Projects

Rhys Davies Residential

  

In recognition of their dedication and enthusiasm during Rhys Davies workshops with Rachel Trezise in Summer 2013, nine young people supported by Valleys Kids enjoyed a residential weekend of workshops at the Literature Wales writer’s retreat, Ty Newydd in Llanystumdwy , Gwynedd.

In the beautiful house set in the stunning landscape of the Llŷn Peninsula, Ty Newydd, writers Tom Anderson and Lucy Christopher led a weekend of workshops exploring sense of place, character formation and setting.

Valleys Kids  is a charity based in South Wales with a 34-year track record of working with disadvantaged children and families. Their  work is about changing lives for the better. The Rhondda  Valleys now rank in some of the most deprived areas of Europe. Valleys Kids works alongside local people to improve the lives of children and families in these communities, helping people to help themselves.

Lucy Christopher said:

” I adored working with Valleys Kids up at Ty Newydd Writers’ Centre.  The participants were open, willing, extremely positive and great fun to be around.  The weekend felt valuable on a number of fronts: in terms of opening up possibilities for these young people to expand and appreciate their skills in creative writing, as well as for taking these young people out of their ordinary environment and showing them something new.  It was time out for them that seemed much needed.  It was also time where these young people could see a different, and very beautiful, part of their own country – I heard several of these young people remark that by being in Cricieth they had found a new kind of pride for their homeland of Wales, seeing it in a broader light. Personally, I found the weekend extremely enriching, stimulating, and inspiring.  The kids made me laugh every day and their love for my writing was touching.  It was a joy to work with Tom Anderson  – so pleasant and clever and sensitive to the group’s needs.  All in all, a wonderful wonderful weekend that I would repeat in a heartbeat. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of it.”

Examples of work:

Samantha’s Story

Around me

Around me stands a tump of mountains over shadowed by the dense clouds layered on top of each other. In the distance stands the derelict castle, which is in the stillness of the land.

The apocalypse

I watched as it raced through the sky disrupting everything in its path. Out of control the object smashed into the obscure blue sea causing the waves to rise beyond no mans land. In no time the water attacked causing despair everywhere. One by one everything disappeared into the darkness.

As I tried to fight my way through the night I realized my world would never be the same again.

The sounds of the screams that echoed in the distance made me more aware of what was to come. Who was left? Who was alive? How was I going to survive?

The next morning I woke into a calm and silent land. The wind slowly eased above my battered and buried knees. As I gazed into the distance I realized that it was only me towering out of the big black sea.

Dumped

I remembered when I first laid my eyes on her. A tall, blonde with beautiful sparkling blue eyes. She walked over to me and said “you are coming with me” From that moment on we were connected as she was soon inside me.  It felt so right not even a smell came from that size foot. We were meant to be just like Adam and eve.

Now 2 years have passed and she has ruined me. I’m no longer the jewel in her eyes as I caught her cheating on me with another size 5.

Lost beyond redemption – Leah

Chapter 1

Around me stands a long forgotten place where many tragedies had occurred, the grass in which I stand on has overgrown as far as my knees, flowers have wilted long ago leaving a decomposed trail to the once thriving hospital. I look up to find the glass windows shattered, doors unhinged. I take the first step forward and feel the crunch of the autumn leaf under my shoe. The colourful leaves rustle across the grass as the wind begins to howl. The chill of winter has come early I see… as the last of the light rays disappear I can see my breath taking form, I huddle into my jacket for warmth as I drag my legs through the entangling weed leading to the abandoned building, I pause at the door I look up at the horrid place. Good riddance I hope this place burns to the ground I thought. secretly this place was a insane asylum where people were horribly tortured here, no wonder those things are in there I was close enough to already see inside. The dark gloom seems to seep out of the building making goosebumps appear on my arms making me come to a stand still. I know something will be lurking behind these walls, waiting for me.

“Getting nervous tiger lily?” I swerve around to find Niklas Dedrick Stark’s smug face looking at me.

“What in the world is the matter with you! I could’ve killed you with you sneaking up on me like that, and I told you to stop calling me that.” I put down my crossbow which could’ve easily put a arrow through his chest. The confident smirk didn’t leave his face for even a moment

“Oh you knew I was coming so stop complaining and what you call sneaking I call walking tiger lily” he smirked at his own comment. How pathetic that he still laughs at his own jokes. I roll my eyes.

