Tainted Red

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

The deep ruby red [U1] rippled cautiously down the silent stream, avoiding the rocks that penetrated the surface. Flowing water pushed it further down the stream out of view. It was beautiful; hiding the sinister truth. I stared into her silver crystalised eyes as she slowly sank further into the gaping depths of the smooth, gentle liquid. Realisation dawned upon me as her sweet, succulent lips turned a pale blue and her once rosy cheeks drained to a pail white. She was forever lost.

The moon crept over the still, daunting trees and a lone wolf joined in my despair as he howled at the dark starless sky. A subtle breeze and the rustling of leaves sent chills down my spine. My hands shook with adrenaline as it pulsed through my veins. I watched as the moon’s light reflected dancing shadows across the river. I stared down at what lay in my hand, so calm and perfect under the dazzling spray of gold and silver, and yet I was filled with a burning hatred. I felt the pain seize my heart. At that moment I discovered that I was more blade than human. More monster than man.

Inside my soul I battled my emotions, fought my morals. She wanted this. She asked, begged for it. But can anyone seriously seek death, or even bring themselves to believe that there was nothing left? Nothing better? Death is a barrier that must be faced, no matter how hard one attempts to avoid it. We must choose our own paths. Like a stream, all life slowly drifts towards its end, navigating through dangerous crevices in a pointless attempt to hold on. Segments are lost along the way, but the goal always remains the same. Infinite doesn’t exist. It’s just another attempt to cover the truth. Water is evaporated into the sky, just as life leaves us in our nightmares. But does that mean we simply stop trying to hold on? Should we let go of the ledge and let the current take us? This time it didn’t matter. I didn’t have a choice.

Love. Sacrifice. Both go hand in hand, a Ying and Yang of purity and bitter darkness. One soft and tender, the other rough and dangerous. To love is to sacrifice. And to sacrifice is to love. And when one sacrifices both love and life, they have ventured upon reality, that infinite is nothing and devotion is everything. She proved her affection for me, and now it is my turn to join her. Pull myself away from this brutal world, and welcome oblivion.

To have just one more day would be bliss, but I knew as soon as the sun rose, I would be discovered, and it wasn’t meant to be that way. I didn’t clean the silver blade of her blood. I felt comforted at the idea of having her blood there, as if it created another connection between us. A kind of blood promise; a promise to always be together, even in death.  We had been so in love, so similar, and soon we would be together again.

Fingering the blade I gazed upon her body for the final time. My eyes traced her small, delicate figure; from her youthful pixie face to her small fragile feet, and resting on her swollen stomach. To imagine that life so shortly lived because of our foolish mistakes causes regret to seep through my soul. [U2] It could have been happy, we all could have been. Reason quickly overpowers these thoughts. We knew we were selfish, but it never could have worked.

My fingers grip the knife’s handle and with shaking hands clasped together, I bring the silver blade to my chest[U3] . Searing pain overwhelms my entire being. My every thought, my every memory, is forgotten in an instance. And then nothing. I see the blood gushing from my chest. My hands, in a senseless frenzy, try to stop it, but I know it will all be over soon. Her sparkling silver eyes suddenly catch my attention and regret once again consumes my thoughts. I fall to the ground and into the water. This time it will be my own blood that slowly ripples down the silent stream, tainting it red. Now forever pure with memories of the past.


[U1]Try to use more imaginative and original adjectives.

[U2]?? This sentence is a little hard to follow. Can you re-write it. I’m not sure what you’re saying here.

[U3]Stabbing yourself in the heart is would be difficult, I imagine. Maybe slitting the wrists is more realistic. Shocking and graphic – but more believable.

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5 Responses to Tainted Red

  1. David Chapman says:

    Here we have a somewhat graphic and fantastical tale of the Romeo and Juliet variety. There are effective descriptions, but also several overwritten lines. The main challenge is connecting to the audience. There is little chance to connect with the protagonist, leaving the reader with perhaps less emotion than the author would like. More realism and a recognisable motivation would assist this piece.

  2. Natasha says:

    Good descriptions .. a little over written in some places. There’s not much build up … nothing for the audience to relate to or know. Perhaps a little less emotional description and more detail about the people. Some of the philosophical musings are good, just avoid cliche emotions … have you ever had someone die? Try and put you’re Own feelings in place.

  3. Eliza says:

    The descriptive language shows the emotions felt during and after the act. The blade to the heart is a little over dramatic, but over all an interesting concept.

  4. Caitlin says:

    There are quite a few lines that are overwritten and over emotive. Instead of being able to enjoy the imaginative side of reading someone’s work, I am forced to imagine every detail of the scenario.
    The line ‘Love. Sacrifice. Both go hand in hand, a Ying and Yang of purity and bitter darkness’ is quite good.
    It was quite interesting to read.

  5. Lauren says:

    I liked some of the descriptive language and the concept of the tainted red theme was quite effective. The title drew me into reading the story!

    In places the descriptive language was over the top and thus made it harder to follow what was actually happening, as a reader I got bogged down in all words and cliches.

    Perhaps more of a dramatic conflict would engage the audience a bit better, if the protagonist had a quirk or a stronger motif it would add to the storyline of the piece.

    Some really creative language there though : )

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