Year 7 student, Angela Yu has successfully made the longlist of the Insight Creative Writing Competition with her piece Blank pages. Angela is a member of St Catherine’s Writer’s Club and her short story was developed through Writer’s Club.
The storm outside was monstrous. The crashing of thunder upon the soil beyond my dark ochre window and the sound of rushing torrents of water gushing down the drains of my crumbling mansion didn’t help with the writer’s block I was suffering from. I could feel my typewriter grow anxious as no fingers tapped the awaiting keys. Instead, my fingers were nervously stroking some lace curtains that were unfortunately in a reachable distance. A blank page awaited me, luring me in with its presence. It was bidding me to recall those delightful days I had shared with Heather.
Heather entered my dull monotonic life one evening when the storm outside was just as horrific. Rainwater trickled through her hair as she stood in the doorway in her tattered, muddy dress. The only sound she made was the chattering of her teeth, but I took her into the parlour, placed her in an armchair by the fire and gave her some warm clothes to wear. She didn’t converse with me for the first three days; then, when the storm cleared, she sat up at breakfast and whispered something inaudible. I immediately straightened my back and leaned closer to hear.
“Thank you,” she croaked, “b-but I can’t stay long.” I was puzzled, and asked her to stay longer. Then, without giving me an answer, she excused herself and vanished out the door.
After a few hours, Heather came back; though with squelching shoes that were filled with mud. She didn’t speak; instead, she gave me a grin. I perceived that she was too tired to keep me company, as she headed up to her room directly. I remained in the parlour for a while, staring at the dancing flames in the fireplace and pondering over the riddle her presence bestowed upon me.
The following morning brought Heather better spirits. She seemed to have fully recovered, for she was dancing around the dining table when I entered. She smiled and informed me that she was permitted to a week-long stay with me. This news delighted me very much, for it had been a long time since anyone stayed in the decaying ruins I lived in. Nonetheless, I decided not to ask her where she came from, as I had a feeling that she would not tell.
During breakfast, I discovered that Heather had a talent for words. I figured I could attempt to write a book with her; just for a small experiment. She eagerly complied, though she appeared to have never seen a typewriter; she played with the object for several hours before I could successfully coax her to accomplish some writing. We spent our whole week on that wonderful masterpiece.
However, our pleasant time wasn’t to last. Heather, with melancholy eyes, notified me one morning that our week was over. I asked her why she had such limited time; she refused to answer, looking away. I implored her to tell me. I threatened her; I blocked the doorway.
But she would not reveal. In a blinding flash she suddenly disappeared. I stood there, stunned for a moment, then instantly began to rummage through the piles of paper on my desk. I couldn’t find the story that we had written; only bundles of blank pages – pages, I realised, that had originally been covered with words. The manuscript was blank; all that I had left of Heather were blank pages, and nothing more. I felt as though a million claws were disintegrating my heart, scratching and scraping at it until I had no heart remaining.