Ashtyn Mcmaster, Grade 9, Loreto College
I was running. No escape, they surrounded me. The sound of their angry shouts filled my ears and I struggled to free myself from the tangled bushes. I tripped over a fallen log and I came to a startling realisation. It was over. All of my friend's were dead. I am alone. I lay on the ground, my hands twisted amongst the dead leaves and tree roots, tears falling unwanted down my cheeks. My pursuers sound closer, but they cannot see me. Perhaps there is still a chance. But then as if to quash any good feeling from my existence, I hear triumphant shouts and a face appears next to me. I scream and feel a sharp blow against the back of my head. I am drifting.
I feel the hard ground against my hip and I am shocked. Am I alive? I tentatively attempt to move my aching muscles. They respond. With a flood of bright light I open my eyes. The scene before me makes me wish I hadn’t. I am in a circle of firelight, tied to three other people and in front of me stood the most horrific creature ever seen. He stood behind a makeshift alter, red liquid dripping from his hands. On top of the alter lay a suspiciously still figure. My heart starts to pound as I realise, I have been captured. “Ssh,” breathes the man next to me. “It will be fine.” I sit silently for a while, stunned. What makes him so sure? As if he can guess my thoughts, he whispers, “You have been captured for a purpose. They will not harm you.” I think about that as the horrible figure intones a prayer in an unfamiliar language. “Why?” I ask. “It was necessary.” Was the only reply.
When the dreadful rights were concluded, a total of 6 people had been brutally dismissed from this life. This made me wonder, was there an afterlife? Was there something to look forward to after this perpetual agony? Was there a point to life after all? We were dragged to cells, deep under ground and left to wait, wondering what torture they would inflict upon us next. After hours, or perhaps days, spent in that horrible, stinking cell, we began to hear noises. I thought I was alone in hearing them but gradually, I realized that I was not alone. The anxious words echoing around me made me realize that everyone could hear these noises. After days of agonising over what was out there, we heard footsteps. Some of the dark creatures we saw above had come down to feed and water us, but they had only been a couple of hours ago. Was this our saviour? The footsteps continued and as they got closer to the steps in front of our barred cell, we could see a light bobbing. Then as the flickering quality of the light revealed the face beneath the hood, a woman screamed.