Friday, 13 January 2012

If they knew that I will never leave, would they keep banging? Thud. Thud. Thud. Each knuckle attacking the walls, the door, in a hopeless desperation to break in.
If they knew that the ground hurt, the walls hurt, that each granule of stone, of rubble, of concrete prickled my feet, each one holding the same hopeless determination to get to me, to hurt me – would they give up?
An old smell of must and dust hangs in the air. A smell of vile, forgotten objects left to rot, in an attic maybe. One that would bring back old times and old memories, ‘such good times we had back then’ someone would say – maybe your gran, your mum.
I can’t see into the dark corners of the room. I think it’s a room. It has a door, no windows. No sense of escape. I’m not sure what it is. I just ran. Ran away, away from the Family, away from danger, away from everything I’ve ever known. But they followed me. As I sprinted through the night, as I saw my breathe cloud the space before me, a dragon fleeing from its slayers; I heard their feet. I heard the pats of the soles of their shoes. Each one identical but louder with weight. That made me run even harder, even faster. I’d left my shoes behind in the Home, placed neatly under my bed, a folded note tucked inside, by the end right post, as every other child did at the very same time. But they would be going to bed. Falling into sleep, escaping from reality. Actually, this could be a shed or it could be a box. Wherever I am, it’s better than Home.
They just keep banging. Each fist a threat, a threat to stop, a threat to surrender, a threat of punishment. Just look down. If I look down and don’t move then surely they will give up. If I don’t make a sound, they’ll think they’re mistaken, that I sprinted off in the other direction. If I remain silent then they’ll think I’m not here. That I’m dead. Death – an overwhelming sense of calm, tranquillity, peace – seems much more appealing than life. But I’m not going to let them win. Not yet.
They might have found my scribbled note, which may still have my stains of sweat, may still be wet with fearful tears. Is that why they’re so loud? So angry? I would have activated the lights as I frantically raced to freedom, I would have awakened the dogs as I won my escape. Is that why they’re so frightening? Why this is so terrifying? We were told on our very first day, when we arrived at the Home that we were never to trigger the lights. We were never told how to or why. I don’t want to know why.
I can’t imagine a place quieter, so full of silence that you can barely breathe, barely move. A place that has been muted. Gagged with a thick cloth. I can hear a rustling outside, the bangs have slowed, they’re giving up.  They’re still there, but they’re giving up. I want to smile; I fight the urge to hope because I know too well that they’ll be back soon, and if they’ve seen my note, they’ll be back with more people, who will bring more fists with more bangs. 
All I have to do now is wait.


The body of one of Crawley Home’s children was found yesterday in the old warehouse, approximately half a mile away from the Home. A girl, around the age of 15 always ‘loved the outside’ and ‘decided to spend the night having an adventure.’ The Chief Parent of Crawley House continued to say, ‘Let this be a reminder to all Children. These foolish games and ideas never end well.’ He made no further comment. It is said that she remained in that warehouse for several weeks by herself and eventually her body just could not cope with the conditions any longer and slowly began to ‘rot’. There are currently rumours spreading around Crawley House that this girl left a note. Our blog, The Essential, requested permission to investigate this rumour, however were denied due to legal reasons. We send our condolences to Crawley Home and hope to expect a new Child in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Sibling World

