Running Memories
By Eliska O’Brien, Year 7, Linton Village College

Heart throbbing, teeth clenched, blood pumping — running — we all run from something in our life. I’m running from someone, chasing me with blue and red lights. I need to hide…buildings. Making a sharp turn, I slide into the nearest skyscraper, running aimlessly up the stairs. I don’t have a plan. I’m just running. Thinking what to do, I lose track, my body on auto pilot. I slam into the railing of the top floor, nearly falling. “Dead end,” says a voice behind me, “Grab her.”

“I won’t go down like this,” I scream, turning around. “There’s nowhere to go,” the police officer says. “Well, there is one way: down,” and with that I lean over the railing and push. The cold night air rushes past my head, whistling in my ear.

My life flashes before my eyes; a distant memory comes to mind — my older brother in space, floating in his suit, and a crackly voice coming in over the radio: “You have two minutes of oxygen left.”

“Can we change that to something happier?” he says.
“No problem. What do you want?”
“The cookies will be done in two minutes.”
“Oh, yay, I love cookies,” he says in a quiet voice. Suddenly it fades away.

A voice comes into my head; a familiar quote: ‘There are many types of monsters in this world: monsters who will not show themselves and cause trouble, monsters who abduct children, monsters who devour dreams, monsters who suck blood and monsters who always tell lies. Lying monsters are a real nuisance; much more cunning than other monsters. They pose as humans even though they have no understanding of the human heart. They eat even though they’ve never experienced hunger. They study even though they have no interest in academics. They seek friendship even though they do not know how to love. If I were to encounter such a monster, I would likely be eaten by it because — in truth — I am that monster.’

The cold concrete hits my back. My head feels a jolt of pain. My eyes grow heavy. I want to sleep. Slowly moving my hand to my head, I can feel my back turn wet; from the faint reflection of the mirror shop opposite I can see blood seeping slowly from my head, turning my black hair and white top crimson red. People yelling, kids screaming, mothers crying, the world is fuzzy. I just want to sleep. Medics rush up to me, trying to stop the blood. Someone runs to me crying, “Don’t go to sleep. Stay with me. I don’t want to lose you, not again!”

“Just leave me to sleep,” I manage to say. Hazy images move around me, my eyelids growing heavier by the second. I can’t keep them open for any longer. Darkness wraps around me.