Priory Academy LSST, Lincoln
A selection of writing by A Level Creative Writing students
In scientific terms, entropy is the perpetual spreading-out of particles in all directions of the universe, drifting slowly away from one another until the universe reaches a state called ‘Heat Death’ - this, essentially, means that all particles of the universe are an equal distance away from each other, no longer moving. And from then, nothing changes. No new particles are created from old ones meeting; no new stars or planets or moons. The universe becomes locked in constant apathy, content yet contemptuous, unwilling and unable to change. The entire dynamic, the flaring suns and hurtling comets, reduced to a wasteland of endless emptiness.
I’m not sure why I thought of this as I watched Peter Hitchens, political commentator and Daily Mail columnist, make his point on Question Time. I often joked that he looked like a Spitting Image-puppet of himself, as though someone had haphazardly pulled a skin over an upright hoover. But tonight, I found myself less inclined towards base satire. Tonight, I could only think of one word to describe him...entropic.
Late on Thursday night always struck me as an odd slot for Question Time: Thursdays are days of self-pity and no motivation; everyone’s tired, and sick of the week, but it’s still far enough away from Friday for the sweet procrastination of the weekend to be obscured. Thursday was a night when nobody cared.
So why choose it for a show of fiery debate?
Perhaps they wanted to avoid sparking any revolutions. Perhaps they reasoned discussing the issue of the hour at a time when Atlas simply couldn’t be bothered to shrug would be best. After all, no one really cared about politics these days, and we wouldn’t want anyone getting ideas above their station.
But the more I watched Peter Hitchens this night, the more that word circled around my head, round and round, like a carousel: “Entropy. Entropy. Entropy.” He spoke on globalisation and immigration - and about how they were of detriment to modern society - with no hint of passion or enthusiasm. His eyes seemed glassy, unfocused, and every word dripped with apathy. The camera cut to a man in the audience, nodding with agreement. He was old, grey-haired and lined, and his face was set in stone. He barely looked like a real person, but rather like an artist’s impression of...well, of late on a Thursday night.
I gazed at my dad, sat watching the panel with me. He had dark hair, skin darker than mine. He looks tired. Once upon a time, I’m told, he had long hair and a free spirit, and a keen sense of boyish fun. To all intents and purposes, he was an anarchist. But not any more. Now he seemed...tired. Entropic.
I thought about my day, about all the people who I spoke to and asked about their well-being, and about how little I cared for the answer they gave. I thought about my childhood, about how I cried at Revenge of the Sith
and hated hearing people argue.
I bathed in my reflection for a moment, widening my thoughts. Entropy always increases in a closed system, and what is the human mind if not a closed system? Can we ever, truly, share how we feel? The perpetual rage that squatting on shoulders, that as soon as we tried to grasp, or channel, or communicate, it becomes diluted and allusive? I think I know why older people care less, why millions die every day and no one mourns, why every person, eventually, becomes Peter Hitchens. Because entropy always increases in a closed system. Because as we get older, we drift away from ourselves, from our hopes and loves. Because we’re all headed for Peter Hitchens - a Spitting Image-puppet of ourselves, content yet contemptuous, unwilling and unable to change. The Heat Death of our very souls.
I chuckled at my own pun.
I walk through the shallow corridor, my footsteps echoing against the overwhelming silence. It’s weird for this place to be quiet. I remember it being busy, the constant buzz of the hallways. I take the next left knowing the route well, ducking under a broken light, the bulb hanging precariously from a wire off the wall. Clambering over some of the rubble obstructing the corridor, I take a deep breath, my senses suddenly overwhelming me, so many memories. I remember walking to lessons from here.
I can see myself now, linked arm in arm with friends, laughing before the shots, before the screams, before the burning smoke choking me from the inside. God, the screams, I think they were the worst. That’s what I remember in my worst flashbacks and nightmares. Screams, piercing through the air like the ricocheting bullets tearing past me. I remember falling, crashing against the floor, desperately trying to breath, to see anything through the thick, hazy smoke, burning my eyes. My fingers clawed against the ground coming into contact with the red, slowly snaking its way across the floor.. Another bang and the world goes hazy, fading in and out, the walls turning and the screams fading.
