Walls Of Wood And Dirt
Abby Maynard, Grade 11, Kawana-Bokarina State College
It had to be one of the hottest days I have ever endured. The heat was pouring down but the trees were blowing a cool breeze across the yard. I stood next to my mother; tears were sliding gracefully down her cheeks. She was silent and her expression was grim.
I watched as the coffin before me was slowly lowered into the ground. It contained the limp body of my father.
He had passed away a week before, after colliding with a drunken driver on his way home from work, just streets away from our house. When I found out I didn’t cry a single tear. I simply fell to my knees and sat in silence. I’d stayed that way for two hours before my mother picked me up and held me until her eyes were swollen and red, and my arms ached from holding her close.
Now, as I stood by my mother’s side, I whispered a silent goodbye to my father, who was now forever sleeping on his silk bed, surrounded by walls of wood and dirt. It made me sick to think of it, like he was suffocating. Rotting away into nothingness.
My throat caught and the tears fell. I gave my father one last tear, before turning on my heels and sprinting away. I heard my mother sob and utter his name, like a plea for him to return to her.
I ran faster than I ever have, while the wind whipped about my face, sending my hair spiralling and drying my tears in tracks on my cheeks. I ran fast and didn’t stop until I had reached my front door.
I barrelled through the front door and ran all the way up the stairs and into the attic.
The attic was my safe place; my haven in which nothing from the outside could get in. The windows were boarded up with thick planks of wood and streams of light pooled through like small slits of intrusion.
I stumbled over to the couch and collapsed with a loud and painful sob. My heart lurched in my chest and tears flooded onto the cracked leather.
After a while, I sniffed and wiped my eyes, glancing around the room. I spotted a small wooden chest perched on top of a pile of old books.
I shuffled over and picked up the intriguing box. It was dirt brown and had a little bronze clasp. I opened it. Inside, it held a photo of a man smiling, his eyes radiating happiness.
I realised it was a picture of a younger version of my father. I smiled back at him and placed the photo back into the box, clipping the lid shut.
Hot tears fell silently from my eyes as I hugged my father, surrounded by his prison of walls of wood and dirt, forever tightly in my arms.