Vale (goodbye)

Silence filled the car. The faint sound of Melody’s cotton skirt slipping on the leather seat was all that could be heard. As the car turned a corner, Melody studied her black stain clutch purse as dread filled her stomach and a just one tear escaped her brown, make-up laced eye. Although unconventional to wear make-up to such an occasion, Melody felt that it was her only defence against her true emotions. All of a sudden reality dawned on Melody; there was no escape. She needed to escape into Michael’s arms. She needed him to stand beside her to hold her weight and nurse her sorrow stricken heart; but he was a thousand kilometres away. The day before last, Melody’s grandfather asked her to speak and although everyone in that room assured her she didn’t have to, she knew that it would break what was left of her grandfather’s fragile heart. Melody’s thoughts were quickly derailed as the car abruptly stopped. Unwillingly Melody shifted her eyes from her clutch and was confronted with a medieval styled building on her left. Religion was a foreign concept in Melody’s life, yet right now she felt obligated to believe. The stained glass above held a mosaic of Mary cradling a baby Jesus Christ. Reluctantly Melody slowly got out of the car; her heart felt numb, almost like it had died. Before she could cry, the heavens opened. The sweet smell of fresh rain filled her senses and she was forced to run into the small church in her heels that were a little too high. Unable to walk passed the foyer, she stood frozen with fear; her mother came up behind her and grabbed her hand. As they walked down the aisle Melody stood frozen with fear as she realised the aisle lead her to one Genève Mary Johnson coffin. As Melody slowly stumbled, the soft talks of others came to an abrupt silence. Yet again a pin would be made to sound like an earthquake, as the pastor spoke of her grandmothers’ life, her husband, children and grandchildren, Melody’s heart sank. As the first song of prayer finished, Melody was asked to speak the hymn. As she calmly approached the stand, one of her most cherished memories of her grandmother emerged from an old memory. A holiday to her grandparents when she was younger flashed through her mind. Images of a ceramic doll with blonde curly hair, crystal blue eyes and a perfected button nose, the overpowering emotion of gratitude filled Melody’s heart. In utter awe, Melody wondered how someone could recreate something so realistic and beautiful. Gripping onto the stand for support Melody slowly opened her mouth, but before she could speak her eyes filled with tears. Whilst trying to compose herself, Melody felt nothing but gratitude and above all love for the gift that is family. As she gazed upon her grandmothers’ coffin, Melody knew now that her grandmother was right next to her, helping her say her final goodbye.


25 was established in 1997, and since then we have successfully completed numerous short story and poetry competitions and publications.
We receive an overwhelming positive feedback each year from the teachers, parents and students who have involvement in these competitions and publications, and we will continue to strive to attain this level of excellence with each competition we hold.


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