A first draft of the Young Writer of the Year ‘Silver’ story. Initial comments from teacher. Please add your feedback below to help Jake develop his story further.
The knife wept. Its glistening tears ran along the piercing blade. Staining the innocent silver into a murderous red. Congealing into rubies as it plunged through the air. Shattering as it impacted on the violent[U1] ground. I fell to my knees.
When I woke up this morning, I didn’t know that I was going to die. It started like every other morning. [U2] The droning sound of my alarm clock flooded my ears. The noise danced around my head, wrenching me out of my serene slumber. I lay on my bed listening to the screams, its intense rhythms emulating my heartbeat. Entranced by the noise, I started thinking; there was something different about today. I didn’t know why. I could just feel it. I can’t help but think that if I had just stayed in bed today, none of this would have happened. But I doubt it. This was inevitable. As if my whole life had been building to this day.[U3]
With this strange optimism possessing my mind, I leapt out of bed and into the shower. The cold water rushed over me. It had never felt so refreshing, so cleansing. I didn’t want this moment to end. I feared that when it did, everything would come crashing down. That I would plummet back into the reality of my life. But it didn’t. And I just couldn’t understand why.[U4]
The weeping blade withdrew from my butchered flesh. My exposed innards surged out from my lifeless body. Splattering around me. Rotting on the grave of my corpse.
I didn’t want to waste this incredible sensation. This was the first time I had ever felt this way and as far as I was concerned, this could be the last time. So I chose to walk to work. I had only ever walked to work once in the seven years I had been employed. It was a Monday morning and I hadn’t woken from the alarm clock. I still remember the smoke mockingly billowing from the bus’ exhaust pipe as I walked out the door. I had shuffled sullenly all the way to work. But today there was a jovial spring in my step. I saw the bus pass me, but this time it was my bounding steps that mocked it. As I strolled down the winding path, I saw a completely different world. Every colour was so enhanced. I felt like I had been living in black and white until this day. I couldn’t help but smile, like really smile, not pursing my lips and faking my contentment like so many times before. I bathed in the glorious, golden sunlight, its rich rays warming the very depths of my soul. Every smell was sweet as it lingered in my nostrils, playfully twisting and turning around my head. Even the cheap city coffee tasted good. The smooth, syrupy liquid swished pleasantly around my mouth, trickling down my throat; cascading into my stomach. All the sounds of the city formed a sweet melody in my ears. The usual harsh composition of noises that riled my mind had gone, leaving in its wake a beautiful symphony. And all this time I asked myself, why?
I walked passed a homeless man, as I do every day. But today I didn’t see a crazy man. I didn’t smell the stench of alcohol. I saw a broken man. But a man nonetheless. And for the first time ever, I felt sorry for him. A deep sincere sympathy for this helpless human being. And I would’ve given anything to share with him the joy I felt today.
The murderous hand trembled as it amputated [U5] the blade from my flesh. The killer’s hand fell limp, sending the violent mass plummeting down. It pierced the ground as it landed. Shaking viciously in the wound.
As I walked into the ground floor of the building I was greeted by our beautiful receptionist – her long flowing hair, her bright defined eyes, her luscious red lips. And as I stood gazing at her accentuated features, she smiled at me and her smooth voice seeped into my ears, ‘Good luck today’. Good luck? What could she possibly mean. As if she knew my internal confusion, she clarified, ‘The promotion. You’ve got a great chance today’. Everything started to come back to me. The promotion. Today was the day when the retiring CEO was announcing his replacement. People would kill for this position. Thoughts ran freely through my excited mind. Today was my day. I had been with this company longer than anyone else and was far more skilled than everyone. I struggled to contain my exhilaration whilst waiting in the elevator. This job meant success. Success in my career. Success in my education. Success in my life. I would be renowned by all in the company. They would look up to me as a figure of importance. My life would have meaning. The abrupt ding of the elevator pulled me out of my fantasy. I had reached my office. I walked eagerly over to my desk, subtly noticing the features of my office. The artificial pot plants, the blinding fluorescent lights, the ominous glow of the computer screens. I finally reached my desk and my heart skipped a beat when I discovered a note summoning me to the CEO’s office.[U6]
As I lay flooded in my own blood, I smiled. It was all over. I had found my freedom, no longer shackled by the constraints of my purposeless life. I looked over at the gracious knife, thankfully. This weapon had taken my life. It had executed my suicide.
I’ll never forget what he said to me. His harsh words echo endlessly in my empty mind. ‘I’m sorry, but you just don’t have enough flair’. The feeling I experienced after he said this was so overpowering. Absolutely everything wonderful about today suddenly turned into a merciless reminder of how pitiful my life was. I finally understood why everything seemed so different today. Because today I had a glimpse of a freedom that I have never experienced before, and never can experience as long as I remain in my meaningless life. So why should I suffer for something I will never obtain? When I woke up this morning, I didn’t know that I was going to die. But now I know that I have been waiting for this day my whole life.
[U1]Not sure this is the word you’re after here.
[U2]Too cliche – get rid of it!
[U3]This whole opening is pretty cliche, Jake. Do you know how many stories begin with a ringing alarm and an unwillingness to wake up? HEAPS!
[U4]Name how many movies feature a person waking up and getting in to the shower? There really aren’t that many because stories and films leave out these mundane aspects of life.
[U5]Not sure this is the right word here.
[U6]This action here is a little too simplistic. It just lacks any genuine imagination. Does that make sense? Make it real Jake, not pretend.