“Niklas the dress code is fully black you cant add you’re red scarf to everything you know” I sigh in exasperation as he looks down with a questionable stare

“Hey I choose to look good even in boring black clothes” he smirked giving the waggle of his eye brows, I try to bit my lip as I feel a smile form but I lose control of my boss exterior and burst out laughing! Ah Niklas always had a way to make me laugh even in M.E academy and no its not a modelling agency its a academy for monster extermination. Even in the beginning of M.E academy he had always worn that scarf refusing to take it off even when the teachers threatened to take him off the campus but he had his way. I thought he was a bit weird even if all the girls fell for his charms, his looks were passable looking at him now I see that his black hair is formed perfectly over his face which made his blue eyes more dramatic, His smile was always genuine which was a hard thing to find these days, his build was sturdy and looked more lean and muscular since the last time I had seen him. He’s really smart as well we both passed as one of the top ten students. What he lacked was seriousness which is why I dread working with him. We work in the Dorset team which is usually bearable. But working with him alone? Id rather teach a monkey how to work a gun.

prologue: Janet

 “Sirens. Flashing lights. Getting closer. Running. Stumbling. Falling. Screaming. “HELP!!” Blacking out..

*

          Beep. Beep. Beep. The heart monitor. Why wouldn’t it shut up? I just wanted it to stop. As I slowly started to open my eyes, a blinding light made me snap them back shut again. I didn’t want to be here. All I could keep thinking about was him. His sweaty hands, roving all over my body, making me want to bathe in bleach to get the feel of him off me. The smell of his foul breath, catching in my throat, making me choke and want to vomit. I could picture his long, dark, filthy hair, hanging over his eyes, making me unsure if they were dark brown or black, making me feel as if I was looking into the pits of hell. To distract myself, I started humming a tune, any tune that came into my head, starting off just random notes, turning into one of my favourite songs, Bring me to life, Evanescence. It was one of mine and Tammy – Jo’s songs. Tammy – Jo; my twin. Who I’d never get to see again. All because of that Bastard. All of a sudden, I became aware of someone screaming, distant at first, but getting closer and closer, louder and louder, confusing me. People were closing around me shouting, running, telling others to calm her down, whoever “her” was;  while the person kept on screaming, louder and louder, until I couldn’t hear anything else. Then it dawned on me. It was me, screaming so much I could feel my throat burning, screaming so much it felt as if my vocal chords were going to tear at any moment. But I couldn’t stop. I could only picture him attacking, stabbing, ripping, and tearing away at my sisters body, so ferociously, blood was splashed up the wall and across the ceiling. I faintly felt a pinprick in my arm, and I was out again.

*

This time, I dreamt. I couldn’t remember if I did last time, but if I did, I remembered this dream more vividly, much more vividly. Probably because it wasn’t a dream; not really. It was a memory.

Chapter 1.

 

The sound of laughter coming through to the hall was infectious to all that heard it. Martha chuckled to herself as she walked up to the living room and peeked through a crack in the doorway to catch her twin daughters watching Mr. Bean “in secret” again. You could hear them laughing from anywhere in the house, but when asked what was so funny, they would share a look and just reply “Nothing!”

“Honestly,” Martha thought. “When those girls are going to admit they still love children’s programmes I’ll never know.”

Just then, the front door slammed shut, a male voice carrying out to the kitchen where Martha stood debating what they should have for tea.

“Look Edmund, just do what you’ve been told, and get it sorted. I’m off duty now, so report to Sergeant Ingram unless it’s a matter of life or death. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Donald Williams walked into the kitchen, just about fitting through the archway without having to dip his head. He silently walked up to his wife, wrapped his arms around her waist and snuggled his head into the crook of her neck, inhaling the flowery scent of the perfume he favoured most.

“Rough day darling?” Martha inquired, giving him a worried look.

“Another girl has gone missing.” Donald sighed in reply. “Roughly eighteen, taken from the streets, same as the last two. Friends reported her last being seen a couple of nights ago. No known family, and no known boyfriends on the scene. That’s three missing girls without a single solid lead. I don’t know how long we can keep this from the press. I think we should tell the girls, just so they can be extra careful.”

