Excellence Award in the 'Summertime Fun ONLINE' competition

I lay motionless in bed, my face burrowed in my silk pillow to provide comfort. Outside, the wind wailed and knocked upon the clouded window as if imploring for solace from the whip-like thunder that danced to the enigmatic patterns of the lightning. Anxiety enveloped me in a tight, uncomfortable grasp, taking pleasure in gnawing unhurriedly at my insides. I have been intimidated by thunder, a fear known as astraphobia, for as long as I can recall. Sweat beads line my forehead as if queuing for a rollercoaster ride and the air pressure decreases in my room. I attempt to deep breathe but fail instantly. Using all the strength in my frail, lethargic body, I limp dizzily out of her compacted room to the kitchen.

I grab a glass from the pristine shelf, half-fill it with sprite to relieve my sudden nausea and settle into a bean bag. An impulsive unfamiliarity flooded the house, and a wild beast cried a dreadful groan, increasing the night's ghostliness. I reach out to the coffee table, grab my phone, and begin scrolling through Instagram to stop the hurricane of thoughts brewing in my brain.

A strange presence suddenly surrounds me. The linoleum flooring and colourless walls begin gradually encroaching towards me as if keen to crush me. Adjusting my gaze slightly above my screen, I see someone standing eerily still, hands behind their back, by the entrance.

“Clarice!” I exclaim, exhaling the air trapped in my lungs. “Did I wake you up? I’m so sorry.”
Clarice is my best friend and I am currently at her house for a sleepover. She smiles at me with uncomfortably vehement eye contact and replies monotonously, ‘No. I’m looking for my phone. Have you seen it?’
I begin giggling, ‘You don’t have a phone, silly’. She must be really tired, I presume.
‘Oh. Right. Sorry. Are you hungry?’
It seemed as though she had a robot programmed into her. ‘Yeah. A little bit.’
‘Peanut butter, chocolate and banana smoothies?’ she questions.
This time I don’t laugh. ‘You and I are anaphylactic Clar,’ I say cautiously, ‘What’s going on?’
Her expression falters into a horrendous grin and she brings her hands in front of her. A red-oozing liquid gloops to the floor from a knife. ‘Oops, my mistake.’

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.


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