Monday, 4 April 2011

Assignment 2: Someone's Sneaking Up Behind You...

   “Hello! Willow! Are you feeling OK?”
   “Huh?” I snapped out of my day dream. “What? Yeah, I’m fine.”
   “You’ve been acting strange lately.” Aiden admitted.
   “Thanks, fills me with confidence.” I said sarcastically.
   We were sat in Aiden’s expansive bedroom attempting not to fall asleep while reading Act 3 Scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet for the fifth time.
   “I’ll read that bit again then.” Aiden muttered.
   I tried to listen but I found my mind wavering. Staring out of the open window at the starry sky I almost actually fell asleep.
   “Ok, time for you to go home.” Aiden said as he slammed his Romeo and Juliet script shut.
   “What? Why?” I asked.
   “You’re obviously tired; you’re not even registering a word I’m saying. I’m taking you home.” He said.
   “I don’t need a body guard.” I argued as he pulled me to my feet.
   I slipped my script and exercise book into my shoulder bag and followed Aiden out of his room and down the stairs.
   “I’m just going to drop Willow off home mum!” Aiden shouted into the living room as we went past.
   “Okay darling!” She shouted back.
   “Make sure you don’t get attacked by the bogie monster.” Aiden’s older brother said sinisterly as he left the living room. He was a lot taller than Aiden, with wispy blonde hair and dazzling eyes. His build was quite muscular in comparison to Aiden.
   “I won’t, Jack.” Aiden replied as he opened the door for me gentlemanly. “My lady.” He said humorously, with a low bow.
   “Why thank you sire.” I answered with a curtsey.
   “You’ve been studying Romeo and Juliet far too long.” Jack muttered behind them.
   “Bye Jack.” Aiden smiled as he shut the door.
   “It’s getting chilly out here.” I commented as we trudged down the driveway.
   “It’ll be winter soon.” He agreed.  
   There was an awkward silence as we walked slowly along the street. The quiet was only interrupted when a group of teenagers came down the street towards them larking about and generally being noisy.
    It was only half past seven but it was still dark. The only light came from the lampposts which were spaced at regular intervals along the path, their light spilling out in small pools at their base. The moon was hidden behind clouds meaning there was only a faint silvery glow.
    It seemed to be getting colder the further we walked, as if it was behind us, creeping up on us gradually… I spun around quickly. I had not imagined the shadow flicker across one of the pools of light cast by the lampposts. I had definitely seen it. Or had I? I scanned the street frantically but there was no sign of movement.
   “What is it?” Aiden asked, he’d only just noticed I’d stopped.
   “Oh, nothing, I just thought I heard something.” I said dismissively.
   “Okay then, if that’s all.” He didn’t sound convinced.
   Soon we arrived at my house and Aiden walked me to the door. I took out my key and unlocked it then stepped inside.
   “I’ll you tomorrow yeah?”
   “Huh?” I had to try and stop daydreaming.
   “Never mind.” He said as he turned to leave.
   “You’re not going to walk home by yourself are you?” She asked.
   “Yes, is there a problem with that?” He was eager to get going.
   “But it’s dark and-”
   “I’ll be fine! Stop your worrying and go to bed!” He sighed as he walked down the driveway and waved goodbye.
   But I still felt a little nervous and had to run up to my bedroom window to watch him walk home, just in case. Something had been following us. But what?        

