The Deciding Chamber
Rowan Mcginness, Grade 12, St Clare's College
Finalist in the 'Write As Rain 2014' competition
The soul of a girl woke in the darkness. She didn’t know who she was or where. The surface on which she knelt was cold, solid and smooth, yet when she looked down she could not see anything. She glanced at where her hands should be but found only darkness; it was like being in a cave with no light. “Hello?” she cried into empty space. She listened for a reply but only silence greeted her. Desperate for comfort she cuddled her knees to her chest. “Hello?” she whispered, praying for a response. “Hello my child,” a breeze answered her call. She looked around to where she heard the voice but again saw only darkness. “Who are you?” she asked the being that was invisible to her. “I am known as The Sorcerer.” As he spoke a breath like a breeze moved past her skin. “I assist souls to find a life.” “Do you know where we are?” She asked The Sorcerer. “Yes” she felt a breath, it tingled the hairs on her neck. But the breath wasn’t a breath, instead of warmth she felt a chill, it was like a small wind. “You are in the deciding chamber,” The Sorcerer started to explain. “Here you will decide the world you’ll be born into. Look at the different paintings on the walls around you.” “What paintings?” The girl was confused, she had seen until this point only vast blackness. However when she looked again around her she saw several paintings, some were large, others small. Some of the paintings were brightly coloured, some dull and a couple were even grey. “When you’ve found a painting that you like the look of I’ll transport you into that world and you will be born, forgetting that you had ever been here.” The Sorcerer explained further. The soul of the girl walked towards a large red painting. The scene within conveyed a boundless hot desert. A girl with long dark hair, a pistol in her grip stood as the main subject in the painting. “This character looks quite vindictive.” The soul observed. She decided that she didn’t want to be in that world and continued to the next painting. This painting was a lot smaller and showed a girl with short blonde hair and vibrant green eyes sitting at an office desk. “It’s too mundane; I would like a more exciting life.” The girl’s soul wondered around observing all the paintings of the chamber but none were quite right. “Have you chosen yet?” The Sorcerer asked her. “No” she replied. “Do you have any spare canvases and paints?” The Sorcerer guided her towards a blank canvas. She took up a paint brush in her hand and painted neither a landscape nor a portrait but an almost surreal masterpiece. “What have you done?” The sorcerer asked intrigued and confused. “I took my life into my own hands,” the soul explained and walked into her painting as if it were as solid as water.