Wednesday, 1 May 2013

I should write stories more often!

Just looked at all my old coursework from English A-level and wondering why I don't write more often. I had to do a piece about war and so chose to write about 9/11 as it sparked a war. If you can be bothered to read it, it's worth it. It is only a short story so doesn't take too long to read. It is quite sad but I wanted to really impact readers and make them realise what effect 9/11 had on people in America. It is called "Silence" and this is it:


The city fell silent. It was the first time that the city had ever been this silent; it was a silence that suggested things ending, falling apart; it was a silence that suggested death. Ash and smoke waivered and drifted, stealthily swimming along the roads, turning corners, making sure that its presence was known. Papers flitted and floated along, turning in the wind like feathers, weightless and free. Shards of metal had been ripped from the road signs by the almighty gust of debris and ash that had swept rapidly around the streets, destroying everything in its path.  The signs that once stood proud and tall lay battered on the floor, defeated, twisted and buckled to oblivion. The city seemed to be beyond repair...silence is golden, at least that what the wise ones say.

Now the noises bounce from every wall, echoing and repeating themselves; the sound of the pendulum on the grandfather clock slowly swaying side to side, the tapping of the knocker on the door when someone calls in to see how she is, the mumble of the radio in the kitchen, playing day and night. The cold creeps up on the unsuspecting and grieving, filling the empty spaces where people used to be. She shivers in her jumper and blanket as the cold air comes over her, she remembers what she has lost. His shadow still lurks and hangs about the house, following her every move and keeping a close eye on her to check if she is alright. She sits alone in silence, glaring at the television screen, vacant, it had been a week already…

Lurking shapes and shadows slowly begin to shift and surface from under cars and out of surrounding buildings, smothered in thick, smoggy ash, bewildered, bedraggled and exhausted. The silence is gradually broken as shoes begin to clatter against the floor and people slowly start to emerge from the buildings. Ash covers every surface, blocking out any inch of sunlight. A faint stagnant smell wafts and drifts along the alleyways and avenues; clings onto the nostrils of the people; the smell of charred corpses and cremated bones.


*

Commuters hustled and bustled, hurrying to get to work that day when an almighty boom sounded and debris was splurted out of the tower, puffing out smoke like a cigar. One of the solid steel lungs of New York wheezed and spluttered; spilling out debris as it choked on the plane that had just crashed into it. People gasped, hands to their mouth, amazed at how a plane could accidentally crash into the north tower.

Workers raced around; reached for belongings. Smoke was rising up the building, filling every room. A wave of panicking people swooped down the stairwells, putting them into a gridlock. The wave reached a peak and then steadily came to a grinding halt. People sighed and began to turn around, back from where they had come from. “What’s going on? Why aren’t we moving?” shouted one person. “There’s no way we can get out, every stairwell’s blocked” shouted another. The wave gradually turned and went back to where it had formed from, screeching and whining as it went, the people in it heavy headed and filled with despair. They didn’t know; they had no idea what had just happened. Everyone in that building was somebodies husband, wife, colleague, friend, mom, dad, son, daughter, aunt, uncle, cousin or grandparent.

She sits all alone in the dark, waiting. It was 2am and she was suffering from insomnia again. The grandfather clock keeps ticking, it never stops. She wishes she was like that, continuing on and on, no matter what happened. Her life had come to a standstill the day that he disappeared. Time waits for no man…

With an almighty crunch, another plane swooped down and flew straight into the south tower; this was not an accident. Papers, glass and shards of metal erupted out of the raging, burning volcano that was now the World Trade Center. The flames roared and crackled across the buildings, strengthening as they went and releasing an unholy amount of thick, dark, grey smoke over the skyline of New York. Darkness loomed, the smoke cloud was gaining on the people, getting bigger and stronger, beginning to block out any glimmer of light. People in the streets ran away as fast as they could, mothers grabbed and held onto children, people tripped and fell over the rubble and debris, confused and dazed, wondering what had just happened to the world trade center. People clambered out of the buildings, desperate for air, person upon person upon person.  

People began to fall out of buildings, contributing to the debris. It seemed that some were making a concerted effort to jump out. Those last few seconds were peaceful and silent, a time to reflect and it felt like flying.  

*

It was 9:58am. People were gathering together at a safe distance from the buildings, still gazing up at what was happening and praying that everyone still left in there would get out alive. Both towers were now slowly dying.  A short silence occurred before a crescendo roaring sound was heard, piercing everyone’s ear drums. The towers began to give up and collapse under their own weight, crumbling and tumbling down and down and down. They did not care whether there were people in there or not, they couldn’t hold their weight anymore and were forced to withdraw from their previous efforts of staying upright for the sake of the people. The foundations of the buildings were returning to their original place as ash came rolling down the roads, destroying everything in its path. Now was the time to run, earlier had just been a practice but the fully formed cloud was now at its strongest, ripping apart signs and things lying around on the road. The word “RUN!” echoed throughout the empty streets and suddenly, everything seemed to be in slow motion.

The city fell silent. It was the first time that the city had ever been this silent; it was a silence that suggested things ending, falling apart; it was a silence that suggested death. Ash and smoke waivered and drifted, stealthily swimming along the roads, turning corners, making sure that its presence was known. Papers flitted and floated along, turning in the wind like feathers, weightless and free. Shards of metal had been ripped from the road signs by the almighty gust of debris and ash that had swept rapidly around the streets, destroying everything in its path.  The signs that once stood proud and tall lay battered on the floor, defeated, twisted and buckled to oblivion. The city seemed to be beyond repair...silence is golden, at least that what the wise ones say.

No comments:

Post a Comment