The English Department and its prefects have had great success in its Creative Writing Club for all years this term! Students were set a task revolving around song lyrics of the prefects choice which included the following :
“I am a forest fire” – Mitski
“Had the shiniest wheels, now they’re rusting” – Taylor Swift
“The words that hung above but never would form” – Hozier
We have had many submissions however a fantastic short story was submitted by Freya M in Year 9 titled ‘The Broken Soul of Tartarus’ as well as Eloise A’s story from Year10.
Freya M (Year 9):
It was magnificent – majestic really. The iridescent hide shone like a beacon among the field of bloody and dying, its wings flared out to show blindingly intricate feathers intertwined with powerful muscle. I marvelled at seeing such a beautiful beast, the sight of it almost a blessing upon my eyes.
The pegasi shifted, allowing me to view the rider perched upon its back, proud and imposing, his tattered and filthy armour a stark contrast between his stature and the animal. Dark, matted locks of hair were plastered to his forehead – with mud or blood I could not tell – and an angry wound on his left forearm was bleeding fiercely. With blinding intensity he gripped a gleaming sword, its blade glinting in the dull rays of the moon like a star hidden among the darkness of the night sky, and in his left he grasped the reins of the winged horse, which now snorted and tossed its head – impatience clear.
Storm grey eyes rose to meet mine, and my breath was swept away with the untamed hatred at which they conveyed, at the uttermost disgust as he surveyed me in the same way I had him. I watched his brow furrow, and his eyes misted over with a sort of abhorrence that I had not seen directed at me for a long time. It wounded me somewhere – in some dark, deep place that had not yet become tainted by my soul – that I had become precisely what I feared, and that now, it was too late.
I was not one to regret the past, and despite the god-awful things I had done, now was no exception. Tearing my gaze from his, I took my time to regard our surroundings more thoroughly.
We stood atop a rugged mountain, its peak only a few strides away, and the landscape around us was engulfed in mutilated bodies, running rivers of blood so dark it was almost black. The cacophony of anguished screams was a harsh music which yielded to nothing, perhaps the only thing in battle to remain so constant and reliable, despite its remorseful truth. I had never enjoyed the sounds one made when they were in pain – never truly had, in spite of what I had done to make it here – I had only had to learn to live with it, to endure and to adapt, as I had done time and time again.
I turned back to face this warrior, only to find him staring at me, a ravaged sort of brokenness haunting his eyes. “We meet again, my little forest fire” his voice was like the thunder that echoed through a storm, sending shivers down my spine.
He knew. He knew what I had done, what I had become and what I was here to do, yet he had still fought his way here, just to say goodbye. Of course, the dynamic between us was altered, the open loathing at which he was displaying hadn’t been there before, but he was here, and that was enough. It was just enough, that when I turned away again, towards the battlefield surrounding us, I was not afraid. Not for me, not for him, not for anything that would happen after this.
So I closed my eyes and steadied myself; I am a forest fire and more, I am the fire at Hell’s gates and I will burn till I am but ash and smoke, dancing through the cinders of this mortal realm
And with a raucous cry to rattle the stars, I unleashed myself onto the world.
Not once did I look back.
Eloise A (Y10):
I run through twisting branches of fiery ash. I dodge red-hot embers like bullets as my feet carry me around the forest. I’m running from nothing in particular, but the flames will haunt me forevermore. Dry leaves crunch beneath my feet, they’re yet to be set alight. I run past a stream, but I do not stop for respite in its cold currents. This forest used to be my home, a haven for the plants, and now it can never be.
I remember fondly the mushrooms that grew on my meadow, the honeysuckle that grew around my door, the willow by the lake. I will remember the way the flames pranced across it all, dancing on the grave of my home. I will remember the smell of woodsmoke and nectar, and the silence when there are no bees. But now I focus on my strides, letting myself jump over a log like it’s muscle memory, and I pretend not to feel my muscles scream as I clutch my possessions in my hands.
How easily it all crumbled, one ounce of carelessness from me. And now I watch as my forest burns, standing on the well-walked path where the trees cease to be. There’s no one there to watch the woman in the flame orange dress cry, there’s no one here to think the ash is snow. I will mourn the leaves, the dappled light of the canopy, the animals that trod so silently. Perhaps I am a forest fire, perhaps the forest fuelled me. There’s no one there to watch me cry and put out an ember with the cobbled sole of my boot, there’s no one there to mourn with me, there’s no one here to check if I’m okay. I’m suspended in a stupor, where I can feel nothing at all. Perhaps it, like the ash, has not settled yet, perhaps I’ll be glad I made it out.
I walk around the ruined stone of my old abode, hands drifting over the things that remain, the chimney breast, the metal bed frame, and the blackened windows. My books are all gone, the curtains hanging limply off imaginary curtain rods in my mind. There are no graves for the birds, the mockingbird who sang back or the jay who chirped. There are no graves for the animals, the curious doe with wide eyes or the friendly hare. There are no graves for the insects, the magnificent blue morpho butterflies or the dutiful bees. My stove used to sing beautiful songs, and now it hums a melancholy tune. The gold clock that lived on the mantelpiece remained, no longer clicking, just tarnished and shattered in the smoke. The floor needs a clean, and the walls need a roof, and the soot crunches beneath my feet. It feels heavy to walk into a house that was once your home. I remember it all now, how it used to be.
There are no graves except for one, dug by the remaining family I had, dug deep below the threshold.