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A future novelist?

Posted on: 22nd January 2018 | Category: Boarding life, School Life

Sandra in Grade 11 shouldn't rule out a career as a writer; having recently achieved an impressive A* in both her English First Language and Literature exams, she shows style and originality in her creative writing. As part of her Language exam preparations, Sandra had to write a short story under timed conditions, given only the title - "The Reunion". Here is the moving and beautifully written piece that Sandra produced in under one hour.

The Reunion

A long opaque corridor stretched out, its serpentine shape coiling like the belly of a beast. Dim lights provided a weak glow as the man shuffled forward, wheezing at every step. Rib-like structures supported the tunnel, creeping up from the base to hold its immense weight from crashing down. At the end of the corridor, there was a door. It was plain oak, its only feature being a gold gilding with a scatter of rubies adorning it. Above the door, a harsh white light illuminated the final steps to reach it.

The man pushed forward, each painful step getting him a little closer. Thinning scraps of milky hair were all that covered his bald and spotted head. His eyes were sunken, defeated. Fleshy jowls hung from his face and a pool of drool trickled from his toothless mouth before dripping to his shirt. A withered hand clutched at the walls, seeking support to aid his ailing body. A small gust of wind blew past him, carrying a crying, pleading voice.
“Grandpa! Please don’t go, come back. Please, come back.”

The despair in the voice made the man pause and turn, as faint memories of a young girl, with sunlit hair and laughing blue eyes, stirred beneath the depths of his ancient, receding mind. He wanted to turn back, hold her and let her know he was there, he wasn’t leaving. He’d give her sweets and a kiss and all would be well. But he couldn’t. He was done with that end; his time was up. Turning back, he continued walking, each step feeling lighter and lighter, the movements become easier as the memories of the girl faded once more.

He’d reached the door.

Trembling, he placed a hand on the handle and pushed down. A small click echoed out as, inching open, the door revealed a blinding light. Warm arm filtered through, warming the man's old bones. Behind it, a slightly younger woman stood, a smile creasing her face, her frail arms extended to welcome him. Upon seeing her, he stood up, his back straightened out, and a grin painted itself onto his face. He rushed to her, overwhelmed. His arms closed around her and he buried his head in her shoulders, sobs wracking his body as he held her tightly. As they embraced, the door shut, and all thoughts of the young girl and his past were left behind.

On the other end of the corridor, in a hospital room, a little girl sat on a chair. She had honey hair that coiled down her face, and ocean blue eyes shimmering with tears. Her small hand clutched that of an elderly man, his body laid out on a gurney. She felt his hand gently squeeze hers. Then, the light in his eyes faded, leaving them dull and glassy.
With a last beep, the heart monitor went silent.

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