The air was unpleasantly cold at this certain time at night. The hair on my fair skin stood up slanted and the coldness had found prey to my joints, making it extremely difficult to move. I positioned my stiff neck to the striking, infinite blanket of darkness to try and get rid of the discomfort I felt, but there was no helping me. The unnoticeable sounds most people didn’t hear, seemed so clear through mine and it was ruining what was supposedly meant to be a nice moment. This feeling has stuck with me forever during my childhood so its never unfamiliar.
As I was contemplating the regret of coming out here, someone with really cold hands got my attention by gently laying his frosted hand on my shoulder. He quickly moved and draped a thin throw blanket over my shoulders and sat down in the rattan chair beside me. His dark hair stood still and his eyes had no shine to them. They were cold to. The silence between us was deafening until he finally opened his mouth. He spoke words that were supposed to be reassuring but seemed shallow and distance.
Reign, the name his sister gave him just kept talking for what seemed like forever. As he was talking in his effortless voice, I started to stop hearing his voice, and suddenly it was gone, then after I blinked he was gone.
I quickly jumped up ignoring the pain in my body, turned my head to find no one. It was all silent and everything sat still. All these questions flowing through my head. I looked one more time then finally found something. A never-ending ladder that when I looked up, seemed so tall that it could possibly pass the ozone layer. My body moved without thinking and climbed the ladder, going up one arm and leg after another.
It seemed like hours went by but my body wasn’t tired. I looked down to see a layer of clouds covering the land which was such a surreal sight to see. I felt upset to look away but then realized I hit a stop.
My feet landed on a peculiar surface. It had a texture I had never experienced before. It was strange that I could breathe still high up and I wasn’t cold nor hot. I started to feel a change in my facial expression. It felt very unbearable, so I decided to go down and see if I can find him or anyone down on earth.
I made my way back to the ladder to discover it had vanished. I felt like I was about to panic. I couldn’t find the ladder, my palms were sweating and I could feel my heart throbbing. Knowing there wasn’t much hope I would make it back down I just decided to sit on the strange surface and be embraced by the feelings around me.
My face was tilted towards the ground, so I couldn’t see it at first, but then I felt a slight breeze coming from beside me. It was bright and warm. It seemed like a beating heart or a soul and it somehow got rid of the feeling of being lost. As soon as I looked up, there was a lantern. Multiple lanterns were floating and looked so free and then I figured it out. Loneliness is just a feeling, and it can go away when there is some sign of hope even if its just a lantern.

FOLLOW US 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.


Stay informed about the latest competitions, competition winners and latest news!