Wall Of Hope
Geordie Williamson, Grade 9, Yeppoon State High School
Wall of Hope
By Geordie Williamson
Time was ticking, and the ship wasn’t any closer than it had been seven minutes ago. If you have ever had that dream where you were running and running and your target wasn’t getting any closer, you would know how I felt at that moment. How I wish I hadn’t read that book…
Four days ago, I went to the local library, went looking for a good book and asked the decrepit librarian for a reference. What a mistake. Not only did she snarl and glare at me, she pushed me towards the biggest error in my life. It was called ‘Wall of Hope’, and in the last few days, I’ve often wondered why the author would give such a misleading name. When she shoved it at me and stumbled off, I shrugged and read the back. It looked interesting, so I stupidly borrowed it and drove home.
It started innocently, uplifting messages and all, until page 234, when it began. The moment I read the words ‘bad things will bring you down, and worse things will crush you’, I knew something had changed. Suddenly the world wasn’t so full of life, green wasn’t green, blue wasn’t blue. I saw the world through grey and black. A quick glare from a passer-by was a dominating life threat and had to be removed. The thought of removing someone permanently didn’t seem so bad. This book changed my view of the world so completely, I couldn’t help myself when I first started killing.
The ship was closer now, and I couldn’t help myself feel a little hope. When I reach that ship, I’ll be safe. A quick glance behind told me the police were still far away. Three minutes and it will start its engines and drift away, damning me to an eternity in jail. With the last of my strength, I urged myself forward and put on a burst of speed, closing the distance between myself and the ship in a hurry.
I rushed on to the deck and burst through the doors to the captain.
“Start moving! NOW!!”
Just to emphasise my meaning, I pulled a gun from my shirt and started waving it like a maniac. Immediately the ship lurched forward and I could vaguely hear the cries of failure from the pursuing cops. The captain moved as if to reach for something, so I vehemently said, “If you make a move or change course, I will kill you.”
“Go east, and don’t stop. I need a place called Hopewall. Get me there and I will spare your life.” I had no choice in the destination. The book had captured my mind and in the last few pages, had cryptically told the location to remove the handcuffs that bound me.
“B b bu but sir, there is no such place!” the captain replied, trembling so badly his lip was quivering.
“Surrounded by mulling water
There your salvation will be.
Search the seas for a rocky outcrop
There your hope will be.
Such a thing does not come free
Life will be the cost.”
“This is where Hopewall is, so work it out and take me there!”
When we arrived, I casually lifted the gun and killed the captain, not caring if he had kids or not. In a kind of daze, I stumbled onto the outcrop, ignoring the rain that splattered my face. When I reached the centre, I stood and looked around, only to see a small piece of paper in a waterproof bag.
There is no salvation from what ails you, only one small shred of hope, and that ended when you murdered your boatman.
It was written in the same handwriting as the decrepit librarian. Suddenly it dawned on me. It wasn’t the hundreds of people I had killed that were the cost… It was my own life.
I never really knew how monsters became monsters, or how you might feel when you realise you’re a monster. Well, now I do.