“Now Don, we can’t make any rash decisions. What if those girls have just ran away? Wasn’t the second girl a runaway anyway? It wouldn’t be unusual for her to go again. It doesn’t mean that there is someone out there taking girls off the street. There’s no one out there who has said that they’ve seen anything. Can we just not tell them for now? You know Amelia – Rose is a worrier. Something like this will keep her awake at night. And lord knows how Tammy – Jo will react.”

“Martha, they’re nearly 18. They’ve got good heads on their shoulders and they look out for each other. There joined at the hip! Even though they look completely different, people still think they’re twins.”

“I know, I’m just so scared that they’re growing up too fast. I want them to stay as innocent as possible for as long as they can be…” she trailed off, getting too emotional to carry on.

Don led Martha to the study and sat on an arm chair, pulling her onto his lap and into a tight embrace, trying to comfort her as best he could.

“They’re not little girls any more Hon, they deserve to know. They’re smart girls, probably figured out that there is something’s wrong already. We just have to let them know what it is”

***

Having watched the last of Mr. Bean, Tammy-Jo and Amelia-Rose turned the channel over on the TV, still giggling about the characters antics. The girls were just sobering up, when a chorus of “Baby got back” by Sir Mix A lot started playing from down the side of the sofa and started them off all over again.

They were still laughing when their parents walked in with an incredulous look on their faces, wondering what on earth could be so funny it made their daughters behave in this bizarre manner.

The girls straightened their faces and tried to look serious when their parents walked in, but the looks on their faces cracked the masks they had barely formed, and within seconds the twins were rolling on the floor, tears running down their faces, Don supporting Martha as she clutched her sides in pain through laughing at the girls.

Don seated his wife in the seat Tammy-Jo had recently vacated and snorted something about coffee as he left the room, trying to hide his laughter behind coughs and clearing his throat.

Martha took a deep breath, and tried unsuccessfully to turn her expression into one of seriousness.

“Girls, what is so funny? Your dad and I thought that you may have taken something you were laughing so hard! Surely at least one of you came close to wetting yourselves during that bout of hysterics?” Martha chuckled to herself, unable to get the image of her daughters’ blonde and brunette hair fanned out around them, clutching each other’s hands in a bid to stop the laughter.

They shared ‘the look’, shouted “Nothing!” and ran up the stairs laughing manically to each other.

Don entered the room then, carrying two cups of coffee. Accepting a cup, Martha giggled out “Puberty!” while wiping a tear from her eye.

Giving his wife a knowing wink, “Girls” he chuckled in reply.

 

***

Tammy-Jo and Amelia-Rose were the twin daughters of Sergeant Donald ‘Don’ Williams, and his wife Martha. Although they were unidentical twins, they looked and acted enough like each other that people could always tell they were sisters.

Tammy-Jo donned what she liked to think was a punk rock chick look, keeping her blonde hair in a short feathered bob, slightly spiking the ends, and occasionally dyeing the tips different colours, depending on her mood. She wore little make up, preferring to stick to eyeliner and mascara to bring out her piercing green eyes, and just a light blusher to bring out her pale complexion. With her near constant skinny jeans and tight vest top to show off her body, and fake stretcher earring to complete the look, Tammy-Jo almost looks like the complete opposite to her sister.

Amelia-Rose admires her sister confidence to express herself through her appearance but always felt that she could never pull off the look herself. Instead she liked to emphasize the ‘casual’ look that people so often complemented her on. She kept her naturally curly hair just below her shoulders, cut so that it came away from her face, revealing the soft brown eyes that most models craved. Like her sister, Amelia-Rose loved her skinny jeans, but would prefer slightly looser t-shirts and hoody, always with a pair of pumps or her favourite old pair of converse daps.

For the pairs 18th birthdays, they went and had matching butterfly tattoos on opposite ankles, Tammy-Jo’s on the outside right, and Amelia-Rose’s on the outside left. They also each had a ring off their parents, which Tammy-Jo wore on a thin chain as a necklace pendant, and Amelia-Rose wore on her right ring finger, along with a ring she had off an old boyfriend.

