Avanti Mohajan, Grade 10, Penrith High School
Excellence Award in the 'Writers Wanted - July 2011 - Step Write Up' competition
I was 8 when it happened.
They came into my house without warning.
I lay in my grandfather’s lap, listening to the soft sound of his voice recounting the tales of his childhood.
A loud thump on wood echoed to the lounge where we sat.
“I’ll be right back,” Grandpa smiled, setting me down on the armchair.
I heard my grandfather’s voice and then … silence.
“Grandpa?” I called, climbing down from the chair.
No one answered.
My heart froze and my breath quickened. I could feel a sense of solitude that sent chills running down my spine and to the tips of my toes. I dared not to venture further. I climbed back into the chair and buried my face in its cushions. I could smell the aroma of old spice and cigar smoke; my grandfather always was a curious fellow. The armchair was warm where he had been sitting. The warmth made me feel safe; as though Grandpa was wrapping his long arms around my tiny frame.
A tear fell down my cheek.
I looked over my shoulder, towards the hallway behind the front door. I could see no shadow, no light; nothing to suggest that there was life other than me.
Where had Grandpa gone?
The air in the room was cold. I could feel a draught ripping through me.
I was definitely alone.
I watched the hallway. Any second now, he will show himself, I thought. Grandpa was just up to his old tricks again. I listened to my thoughts in disbelief.
I heard a scrape.
I didn’t where it came from, but I definitely heard it.
My heart pounded in my ears.
I climbed off the armchair and stood frozen on the ground. I felt a shiver.
“Grandpa?” I called into the eerie silence.
My breath got stuck in my throat.
I steadily walked towards the hallway; listening closely for noises.
The floorboards creaked beneath my feet.
I jumped at the sound of a dog barking in the distance.
I felt something wet on the ground.
It was blood.
The shade of red was almost obscure against the dark oak of the floorboards.
My eyes widened and a gasp escaped my mouth.
I heard heavy footsteps stop behind me. Felt a cold breath against my neck.
A scream made its way up my throat from the inner depths of my chest, but it never escaped from my mouth. A large hand grabbed hold of my lower face and clamped down on it. An arm wrapped around my waist. I struggled and fought, but to no avail.
A man stood in front of me; his murky yellow teeth grinning wolfishly.
He leaned forward and whispered in my ear, “You’ll be perfect.”
His voice gripped my heart and turned it to ice. Every muscle in my body stopped moving. I stared into his black eyes; black as coal they were.
And that’s when I was taken.