So, this is one of the pieces I wrote for the creative writing part of my English Language GCSE last year. The topic was conflict.
Had I spelt "panic" correctly at the time, and not missed any commas, I would have got full marks. So I'm quite proud.
Anyway, I got my teacher to photocopy it and now I don't know what to do with it, so I thought I'd share it with you.
You'll never get out of here, Jess.
I walk silently through the corridors. It's white, everything is white. The walls, the ceiling, the floor. The only thing breaking the silence is my shoes tapping softly on the floor. Escaping is a bad idea.
They'll get you, Jess. They'll find you and they'll get you. They'll hear you, Jess. You shouldn't have tried. You shouldn't have tried, Jess.
The tapping slows - one per second. My room is just there, just a few more meters. I can get there. I will go to my room, then they will never know.
Now I stand opposite my door, my arm outstretched with full intention to go inside. Going inside will solve everything. I will go to bed and I will go to sleep, that way they'll never know I was ever awake. They'll never know that I was out of my room, that I intended to break the rules.
You broke the rules, Jess. Do you see what you've done? They'll find you now, Jess. They'll find you and they'll take you! Jess, they'll-
My mind becomes a frenzy, whisked up and churned. Telling me what I've done, making sure I know the fate I have brought upon myself and wham!
Everything is silent.
I realise my arm is still raised in front of me, ready to push the door open, and let it fall lifelessly to my side.
Never break the rules.
Stairs. One... two... three. Flat. One... two... three. Stairs. One... two... three.
I am now in a part of the building I have never seen before. It's deserted, not an uncommon sight in the Home. Being alone is oddly comforting. Maybe because I'm used to it now...
Focus. I have to find Lily. Lily will help me. I will find Lily and we will escape together.
Turn. I find myself in a corridor that leads smoothly and shortly to a dead end.
There's a Mentor there, Jess. Look at the Mentor. He will get you, Jess. The Mentor will get you.
"Hello," the Mentor smiles. "What's your name?" His smile is patronizing.
"Well, Jess." His voice is patronizing. "Are you lost?"
No, says my mind.
He's patronizing you, Jess. The Mentor is patronizing you. He will take you, Jess. Lie to the Mentor or he will take you. Lie to the Mentor, Jess. Lie to the Mentor!
Yes, says my mind. "Yes," says my voice.
"Oh. Well let's take you back, shall we?" His speech is patronizing.
The Mentor leads me back the way I came, back up the stairs, back to my room.
Never lie to a Mentor.
This corridor has Lily's room on it. I need to find Lily's room. When I find Lily's room we will escape together.
I walk slowly past the dozens of white painted doors, searching for the one I need. How long have I been awake now? I don't know. Time is lost. Time has been lost since they brought me here.
Behind this door there are eighteen sleeping teenagers. Lily is one of them. Again I find myself frozen, my arm poised ready to go inside.
They'll catch Lily, Jess. They'll take you and they'll take Lily. It will be your fault, Jess. They'll catch her because of you.
I swallow. Do I want Lily to get caught? It was her idea after all. No, says my brain, seeming very loud in the silence.
I stagger backwards, the sound of my shoes clattering against the floor echo across he corridor. My foot comes into contact with something and I feel a thick, cold liquid seeping into my socks.
Without thinking, I lift the tin into an upright position so that it won't spill more, and wipe my hands on my clothes.
Paint. Black paint. So visible against the white of my uniform, clearly displaying my hand prints.
Look what you've done, Jess. They'll see it. They'll see your hand prints, Jess. They'll know it was you. They'll get you, Jess.
I stare at the door of Lily's room. Everything I touch now will have my dark fingerprints as evidence of what I have done.
Never soil your uniform.
"Jess." Lily's voice breaks the peaceful silence surrounding us. "Jess, where is the exit?"
I point in the direction we are walking. I have seen the exit door before, once, when I was truly lost.
Lily suddenly pulls me to a wall as we reach a corner. "Mentors," she states simply.
Mentors, Jess. Mentors. They'll find you, they'll get you, Jess. They'll get you and Lily.
Abruptly, I am pulled back the way we came. There are no doors here. It is clean and endless.
Speed. It is a strange sensation. In years, this is the first time my hair has flown behind me , moved from the place where it has rested against my shoulders and on my chest.
Stop, a question of a different route to the exit. A point towards the growing green letters marking our escape.
Never run in the Home.
We are about to escape, and yet we stand waiting. Our backs to the place we have lived for the yeas in which we grew up, our faces to the only thing between us and the existing world.
What if it goes wrong, Jess? What if you don't survive? What if you can't survive, Jess? What if you escape and you can't survive?
Escape now, Jess. Escape or they'll get you. If they find you now, they'll take you, Jess. They'll take you and Lily. Go now, Jess. Go before they find you.
The internal argument circles my head, causing me to panic, making tears leak down my face. I have not felt emotion in so long. I don't remember the real world. The home has ben my world.
Unlocked. The door is unlocked, and we are outside.
Sound. There are birds, there is a river, there is wind.
Colour. Green, brown, blue. I take it in, absorbing the sense that I have escaped. No more white, no more black, no more rules.
I smile simultaneously with Lily.
Escape. We have escaped. We are free.
Never leave the Home.