After running into the bedroom that they shared, they flopped down onto their beds, still giggling slightly under their breaths. Tammy-Jo rolled over and reached into her bedside cabinet, unwrapped a red lollipop, stuck it in her mouth and closed her eyes, breathing out a sigh of contentment.

They had been lying there silently for a while, too comfortable to speak, when Tammy-Jo’s phone rang, blaring out the chorus of “dance, Dance by Fall Out Boy, one of her favourite bands.

Taking the lolly out of here mouth, she put the call on loud-speaker, answering

“Hello. Tammy-Jo cannot take your call right now. She is too busy rocking out to the sound of her awesomeness. Please leave a message. Beep!”

Which was replied with a shrill screech which could only belong to her best friend, Harry Davies, followed by a click as he hung up the phone she called him back, again putting the call on loud-speaker so that Amelia-Rose could join the conversation. Harry answered with the campest “Hey Girl!” he could muster, trying to contain his obvious excitement.

“Har, I know I’m your best friend and everything, but it’s still rude to hang up on me!” Tammy-Jo sniffed, feigning hurt, tugging on the heart strings only she could.

“I’m sorry, but your voicemail impression was sooo realistic! I was surprised you actually answered, considering I just scored four free tickets to see P!nk at the O2!!” He started screaming again, until his voice caught and he started coughing and spluttering. Amelia-Rose started laughing at him while Tammy-Jo stared open mouthed at the phone screen.

“How did you manage that?” Amelia-Rose hiccupped, overcoming her laughter.

“I know people…” He replied mysteriously. “And Kat has already said she’s up for it if you two are?” He turned cautious, hoping that Tammy-Jo wouldn’t realise that he had spoken to Katarina before calling her.

She did.

“You’ve spoken to who already?!” Tammy-Jo exclaimed, swishing her lolly to emphasise “who”.

“My mum,” He spluttered, knowing he was just digging himself a deeper hole to climb into. “She said I could go as long as someone comes with me.”

Tammy-Jo sniffed while Amelia-Rose tried in vain to keep from laughing, resulting in a snort that sounded so much like a pig, it stopped her giggling immediately and she snuck out of the room to call Katarina and leave her sister to the row he was undoubtedly going to give.

 

***

 

“I still can’t believe you asked Katarina before me. Me! Your most favourite person in the world! I mean, I still love you for getting these tickets and everything, but that’s not the point. As my best friend, you have a duty to inform me of any major events before anyone else. I am just down right hurt.”

Tammy-Jo concluded her rant by facing Harry until he turned to look at her, and then turning her head away quickly after poking her tongue out at him.

In return, Harry chuckled under his breath and ruffled her hair, messing up the carefully styled spikes that Tammy-Jo had carefully dip-dyed pink the night before to celebrate the occasion.

“Patience, young grasshopper. If I didn’t ask Katarina first, we wouldn’t have been guaranteed a ride to the concert. It’s all about perspective.”

Harry sat back, feeling smug. He knew Tammy-Jo would be more focused on trying to fix her hair than to carry on arguing.

“I swear, you two are like a married couple.” Katarina laughed, looking at Tammy-Jo blushing through the rear-view mirror.

“I don’t see why you two don’t just get together. I think it would be really cute…” Amelia-Rose added, blushing herself, knowing that Tammy-Jo had never been in a relationship before. Tammy-Jo took a lollipop out of the packet in her bag, and noticing it was green, she threw it out of the car window.

“Oi! I don’t want any fines, thank you very much. It’s a new car and I would appreciate it if you treated her with respect.” Katarina finished by nodding her head sharply to emphasize her point.

Tammy-Jo carried on as if she hadn’t heard a thing.

“I just need to find… Ugh! For the love of… Kat! You need to pull over! Emergency!”

Katarina instantly flicked on her hazard lights and pulled smoothly up to the curb, just five minutes before they were due to hit the M4. The motorists behind them beeping their horns and shaking their fists in crude gestures as they drove past.

“Tammy-Jo Williams. If you tell me that the big emergency is that you have no more bloody red lollipops, there will be big trouble!”

