweating and out of breath.
Before I can react a large shadow is cast upon my face and I feel a large figure pressing me down. Pain. Claws sink into my shoulders and I am immobilized. I force myself to speak, “What do you want!?”
“You.” A deep voice whispers into my ears and I black out.
I wake up in the same place but I have no injuries. I pull off my jacket and examine my shoulders-nothing.
When I get home my mom is in the kitchen crying. I rush in. There are two police officers seated at the table with mugs in their hands opposite from my mom. “What happened?” I panic, “Is it dad?” My heart beat rises dramatically. To my surprise my mom smiles in joy and jumps up to hug me. “What’s going on?”
“Honey, you were gone for two days!” My mom bursts into tears and grabs a tissue paper off the table.
“Sir, we must ask. Where were you? Did you run away?” The police officer with the bulging stomach steps forward.
“No. I was…”
I tell them the whole story.
“My poor baby…” My mom falls into her chair. “He needs help.”
“What?! No! Mom! This really happened!” I grab onto her arm and squeeze it too tightly – she cries out in pain and I jump back in horror.
“No…no…no….This isn’t real! You have got to believe me!” My face is red and my cheeks are stained by my tears.
“Ma’am. We called an ambulance. They will take your son-“The officer steps in between us. I feel my heart shatter and my body becomes limp from shock. Face first I faint and fall to the ground.
The room is completely white and padded. I’m strapped to a hard metal bed. I notice a small table beside me and on it a large needle.
A man in a white suit steps inside and pulls on a pair of rubber gloves, “Now. It’s going to be alright son? We are here to help you.” an awkward smile spreads onto his lips.
“Am I insane?” I whimper trying to break free.
“Not at all.”
“What?” My eyes widen and before me flickers the image of a wolf. The man leans in closer to my ear, “Now hold on tight. This is going to hurt.” When he stands back up his eyes are glowing silver.
I scream as he sinks his razor teeth into my flesh and I feel my mind float into oblivion.