I screw my eyes shut, slowly falling against the wall. I take a deep breath to try and calm myself. I knew I shouldn’t have come.
They all watched him like a small animal waiting; frightened of the lights, noise and blur that haunt him from the other side of the glass. His pale skin held together a weak, broken man with empty eyes forgone from hope and promise. My heart beat deafening as my head spun and my stomach knotted tighter and tighter.
The monsters in orange walked behind the glass to towards him, carrying instruments of destruction. They placed their utensils on to the cold, metal trolley. The needle-points glistened and beamed a thousand rays under the artificial lighting.
“Silence please,” one of the monsters whispered as he locked the heavy steel door behind him.
All voices drifted from sound as the lights dimmed on our corruption.
He sat with chipped, dirty finger nails burrowed deep into the wood of his chair, the motion reciprocating down my spine as the needle was held by two blue latex gloves. The monster held his wrist with a firm, inevitable grip.
A single tear fell to the man's cheek as the cold, bitter justice, coursed through his veins.
winter, mid-autumn days
facing the unknown, through
days of longing and unreciprocation
being thrown back in my face.
a year ago, a year today,
how much my life has changed.
still the saddest, sleepiest girl around
but a little thing called love found me.
and i sigh into its old cracked bones
breathe the dust and exhale with
a headache. a numbing cream,
anesthesia, nothing’s going to work.
a flash of old memories, i remember
the good times. the times we were fun
and in love, not so sullen and
you don’t spoil me with consistency,
you drain me of any last courage
i keep spluttering out, in attempts
to win back your heart.
it mocks me. in my sleep. your face
is the moon, and mine is the sun.
a darkness, a fire, we’re contrasting
like gold and silver.
a million memories couldn’t
make up for the pain you’ve made
me feel, darling, the tears I shed,
oh it’s all in my head.
are you real? come comfort me,
let me heal your skin with my lips
or perhaps reject me just to win
the upperhand again.
a broken relationship, of broken
people. a girl a boy scars and no joy.
it became my job to protect you
but i sigh and sleep in dreams of you.
It’s the screech of the tyres that haunt me, and the sickening crunch of metal splintering bone. What puzzled me most was that everybody else carried on, life was still happening around us. How could that be, when life had just ended in front of me? I know that I tried to run out, I desperately needed to know if she was okay, but my feet were locked to the ground, holding me there. All I could do was look on, watch the events unfolding before me. It wasn’t until the ambulance came that I realised I was crying.
A thread of crimson spilled down her porcelain face, forming a pool in her dark curls. I watched as her lips pursed, and her last breath escaped from her mouth in the softest of sighs. Her body looked broken. A gust of wind was playing with her, snatching her blouse before dropping it back onto her small frame. I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life.
I still couldn’t move. I wanted to be there instead of her.
I didn’t understand.
She was gone.
My life ended alongside hers that day.
Chabel shuddered at the memory.
No one had kicked up a fuss; there were no riots, no protests, nothing. It’s probably because people saw the bodies. They were nigh unrecognisable as Enthreiopods. They had turned green for a start, but not like a sickly green it was more like a deep emerald green colour, but that just made everything else more disgusting. The plague had boiled all of them from the inside, causing such a ridiculously high fever that their blood boiled in their veins. They were covered in blisters from head to toe; they were lucky if there was an inch on them that wasn’t blistered. Most of the bodies had no eyes; they had simply melted out of their skulls. A few of them had reached such ridiculously high temperatures that their stomach acid had started to boil through the lining and had eaten away at the surrounding flesh and organs, you could spot who this had happened to with ease; they had no midriff, their dual spinal columns quite visibly exposed to any onlookers. When the media showed images of the bodies afterwards any anti-government ideas were instantly silenced; all questions of “shouldn’t we have done something” silenced on the lips of millions.
