Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Question - Write about an incident in your life when you felt that there was no escape.
Remember to include your thoughts and feelings.


The moment I heard that there had been a severe boat crash in Tarbert, involving three couples and killing three vital members of our close community, the sheer scale of the accident didn’t hit me. It wasn’t until the following day when I saw details of the event in the tabloids that I finally realised that Issie, once a dear family friend, was really gone forever …

It was a typical day in the school holidays and I was spending the day with my friends shopping in Greenock – we all needed a busy day to take our minds off things. We all tried hard not to mention the previous day’s events: but even remotely related topics brought vivid images of Issie back.

Once we arrived at the shopping centre we headed for a newsagents; we all felt rather hungry. I was wandering carefree around the shop when all of a sudden something caught my eye from the opposite wall.

It was her.

Shaking, I made my way towards the newspaper and grasped it firmly with both of my hands. Issie’s radiant smile was spread across the front page. I sorrowfully wandered over to the till and paid for the paper, before speedily sprinting towards the door.

I collapsed on a bench outside before struggling to open to paper. Trembling, I tore through the pages before reaching the centrefold. The sharp headline hit me; the vivid images of the demolished boat scarred my eyes. It was true. My eyes felt heavy as they scanned the story. Issie was really dead. Tears started to develop in my eyes as slowly they brimmed over my eyelids. My chest was closing in. I felt faint. How could this happen? Why? Issues was not only my music teacher but she had once been a close friend. We had gone on holiday together; I distinctly remember her fear of the water. Why had she been on a speedboat so late? How could she be gone?

I began gasping for air. I couldn’t breathe; I couldn’t escape. I had to leave: I had to just get away and leave this horrific nightmare behind. But I couldn’t. It wasn’t just a bad dream – it was completely real. There was nothing that I, or anyone else, could do. The lump in my throat and hammering pain in my chest felt real though. And the warm salty tears which were streaming down my cheeks mixing with the cold sweat on my face were horribly realistic. Still shaking, my hands crumpled the paper, as I broke down into tears. I had to get away. I glanced up and desperately looked for an exit. I wanted to run away to a simpler time when Issie would still be there – but I couldn’t.

Suddenly, through my tears, I caught sight of my friends’ concerned faces. I opened my mouth struggling to find the words but they escaped me. I shook my head and buried my head into my sweaty hands. There truly was no escape. Issie was gone.

“Sarah?” someone asked.

I gazed up at the blurry faces in front of me and croaked through my tears “Issie …”

They all stared blankly at me, unaware of what would be the right thing to say. Unaware of how I felt. Unaware that I just wanted to wake up from this traumatic nightmare.

I realise that this is a couple of sentences too short but there were a lot of distractions in the house that would obviously not happen in an exam. Could you possibly tell me what grade I would achieve for this if it was just a bit longer?

SS

1 comment:

Chris said...

Well, the way you choose to end a piece like this can make a big difference - so it's important to get that in! I'd say you're looking at a Credit 2; I think you're still overdoing the adjectives in the latter part where you're describing reading the paper. Try to introduce intensity without piling on the descriptive language. Short sentences can help do this.


"There was nothing that I, or anyone else, could do. The lump in my throat and hammering pain in my chest felt real though. And the warm salty tears which were streaming down my cheeks mixing with the cold sweat on my face were horribly realistic. Still shaking, my hands crumpled the paper, as I broke down into tears. I had to get away. I glanced up and desperately looked for an exit."

Look at this bit. "I could do nothing. It was all too real - the lump in my throat, the hammering pain in my chest. I could feel tears on my face. I felt the paper crumple as the tears came. I had to get out."

That's a bit tighter, though I've used many of your expressions. Remember what I said yesterday - puncutation is a tool to be used as creatively as any other feature in writing.

Go for it tomorrow (though I hope you'll read this in the morning - it's almost midnight!) Choose a good topic which will let you use experience, and keep a tight grip on your tendency to overdo the description. Less can be more - choose good words and make them count. Good luck!