Our Siblings had just been on the ‘Wall of Community’. I remember it so clearly; the vivid image of Brother and Sister projected onto the plain, dull grey, brick wall at the back of the park, where as usual for the Collection, the whole community had gathered. I was standing in-between Mother and Father holding their hands so that I wouldn’t get lost. There were always lots of people at these things and the darkness terrified me but it was okay, Mother and Father always kept me safe in the dark, in the dim light they would hold my hands tight and promise to ‘never let go’.  People were coming up to us buzzing with excitement, Petunia squeezed mum’s hand, “I heard that you got invited!” Her Husband Rich shook Dad’s, “Well done. Absolutely congrats mate, so happy for you.” Even Carol from down the road beamed as she passed us on the way out, patting my back and purposefully grinning to Mother and then to Father in turn, with glistening eyes. We walked back to our home in silence, I could feel the looks passing between my parents as our steps echoed in the empty street – most people stay behind after the Collection to celebrate knowledge but Mother and Father always rushed home to start school. School is illegal; it’s against the Sibling Law of education, which was passed by Brother and Sister a long time ago. But mum and dad used to be teachers and so they believe in school.
Father unlocked the front door and rushed around turning on the hall lights, the upstairs lights and all of the lamps as Mother and I trundled in and took off our coats, scarves, hats and gloves. I slipped off my brown, sturdy leather shoes and swapped them to my cosy, worn slippers, before walking into the kitchen and getting myself a snack. I opened the cupboard, on tip-toes, searching each shelf for something remotely different to the bland Mari biscuits that were Government Issue. Turning around with three biscuits in hand – one for each of us, I noticed that Mother and Father were standing still, next to each other, looking at me carefully, with Mother leaning slightly onto the arm of our sofa to save her bad leg. Their faces are an image engraved into the depths of my mind. Father’s eyes were tired, bloodshot and heavy as he looked into me across the room. Mother’s face was tinged with sadness, a face of hopelessness, a face of loss, a face that didn’t seem to suit Mother. “No school today?” I asked, forcing a smile in an attempt to alter their expressions. It didn’t work.
“No school today.” Father repeated, remaining still. Their eyes didn’t move off of me as I walked towards them, offering the biscuits as I munched on mine and when I looked Mother in the eye she shook her head gently,
“No, darling, we have to go. Your father and I have been invited.” I didn’t understand this, invited to what? What was so important that they had to cancel school? They never cancelled school! With 30 secret pupils, night school was our main income after Father’s job as a doctor and Mother’s as a hospital cleaner.
“Invited to what?”
“The opera,” My father answered, “It is a great honour Nicky, it’s said that Brother himself personally sends out the invites.”
“What time will you be in?” They looked at each other as if to plead each other to answer this one. I wish that they had told me the truth, there and then: why they were invited personally, what they were doing, why them, why now, why us.
“Late.” Mum said, averting her eyes from me. She began to make herself busy, putting her coat back on, her scarf, her hat, and her gloves. “Don’t wait up for us Nicola; I want you in bed by eleven.” I agreed to this, I was tired after training, I always was.
“Bye sweetheart.” Dad said, hugging me tightly before swiftly leaving to wait by the front door for mum. She had stopped moving around the room, cleaning up, tucking in the four chairs that surrounded our kitchen table. I never understood why we had invested in four chairs when there were only three of us.
I looked at her. Her eyes were watering as she walked towards me, daring a tear to form, and as she pulled me into a hug three spilled out, bouncing off of her cheek and onto my hair. “I love you Nicky and I’ll see you as soon as I can.”
“Okay mum, enjoy the opera.” She smiled, moved to the door and turned back to wave at me. Feeling like a fool, I waved back, “Have a good time!” I shouted after them and the next moment the door slammed shut and an eerie silence filled each corner of the room. I went back to the cupboard for another biscuit and carried on with my evening, eventually getting to bed at eleven like mum asked. I woke up in the morning and called their names, fear stabbing my heart as I realised they weren’t in, as I ran into each room and searched for them frantically, frustratingly and anxiously wishing and hoping with every piece of my heart that I would open a door and they would be there sitting, chatting, smiling up at me, sipping their cups of tea. But it was no use.  I never was to see them again.
Later Aunt Petunia, mum’s best friend, who I ended up living with, told me everything. She told me about the warning e-messages, about the threats from the ‘catchers’ as the police were known and she showed me the letter that mum had written her. A letter explaining the lies I was told and why I was told them, a letter describing the ‘opera’, how they were sentenced to death and hung before an invited, elite crowd that the Siblings had asked to come. How an audience would stare up at them with disgust, believing that they were traitors, liars, rats. How this was all because they were fighting for something they believed in, that was justified and necessary for society. The night school was to be continued and expanded in up most secrecy as they revealed their plans for becoming a discreetly educated community. Aunt Petunia then described to me my parents’ last breaths. Their last words, their last influence in this world was in four words, ‘We love you Nicola’ they had said. ‘We love you Nicola’ as I was tucked up in bed falling into a deep sleep, beginning my dream for that evening.
I never knew. I never would have thought. I never got the chance to say it back.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010


I lost my brother when I was 14.
Too young but it was my fault. My doing. All me. But I froze. I did nothing.
But then again, he lied, he broke his promise, so maybe it was all fate.

