Glowing Chalk
By William Murlis, Year 9, Sawston Village College

There is a man who drives along a road that hasn’t been used for a long time. He picks up hitchhikers along this road. He doesn’t travel alone. He has his wife alongside him on the desert road. They pick up hitchhikers out of a sense of kindness; it gives them purpose. The light is starting to fade. No hitchhikers tonight. He and his wife are the only life to be seen here. He keeps driving for several more miles, neither of them keen to return home yet.

The world feels empty to him in these hours. Suddenly out of nowhere a trail of white glowing dust somehow starts to blow across the middle of the road. It makes no sense to him, nor can his wife explain this unusual occurrence. They are irrationally scared of this unusual glowing dust.

Yet on they drive; the glowing dust still trails on with no direct source or link to help with the growing mystery. But the man is intrigued and drawn inexplicably to find out where it is coming from, and what this glowing dust is. Hours and miles seem to slip past, seemingly without meaning to the man now as he drives on, following the glow ahead in the darkness. His wife is confused, aware they are lost and drifting in the darkness.

The old man now seems obsessed by one objective — to find the source of this glowing dust. But his wife has had enough of this horrible experience so, in desperation, she opens the door while the car is still moving and begs her husband to stop and let her go. And so he does. She gets out of the car and starts walking back in the direction they have just come from, in the hope of finding her way back home. He drives on, almost oblivious to her now, the woman distraught by his actions. She bends to inspect the dust, hoping to find answers to her husband’s behaviour but, when she gets close enough to the ground, she finds the glowing dust isn’t dust — she rubs it against her fingers, pinching it. It is actually chalk.

The man is now edging closer to the source. He can feel it, a warmth like the sun. The man sees for himself the source of the glowing chalk. It is a huge glowing orb that has crash landed. The markings of a small burnt crater can be seen under the glowing orb. The man steps out of the car. He feels a strange sense of relief now that he seems to know he isn’t going home tonight. The orb needs him, and there is no way back now.