The council had done the right thing and saved them again.
He’d been one of the first responders after the quarantine was lifted. The sheer number of dead Enthreiopods shocked him immensely. The fact that a single virus had managed this was virtually unprecedented since they developed more modern medicines. It was this virus that had prompted him to start working on his distribution method, a project he’d codenamed Emerald.
He got up from his chair and switched on the tv to provide some background noise for his last few rudimentary tests.
She stood in the warmly lit room, gazing at the blazing lights that smothered the sickly colored hospital walls. She had never seen anything like it before. The room was completely empty except for a bed, which lay perfectly centered and untouched.
“Here you go Hannah, let me help you into bed”, the nurse whispered, her voice as silky and warm as the light that bounced off the walls, illuminating like beautiful shattered glass. “Okay. Make sure you get a lot of sleep tonight, you need your strength to recover from the operation” she added before hastily walking out of the room to attend to her other patients.
In her absence, Hannah allowed herself to be absorbed into the alluring kindness the lights held. They were iridescently hypnotic and under their control she felt powerless. A strange sense of numbness overcame her body, and with this the lights started to become more and more distant.
It was like drowning in an ocean of colours. She knew she was dying, but all she could think about was how beautiful the lights were. She knew she should be scared, but they were so comforting, that with her final breath she exhaled a last “thank you”, before the lights started to dim and everything that had ever mattered started to fade.
The trouble with me being me
I had chosen the warmest day in ten years to wear my new suit including wearing sorry excuses for heels which were crushing my toes as I ran towards the bus stop. People driving carelessly past me were given some amusement from this, which made me chuckle and turn a shade of…well, put it this way, I looked like a smartly dressed, limping tomato!
As I hobbled on to the bus, which was six minutes late, my face had had a chance to calm down and I was so happy because after my painful ascent on to the bus I saw a gorgeous young man sat, four rows back, with his head leaning against the window and an empty space next to him. I had been single for six months now and I was going to take every opportunity to find ‘the one’! I placed my new ‘Accessorize’ bag on to my lap and brushed my hair from around my neck so that he would get a good whiff of my perfume. I knew it had worked when I could smell the sweet aroma of mandarin and vanilla rose from the surface of my neck and drifted to the rounded caves of his nose.
“Hi, going anywhere nice?” I muttered. It had taken three bus stops to gain the confidence to ask such a simple question.
“Hey...actually I’m lost, I thought the bus would go a different way but, evidently not,” he replied anxiously.
“Oh well, where are you heading? I can attempt to help you.”
His face lit up and he smiled with relief, I described the direction he should head in and we were instantly at ease with each other. Unfortunately, he then had to get off at the next stop and as he shuffled past me and the seat in front, his legs grazed mine and after our first moment of contact he turned, winked and told me he would catch me later.
My heart fluttered as he floated down the bus.
That moment would have made my day, even my week but in fact, no matter how many times I turned to face him or attempted to make contact he still sat with his head against the window gazing out. I would have been hurt but his porcelain face and fluttering eyelashes made my mouth hang so far down that forming words was impossible. Before I drooled in front of Jack (I named this beautiful array of DNA next to me after the bold Jack Sparrow. my new nickname for this handsome stranger) I peered out of the front of the bus and waited until my stop came.
However, before my stop came, my dreams were dashed as his gorgeous girlfriend strolled on to the bus in four – inch heels, walking perfectly (of course) and she was wearing a bodycon dress that displayed her petite waist and the tight material clung to her breasts which must have been three sizes bigger than mine! I definitely had no chance with Jack now.
“Excuse me, move,” she sneered at me, indicating that this was her seat, however there hadn’t been a reserved sign on the seat had there?
“Clara, you don’t have to be so rude,” Jack had spoken for the first time and his voice was more magical than I could have expected!
“It’s okay,” I assured him, “My stop is soon anyway.”
I rose from the seat and moved to the side for her majesty to place her slender bottom on to the navy blue, cushion. After managing a smile to Jack for sticking up for me, I made my way to the end of the bus and pressed the button, so as to be released from my embarrassment.
