Zoƫ Craig

School: Holyrood Secondary School, Glasgow

The book


A cold jagged silence filled the air as a pair of feet sliced through orange light on the pavement. A damp, dangerous mood circled the streets and the light from the streetlights flickered an anxious red. The girl tightened her fingers round her schoolbag and twitched her head from side to side, searching the road for signs of movement. She was on her way home and the slightest noise made her jump. The far-off noise of a police siren seeped through her brain and she quickened her pace. Her hair was dark and lank and her lips were white and pinched with worry. Her eyebrows were dark and arched and her eyes were a bright orangey-brown. She heard a car pull up and started to run. But it was ok, it was only a young woman coming home from work. The girl sighed and darted round a corner. There she made her way through a grassy area to a small clump of trees.

And then she took out The Book. 

It was a small, rather silly-looking thing, no bigger than a postcard with a green turtle embroidered on it. The edges were rough and fraying and the corners were slightly bent. 

But it was a dangerous thing to be carrying.

The girl held The Book in disgust and looked at it. She wanted to burn it, tear it up, throw it into a slushy puddle and grind it into mush with the heel of her boot. 

But she did none of these things. Instead she held it up and threw it as hard as she could. 

It must have hit something, because she heard the loud thud it made as it hit a target.

Her shoulders released a tension they didn't know they were holding and she felt relieved for the first time in weeks. The girl gave a slight smile and made her way from the grassy area back to the pavement.

She was two streets away from her house when she heard the footsteps. 

At first they were quiet, ominous, but they grew louder, deadlier, stronger. The girl turned round and saw one, two, three, four, five angry people. Brothers, sisters, friends of the people whose lives she'd ruined. 

"I haven't got what you want," the dark-haired girl told them.

Still they circled her like a flock of vultures.

"No, really," she said, with a hint of laughter. "I threw it away,"

They didn't believe her. 

"Go and find it yourself." 

And then they pounced. 

Two pairs of hands grabbed her arms and the rest of them lunged for her school bag. But she was too quick for them. She swung her shoulder bag high in the air, knocking one of the guys on the head. He groaned and yelped when he touched his temple and found blood. One of the girls tried to grab her from behind to pin back her arms, but the dark-haired girl took her wrist in her two hands and dipped under her shoulder, securing the bigger girl's arm in a painful twist at her spine. She cried out and another boy went to hit the girl. She threw up her school bag again and sank her nails into his face until he let go and fell backwards onto a low wall, smacking his head hard against the stone and crumpling to a heap on the thin white layer of ice. If the dark-haired girl was disturbed by this, she gave no sign. She caught a tall, stocky girl by the arm and swung her round to hit the side of a car with a sickening crash. She joined the boy on the cold icy ground. The three others, panicked and frantic with rage, ran hard at her, knocking her over so that she lay on the pavement. The dark-haired girl grabbed onto the boy so that he fell down with her. She was quick and got to her feet before him and stamped hard on his nose as he tried to grab her feet. The remaining boy and girl looked scared now and started to back away. 

The dark-haired girl scrutinized them, and in that moment she changed. Her orange eyes seemed to glow lava-like and her lips curled into a slight smile at the edges. Some people are born unforgiving, she thought. And I'm one of them. 

So she threw her heavy shoulder bag once more, this time using one of the blunt corners of it as a makeshift blade. It hit the girl, and she immediately fell against the side of a house and scraped her skin painfully against the stony rough pebbles on the driveway. The boy, desperate to escape, ran in the opposite direction, but the dark-haired girl slung the strap of her school bag round his neck so that he tripped over in agony and passed out on the road. 

There was silence for a few seconds before the girl fluffed out her velvety black hair and sauntered off back down the road in her way home, leaving the people lying on the silvery pavement, their vivid violet bruises shining against scarlet drops of blood and the orange sparkle from the streetlights. The girl felt a vibration come from her pocket; a text. 

{When are you coming home? Mum xx)

She started to type.

(On my way now}

As she turned the corner, the dark-haired girl felt a sense of achievement, a nasty little piece of triumph and wicked pleasure.  Her flowing hair shone in the semi-darkness and her amber eyes glittered as she realised something. She felt powerful, unstoppable, and slightly evil. 

And she loved it. 

She raised her face to the harsh cold night and smiled.

A minute later, a woman found the five dead bodies and screamed.


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