"Seriously? Oh my god, you are kidding, right?" Short as I was for my age, I could question anything and I did question everything.
"Just go away Milly. I'm really not in the mood right now." My brother, Kenton. A year younger and yet he seemed enclosed in a maturity much too distant from where I was standing.
"You can't do this, Kenton! Stay with us, me, mum and you... we'll be so ... happy! Nothing wrong with happiness. You're thirteen, not twenty. You don't need to do this.You can't." Sitting on our cream couch, he gave me the meanest eyes I've ever seen.
"Ha, I know Milly! But happy?! It's my decision, as you said I am thirteen. It will help... Oh crap mum's home." Kenton stood up, grabbed me by the arm and motioned for me to go upstairs. He was a year younger, but taller and stronger. I shook my head violently,
"No." I whispered, and, as persuasively as I could, I fought my case. "Kenton.You need me just as much as I need you and when I'm sitting up there shaking with fear, you will regret ever staying down here when she's like this alone." So that was done, I did my best. As I stared at his round, innocent face, somehow trying to get my thoughts through his skull, into his multifaceted brain and show him I'm right, I could hear her struggling to find the right key and unlocking the door and it was coming.
"I can take this one, you did it last time. Milly please. I promise, I'll shout if I need you."
"Oh, fine but promise?"
"Promise," He drew his voice to a firm whisper, "Now go Milly, quick!" He squeezed my arm and I ran across the hall, past the front door where I could see her through the blurred window. I only had time to look back once - to see Kenton smile, nervously while he paced back and forth - when she found the key, opened the door and came in with seething rage inside of her. I ran to the landing and crouched down.
"COME ON, SON, DAUGHTER, COME TO YOUR MAMA!" She staggered, drunk, into the kitchen, where she caught sight of Kenton.
"Mum. Calm down mum." I could hear Kenton dodging a hit from her.
"DO NOT CALL ME YOUR MOTHER!" There was more clattering, clanking and smashing of plates and fighting, when it was silent.
"No. Mum, no, don't do this mum."
"Kenton." I whispered.

The next minute, felt like a year, it felt like three hundred and sixty five days of pure agony. But then i heard what i knew was coming. A loud scream, a scream of fear, frustration, anger and I did nothing. My grip tightened on the circular head of the banister.
"Kenton." I whispered as near to twenty tears began to spill out onto my cheeks.

I didn't bother to wipe them away.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