Katarina turned to face Tammy-Jo, mock fury plastered across her Filipino features. With her dark hair fanning out over her shoulders, and her dark eyes shining with mischief, she tried to glare at her best friends’ twin.

“I seen an Aldi about half a mile back. I’ll give you more petrol money…” Tammy-Jo put on her most sheepish facial expression – the one her and Amelia-Rose perfected to show their parents if they ever got caught doing something that they shouldn’t have been.

Katarina smiled, knowing that there wouldn’t be any petrol money to begin with, let alone any extra for getting lollipops. Her thoughts were interrupted by a loud pig-like snort coming from the passenger seat, which could only mean that Amelia-Rose was trying to hold in a vast amount of laughter.

It didn’t take her long to crack.

“I’m sorry!” Amelia-Rose snorted. “I… I wanted to see…”

She snorted again. Now she was in hysterics, and unable to talk without coughing and spluttering; so she threw her bag to Tammy-Jo in the back seat, causing more than a dozen lollipops to spill onto the floor.

“Oh, that’s fine.” Tammy-Jo said with an air of arrogance. “I’m glad I took your make up out of your suitcase now.” She added smugly.

WHAT?!” Amelia-Rose screamed, instantly sobered, and jumped out of the car.

She ran around to the back of the car and wrenched open the lid of the boot. She returned to find the rest of the group giggling several minutes later, red-faced and silent.

“You act all shy and innocent around people, but when it comes to throwing your knickers around in public, you’re more confident than I am!” Tammy-Jo squealed in laughter, as Amelia-Rose climbed wordlessly back into the front passenger seat of the car.

“Let’s just get this bug car to the stupid concert.” Was all she could think of as a reply.

“It’s a beetle, not a bug! A proper Volkswagen one, look! I got the sunflower in my window and everything.” Katarina pouted, defending her beloved car.

“And P!nk is not stupid!” Gasped Harry from the back, sounding completely aghast at the very idea, and sending the girls into more fits of laughter, as Katarina indicated to pull back onto the road, and started the rest of their journey to London.

