It’s dark. I struggle to catch my breath, but still I plough on through the soaking leaves of the forest. I hear the rumbling of thunder, the terrifying flashes of lightning as I try to get away as fast as I can. Suddenly, I emerge into a decrepit-looking graveyard. My clothes are drenched, and so am I, shivering and afraid – more than afraid. What I’d seen back there was indescribably horrid. I try to rid my mind of the images of what I’ve just seen. I pause. The sky flashes and there is an unsettling smell of smoke lingering in the air. I turn around, looking back through the dense woods, and realise that a nearby tree has just been struck by lightning and caught fire. I have a split second to run out of the way before it collapses right where I had been standing. There is no sign of the creature that has been following me through the forest. I don’t know what it is, or where it is, but I do know it moves fast.

And now I’m here. The fire is spreading, and I make my way up the slight incline, dodging the headstones. I hope that the fire will be enough to stop the creature, maybe even kill it, but somehow I know that it won’t do more than delay it a little. The hill is getting steeper, and I find it’s getting harder and harder to put weight on my leg, but if I’m to get a safe distance from the fire and the creature, I must keep going. I am about half-way to the church, and the smoke is starting to affect my lungs. It’s getting harder to breathe, and I lift up my green woollen top to cover my mouth and nose. At last, the church door is only a few yards away, and is getting slowly closer as I struggle to keep moving. I turn the handle frantically, begging the door to open. It stays fast shut. Turning around, now getting desperate, I see the fire has spread around the edge of the woods, and while scanning the graveyard for any sign of the terrifying creature, I slump against the locked door. The pain in my leg is excruciating, and the air around me is becoming impossible to breathe. My brain is seriously lacking oxygen, and just before I black out, I get a glimpse of something running towards me.

This was written way back when I was thirteen, so six years ago now, in a dark classroom during English, our teacher playing storm sounds on the computer and telling us to write something sensory for ten or fifteen minutes. Over the two years following, I wrote the majority of a novel – it lost its way some time afterwards, but I still have it saved on my computer. This isn’t part of the manuscript I’m working on right now, but I’d like to go back to it some day. Maybe I’d edit this passage, maybe I’d not – but I quite like that it’s there. Any feedback is welcome!

Katy x


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