RIP Australian Cricket: Your boys took one hell of a beating
There’s a buzz of anticipation drifting from stand to stand, the sort that only comes around this time every four years. As the ground begins to fill you can tell that there’s excitement in the air, be it the youngster who is here for the first time or someone who has seen this scenario play out time and time again. 11 O’clock strikes and the bell rings. Thundering feet on pavilion steps as the words echo around “And did those feet in ancient times, walk upon England’s mountains green”.
Blazing sun is shining at Chester-le-Street. Day four. Ian Bell and Tim Bresnan are padded up and making their way to the crease. England are 234 for 5 with a lead of 202 runs.
You can ask any English or Australian fan what the best part of cricket is and you will always get the same answer. The Ashes. The pinnacle of cricket. The greatest rivalry in cricketing history.
Day four begins calmly, a prod for one; the occasional quick two. It’s only when Ian Bell is bowled by Harris on 113 that the game kick starts. Frantic stroke play from Bresnan and Swann elevates England to a grand total of 330. Australia need 299 to win.
The series is already 2-0 to England. After a close call at Trent Bridge and a victory of just 14 runs, England’s cricketing heroes destroyed Australia’s batting line up at the Home of Cricket, Lord’s, to secure the little urn as theirs.
But they still need 10 wickets to win the series and the urn, not just retain it.
It doesn’t start well. A subdued crowd sits and watches as Rogers and pantomime villain David Warner put on an opening partnership of 100. You can feel the tension in the ground and you actually can hear the expletives over the stump mic. We cannot lose to the Aussies. It seems like an eternity but finally England claim the wicket of Chris Rogers, though Australia head to tea on a healthy 109 for 1. England need something special to take these nine wickets, they need to find that moment of inspiration, that one session that can change the course of the game.
They needed Stuart Broad.
Certain moments will always be remembered when it comes to a series. Whilst scores are forgotten and bad performances are swept back into the pavilion, it is those rare moments of true skill and brilliance that go down in history.
The evening session at Chester-le-street on the 12th August is one of those moments. With Warner trudging back to the dressing room after Tim Bresnan quite brilliantly forces him to push one into the waiting gloves of Matt Prior, we see the beginning of one of the most memorable batting collapses the Ashes has seen.
This was Broad’s cue.
Whatever Cook said during the drinks break clearly worked as the first delivery of Broad’s over, the top of formidable Australian captain Michael Clarke’s top stump was obliterated.
Time to believe England fans.
In the space of 25 runs Broad and Bresnan ensured the destruction of Australia’s batting line up; as batsman after batsman trudged solemnly back to the pavilion, bat tucked under the arm wondering how they could have failed yet again.
Euphoria struck the ground, as delivery after delivery England got closer to winning the series. The growing excitement to be able to say “I was there” – that you saw England annihilate Australia. That you saw England win, not just the Ashes, not just the series, but win three successive Ashes tournaments.
Broad barrelled into the crease, Peter Siddle was on strike. The full ball was pelted into the waiting hands of James Anderson. They’d done it. England had won the Ashes.
The players ran towards each other, with shouts of happiness, to hug and congratulate. The stands were alive with chants and dancing, cheers and woops.
An enormous fate had been achieved. The Ashes are ours.
In affectionate remembrance of Australian cricket which died at Chester-le-street on 12th August 2013. Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances. The body will be cremated and the ashes kept in England.
Alex’s point of view:
I pulled the mattress across the room, placing it in front of the television. Sarah was stood by the microwave, her hair in a tangled mess down to her waist. The microwave beeped. I watched her thick arms gesture as she poured the can into two bowls.
“Alphabetti Spaghetti? How old are you, five?” She scoffed, throwing herself onto the mattress.
“No I’m twenty-two. What do you want from me? Canned Caviar?” I laughed, prodding at the letters with fascination, letting my thoughts submerge themselves in the tomato sauce and float alongside the clumps of pasta.
“Just eat it already” Sarah snapped.