Haunted by her past

Standing on the cliff watching the sunset. The sun descending in the distance, making the sea glisten like diamonds. The sea smoothly rocking back and forth, gently placing itself on the beach. Ashlyn can hear it calmly brushing and seeping through the rocks of the rocks. The warm wind gently brushes against her rosie cheeks, her long brown hair swift from shoulder to shoulder. Three beautiful birds with wings spread wide disappearing into the sunset. The scenery took her breath away. She didn’t know how beautiful it would be. She thought a new home, different scenery and a fresh start would be sole destroying. Heading back to her new home, to help her parents unpack, she came across a long forgotten path. She looks at the path and thought should I or shouldn’t I. But something deep down made her feel uneasy of taking the path. She heads home to finish unpacking. Most of the night the path was bugging her, Ashlyn was trying to think, to where she saw the path before. Standing at the beginning of the path. She nervously looking to see where it leads. She couldn’t see in the forest as it was covered with enormous trees, bushes and overgrown brambles, which made the forest dark and dank. It was giving her the feeling of death and mystery. The wind swiftly making the tree branches hit each other and bushes rustling. The look on the forest was giving her an eerie feeling. Crossing her arms, rubbing the triceps, she looks up the bike path to her house and from the forest she hears a blood curdling scream. Her head quickly turns back to the path, she held herself tighter and her heart is pounding. Ashlyn steps back and doesn’t know whether to enter the forest or go home to tell her family. Another scream is screeching through the forest, Ashlyn decides to enter the forest to investigate the noise. Walking on the path after trekking for matter of two minutes, she came around a bend in the path, in the distance was an house, most of the wall was covered in vines and with old fashion windows and doors. Slowly creeping towards the house, something caught her eye. Looking up to the dusty old window, on the top floor left window, she saw a silhouette of a woman, which then she disappears. Then another silhouette appears, this time a man, on which it looks like a weapon of some sort in his hands. The matter of seconds, before the other silhouette disappears, there’s another crying scream. Ashlyn opens the door and automatically she was placed in the bedroom, where she saw the silhouettes. She couldn’t see the woman in the room, The man she saw was sitting on the ottoman at the end of the bed, with his head in his blood smothering hands. In the corner of her eye, she catches sight of something. Ashlyn turns her head and notices a little girl no older than 3 years, wearing a pink dress with shoulder length brown hair, standing in the door way. Everything was frozen in time like a painting. Ashlyn turns around and heads for the door. Her eyes wide open lying in her bed, she realizes it’s just a dream, but it felt real for her, like a past event or something. She shrugged it off. She got dressed, headed downstairs, quickly taken a piece of toast of the table. She shouted to her mam “I’m of to school” “ok” her mam loudly replied from another room. Coming down the bike path, she came to a halt and turned her head to the forgotten path. She wandered if there was anything at the end of the path, like the house that she saw in her dream. A few second pause, she shook her head, thinking to herself dreams aren’t real, just a fragment of a person’s imagination. Most of the day at school, she couldn’t stop thinking about the dream and what it meant. By the time school finished, she forgotten about the dream. A few nights later she had the same dream this time, the father wasn’t sitting on the ottoman, instead still frozen like a picture, he was leaning on the fire place, with one hand on the shelf and the other hand on his hip. He was staring into the fire, like he was staring into hell. But still no sign of the mother. The girl still in the same position like a statue. Exiting the room, Ashlyn wakes up and remembers that she had exactly the same dream nights before it just changes at the end or its added more to itself. She wondering to herself, what if deep down there something trying to tell her about what lies there and if there is truth to her dream. But she keeps shrugging it off, she tells herself it’s just a dream, it’s not real. The next night, her dream appeared again, this time the little girl wasn’t there. The man moved towards the side of the bed and Ashlyn notices a hand coming from the side of the bed, which her had was dripping of blood from her fingertips. The guy picked up the womans lifeless body and left the room. Ashlyn followed to see where he was taken her. A maid came out onto the landing with a mop and bucket “Can’t believe he done it” the maid muttered underneath her breath, whilst she was mopping the drops of blood of the floor. Ashlyn continued down the stairs to catch him up. Only to find when she got to the bottom, she saw him locking a door. She waited for him to leave before she heads for the door. Soon as he was out of sight, Ashlyn heads for the door, somehow it wasn’t locked, even though she saw him locking it. She entered the room, she noticed the body of a woman on the floor. Ashlyn removed the hair from the woman’s face. The woman’s glazed brown eyes wide open, didn’t even flinched. Blood spattered over her face. Ashlyn hears her whispering something, she leans in closer. The woman muttered the words “My beautiful daughter, look how much you’ve grown. You look just like him”. Ashlyn was shocked and confused on what the woman said, before she could say a word, Ashlyn heard a bang from behind her. She looked and saw the man standing there. Ashlyn let out a scream, which woken her up. Her mam came into the room “Ashlyn are you ok” she franticly asked. “I’m ok mam, just some nightmare” “Must be some nightmare for you to scream like that, what is it about” her mam quietly asked. So Ashlyn told her everything about the dreams she was having and how the path she walks past every day seems so familiar. Her mam had that look to her face like she knew something. “Mam are you ok” Ashlyn asked. Shaking her head “I’m ok, I better get ready for work” her mum nervously replied. From her mother’s repsonse, Ashlyn knew that her mother was hiding something from her. Leaving the house Ashlyn came along the path looking at it, she weren’t sure if she wanted to go in the forest to check what lies in there. After a few seconds, she decided to go into the forest and walk the path to see what’s at the end. Ashlyn comes around the bend and notices something in the distance. When she got closer, she realizes it’s the house from her dreams, she couldn’t believe it. She thought it was her imagination playing with her. Every brick, window and door was exactly the same, with no vine out of place. She noticed crime scene tape over the front door. She wonders to herself on either to enter. But she wanted to see if everything inside was the same as her dream. She removed the tape and entered the disserted home. She noticed the door on which she saw a man locking in her dreams. But she wanted to look upstairs to see if it’s the same. She nervously walked upstairs and entered the bedroom, the furniture was still there, but it was all covered in dust and cobwebs. She just can’t believe that everything she was dreaming is becoming almost a reality. Heading back downstairs, she heads for the door, she opens it. She looking around with her eyes and notice the stain on the floor. Only to realize, it was in the exactly the same spot which she saw the woman lying in her dream. She ran out of the house. Ashlyn couldn’t believe that everything she dream, is staring at her in reality. She wanted to learn more on what happened there, to see if there was a little girl there and what happened to her. She went to the archives to find any newspaper clippings on a murder that happened. Looking through the clippings, she came across a newspaper article about a murder that happened in the house. A woman aged 30 years got brutally stabbed by her husband, leaving behind a 3 year daughter. Ashlyn learnt the father is alive, but spending life in prison. She kept on the looking for more information on the daughter’s whereabouts and what her name was. But she couldn’t find anything. Ashlyn remembered that in her dream was another woman. She went to ask the assistant about the murder. But she couldn’t help. Ashlyn took a stroll thinking to herself, there’s no way that it’s just a dream. She thought that maybe she was that little girl and it might be her memory, that by moving there somehow triggered a memory for her. She went home told her mam on what she was feeling. Her didn’t know what to do, so her mum decided to tell her the truth. She told Ashlyn, how when she was only 3 years old, she witnessed her father murdering her mother, that when she took Ashlyn in as her own. Ashlyn couldn’t believe it, she ran out of the house crying didn’t know what to believe. “I want to remember, I want to know why?” Ashlyn asked with tears rolling down her rosy red cheeks. “You don’t need to remember Ashlyn, it will only bring you pain and you don’t need that” her mam anxiously replied. “But I do I need to know why he done it” Ashlyn questioned. Tara decided to take her to the therapist to get some answers and to find see if she could regain the full memory of what happened. Sitting in the waiting room to go in Ashlyn rubbing her hands, turns her head to her mum. “Do you think I’m doing the right thing about finding out the truth” she nervously asked. “It’s not up to me anymore, it’s your choice now Ashlyn” her mum replied. The therapist calls her in. Sitting in the room, she asked about helping her to regain a memory that happened so long ago, she knew that it be hard to reach for that memory, she didn’t have no other choice. The therapist helped her, he told her to relax and set herself back to that day, when she was only 3 years old. She remembered, her parents arguing, Ashlyn in her pink dress ran from her room and snuck into her parents room, she saw a man, her father, with what it looks like a knife, stabbing and cutting her like you would an animal. Beating her like a poor defensive animal, she stood no chance. He took her down stairs after a few minutes of thinking to himself. Ashlyn remembers walking downstairs and watching her father sitting in a chair covered in blood, just looking out the window. No care in the world. Ashlyn wakes up and said she remembers everything. She wanted to know where her father was prisoned. Only to find out the prison he was in was only up the road from where she lived. She decided to visit him and ask him, herself why he did what he did, these questions were going through her mind. Didn’t he love her? Didn’t he care what would happened to me? Did he love me? Why would he do this? Before she went she decided to write a letter, to give to him

