My feet, shaking with anxiety, crept down the staircase. The polished white marble floor made me shiver. I used to love marble floors because of the way they glistened in the sunlight. The floor always bounced the light around the house making everything beautiful and bright. Instantly my feet felt like royalty. As I took my first step, my ankle felt a tingle. It carried through the ball of my foot to my big toe. For those few seconds, I felt special. I was a celebrity taking my first steps along the red carpet.

The slick plain white wallpaper surrounded me. It was on every wall around the house including on the ceiling. Although it could have been interesting like a chalk-white or a snow-white, it was just a boring white. Beneath this white, I felt trapped. The walls cried help for some colour. I have no idea what is on the exterior but my guess would be something plain and boring. At least the wallpaper did have a positive. It was smooth, like weirdly smooth. When I touched it, it felt like running my hand along a sheet of ice, reminding me of my sister.

My sister and I used to go ice skating a lot. There was this abandoned lake that would completely freeze over in the winter. Surrounding the lake was a perfect circle of blossom trees. On top of the frozen lake lay a thin layer of snow which needed to be swept off each time. After we finished sweeping, we spent some time on our hands and knees wiping our hands over the ice to heat it up a little. This made it melt and perfect for us to skate on. Running my hand along the wall reminded me of this.

Natural light was a rear sighting but man-made light was something this house was not short of. Chandeliers filled every room. They were all controlled by one remote. It was either all the lights on or all off. When the morning hit at 7 pm, it was the worst time of the day. Abruptly I was woken as all the lights turned on. I hated this time because it gave me the feeling of a prisoner trying to escape over the big barb wire fence and then being hit by the bright lights sitting upon the tall concrete towers.

Underneath the silence came the soft ringing noises. There were all different kinds of these robotic sounds. With every step I took, came this soft ringing one. It was faint but I had been around here long enough to catch it every time. Whenever I did something, this noise would start to ring in my ear. My torso moving out of bed, my arm pouring myself a cup of tea, my finger pushing a button to change the channel, RING, RING, RING. I figured that the ringing noise was a record of my actions. Someone watching my every move.

On top of that noice also came a loud buzzing noise that happened when I got close to closed doors. They sounded like alerts warning me that danger may be near. I got a little nervous when these noises started to arise. It would become louder and more rapid, the closer I got. I had no idea what was going to happen. Was there going to be an explosion if I got too close, would I be shot or would there just be nothing.

I came to the mirror and stopped. I took a good look and asked myself why did it have to be like this. Here was me, slouched over in my one and only outfit. A dress that went to my knee. It was black with white trim. On top of the dress was a white apron that was torn a little. I looked ridicules but I had no choice in my outfit. Thinking about it, I didn’t actually have a choice in anything these days.

It was now 12 pm and all the lights were out. I had been thinking about doing this for years. It was time for me to be more like a man. Creeping through the house in pitch black was hard but I got by with the buzzing noises in my ear. I knew when they got louder and started to rapidly ring, I was heading in the right direction. From my memory, this hallway was short, which meant that the ringing noice was going to be intense for a short burst of time. I took a few steps down the hallway and no change. I brushed my hand, shivering with concern, along the smooth wall to remind myself I was home.

Behind my blank face lay my pain. I had to make sure everything looked normal just in case I was right, and someone was indeed watching me. As I made my way closer to the door, the noice became unbearable. There were 1000 birds shrieking in my ear. The marble floor cried out for me to turn back but my motivation to find out what was behind that door was greater than my pain. My body started to shiver uncontrollably.

I grab onto the door handle, an unsmooth surface. It wasn’t like the other door handles in the house. They were all round, boring, sterling silver door handles. This handle felt like it was made with some sort of harsh and rough substance, like a rock. It hurt my hand as I grab hold of it. My ears felt like they were bleeding from the noice, as well as my hand was being cut open by the door handle.

I am finally able to twist the door handle and push it open. I am slapped in the face by a bright white light forcing my eyes closed but I instantly start to warm up. The shivers stop while the ringing noise is still deafening in my ear. I feel a little gust of wind which picks my hair up off my face. My eyes open slightly into a squint. Trees, birds, and grass. Could I really be outside.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Hi Jess,

    This is on the right track. You’ve got a good structure and a developing sense of place.

    We discussed 4 approaches to take at this point:

    1) Focus on accuracy. You need to pay particular attention to handling plurals correctly – including subject verb agreement. You must use capital letters correctly. You must check the spelling of every word – including the familiar ones.

    2) Sentence structure: go back to our class study of the Grammar of Dystopia and apply some of the sentence variations we learned about there: Think: fronted prepositions and complex sentences. Use your simple sentences for impact.

    3) Word choice. Ensure every word you select functions to elevate the piece. Build some great nominal phrases using adjectives before some key nouns.

    4) Figurative language. Some of your material cries out for the use of metaphor (see what I did there). Take the time to try to construct two or three vivid metaphors to enliven your work.


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