All I see is white; the brightness of this colour almost blinds me, the mist limits itself to the height of my ankles as it sweeps through my bare feet. Silence crams the air as I wait. Still I hear a noise, in the distance someone is speaking, to me? No, not to me, I am nowhere; there is nothing here, no atmosphere or surroundings, no wall, ceiling, floor, no colours. Surely nobody can speak to me, here.
 “I am afraid, Mrs Pemberton, that your son has fallen into a coma, we have measured him as a 3 on the Glasgow Coma Scale, this means that he is able to hear, however he appears to be disorientated and cannot communicate at this level. There is no way of knowing when he will wake up but for now try and speak to him continuously, it’ll help.” The nurse told an anxious mother, as she stroked her son’s tangled, uneven cut hair. The nurse closed the door behind her leaving an empty echo which showered over the silence in the room, and the mother was left alone with her son. Not knowing what to say or do, she pulled up the hard, black seat beside him. She kept her eyes on his tranquil face,
“You’ll come out of this” she whispered softly to herself.
I can’t make sense of anything that is happening to me. Someone is speaking to me, definitely to me, I think, I hope. A sense of dread develops as I picture myself, here, all alone. But there is someone, I can hear a voice.
She stayed in that position as time passed, she couldn’t look away. ‘Speak to him’ she reminded herself. ‘Everything’s fine at home, though all your friends are worried about you! They’ve delayed the footy match until next Friday and they’ll miss you if you’re not there. Well, I have the newspaper; I’ll read you the sports section if you like?”
Football? I recognise that word; another voice is speaking to me now. Two voices. But they both sound as though they are nowhere near one another. Although this one is much clearer, much closer to me. The second voice tells me the date and time when I listen to their stories, and so I assume that time goes by here, although I feel no different, day by day.
“I just spoke to the nurse again today, nothing really new, apart from the tests that they’ve been running show that your brain activity is increasing. Which is good I believe, still she didn’t tell me much, she had to run off and see to another patient. It’s been nearly two months since your accident! You were missed at another football match yesterday; the team are on a losing streak without you! Please wake up soon, its summer now, the sun is out nearly every day, perfect weather for us to play a game outside, in the garden.” The mother held her son’s hand as she waited for the nurse to return to check his monitors.
Today I feel different here. The mist is clearing and I feel more awake. The first voice is closer, though I’m still not able to understand what it is saying to me. The bright colour of white that I first encountered is dimming slightly, however no matter how hard I try I cannot help but to see nothing and still no one where I am. The second voice I can hear and understand everyday now, they tell me of the news and what they’re thinking. I have never run into boredom here, it has not been important to me, to be bored, because I can do nothing here, it would have made no difference to me.  However now, while I am waiting for a change, something different to occur, an event to happen, it is impatience that is felt by me. I am still not completely aware of where I am, who the voices may be or what I have done to be here and the second voice pleads me to wake up and I wish I could if it would answer my questions and relieve my impatience except I don’t know how to go about doing so.
“Our tests and the monitors seem to show and confirm that there is definite brain activity and that his health may be improving, however Mrs Pemberton there is, of course always a chance that he may not awake.” The Nurse looked up from her clipboard as the mother turned her head towards the nurse to listen to her. The mother lowered her head, her blonde hair flopped before her eyes and beside her efforts to prevent it, a tear leaked from her eye and fell down her face.
“I know.” She held her son’s hand and she watched him lay helplessly, with no knowledge or understanding of what could happen to him. The nurse stood silently, observing the mother and son. “When my husband died, I promised him I would never let anything happen to him. He’s our only child.”
“If you need anything, Mrs Pemberton, don’t hesitate to ask.” The nurse walked out and once again, as the door slammed shut, an echo of the sound filled each corner of the room.
“Please, please wake up. Please.” The mother begged her son, as another tear found its place beneath her eye.
Now I am frightened, the second voice’s agony can be heard by the whimpers and pleads of their voice, but the first voice is coming closer and closer. I don’t know which to listen to. While I concentrate on the second voice apprehension and sadness fill me; however I find it difficult to comprehend what the other voice is trying to say to me. I never thought I would have had to make a decision when I am nowhere with nothing and no one around me.
The beeps of the heart monitor quickened and as it continued to do so, two nurses and a doctor rushed into the room as the mother swiftly moved out of the way. She could feel her heart thumping inside of her, against her chest and as she resisted the urge to cry, she quickly paced back and forth. Her palms were sweating and she ran her fingers through her hair. The pace of what was happening was too fast than what she pictured it to be. Nurses and doctors were moving in and out of the room, fiddling with monitors, checking and re-checking their clipboards. And she was at the corner of the room, praying and wishing for her son and their future.
I don’t know which voice to listen to. The second voice is becoming more distant still and it is no longer telling me thoughts or stories, I can hear a faint cry and whisper every now and then but it is getting more and more difficult to listen to. It is as though there’s something in the way that’s gradually muting the sound. I want to hear this noise, this voice that’s been talking to me here but I can’t hear it. Where has it gone? No one is speaking to me now, all I hear is noise, a continuous noise.
In the middle of another prayer, another step, another tear, she stopped.  She heard it. The sound she most dreaded to hear, that will haunt her in her nightmares and stay with her forever. A long unbroken beep sounded as if it had blasted from the heart monitor, she stared towards her son. She took her seat in the hard, black chair and placed his hand in hers.
I can’t see anything; once again, the white of this place was blinding me. I look up, there is someone coming closer towards me. Someone I know, yes, I definitely know this person. Closer and closer and then I hear the first voice again. I know this voice. I always have known this voice.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Dearest blog readers through cyberspace,
i haven't been posting stories to enlighten your day for quite some time! I am writing to say sorry! I've been a busy bee with a shedload of work and things that keep me away from my dearest blog!
I solemnly swear that when i next have time, i will devote it to letting my imagination run wild on this blog.
I hope you forgive me!
Thank you for your time and hope to see you pop around here soon!
Ell-see :):)

