A Dark And Stormy Night
Joel Duggan, Grade 8, Whitefriars College
1st in the 'The Write Track 2015' competition
‘Twas a dark and stormy night. The infamous sentence: considered by most to be the worst possible way to start any story. A piece of prose so purple you could slap a price sticker on it and sell it as a grape.
Nevertheless, it is the way this story begins; for indeed, a storm was raging outside unlike you’ve ever seen. Rain, concealed beneath the cloak of night, battered the ground relentlessly. The staccatos of thunder and lightning penetrated the air with the sound of a battering ram against a castle gate.
This tale begins with a man stuck in his home, which unfortunately for him, was located in the middle of the storm. He was a lonely fellow; a writer that much preferred the company of books to people. In fact, this ‘conjurer of tales’ (what he secretly referred to himself as), was engaged devoutly in a book. If you had asked the title, he would not have answered. Instead he would have raised his book to reveal its name, without skipping a letter in his reading.
I believe that you have been adequately introduced to our protagonist at this moment in time. So, as mentioned heretofore, his eyes were glued to the pages of a novel. Around him were towering bookshelves, filled with stories this man has experienced. So brimming with tomes were his shelves, that this fellow had been forced to start stacking them up on the floor like miniature towers.
Upon one of the novel structures was a laptop. It was old for its time, but it had served the reader well. On the screen was a small story he had written. As the fellow perused, he contemplated whether or not he should enter this short into a writing competition. He had never done it before, and shyness was an unfortunate side-effect of isolation.
Numerous thoughts ran through his man. What if they hated it? What if he was told he had no talent? Or, what if they loved it and published it for all the world to see? It was inevitable many would dislike his writing and criticise it harshly.
This all became too much for the reader and he was forced to put down his novel to properly mull the situation over. He stood up and began to pace the room, fingers stroking his chin as he weaved around shelves and stacks. But still, it was too difficult to make a decision as the rain decided it needed to butt in at regular intervals.
The man sighed at his inability to make the decision. His eyes wandered around the room, gazing at the titles of various books: Harry Potter, Great Expectations, The Hobbit.
It was then that it came to the man. Those authors had not been successful without taking a few risks. The reader returned to his laptop, clumsily grasping for his mouse. He took a deep breath.
He clicked ‘Send’.