Shadows of guilt-Yang Shen 10F
Dylan was always a shy kid. He never talked to anyone at school, and because of this, he had no friends. He never participated in sport or put his hand up to answer questions in class. They all laughed at him and called him a ‘wimp’. But he was used to it and keep his business to himself. Then Connor arrived at his school. From the moment he stepped in the gates, Dylan knew this kid was going to be trouble for him. To make matters worse, Connor was going to be in his class.
Dylan was right. Connor was the typical bully at every school. He was tall, bulky and everyone liked him. He was also a loudmouth, and insulted Dylan at every possible opportunity. This soon turned into violence.
One afternoon at lunchtime, Dylan was minding his own business, sitting in one of the corners of the corridor, far away from where the kids played-as usual. He heard footsteps coming from down the corridor and was looking around to see what it was, when Connor and his friends grabbed him by the shirt and punched him in the guts. Dylan cried out in pain, gasping for breath. They just laughed and dragged him towards an empty classroom.
‘Hey! What are you doing? Stop! ‘ cried Dylan.
They just sniggered, ‘What are you gonna do, huh?’
Dylan fought in vain against his tormentors, hopelessly outmatched. Pulling him roughly by the arm, they forced him into one of the broom cupboards and locked the door, laughing as they ran off. Dylan was distraught. One thing that scared him most in his entire like was darkness and shadows. He could barely fall asleep each night and never went outside after dark. If he woke up in the middle of the night, he would quiver in fear at the shadows surrounding him and not be able to fall asleep again.
Now, stuck in a cupboard, Dylan was suddenly aware about how dark it was. The shadows from the brooms looked like skeletal fingers clawing at him. Panicking, he tried to try and force the door open, but it wouldn’t budge at all. He tried banging on the doors, making as much noise as possible, but no one came. He realised that class wouldn’t have started yet and would have to wait. Defeated, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Time passed. It seemed like an eternity, but when he looked at his watch again, only 30 minutes had passed. He was still shivering with fear, as the shadows seemed to close in on him.
‘Why was there still no sound of students?’ he shivered. ‘Class should have started by now..’
Suddenly, the doors began to rattle and Dylan jumped back in shock. He realised it was his teacher and let out a sigh of relief.
Today had been a bad day thought Dylan on his way home. His parents would be mad that he got home late, and to make matters worse teachers had called his parents for ‘wagging’ class by hiding in a cupboard. He knew that if he told the teachers the truth, Connor and his gang would make life even more miserable than ever.
That night, he couldn’t fall asleep as usual. He was thinking about his problem. He suddenly got a feeling of indescribable rage. What had he done do Connor? Why does everyone hate me? I never do anything wrong! As these thoughts swirled around in his head, he snapped. He would have to do something about it sooner or later.
The next day was fairly normal. Dylan ignored the usual jeers and taunts made at him by Connor and his gang. Tonight, everything will change, he thought.
As Connor walked into the doors of his old, shabby home, he looked around for his parents. His mum wasn’t home, probably out gambling as usual. His eyes drifted over to his the living room, where his dad was sprawled over the couch, obviously drunk. Connor hated his family. His parents always fought and argued, but stayed married for the money. They never even talked to him and when they did it was always something like ‘Get me a beer, kid’ or ‘Make some dinner’.
He sighed as he walked into his musty room, piled up with rubbish and old clothes due to negligence. No one bothered to the washing anymore and his whole house was like a rubbish bin. He tried to turn on the light but it was broken. As he walked over to his bed, the door suddenly slammed shut and the curtains closed. CRACK! He whipped around to see what had happened, but couldn’t see anything. It was pitch black, nothing could be seen except dancing shadows on the wall, when suddenly Dylan jumped on top of him.
That night, in a quiet suburban neighbourhood, a shrill scream pierced the night air, punctuated by numerous gunshots.
Dylan stared at his bloodied hands. What had he just done? No…no…no. This couldn’t be happening. I’m only sixteen years old! I can’t just kill someone. Anguished with regret, he snuck back home. Laying in bed, he looked at the shadows in his room. They seemed scarier than ever, creating eerie, wicked shapes on the wall. Eventually he fell into a light sleep, filled with nightmares. He dreamt that shadows were overcoming his life. Shadows in the form of Connor were surrounding him, screaming out in pain, gasping the words, ‘What have you done, Dylan? You will be haunted forever…’
‘STOP!’ yelled Dylan, waking up in cold sweat.
He got up and made his way to school. Soon everyone will know about the murder and he will eventually be found. What had he gotten himself into? The authorities found out about the murder in a matter of hours and it was all over the newspapers, and presumably will be on the news tonight.
As he walked, he noticed that in the broad daylight, he could see wispy shadows hovering around him, that definitely wasn’t his. The jagged hand clawed at his feet, and he could have sworn he heard a hissing voice behind. When he turned around to look, there was nothing there. Dylan shuddered, trying not to think about the shadows.
The next few weeks passed, without anything major happening. The police were still investigating the murder and said that when the culprit is found, they will punish him severely. The shadows appeared in Dylan’s mind more often and he hadn’t slept at all for the last few days. His face was becoming thinner and paler, and his hollow eyes seemed to be dead.
At school, Dylan couldn’t concentrate. The police were almost definitely going to interrogate every person in the class. He looked up and once again saw multiple shadows in front of him. They seemed to rise out of the ground, and whispered to him ‘I know you murdered Connor…Join him in hell…Death is the only option for you…’
‘GO AWAY! STOP FOLLOWING ME! I DIDN’T MURDER CONNOR!’
Everyone in the class looked at him strangely, shock evident on their faces. What was this idiot doing? Did he kill Connor? He trembled still traumatised. ‘The shadows, can’t you people see them?’ He bolted from the room, ignoring the teachers warnings.
Dylan ran for ages, never had he run so far before. He ran all the way to the bridge and sat in the gutter. He lost track of time, but he knew it would only be a few hours maximum before the police found him. Soon, it was already dark, and the shadows appeared again, gliding around him and whispering ominously.
Dylan had enough. He couldn’t bear it all. The hallucinations would haunt him for the rest of his life. People would think he was crazy. He didn’t deserve to live anyway. Not with a death on his conscience. Looking down at the rippling dark water 50 metres beneath the bridge, he made one last decision. Dylan jumped, the shadows engulfing him for the last time.
This story is intended for a teenage audience, as the characters in the story are teenagers. My story revolves around fear and guilt. I incorporated shadows in the story as a recurring object which stimulates the main character’s fear and guilt. The shadows are mentioned a lot throughout the story, to emphasise that they are important to the plot. Dylan murders his tormentor, Connor as revenge for bullying him and making him face his fear of shadows and darkness. After the murder, he is distraught about what he had done but cannot change the past. The killing is still fresh in his mind and he cannot get it off his conscience. The shadows are just hallucinations in his mind, reminding him of the deed he had done. Eventually, he comes to the decision to commit suicide, as he cannot bear to live with the deed he had done. I chose to write in 3rd person, so the audience can get a perspective of both the main characters-Dylan and Connor. We get to know more about Connor’s background, and we realise that his life is not easy as well. This story’s intention was to create a plot where guilt is the main theme, and the main character has to feel this.