Dear Dad
I came back to live the crime, my past. Which I didn’t know at first. To find and to know the truth. Don’t think that I don’t remember, It’s starting to creep back. I watched but you never knew I was there. I witness her blood weeping from her fingertips. Bathing in the windows light, you sat there with no remorse sunk and fixated with the stillness outside. The woman you vowed to protect and love with your life, you picked apart in a beastly fashion. I stood there numb like a deserted cub in this baron to rain. You be walking home now passing the delleric stain shed, gathering the shit on your heel. I leave now. You never give a damn, but I always find delight in calling you the bastard that you are
Yours truly Ashlyn

She took the letter and walked to the prison, walking inside, she asked the guard which one was Mike Johnson. The guard pointed to a guy sitting on his own, bald head, slim athletic built, with stubble on his face. She stood there taking it all in. She thought how can a guy that looks so peacefull can do a horrific crime. He looked up and looked at her. Ashlyn was thinking that he might recognize her. She walked over to the table. “Do I know you” he asked “you don’t remember me, well you should. You left me motherless” she angrily replied. His face went all sympathetic. “Ashlyn” he said “It’s me” she replied. He kept on about how sorry he was on what he done. But Ashlyn didn’t want to know. After long pause she handed him the letter. Stood up “When you killed mam, you killed me too that day” Ashlyn angrily said and she walked off.