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


"Not when something like this happens! Not her, no not now,," Lottie shook her head in disbelief, her blue eyes pleading Matterstruck, begging him not to. "Not now! Please Matterscruck please, please...please!" And as hard as she tried to prevent it, as much as she knew she couldn't, she shouldn't - a wet, salty tear leaked from her glistening eyes.
Matterstruck. The darkest, most feared, sinister being, with deathly pale skin and small, squinted eyes that never dared to leak a tear. His twig-like fingers crawled forward, his stained finger nails making a small, but deep cut into Lottie's soft, pink cheek that now began to bleed painfully. But she made no movement, no action to prevent her warm, red blood from trickling down her cheek onto her pink, cotton pyjama top. She stayed as she was from when he had first entered her warmly-lit living room, from when she had first noticed his dark figure slyly slip into their room.
She had been playing with her two year old daughter, Emily, watching her glow with happiness as she giggled while she played with her dolls.
But time had ticked on since then, the happiness and overwhelming love that Lottie's face had shined with then, felt to her now, as if it could have been years ago. She was now shielding her dearest, most cherished possession that she owned. When she saw him in her house, her smile fell, her face drained from any happy emotion. Lottie had scrambled across the room with Emily in her arms to place her daughter - still rosy cheeked - on the sofa hidden from Matterstruck. But he had smelt the baby, he had forced his way towards her kicking dolls and other obstacles out of the way and now he faced her struggling mother. And then, in a loud hiss Matterstruck said, "You should not weep Charlotte. You should not shed a single tear, for i am here now. I will rescue Emily from you. She will be forever safe. I will raise her, teach her and slowly, i will befriend her. She will believe me to be her friend, tutor, and in someways... her father." At this word Lottie reluctantly shed another tear and moved her hand behind her back in order to hold her daughter's hand. She felt her soft, sweet hands, she felt the smallness and the youth that Emily kept in them. She gripped it tight. Lottie never wanted to let go, she never wanted to forget her one daughter. But as Matterstruck held up her free hand gently, delicately as though he were about to kiss it, she felt the end was near and as she shook with saddness and defeat she wracked her brains.
"No!" She thought, "No, this won't happen. Not to her, not now." Hesitantly, she pulled her hand back from Matterstruck's grip. He slowly moved his miniscule eyes to stare straight into hers when she whispered, "No Matterstuck." And for a split second all was silent, he did not move, he simply stared at her. She was the only one who had ever said 'no', he had no response to give but shock. But she had not pleaded him and persuading herself to go now or never, she turned swiftly grabbed Emily in her arms and ran. Before he came to his senses, he was standing in Lottie's living room alone. Lottie sprinted out the front door - still open from when Matterstruck had intruded - she felt her keys in her coat pocket, snatched it off the hook and hurried outside. But she wasn't safe yet, no, she wasnt that lucky. She swung open the car door, placed Emily on the passenger seat and her fingers stumbled to light the ignition. She could hear cackles of ghostly laughter from her house. But as she struggled to concentrate on what she was doing, she couldnt hear or see much, all was a blur. She backed out of the drive, noisily swerving round and drove, as fast as she could into the darkness. And she could not help but feel elated, she had escaped with her daughter. She was lucky, so lucky, but Matterstruck's cackle still rang in her head, he would not forget, he would never let them escape. Or would he?