Jessica Chambers, Grade 9, Presbyterian Ladies College
The girl lay there, curled on her side on the bitumen, asleep. Out of place like a fallen angel in hell. The road stretched out either side of her body, like a long black belt constricting and cutting though the landscape, Lining it was rows and rows of endless oaks, their arms hanging above the girl as if reaching, hoping to wake her up from her deep and dark nightmare like loving mothers. The wind stirred the red and gold leaves, until one fell. One lonely orange leaf slowly swirled and twirled until it came to a rest on her forehead, startling her awake. Her eyes snapped open, as she quickly sat up, her blue irises scanning the brown trunks around her for danger. Shakily she stood, not used to this young body and how easily it seemed to glide with movements. Spinning on her heel, she wraps her arms around her sides, giving her small frame a hug. As she eyed her surroundings, the girl spotted something lying on the black tar not that far away. Bare feet stumbling across the road, she warily approached. The mystery item, seemed to glow in the completeness of the night. Reaching out, she squatted, picked it up and smiled. The key was small and made of iron, attached to a chain. She slipped it around her neck, fastened the clasp and with a new found confidence, continues to walk. Until finally, she saw another treasure of her lying on the ground. The grin spread across her face, growing off her happiness like a parasite. She broke into a run, her bare feet slapped against the bitumen, only to skid to a stop. She scooped up the book and clutched it to her chest. It was bound in dark blue leather, the papers lined with red margins and the pages filled with messy black pen. It was if she had just sculled a red bull, with the extra energy of excitement running through her blood, she sprinted, almost inhumanly, drunk with hope. She ran and ran until finally she reached an all too familiar white country house. In too much of a rush she decided to skip the stairs, instead scampering3 onto the veranda, and raced through the open front door. She slipped and glided along the hallways, as she searched for her friends and family. She found no one. Instead the walls were empty same as when she had left this house three years ago for a nursing home. Sadly, she left the house, the smile gone, almost as it had been vacuumed of her face. Again she trod the road, all hope of lay beyond leeched from her eyes. Finally she reached her destination. She knew where she was going, with the same certainty and calm that she had sustained for the last five years of her long and happy life. She had linked all the clues together. Her key that her father had given her on her eighteenth birthday. The notebook that she had bought herself to wright notes about cases after she had finished her law degree. The house she and her husband had raised their three children in, where her husband had passed away, and where she had her first heart attack. This wasn’t the end yet. She wasn’t going to spend eternity here. No this was just a stop. A Biography of her life, displayed on a road, beautiful art work for only one viewer. Her. Ahead of her stood a giant wall, grey in colour and shiny like glass. It spread across the horizon, east to west, never ending. With a content look in her eye she looked back at the road that she had travelled, that she had dug from the rock with her own hands and teeth. With a final smile of farewell, she placed the palm of her hand against the grey wall, the substance as cool as rock. And she watched in her reflection as she slowly but surely grew older, ageing with the second, she went from nine, to thirteen, nineteen, thirty, fifty, seventy, ninety, and finally ninety two, the age of her death. Smiling back at her instead of her small face framed with black hair was an old women, hair white as bone pulled back with a hair band. And she, knowing, and somewhat happy, turned to dust.