‘Colour in Autumn’ by Isabella Putnam. Year 9
A whirlpool of tangerine and crimson leaves danced in the wind as they drifted down to the forest floor. As Lucy walked, they crunched under her feet, filling the midday silence with the sounds of October. In the distance, she heard baby birds chirping for their mother, not quite yet old enough to leave the nest. She breathed in, a long deep, sigh of relief and the beautiful pumpkin spice smell filled her nostrils. Littered all around her feet were fallen branches and sticks from the unpredictable English weather. Maybe people were killing the environment and ruining the only planet we know, but, just then, these issues were erased from Lucy’s mind. This place was perfect, out of touch with the world; her paradise.
As the nights began to draw in, the vibrant colours of summer faded, snatching away the happiness as they went. Instead they were replaced with the dreary, dull crimsons and olives ready for winter. Trees wilted, branches drooped and torrential rain drowned what was left of the sun. But, as it set, fuscia, violet and apricot rays spread across the sky, blending perfectly into each other like a watercolour painting.
‘Beware the Woods’ by Alex Ryves. Year 10
A softly chilling breeze caresses the crisp leaves. A hushed rustling graces the damp morning air; each orange paper-like litter flutters down towards the cool dew. The tree branches bow and torque gently, their barren branches and lacing fingers whistling like a rusted kettle. A freshly scented mist rolls over the placid, tranquil surface of the silently brooding lake.
Amongst the wizened figures, gathered in their eternal dawn, a sharply-cast chain juts out from a gnarled limb, standing harshly against the drooping mood. Jagged peaks of iron and steel twist grotesquely. From the contorting limbs of the metal beast, an unnaturally buzzing whine permeates the noiseless void.
Silently swaying, a solemn wooden carcass hangs from frozen chains, its crimson hide is adorned with scars and deeply searing burns. Beneath its moist, bacteria-ridden underbelly, broken shards of glass lie – tinted by the blood-red leaves – and cruelly carve the flesh of the pulsing earth.
Life in the Trenches by Luca Freer. Year 8
The smell was unbearable, the smell of a million damned souls trapped in the blood-soaked soil. As you looked out across no man’s land you saw the carnage from the German machine guns, their bullets shredding through the flesh of our troops, the sound they caused was a rhythm of death, as our great metal behemoths rolled on through the thick hail of their bullets. Then the gas came, a thick green cloud of destruction concealing the enemy as it rolled towards us, killing everything in its path with bright red burns and sounds of choking. After the carnage life was no better. All you heard were the groans from the wounded and sick and the patter of tiny feet crawling past your head, spreading disease and death with each step spreading fever. All we did was live in constant fear of being bludgeoned in our sleep by an enemy night raid or being blown to bits by a mortar. But all we could do is lay there and wonder how our life came to this. Desertion would carry the toll of death and even if we got sent home life would be no better because of air raids and the constant sirens signalling the fall of your home.
‘The Gift’ by Aijay Kanani. Year 9
The box, wrapped in gold paper lay waiting on the table. The mystery present kept in its prison, secured with a violet bow. Its internal mystery beckoned to the young boy – enticing him with thoughts of what could be contained inside. From the present came an aura: a feeling of joy at the fact that the boy was going to receive the present, yet a feeling of sorrow that he couldn’t open it yet.
Outside, the cold winter breeze pummelled the windows, contradicting the warm glow of the fire inside. The boy took a step closer to the present that was sat on its own, in the middle of an oak table; he had to know what was inside. He got closer and closer but then a thought popped into his head: what if he was caught? Would the gift be taken back? Would he ever know what was inside?
“No!” he shouted aloud and then quickly turned to check if he’d been heard. The anxious boy reached for the gift. “Just a peek,” he whispered to himself.
He grabbed the box and carefully took off the lid. The present’s secret was finally revealed. His eyes shone with awe and wonder as to what he was to receive the next morning – the one thing he had been waiting for, the one thing every one of his friends had bragged about, the one thing he wanted.
The boy closed the lid and ran upstairs to bed – to wait till he could actually receive the gift.
The next morning, he ran down the stairs and ripped open his gift. Alas, all of the mystery, the magic and the expectation of the gift had already been revealed; he had nothing to be excited for. The surprise had been ruined.
‘Macbeth’s Diary’ by Jayden Themudo. Year 11
Just a couple of months ago after the horrendous battle against the Norwegians and rebel Scots I was known to the world as ‘Brave Macbeth’ and promoted to be ‘Thane of Cawdor’ with huge respect and dignity. I was courageous, loved and married. But now… now I am hated, scared, feared and lonely, all because of
those gruesome ‘weird sisters’.
Every morning I wake to hearing those damned ‘widows howl and orphans cry’. There is no peace, only war. The holy throne was stolen by the devil that is me and ‘my dearest partner of greatness’, whose soul had left her body leaving me damned for eternity.
But ‘what’s done is done’, I will burn this country down to Banquo’s grave which rests peacefully under all this turmoil. But maybe there is hope? Maybe ‘Brave Macbeth’ will rise again as the ‘falcon’ to hunt the ’mousing owl’. Yes! I have been chosen by God; no-one shall deny my will. Scotland is mine and mine only!
‘Macbeth’s Three Witches’ by Evie Seymour. Year 11
An evil, wicked serpent wrapped itself around a bamboo cane. Its proud posture, hissing tongue and dark delicate scales present its pride like a brave soldier in battle. From behind, the wind blows at the heavy cloak, dragging it with all its might. Stringy, grey and long hair blows back into the whistling wind.
Three frail faces stare into a corner, three pairs of beaming eyes are almost hypnotised. What are they looking at so seriously? Raised eyebrows, pointed noses and wrinkled smirks peer forward as if watching a spell transform. One witch grasps the bamboo stick in inspiration, another bites her long, yellow nails and the final witch points in awe, clutching a wand grasped firmly beside her withered head.
The Stalker’ by Sienna Dayman. Year 10
Silence. The only sounds detectable are the whistling wind and the minute rustling of the fallen, vibrantly coloured leaves.
There she is. It’s the same every day. Four o’clock walks crunching leaves underfoot, like a soldier marching to their death. She arrives at the Remembrance Bench and becomes lifeless. Her sadness consumes her, every inch of her body droops. Sometimes I hear her sniffles but not much else. I guess losing your parents does that to you.
I can smell her sweet, delicious fragrance from here and I can feel her sorrow. I did this. I did this to her. I did it to Kristen.
Regret isn’t a word in my vocabulary. Someone was in my way and I got them out of it. I didn’t murder her father, he was an honourable, respected man but her mother was my way in… until she figured me out. Kristen is beautiful. Short curled hazelnut hair, and as for her eyes – grey, gold, brown, every colour you can think of. Unique. She’s so special. She has to see that. You have to see that.
‘Colour in Autumn’ by Isabella Putnam. Year 9