Saturday, 18 February 2012

Homework Post 2: Creative Writing

(A photographer at school during the first week of the schooling year and something has just been found)

Epidemics are cruel and flit from human to human so quickly it’s hard to control them once they’ve been set into motion. Many would define an epidemic as a fatal disease but it is so easily forgotten that many social behaviours work in the same manner. These behaviours infect humans when they’re exposed to prolonged periods of a certain type of behaviour, and can continue to plague the human for many years post exposure. Bayleigh was one such human. She was a young, fresh faced 14 year old going on 15, and for the past 177 months of her life she had lived in a household where the common personality trait had been shyness. Because her parents were shy, she had picked up on many of their habits, idiosyncrasies and social standards and was now trapped in the body of an extremely awkward girl. Maybe things would’ve been different if her folks had been more outgoing, but alas, there was nothing anyone could do to change her situation now.
However awkward she was, Bayleigh had a passion for photography and could capture photos like a spider captures flies; sharp and mercilessly. If there was a funny moment or secret lurking in her area, it would only be a matter of seconds before her camera was locked, loaded and rearing to go. However, Bayleigh hadn’t always been a master of the lens; in fact, it had only been in the last year she had begun to recognise her own potential…

It had been hot during the first week of school, and as Bayleigh strolled around the halls of San Bautista High she prayed her camera strap wasn’t leaving unattractive sweat marks on her shoulder. The only reason she even had the darned thing was because her tutor teacher, Miss Wylie, had signed her up for the school newspaper in hopes that it would help her overcome shyness and would result in a few extra friends. However, this hadn’t worked out well at all because at the first newspaper meeting she’d gotten the worst job possible for a person who should’ve been at the office socialising with other journalists…

A field agent.

Sent on a mission and stuck with the job until at least second semester, Bayleigh had decided the field agent gig might be worth a shot, and was now in the process of finding a big scoop for the first edition of the paper. However, today had been wasted on pointless tasks. These included:
-skulking past lockers
-dodging packs of students
-rounding corners
-avoiding the administration office
All of which hadn’t yet secured her a single story. It seemed as though the first edition of the paper was going to be a complete failure.

Bayleigh’s feet scuffed the ground as she walked along, and disappointment racked her brain as she realised how annoyed she was right now. Her mother would’ve probably said something like “There’s always tomorrow” in an attempt to cheer her up if she were here, but it would’ve been useless as Bayleigh was already too wrapped up in her own little world to notice. Well, too wrapped up until the crashing began in the boiler room just a few doors ahead of her jolting her back into reality.

As quietly as possible, Bayleigh made her way towards the door and twisted the handle. Unfortunately it was locked and no amount of silent jiggling was going to change that, so Bayleigh stood outside the door, ear against the wood, listening as the crashing slowly died down. She could’ve just left, and should’ve run away as fast as possible, but curiosity was niggling at her subconscious and the temptation for a story kept her glued to the spot.

Anxiety was starting to get the better of her and Bayleigh started running her fingers through her hair. They kept getting trapped among knots and bobby pins but she didn’t care, it helped keep her calm. Then all of a sudden, it hit her. Bobby pins, she thought with a start and ripped one from her hair and began wrenching it around the key hole. With a click the door swung open, and Bayleigh peered cautiously inside...

You’d expect a normal person to be freaked out by a dead body, the cold lifeless corpse haunting them with the unfair reality that one day, everyone has to die. It’d also be a normal reaction for that person, after the millisecond of realising they soon would suffer the same fate as the corpse, might run, or perhaps scream, maybe even cry. However Bayleigh did no such thing. She simply sat down, grabbed the dead person’s hand, and held it.

Ignoring the rest of the world, Bayleigh simply sat in the dark, lifeless room and comforted the body. The long blonde hair and dress made it easy for her to confirm it was a girl she was comforting, and after about a quarter of an hour of sitting, she decided it was time to tell someone. Before she left though, she grabbed her camera and snapped a picture, just in case the body was moved when she left. After the click of the button and flash of the light, it came to Bayleigh’s attention what she had failed to notice for the past 20 minutes…

There wasn’t just one living person left in the room.

A scream escaped her lips and a figure lunged towards her. She leapt for the handle and managed to wrench it open just as her legs were pulled out from underneath her. Clawing at the concrete floor in an attempt to prevent being pulled into the complete darkness, Bayleigh broke most of her nails. The hands she could feel clutching her ankles were as rough as sandpaper, and they were beginning to chaff painfully. She screamed at the top of her lungs, throat dry with strain, and the only thing that stopped her was the sound of footsteps barrelling towards the entrance of the boiler room. Four senior students burst into the doorway just as she felt the pressure on her ankles release. The figure dived out the backdoor and the last Bayleigh saw of the figure was the electric blue trainers hugging tight to his feet.

The boys helped her to the administration office to inform them what had happened, and Bayleigh realised how exhausted the screaming had made her. A secretary quickly fetched her some water, and after hours of interrogations by the deputy’s, the principal and the police, she was finally allowed home.

Her mother had already been informed of the situation, and no explanation was necessary when she got home. She practically collapsed onto her bed and fell asleep as her head hit the pillow. That night, Bayleigh had many nightmares, dark figures lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce as she walked down an alleyway, blue trainers nearly crushing her to death.

At 3 in the morning, she gave up on sleep, and decided to write up an article for the school paper in hopes that recapping the events would help her feel a little better. Before sending her article to the editor, she quickly remembered her camera and checked if any of the photos on her camera were suitable for publishing. Clicking through the many images of school hallways and lockers, she came across the photo of the body. She shuddered uncontrollably for a few seconds before clicking the ‘next’ button again, only to see a new image flood the screen. During her scuffle with the figure in the dark, her camera must’ve been left on, and the button had been pressed numerous times.

The new image was the most chilling of all, and she realised just how much danger she was in. Her camera had managed to capture a photo of the figure, and much to her dismay…
It struck an uncanny resemblance to her tutor teacher, Miss Wylie.

The End.
Hope you enjoyed it.


  1. Haha, what a great place to end your story for the time being - I definitely want to know what happens next.
    You write brilliantly and have developed your character well. I love all the little details you have included to build an image of them in your readers mind.
    The varying sentence lengths and your use of adjectives make this very interesting to read and I love the simile comparing the characters photography to a spider!
    This sentence seemed a little strange to me: "the temptation of a story for the paper helped her think." I thought maybe something about how the temptation kept her glued to where she was standing would fit better.
    Anyways, love it and I can't wait to read the end :)

    1. I shall take that into consideration... and there'll be the last few paragraphs posted before Wednesday's lesson. :)

  2. Awesome story - great way to wrap it up.
    There are a few little things you might want to fix. For example: "Bayleigh realised how exhausting the screaming had made her" would read better if it was " Bayleigh realised how exhausted the screaming had made her." Also, "That night, Bayleigh had many nightmares, dark figures lurking in the dark waiting to pounce" might sound better if you change one of the 'dark's to something like shadowy or shadows - it sounds a bit funny if a word is repeated in a sentence.
    I think your story is the best that I have read from the class. Well done :)

    1. I try to avoid making word repeats but it's hard to catch them all whilst editing. And thanks, I aim to please.

  3. I think this story changed my life for the better. I can't help but feel like the next time I see a homeless person, I will now give them more money that I would have otherwise. I also now feel the need to go bake random confectioneries and give them to people I see who appear to be having a bad day, just to make them smile. Even if it is only for a minute, the brightness I add to their day will give me the strength to fight off the demons who, slowly but surely, consume the most valuable parts of my brain.