“But don’t you think it’s interesting?” I smiled, but I could see her exasperation out of the corner of my eye, “We only have twenty-six letters. A few symbols here and there. But jumble them up and you can do all-sorts.” I found myself wondering why words were ever created in the first place, for what purpose? Did they know that these lines in ink would become so powerful? “You can combine twenty-six letters to tell someone you love them”.
“Like that ever happens” She chuckled.
“Or to propose”
“I’d much rather you didn’t”
“Or to give soldiers the order to kill, or to hurt someone’s feelings so much they want to kill themselves. Why would somebody create such horrible words” I thought out loud.
“Maybe they needed to describe you” She joked, tediously arranging spaghetti on her spoon.
“Your awful jokes are just combinations of letters. That makes them meaningless”, I smirked.
“Not really, it isn’t the combinations that matter, it’s the people and emotions behind them”.
She handed me the spoon, I glanced down to see the poorly arranged pasta letters: S, H, U, T, U and P. She raised the spoon to my mouth, I closed my lips around the combination compliantly.
Sarah’s point of view:
Alex struggled to drag the bare mattress across the room. His frail arms were barely holding the weight. I longed to help, but the support group said he’d want to be independent. The microwave beeped. I poured the can into two bowls. Revolting. The canned food diet wasn’t exactly appetising, but I must be supportive, at least he was eating.
“Alphabetti Spaghetti? How old are you, five?” I laughed nervously, perching on the edge of the mattress.
“No I’m twenty-two. What do you want from me? Canned Caviar?” He retorted, staring at the letters with disgust. He prodded at them with his spork, what if he didn’t eat them? I panicked.
“Just eat it already”
“But don’t you think it’s interesting? We only have twenty-six letters. A few symbols here and there. But jumble them up and you can do all-sorts. You can combine twenty-six letters to tell someone you love them”
“Like that ever happens” I sighed.
“Or to propose”
“I’d much rather you didn’t”
“Or to give soldiers the order to kill, or to hurt someone’s feelings so much they want to kill themselves” Or to inflict an eating disorder on somebody. To convince them to lose as much weight as physically possible, to throw up their stomach lining. Despite the person they claim to love accepting them for how they were.
“Why would somebody create such horrible words?”
“Maybe they needed to describe you” I arranged spaghetti on my spoon, desperate to find a way to make him eat.
“Your awful jokes are just combinations of letters. That makes them meaningless”
“Not really, it isn’t the combinations that matter, it’s the people and emotions behind them”.
I handed the spoon to Alex, he looked down to discover the clumsily organised pasta letters: S, H, U,T,U and P. I raised the spoon to his mouth and he reluctantly closed his lips around the combination.
The flower in the frost
“Shhh,” She whispered to the boy, placing a gloved finger to her tiny blue lips and smiling up at the polar sky.
Around them ice froze on the tree branches like dripping candle wax, brittle and opaque, and snow danced down to the forest floor in spontaneous circles. The sky that the girl loved so much appeared transparent, shattered by echoes of the cold, and bleached their faces shades of silver and stone.
“I’m t-trying…” The elder boy stuttered, treading through the matted undergrowth towards where the girl was crouched by me at the edge of the glade.
“Come look,” She said in a voice almost as little as her, as if trying not to wake me from some kind of sleep.
She was fixated on a flower. I think it hoped to one day be a golden yellow hue, but for now it was a muted blonde, singular and dull.
“It’s so beautiful.”
“It’s a flower.” I acknowledged, staring around at the clearing we stood in. We were surrounded by much greater efforts of nature – towering trees which fractured light through their leaves in such a way that shadows fell like lace to the floor; swelling pockets of incandescent mist that hugged the dew-soaked grass and billowed when the wind fluttered through them.
“No, really. Like, actually look at it.” She pleaded, tugging at my coat sleeve and dragging me down to actually look at it.
