Finally, I could breathe in the fresh air, and every essence of the inspiring scene, and paint.
Not knowing what to expect, whilst looking at the beautiful scenery… I felt an aura, resting upon the grass beyond me. It was subtle and kind, as if it was once a person’s memory. Then I saw it. A small girl, running about, rolling in the valley having a great time, while I stood there sad.
“She’s a spirit,” they explained. “A little girl who died, after a terrible sickness.”
“What kind of sickness?” I dared to ask. They didn’t respond.
Buzzing around me, the girl kept on pointing at details I hadn’t noticed before. So, I painted, and painted, until the sun went down. I came back the next day, set up my tools, and painted again. Until everything was there, but something was still missing…
Another day passed, and this time I didn’t bring anything but an umbrella. Rain bucketed down, as I watched the small girl do a rain dance as she started to gather rocks and spell some kind of name. Was that hers? I still wondered, what made her so sick? I took my umbrella away, and let it rain down on me. Now I feel that was wrong...
Home, I stared at my painting, forgetting about the little girl. Yet, a name ringed at every moment… Isabella.
I returned to my spot where the hills lay still as well as the mountains. But the grass swayed in the wind and the birds flew freely in the distance. A girl sat next to me, taking in the scenery. Seeing the beauty, I saw that day, with that little girl, I found myself painting her.
Working to sundown, the bright colours faded, as did I…into a deep sleep. I woke in a cold sweat, and coughed my lungs out. A flu had greeted me…
Since my condition worsened, men from downhill relocated me into a hospital. Concerned, doctors isolated me. I was alone. With only occasional visits from nurses. I didn’t try to wake myself any longer. Dreams were my only comfort.
I found myself within a familiar place…mountains reaching high into the sky, valleys and hills rested beneath. Birds sang and the wind played with my hair. “The countryside is beautiful” I whispered. Then nurses dragged me back as I felt weaker than ever. Supper was ready.
The nurse explained how I’ll have to stay longer, and asked if I wanted anything particular from home…
“Isabella” I croaked.
She became confused, I then explained as best as I could about my painting and turned over to sleep, ignoring further questions.
When I woke, there was my precious Isabella! She hung proud on the wall in front of me. Sun shining its rays of beauty onto her, just beautiful. Sleep didn’t come no more, as I laid admiring my work. The nurses complimented the painting and wondered who made it. I simply said, “Isabella,” as the girl stared back at me.

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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