Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: Stuck

STUCK 

by Tamsyn, 11, VIC

“I’ll be as fast as I can” Meg said.
“Good luck,” Lauren replied with starry eyes. Lauren and Jem stood arm in arm waiting for Meg to complete the task.

The great brass doors creaked as Meg opened them. Looking back one last time and very much wishing she didn’t agree to the dare, she stepped inside. She hastily crossed the groaning floor to the stairs. Clutching the banisters tight with knuckles turning white, she climbed steadily towards the landing. But as she placed her foot on it, a piece crumbled and fell away to the floor below, hurtling Meg forward and burying her face in dust and mould. As she stood, the strong, thick taste of blood reached her lips, but she wiped it away with her sleeve and began walking along the long dim corridor. She tried to remember Jem’s exact instructions, “Go along the first corridor off the landing, turn right. The door you want is at the end.”  Looking straight ahead as she rounded the next corridor, she didn’t need instructions to know what door it was. The black spider web covered spooky door was by far the scariest of them all. As she reached out to the dust covered door knob, an ear-splitting scream started ringing in her ears. She sprinted back to the stairs with shock and fright. Was the screaming getting louder?

She did not know; all she cared about was getting out. About to fly down the stairs, she yelped in fright at a small figure clinging tightly to the landing and sobbing.
“Meg! Help me!” the figure cried.
With a jolt of surprise Meg recognised Annabelle. She grabbed her sister’s arm and heaved her onto the landing.

“What are you doing here?” Meg panted, puffed from the effort of pulling. “Go home!” Meg ordered.
“NO! I don’t want to go back; I want to stay with you!” Annabelle sulked and burst out crying.
“Great, just great,” Meg muttered and forced out the words “fine, follow me”. She had calmed a bit and decided to head back to the door. She once again groped for the doorknob in the dim light. No high pitched shriek came so she turned it cautiously. It clicked open with ease. There was no going back.

She stepped inside, leaving Annabelle cowering at the doorway. Lit candles in brackets cast an eerie glow. She briefly thought someone must have been here recently. Quickly, a blinding flash of light speared into her eyes and she fell to the ground. Her eyes jammed shut, and groaning in agony, she hobbled back to Annabelle. Leaning on her, they shuffled back to the landing, pushed themselves over the gap and onto the step. Meg kept pushing, no longer caring about the dust or cobwebs. Annabelle followed shakily behind. They eventually reached the door. Annabelle turned the door knob over and over, her face scrunched up in concentration. Nothing happened. Meg had a go, yet realisation turned to rising panic. They were stuck …

Author:

Rebecca Newman is a children's writer and poet, and the editor of the Australian children's literary blog, Alphabet Soup. rebeccanewman.net.au.