But still I couldn’t part with the idea that it possessed no exceptional beauty. Its petals were frail and blemished like pallid feathers, ravaged by the air’s sadistic temperament, and the flower’s head bowed to the frost acquiescently. It was half broken. And somehow, despite its ugly flaws and its infirmity, it continued to exist where no other life did.
An opalescent tear spilled down the bottle-green stem – a cry for help.
“Hm,” I sighed in dismissal, sweeping the clotted crystals of snow-draped soil from my knees and standing again, “It looks like a dog that’s begging to be put down.”
“You wouldn’t.” She whimpered.
“What the big deal?”
I didn’t feel anything when I trampled it beneath my boot, sentencing the flower to lie, perpetually limp, in the hollow of my footprint.
“Where are you Frazzle? You’re going to make me late!”
Frazzle hid under Maddie’s bed, trying not to make a sound. During their last game of hide-and-seek, Maddie had won and he was determined not to lose again.
“Got ya!” Maddie exclaimed, just as Frazzle let out a small sneeze, sending little sparks of fire out of his nostrils.
“This morning really isn’t the morning to start playing games Frazzle!”
The little dragon stared up at an irritated face, one he had seen too many times before.
“Oh Frazzle, don’t look at me like that!” Maddie said, “You know I can’t resist those big red rosy eyes!” Frazzle had always had particularly large eyes for a Bluesilk Dragon, and being the little mischievous creature he was, he always tried to use them to his best advantage.
Maddie clutched Frazzle in her hands whilst she carried him downstairs to the lobby where her friend was waiting for her. Frazzle gripped on tight, making sure he didn’t fall out like last time…
“And where have you been?” asked Jenna, an intelligent girl with chocolate coloured hair and deep brown eyes, “Not chasing Frazzle around again I hope!”
“Well,” Maddie began, “Somebody thought it would be a good idea to start a game of hide-and-seek this morning!” Frazzle looked down at his pointy red claws shamefully.
“Maybe you should think about keeping him on a leash!” Jenna mocked.
“Hahaha!” Maddie laughed, “That doesn’t sound like a bad idea!” She suddenly peered at her watch in horror. “Uh oh! Let’s get going! Class starts in five minutes!”
The two girls (and Frazzle) darted across the green towards the North Tower, ready to start another week at Rickety Towers; what a day it would turn out to be for a particular little blue dragon.
When up is up and down is down
Squares are straight, circles round
The lost are those who are not found
And silence is the lack of sound
With so many rules to derive and follow
The world's too complex to be hollow
But to whom does the time we borrow
Belong to, to start tomorrow?
Could it be the mighty Apollo
That created man, next to the swallow
Who gave us pain, love and sorrow
And land to plough and let lie harrow?
Many turn to Gods or thereof
And believe we were sent to below from above
But how can they truly believe in love
When all we do is kick and shove?
Millions starve face first in sand
They beg for us to share our land
To offer them a helping hand
Support they needed to be planned
Meanwhile our richest and most grand
Simply sit, grow and expand
They hide behind their corrupted brands
And ignore the dying people's demands
Governments feed the wars
That cripple nations, leave them torn
Do not care when husbands mourn
The children of fathers that won't be born
Seemingly friendly family names
That live in your house, can even betray
Because if a farm is in the way
They'll treat it like a piece of clay
When the evil saw their prey
They came and drained the water away
Thousands of farmers left in dismay
So we can have our coke today
But what if life is just a test
To see who turns out to be best
To rise above those who detest
Or maybe life is just a mess
But one can only wonder
Nature versus Nurture
A strange notion
To think that not two decades ago
She was buried deep within the confines of your flesh
Surrounded by infinite possibilities
Little bundle of joy
Little did you know
His twenty three chromosomes
Melded irrevocably with yours
Would never measure up to your expectations
No matter how much she overcomes
No matter how high she soars
No matter how far she bends over backwards
You will feel
More than anything
But you gave up
A long time ago
Morphed into a bitter
mere shadow of all that she could have been
A festering cocoon of angst
Easily dismissed as typical
as “going through a phase”
But can’t you see?
She is still
Can’t you see?
All she wants is to be free