Scarlet Masterpiece

A first draft of the Young Writer of the Year ‘Silver’ story. Initial comments from teacher. Please add your feedback below to help Kate develop her story further.

I could feel cool fabric pressing into my pale legs as I pushed my weight to the floor. A sharp metallic stench travelled up my nostrils making me cringe. Outside my rotting [U1] paper thin walls the wind howled at my pain. Squeezing my eye lids shut, I couldn’t bare to face it. The thunder of my panicked heart echoed in my head, threatening to explode. Tears trickled down my cheeks and into my gasping mouth. I licked the salty trail of my quivering lip. It was so cold…so cold.[U2]

Tiny pricks stabbed at my bare feet, as if teasing me. Every bone in my body screamed in protest against the ice whips assaulting me. Against me. A sudden boom cracked by my left ear as my eyelids lit up, casting red spotlights around my head. I cringed[U3] away from the frightening display interrupting my concentration. [U4] A gust of frosty wind ripped at my exposed body, pushing me into the old chair. Clawing at my bare flesh I fought back a sob that ripped through me, jolting my firm composure. Slime[U5] oozed from my nose but I had no resolve to wipe it away. It suited me.

Braving[U6] to open my clenched eyes I let them adjust to the glaring white light exuding from my solitary light bulb. [U7] Swimming blurs invaded my sensitive eyes. The world around me began to turn and spin dangerously. Every bone ached from the pressure of holding my body still. My head lolled forward, neck weak and fragile. My vision came into focus, revealing my cellulite ridden thighs and the sickening fat bulging over the sides of my worn chair. Each thigh radiated white light, stinging my eyes. My sight wondered cautiously to my right hand wrapped oddly around a piece of silver. The blade protruded out at an angle, catching the light. As if in protest my head pounded with immense force, throwing me on the floor. [U8]

Scratched floorboards seemed to bend under my weight. My eyes were still trained on this silver weapon I was cradling, as if I had to protect it. The beauty of something so elegant and simple calmed my hammering head. Only slightly aware of something pushing me backwards, I glanced around to find the invisible source. The empty abyss I called my bedroom. Each wall as bleak as the next, looming at me, crushing me with the pressure of nothingness. A glare of silver [U9] caught my attention, a large square with sharp corners glaring at me.

I focused on my bulging hand encased around the blade. Willing my fingers to tighten I felt the blade slice through my fragile flesh. Expecting pain, a slight jolt of surprise racked through my body, as numbness took precedence. Concentrating on each nerve I found I had lost connection to bodily feeling. In the mirror one silver tear traced down my face silently. With a surge of courage I expanded my sight to include the entire mirror. A wave of repulsion enveloped me as I took in every curve, every bulge, and every blemish. I watched as my eyes transformed into pure hatred, tears colliding with shiny snot. The mess slid down my neck, down to my bloated stomach.

I had never been so disgusted, so repulsed. Every detail of my pale, bulging[U10] [U11] body sent a stabbing pain to my heart. I welcomed back the minor pang of feeling in my limpid body. The world outside my cold, damp room became silent, so silent a pressure began to impale my eardrums, begging for a disruption. Slowly the walls dimmed and all I could see was the square of glass. Entranced by the image I gazed as my hand, smothered in red liquid lifted without command. Mild confusion ran through my frozen head. The protruding silver blade seemed to gleam in anticipation, eager for destruction. Pushing the tip into my cheek I waited for recognition. It was like watching a movie, no feeling, no pain. A bead of red rushed to the surface to greet the tip. Slowly the tip dragged down, greedy for more blood gushing out. I examined the wound with great apathy. In fact, it seemed to improve on my hideous face.

I stared at the silver [U12] knife, flicking and curving. Attractive patterns began to take shape, an artist at heart. Deep red waves cascaded down my thick neck, pooling at my collarbones. With elegant grace single drops formed an intricate poem on my rigid chest. Suddenly a rush of emotion overtook my numb composure. It was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen. [U13] Warmth filled my limbs and adrenaline pumped through my veins. I lay the blade against my chest pushing down, harder and harder. It felt so good, so pure. My stomach rumbled, fervent to be touched, to be traced and sliced. I watched in the mirror as a grin spread across my sodden lips. I examined the silver tracks of previous tears. I found myself, I thought.

My naked body almost shook in pleasure, in delight. I was a unique artwork draped on my floor, for my eyes alone. I took in every inch, devouring the beauty. No longer overweight and bulging, but exotic and matchless[U14] . Satisfaction plagued[U15] me as a smug look stared back at me in the mirror. I dropped the blade to the floor, admiring my creation.

Black spots began to interrupt my admiration. Creeping in from the corners I felt the pressure against me. The light dimmed and the throb of my heartbeat slowed. Like the closing to a classic movie [U16] I watched the mirror fade, black fog consuming the image. Somewhere in the back of my mind, logic struck and I understood, albeit I did not want to know. I simply pretended this was the happy ending to a film. One last time I took in the picture of my happiness, the body, the patterns and my smile. My first and last smile…

[U1]Don’t like this word here.

[U2]This is a little too cliche for my liking.

[U3]You already used this verb once.

[U4]You haven’t indicated previously that the character is concentrating.

[U5]Snot? Slime is a little sci-fi.

[U6]This is present tense – I thought you were writing in past tense?

[U7]You’re using too many adjectives and as a result your writing feels forced. Just let it come out naturally.

[U8]Despite all of your descriptive sentences I still don’t have a clear image of what is happening and where. Really try to convey a complete image to your reader – don’t over-do the descriptions.

[U9]Don’t repeat the key word too much. It’s over-kill at the moment!


[U11]You’ve used this adjective a few too many times.

[U12]Too much already!

[U13]Is this physically possible – I thought she was lying on the floor? Surely she would need to be seated and looking down to see this pattern emerge?



[U16]Do a little research and include an actual film title!


One Response to Scarlet Masterpiece

  1. Natasha says:

    Good job in getting across the emotions of the characters. The description is very detailed, and in some places grotesque.
    The beginning is a little difficult to place. Where is the character? Plus the position that they are in (lying down, on a chair, standing up?) is a little vague and seems to change.
    The motif of the blade seems to be repeated a little much. A variation in description would possibly be more effective.
    All and all, it’s a very chilling picture created here.

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