Story challenge 3

Bali Rai

The cave entrance was dark and forbidding, the only light came from my torch. I stood completely still, frozen in terror. Behind me was the monster, relentless in its pursuit. I had no choice. Either I faced my fears or I turned back the way I’d come - back towards the monster. Yeah, like that was a choice…

I closed my eyes and tried to summon up courage. It’s only darkness, I told myself, repeating what my mum used to tell me, when I wouldn’t go to bed. Nothing to be afraid of. My legs thawed enough for me to edge forward, my eyes still shut. I reached out my free hand, hoping to steady myself. Took deep, even breaths so that my heart would stop pounding. I felt the cold stone of the cave wall, slick with moisture and slime. I reacted to the sensation, pulled back my hand, dropping my torch…

Then the screaming started.

Deifying screams surrounding my ears making every inch of my skin shiver, every single strand of hair stand on end. Breathing deeply, I barely noticed my legs where running as fast as the night wind. I’d left my torch behind and there was no retrieving it now. No way off going back. The screams droned on like a record on repeat – and then silence. As if the silence was more deafening than the screams itself. I beg that the end is near that; I can retreat back to my nice warm bed and be out of this horrid nightmare. But I know it doesn’t stop here, I know this isn’t the end. Sprinting leads to pacing which leads o me nearly collapsing from exhaustion from all the running. It’s so dark and damp it takes me eyes a while to adjust but coming to my senses I know where I am.

This is not the end of the cave. This is worse. Indescribable. Worse than you worse nightmare. Worse than anything you’ve experienced for that matter. I grope for something to catch onto but everything is to slick to grab onto. My legs fly above my head and now I don’t know what way I’m facing. I’m falling again and the worst part, no control. Hallucinations appear as if tempting me to hold onto them to scream for help at them but I’ve learnt. I’ve learnt to shut my eyes, curl into a ball and forget it al. There’s no end. I’ve had this nightmare ever since mum left and dad started drinking. Night after night I’d listen to them bellow insults, accusations, anything under the sun as if trying to score points. Its been hard on all of us but why me? Why a cave? Why do I have to wake up, sweat dripping down my face to realise I’m trapped in my bed as if there is no escape from anything?

A light makes me squint, forcing my head to turn away as I roll over to the wet side of my bed. I didn’t mean for it to happen? It was an accident I tell myself over and over again but who am I kidding a 13 year old boy wetting the bed. I’d be a laughing stock. Glimpsing at the clock, it takes my mind 5 minutes to consider that im running late for school. Putting my clothes on quickly I rush downstairs, not bothering to say goodbye to dad on the way as if ignoring him has become a habit of mine. Following by a tremendous slam of the front door in some hopes of making dad notice I’ve gone instead of drinking a large bottle of sicking Jack Daniels leaving a revolting odour to lingering in his mouth the whole day.

“Poor kid. I should hav’ a word or two wiv’ that man! Ill tell ya’.” Ducking my head down between my shoulder blades I hope my neighbour does no spot me. I cannot deal with another rant of “I’m always her’ for ya’.” or “ ya’ need me, just pop round my luv’.” She is too busy talking about us to the locals as if we can’t hear and anyway I don’t need here. For a matter of fact, I’m doing fine. Me and my dad, we both are. Josh calls out from me across the road “HURRY UP! Gosh someone would have thought you live miles away” He’s my best friend. Always have been, always will be. Yet he still doesn’t know about any off it. I mean, why should he?

The whole day drags on and to me the lessons start to emerge into 1 long hour of typing, reading and writing. Not wanting to deal with Josh I run straight home just to do what I always. Clean up after dad. But this time its different. Its quiet. No shouting, no yelling about how it’s my fault. It reminds me of the dream just before I start to fall. I shudder as trying to shed the image from my mind. Entering the kitchen everything’s just gone. No alcohol, no food. Nothing. Draws turned over clothes spread everywhere you would think a burglar would have made a spot. Not until cleaning up the mess I find it. The note. I can’t even write about it. A note to finish it all. The words of the page come alive to mock me. Taunt me with the horrible message it carries. I can’t believe it. He’s gone. Left me. To use his terms ‘I can’t handle it. It’s too much pressure.’ Pressure? PRESSURE? The words spilling from my mouth make my lips dry and my tongue sour. This is it. |What am I to do now.

 Amy Babington The Piggott School

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