   “So, can anyone tell me the chemical formula for the reaction between magnesium and hydrochloric acid? Anyone?”
   To be honest, I wasn’t listening. Chemistry wasn’t that bad, but when Mr. Jayree is teaching us I’d rather be in double Maths, and I’m not joking.
    Mr. Jayree has an oversized nose and beady eyes like a hawk. His white beard is long and tangled, and his puffed up hair reminds me of Albert Einstein. You probably think of this as a stereotypical view of a chemistry teacher. But that is what he genuinely looks like. He also always wears a long white coat with a pen in the top pocket, but he always forgets it’s there. 
    “Willow, you seem to be enjoying yourself daydreaming far too much.” Mr. Jayree grinned at me, and when he gins like that, you want to run half a mile in the opposite direction.
    “Magnesium and hydrochloric acid go to make magnesium chloride and hydrogen.”
    “Ye-yes. Correct, well done.” He said.
    I smiled to myself. For some reason teachers always think I’m not paying attention, when I actually am. I’m sure our school got its teachers from a teachers bring and buy sale.
    It was then I saw him. The mysterious boy from art class. He was leaning against the doorframe in a casual manner. His hands in the pockets of his torn jeans, his black jacket hung open, showing a plain, grey t-shirt. He smiled at me across the classroom, a smile that would melt the heart of any girl.
    I felt a sudden urge to point him out to Aiden but he would probably say she was imagining it anyway. I looked to Mr.Jayree but he was busy writing a formula equation on the board. When I looked back to the doorway, the boy was gone.
    Was he the person following me? No, he wasn’t. That feeling of being watched I’d felt the night before was different, imposing and cold not warm and welcoming.  
    I hadn’t taken in anything the teacher had said but gathered from the rush of people milling about the classroom that we were doing an experiment.  
    “How do you do that?” Aiden asked while we set ours up.
    I shrugged. “Do what?”
    “Know what the question is and the answer even when you’re not listening.” He said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
    “But I was listening.” I said.
    “Yeah, sure you were.” He said sarcastically. “It was probably those insanity powers you have.”
    I was about retort when something outside caught my eye. There was somebody, or something, standing there, in the shadow of the trees. As I began to walk towards the window for a closer look, someone dashed in front of me. When they’d passed, the figure was no longer there.

    “So, are you coming?”
    Aiden was trying to persuade me to go to some cool kids’ party down town where they play music at full volume, get drunk and vomit on the carpet. We were just walking out the school gates at the end of school, fighting through the impossible large mob of chatty school kids. 
    “I don’t think so, we don’t belong there.” I replied.
    “But it’s going to be amazing!” Aiden exclaimed. “Katy Smith is hosting it, the prettiest girl in the school!”
    And for some reason that last sentence felt like a poison tipped arrow in the heart.
    “Come on, please! Katy asked me directly and she told me that you could come to!”
    Oh great, so now I’m the tag-along.
    And now he’s doing the puppy dog eyes.
    “Fine!” I gave in.
    He grinned at me. “See you at six, I’ll pick you up and we can go together.”
    “Yeah, sure.” I said, but he’d already turned down his road.

