Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Courage

I was riffling through my old school essays for my writing assignment, and I found this little piece. This was written for a mid-term or finals in 2009, can't remember exactly. Maybe it was SPM trials. I always preferred writing fiction during exams  because it made it easier for what I call "under-pressure crapping", and I never edited it apart from the spelling and grammar errors. 

Anyway, I've reread it, and surprisingly....I don't hate it. mmmmm.......I did deviate from the topic "Courage" by a LOT though....

I'm more of a narcissist than I thought. Ah well, decided to share it here. 

This was 17-yr-old-sweating-in-exam-hall-me trying to create a bittersweet/horror/hanging ending....


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I charged up the stairs of the tower, stumbling over dead bodies and debris. Sweat was pouring down my face as I gasped for air; the pain in my lungs was searing me. My heart pounded rapidly, as the fear in my soul attempted to drown out all hope. Still I pressed on, until I reached the very top and faced a solid black door. Taking deep breaths as I tried to restore calm in my state of panic, I focused my energy on the door’s cool metal.

Bang. The door flew open and skidded across the smooth marble floor. I marched in, willing myself to not feel the pain, the sorrow that shall soon come. From the top of the tower, I could see the red glow of destruction, killing my people, snuffing out lives, breaking apart families. I wrenched my eyes from the scene, fixing them instead on a figure who was the cause of all this suffering: my enemy – Kyle.

On my arrival, he turned and faced me with a sardonic smile twisting his features. His blue eyes were now blood red; he was pale, but I could have recognized him anywhere. After all, Kyle was my friend. Pain, anger and disappointment pierced my heart as I studied his profile. My best friend was now my enemy. The betrayal was worse than anything I could bear.

He said nothing to me as he eyes me the way a snake would eye a trapped mouse. All of a sudden overwhelming fear drove out my sorrow. Kyle was more than a friend, he was mentor. He knew me inside and out. He knew the strength of my powers, my weaknesses, all of my strategies. How was I supposed to defeat him? Would I even want to defeat him? I hesitatingly took a step back, trembling with doubt.

He took a step forward, looked over the balcony at the rampage below, and turned his eyes back on me. He opened his mouth as if to speak, but snapped it shut again. And suddenly, the dam of emotions inside my broke. All the long years of bitterness, hate and above all, sorrow, came thundering down like a waterfall.

“Why?” I shouted at him. “Why did you this?”

In answer, he began to laugh. But it was not his warm, infectious laughter. This laugh was high and cold, sending chills down my spine despite myself. This was no nightmare, it was real. Kyle had truly betrayed all of us. After all that we have done to protect our people, he betrayed us. Betrayed me.

I squashed down a shudder as I sensed his power. I was no match for him, and he knew it. But I could not back out now. As I stood listening to him laughing, I inhaled silently and blocked every emotion. This was no longer the Kyle I knew. This was my enemy, and he will be defeated, the way so many have fallen before me. I fixed that thought into my mind and was filled with cold clarity.

I stretched out my arm and a jet of blue light shot straight at him. Immediately he retaliated with a flash of red light, forcing me to duck. The air crackled with power as we dueled. I was dodging, fighting, retreating so much that I could hardly think. He was more than a match for me. I was barely able to defend myself.

I found myself driven to the edge of the tower and suddenly a sharp pain struck me knee. I crumpled to the floor as I stared up at him advancing menacingly towards me. I could sense the strength of his power increasing, outmatching mine. I was powerless, defeated. I shook my head violently in denial; sweat and tears drenching my face.

This could not be happening. If he wins, evil shall reign, for I knew that no one else could stop him. Thinking wildly, I tried to refocus to fight, but fear kept me from reaching out to my powers. Please! My head screamed on its on accord. I’m just a boy! I’m just a child!

With no warning, Kyle stumbled backwards, a groan issuing from his lips. I stared at him in surprise, and Kyle’s piercing blue eyes were penetrating mine. His mouth convulsed as if he was struggling to say something. Finally, in a hoarse whisper,

Courage.” And he collapsed to the ground. I sat stunned at what I just heard, unable to move.

Within seconds he was back on his feet, his evil red eyes full of hatred. And then it hit me. I should have known all along. Kyle was not my enemy. Even imprisoned in his own body, he managed to reach out and give me what I needed most: courage.

I staggered up, fear banished from me. With my left hand outstretched, I gathered all the energy I had. As I did so, I felt strength leaving my body. It didn’t matter, though. I knew what I had to do, to free Kyle, to save all of us once and for all. I was no longer afraid.

I spoke a single word. White light surrounded all of me as I smiled in contentment. I shall soon see Kyle as before, and thank him for the courage that is now in me.

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He slowly stirred as he felt the body of the man it possessed hit the floor, charred beyond recognition. The impact was agony, but it no longer mattered. He had won.

The foolish boy, did he really think that his mentor had turned against him? No, it was him all along who controlled this body, who subdued it. It hadn’t been easy keeping the man’s soul under his power and just moments ago, he lost control. But so what? It was over. The insignificant boy had killed himself and this body, effectively aiding him in eliminating the last of his enemies. He was now in complete control. All he needed to do now was to find another body to possess. And with none who defied him alive, it was only a minor inconvenience.

He was preparing to leave this corpse, when pain in the form of hot needles came slashing at him, holding him in place, squeezing him. What was happening? No! The boy, the child, he knew! How could he have known it was him? It was impossible.

Impossible, but it was happening. He could not leave this body; he was trapped no matter how hard he tried. Slowly he felt his strength and power disappearing into painful oblivion. He would have screamed if he had a mouth. Inside he wanted it to be a dream, a nightmare, but it was reality:

The boy had won, and he will now face eternal pain, eternal imprisonment. He had lost.

Written by Hannah Koh, 2009

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