21 August 2012

Melanie de Laine – Curses For the Apocalypse

Curses For the Apocalypse

I wasn’t certain what had attracted the plague of creatures, but it probably had something to do with my Aunt’s ancient recipe book. I flipped to the faded, black cover and looked at the title: ‘Curses For the Apocalypse,’ I read. ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have messed with this after all…’

My hands tense and tighten around the book in regret. My hands turn white, as if the skin and flesh have melted away revealing the skeleton of my hand.

The chatter of the Bowtruckles outside increases, as more and more arrive for the raid. Slowly I edge towards the window. The creaky, wooden floor boards, that didn’t seem like much before, are now too unbearably loud. I lean against the cold bricks next to the window and lean my cheek against the curtain that has been dampened by condensation. I grant one of my eyes the opportunity to peek out the window. Slowly I expose my hazel eye to the terror outside. Twigs the length of one foot, with very thin arms and legs, are pacing around my front yard in a fury. There are hundreds of them. Their heads are much too big for their bodies, which gives them a funny looking quality, until my eye meets those pure black teardrops on the face of a Bowtruckle. It glares back then gives me a nasty grin, displaying to me the long rows of tiny, sharp teeth. I gasp and retreat behind the curtain. I press myself against it, welcoming its cold touch against my hot skin.

I look down at the book again. I lose my focus in the world around me as my mind becomes lost on the ancient markings around the book.

Smack, comes the sound of something small colliding with the glass. And then the small squeaky cracks of glass. I drop the book in fright, feel my heart beat race rapidly. It is banging so hard against my ribcage that I become worried it will break out and run away so it doesn’t have to deal with this pressure. I turn my head towards the window to see a disorientated Bowtruckle shaking its head to regain its focus. It spots me behind the glass and gives me a devious, joyful grin.

My breathing intensifies and I look back to the now open book on the floor.

I whimper, which could have been much more if I hadn’t have realised that the Bowtruckle, smiling deviously back at me, was a drawing. I pick the book back up with shaking hands, and read the description next to it.

Tree guardians; when they are born each Bowtruckle becomes attached to a certain tree and they protect it forever. The book is made up of all the trees in the beautiful forest at the back of my house. All they want is their own fragment of their trees back.

I cautiously approach the front door, and slowly open it. The Bowtruckles freeze and stare intently back at me. I look at the book one last time, then with all the strength I can gather, I toss it into the sea of Bowtruckles. Suddenly they all eagerly and aggressively pounce on it. They tear the book apart as if looking for their original piece of tree. As their movements become almost tired and their chests heave up and down, a lump forms in my throat from seeing their disappointed and hurt faces; their arms holding up pieces of parchment and binding as they realise the damage is irreversible.

They all turn their heads sharply to me. Their eyes narrow once more and their mouths become one straight line of fury. I back slowly into my house, knowing that I’m not going to be forgiven easily, and it’s centuries of generations to make up for…

By Melanie de Laine, Year 7 (Female)