    The heat was overwhelming. The music blaring out of the speakers was so loud I could barely hear what Aiden said before he melted into the crowd. I felt very self-conscious; I’d never been to a big party before, especially a cool kid’s one.
    I’d spent half an hour getting ready. A strapless, cream mini-dress, tan coloured tights and gold mini heels was all I needed, and a small splash of neutral make-up. But the girls here were in my opinion dressed ridiculously in see-through tops and fishnet tights with so much make-up on their faces that it looked like they’d had plastic surgery.
    The room everyone packed into was probably the living room, but it was hard to tell with the mass of bodies packed together like sardines. I tried to worm my way through the crowd, receiving many disgusted looks from some people. I tried standing on tiptoe to see if I could find Aiden but everyone else was far too tall for me to see over.
    There were lasers from special effect machines making patterns on the wall and gobo lights made the room seem dark with splashes of multicolour lighting.
     I had to get out. I couldn’t take it, the heat, the music. It was all too much.
     I pushed through the crowd and into the kitchen where a group of boys much older than me were dragging out boxes of beer and other alcoholic beverages from the cupboards. They called to me as I passed but all I was interested in was the back door in front of me that led out into a large garden.
     I collapsed on the patio steps, panting. I could still hear the pumping music but it wasn’t so loud out here. The cool night air was refreshing and the breeze that ruffled my hair was like a blessing.
    My heart skipped a beat. I stepped up slowly and made my way down the steps onto the lawn. I looked around frantically. Had I imagined the rustle in the bushes? No, I must have imagined it, I told myself. Hurriedly, I turned away to go back inside.
    “So we meet at last.”
    I wanted to scream but I couldn’t. My throat felt dry as sandpaper and I instinctively took a step back. I had no doubt that this was the person who had been following me.
    “Don’t be scared.” His voice was patronising, but was also tinted with a hint of charm. I estimated he was only a year older than me, but his stance and presence made him seem far older.  
    His dark hair hung around his face, straight down to his broad shoulders. His face was smooth with angular features. There was a silvery red scar running down his cheek like a river tributary. His eyes were a cold grey, empty of warmth like they’d been starved of colour. His thin lips were pale like dry petals on his sickly, pale skin. He wore a long, black leather coat with a silver glove on one hand. His tight-fitted trousers were tucked into his black boots. His bare chest was muscular and laced with sweat, white markings traced across his skin like intricate patterns that seemed to be moving. Around his waist was a thick belt, hanging from which was a cruel-looking flail mace, made of a hard black metal. The chain rattled as he stepped closer to her. He stood two heads taller than me, towering over me imposingly.
    “Wh-who…” I stuttered. I couldn’t move, I was frozen to the spot; my beating heart seemed louder than the music in the house.
    “Who am I?” He chuckled. “That is irrelevant. What is more important is who you are.” He said, pointing his finger at me like I was some kind of criminal. The way his spoke made me shiver. It was like he knew everything about me and knew exactly what would make me tick.
    “Oh really, then why didn’t you just murder me quickly and check the nametag on my dress.” I spat sarcastically.
    “Hmmm…you’ve definitely got some spirit.”
    “You really need to get a new stylist.” I retorted.
    “And you really need to get some manners.”
    “I think you’ll find I already have manners.” I said haughtily.
    “Is that so?” He didn’t sound convinced.
    I flinched as he took a step forward and reached out, running his finger along my jaw, caressing my skin, obviously enjoying my discomfort at his icy touch. I wanted to scream, to step away from him but I couldn’t. He moved his hand down so that he was holding my neck, so very gently that it seemed so strange from a fierce looking man.
    I felt a small stab of pain as he dug his nails into my shoulder. I could feel the trickle of blood down onto my dress. I winced as he withdrew his nails. My shoulder felt like it was burning, the indents in my shoulder oozed red blood.
    I tensed as he leaned so close that his face was almost touching mine. So close that I could feel his freezing breath on my cheek. I closed my eyes, afraid of what he might do.
    But he just whispered. “I’m sure we’ll be seeing each other again.”
    I opened my eyes slowly as his body gradually transformed into a swirling black mist that drifted off into the sky.
    Then I ran. 


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Assignment 1: Insane in the Mainframe

    I trudged through the deep snow, every inch of my body shivering. I hugged myself tightly and tugged at my coat in a futile attempt to keep warm. I could feel snowflakes clinging to my eyelashes so when I blinked my eyes stung with cold. My toes were numb inside my boots despite the two layers of socks I was wearing.
   The sky was full of clouds but I could see the round, silver moon in a break, hanging in the sky like a sequin. Snow lashed at my face like a whip, falling down from the sky thickly with incredible speed as the ferocious wind blew the large flakes into my pale face. I could barely breath it was so cold, it felt like my lungs were freezing up inside me.
   There were bare, lifeless trees on either side of the barely visible path, claimed in the clutches of deep winter. They leaned towards me with long, thin branches that looked like claws ready to rake me to pieces. I could have sworn they were alive.
   I was lost. There was no doubt about it. Fresh tears splintered from my eyes and froze on my cheeks.
   Then, just ahead, I saw the outline of a wonky, old, stone wall. And beyond the wall I could just about make out the outline of a rickety cottage. I gasped with wonder and hope, breathing in flakes of snow which made me cough and splutter. I hurried forwards with new found determination.
   I soon made it to the cottage. It was two-storey with small windows and a crooked chimney perched on top like a hat. The cottage was made of large stones which were covered in moss. The roof had many slate tiles missing and the green paint on the wood door was flaking. Ivy was growing around the door but it was lifeless and brown, the leaves crispy like dried flowers.
  The garden was covered in snow but of what I could see all the bushes were dead and brown. The grey, stone, birdbath was frozen over. The whole place seemed frozen in time; all was still except for the howling wind blowing snow through the air.
   I looked around me. There was nothing else for miles around apart from dead trees and endless fields covered in snow. Cautiously, I crept forward and pushed open the old, metal gate. I let go of it as I walked through and it creaked on its hinges as it shut. Snow crunched under my feet as I made my way to the door.
   As I drew closer, I realized that the door was open a fraction. My heart raced faster. Was it abandoned? I stepped up into the porch and, after taking a deep breath, pushed the door open and stepped inside.
   It was dark, completely dark. I could vaguely make out the staircase in front of me and several doors leading off to other parts of the house. I rested my shaking hand on the hand rail and immediately pulled away. It was covered in inches of grey dust.
   “Hello.” I called out hesitantly. “Is there anybody here?”
   Drip. Drip. Drip. 
   I looked up. 
   On the ceiling there were bare floorboards, from which dripped a steady flow of blood. There was a thump from upstairs. I began to back away, my mind reeling. I had only one thought, to get out of there.
   “Where’d you think you’re going?” Said a stern, imposing voice. 
  I spun around; standing in the doorway was a man. His face was hidden in shadow. He was tall and lean; in his hand he held a long knife.
  I screamed.
   “Willow! Get up! You’re going to be late for school!”
   I sat bolt upright. The sound of my mother’s shouts dragging me from my nightmare. My skin felt clammy and my fringe was stuck to my forehead. My heart was racing and I was panting as if I'd just run a marathon.
   I glanced at the digital alarm clock perched on my dresser. It was almost eight o’ clock in the morning. I slumped back down onto my pillows.
  “I’m up!” I bellowed back.
  I flung my quilt away from me and hauled myself out of bed. There was a faint light sifting through my pale, red curtains but apart from that the room was dark. I struggled out of bed and pulled on my horrendous school uniform and ran a brush through my hair, before dashing down the stairs.
   My mum was in the kitchen, making herself her morning coffee. “There you are!” She said as I stumbled into the room. “I made you some-”
   “Thanks mum!” I called as I caught the toast as it leapt out of the toaster.
   “Aren’t you going to sit down to eat that?”
   “Do you want me to be late for school?”
   I opened the front door just as my best friend, Aiden, was about to ring the doorbell.
   “Are you psychic or something?” He asked.
   “No, of course not.” I replied as I plucked my jacket from its hook and slung my schoolbag over my shoulder.
   “Do you want that toast?” He asked, pointing at the piece of burnt toast in my hand.
   I rolled my eyes and chucked it at him. He caught it then took a bite.
   “Delicious.” He murmured.
   I was eyelevel with him when I was standing inside the house, but as soon as I stepped down next to him and shut the door behind me he was taller than me again. He had flat blonde hair that shone in the early morning sun. His eyes were light brown in the centre with a dark brown ring around the edge, like melted caramel mixed in chocolate. His black and navy tie was wonky, so I reached out and straightened it for him.
   “Hey!” He exclaimed. “I like it like that!”
   “It makes you look like a rebel-wannabe!” I replied.
   “It makes you look like a rebel-wannabe!” He mimicked.
   I swung my bag round so it hit him on the arm before slinging it back over my shoulder.
   “Ow! That hurt!” He howled.
   “That was the point.” I answered jokily as I bounded down the driveway, laughing as he chased after me.
   He grabbed my shoulder and spun me round so I was facing him, he was laughing too. 
   It was then I noticed that his laugh had faded and he was looking curiously at something past my head.
   “What?” I turned around and that’s when I saw him too.
   The man from my dream was standing in an upstairs window of the house opposite mine. His face was cast in shadow, but I could tell it was him.
   “So…when did the creepy guy across the road move in?” Aiden questioned as we strolled down the street.
   “Mum said that the only person moving in there was a widowed old lady with no family.” I answered, trying to hide the fear in my voice. How could he be here?
   “Maybe it’s the ghost of her husband come back to haunt her!” He said spookily.
   I looked at him sceptically.
   “Ok then, maybe not.” He said.
   I glanced back over my shoulder. My heart thrummed in my chest. He was standing there, on the drive, watching me.
   “Hello! Earth to Willow!” Aiden was snapping his fingers in front of my face.
   I jolted around to face him.
   “Are you alright?” he asked.
   “I’m fine.” I lied as we crossed the road towards the school gates.
   “You sure?”
   “Yes!” I snapped. “Sorry.”
   He shrugged. “That’s ok; I understand that you’re a freak.”
   “Hey!” I dashed after him as he escaped through the crowds of students just as the school bell rang.
   When I first entered the art classroom nothing much seemed different to usual. The walls of the small classroom were covered in paintings and drawings done by students; even the ceiling was filled with artwork. At the end of the classroom was a large desk covered with pens, pencils, rubbers, glue, scissors and other stationary as well as folders and books. There were five, large, wooden benches in the room, each with four, old, wooden stools. Across the wall opposite the door was a large window, the blinds were up letting golden sunlight stream into the classroom. Nothing unusual.
   I took my seat by the window, on the table I had all to myself, and reached into my bag, eventually pulling out a fluffy, blue pencil case. As I looked up I realized someone had just sat down opposite me. I was just about to tell them to scram when our eyes met.
   His eyes were like shining emeralds; his hair was wispy and black. His skin was pale and smooth; his lips were very pale pink. Everything about him was perfect, his lean and slender build, long legs, smooth nails. Perfect.
   I looked around the room; no-one else had noticed him. How was that possible? Usually all the girls would be begging him to sit at their table, batting their eyelashes, while the boys asked what his favourite football team was. But everyone ignored him as if he wasn’t there. Maybe he wasn’t. No he definitely was, sat opposite me, looking me up and down with curious eyes.
   I was about to ask him who he was when the teacher strode into the room, tying her apron up as she entered. Her hair was a mess of brown curls as usual, tied up in a bun, and there was a paint stain down the sleeve of her cardigan.
   “Settle down class!” She bellowed.
   The boy took one last look at me before pulling out a sketchbook and drawing the beginnings of a portrait.
   Throughout the lesson I glanced up from my work to see what he was doing. The portrait looked familiar, it was in the anime style. It was a girl with long hair that flowed down her back in graceful dark red curls. Her eyes were glittering blue. She was slender with an elegant frame, wearing school uniform…
    The boy finished the last bit of colouring then put down his pencil. That was when I realized. He’d drawn a portrait of me. I gasped and looked up at him, he was staring into my eyes. I felt my cheeks burning red. 
    The bell signalling the beginning of lunch rang and he snatched the drawing off the table and strolled out of the classroom. The teacher didn’t even notice him leave.

    “Aiden! Aiden!” I skidded to a halt next to my confused best friend.
    “What on Earth happened now?” He exclaimed.
    I collapsed down next to him on the bench. A group of kids playing chase ran past us. The sun was warm on my face as I tried to get my breath back.
    “Have you seen the new boy in our year?” I said, exasperated.
    “I think I’d know if there was a new boy in our year Willow.” He replied sceptically.
    “But there is!” I cried. I explained everything that had happened in art but he just stared at me like I was crazy.
   “Well if you can show me this mysterious guy then maybe I’ll believe you.” He said.
   I looked around the playground frantically. I spotted the mystery boy leaning casually against the wall of the school building. He was watching us curiously.
   “There!” I pointed him out to Aiden.
   “Right there, leaning against the wall.” I whispered, aware that the boy was watching us.
   Aiden shook his head. “There’s nobody there Willow, you must be imagining things.”
   “But there is!” I looked up at my friend, he wasn’t joking, he really couldn’t see the boy.
   “I do have one theory.” Aiden said, a smile blooming on his face.
   “What?” I asked hopefully. 
   He stood up and pulled me to my feet. “Come here.” He said.
   I came closer.
   “I think…that…”
   “Yes…” I prompted.
   “…you’re insane.” He jumped away from me.
   “You’re such an idiot.” I thumped him on the arm playfully, he was laughing hard.
   I tried to laugh to, but something inside me was clawing at my soul. Maybe I was insane. After all, I did keep having weird dreams, and then there was the strange boy who sat opposite me in art and drew a portrait of me. And how could I forget the man in the window.  
   Something wasn’t right, and I had a feeling it was me.

   I said goodbye to the cheerful Aiden as I reached my house.
   “See you tomorrow insane girl.” He joked as he dashed away to avoid another thumping.
   I ignored his comment and was about to turn to walk down the driveway when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I looked up at the house opposite mine. There, in the same window, was the man. The man holding the knife. The man in the shadows.The man from my nightmare.                    

Sunday, 20 February 2011


This is where I will be sharing my assignments for Castiel500's Blood and Gore 101 Writing Competition. The background is not random btw, as you will find out it will be linked to my assignments.