Rachel

Fresher’s Start

If I think back on the things I’ve seen, done or through I never thought I’d be here now.
Growing up in such a town with only small, stone town houses, with the slate glistering in all weathers. Only that one straight narrow, street which was barely breathing with business, and all uneven surroundings with hills. It might sound like someone’s perfect retirement spot butt it was frustrating to be in a lifeless town because it made me feel so lifeless. I never really had them people such as real friends my age to enjoy my life and live it up. Support of my family wasn’t really there either only had my grandparents. I had Tara who was a good friend but she was a lot older than me. Anyway I’m going off the story a bit, but the day I left my town was a fresh start for many reasons.
REASEHEATH COLLEGE! Well what can I say best three years of my life but not only for the good stuff but the bad things that happened as well.
When I stepped off the bus there was only fields some stood small and still others flowed like a small stream as the wind breezed through the barley crops. Then I took another step as the bus rushed off as if it was late for an appointment. There it was well not just only one but, 3, 4, 5 maybe 10 too many to count and not one looked the same. Tall, short, wide, narrow, white, brown, red and brick. It looked like a maze and I was an amazed.
I walked towards a smell of fumes, which have backfired, from the bus I could taste the fuel. The sound of the tractor dot further away while the laughing became louder, but I was afraid it was at my expense. The buildings got taller and more prettifying, or it was me getting smaller and feeling out of place. I knew I had to face it all or I wouldn’t ever get stronger and anyone let alone myself inside wouldn’t be proud. As I walked through the maze of colour and standing fixtures. I felt like I was walking in slow motion taking my entire surrounding in. trying to remember my path. White glass, wide but short buildings full of books. Then an old but looking like new as when it was built, with veins coming through the rough stone. Across from the mature building was a lake where the water looked like a soft blanket untouched. Behind the lake there it was my destination. Well only the beginning of my new route in life. So I walked up to the animal centre, didn’t look like I thought there was a white and red bricked building with green windowsills it looked out of place. Everywhere else around me was what looked like old barns falling down, abandoned but no that was my classroom. I looked around it started to look more like a safari park with animals roaming around their new surrounding for the first time. There were groups of monkeys, lions and some elephants and there was one kola bear that stood away from the crowds. Yes that was me I didn’t fit in with others, kept myself to myself, afraid to become someone’s prey or become someone’s predator. Then I heard a call, wasn’t a call from and of the animals I saw not even a call from me but the keepers of us all. The tutors were trying to get order from all of us. The noise soon got quiet. Names were called, we all moved one by one. Then my name got called. I walked over to the tutor she looked very friendly with her bright smile there was something about her smile feel warm inside which made relax in that very moment. When I was standing there waiting to go to my class room time seemed to be getting slower and slower yet the people around me started to get faster. It was a strange feeling it didn’t feel like it was possible; everyone knows time can’t go fast in one place but go slow in the same place. I was so happy to finally go in and sit down my knees were shaking enough from fear let alone holding my weight up. This is when I met my good friend Bex for the first time it wasn’t intentional we just got put in to a group. Holly my tutor called my name again I moved to the back of the class I was standing next to some really old dusty books. It was like the students here in the past never learnt anything from these it was that thick you could drawing a picture or even write your name with your finger on them. How did I know this yes Bex did it? When she was called to stand over by me. Bex was short skinny biggest smile I had ever seen and always giggling to herself a real happy friendly and bubbly person. So we got told what our year would consist of and then finally the tour of the animal centre I thought to myself I have already seen one Safi park today. We walked through these steel gates they were huge at least as tall as a house and they felt so cold and heavy. If I’m honest it felt like I was walking into a prison accept it was it was pretty on the eye, loads of bright colours and full of life. Soon as you walked through the gates these little bundles of joys bouncing around from tree to tree and rope to rope greeted you. And their tails just stood out like a zebra strip black and white. These lemurs where awesome and not frightened of us at all think some of us were more scared. If you looked to your left there was a big enclosure it was just like you was at a zoo trying to see a wild cat but he was hiding behind rock and bushes as if he was hiding ready to pounce of the fresh meat what was in front of him. There was loads of ducks and chickens scattered around the place. As you walk around you come to the aviary, there was birds of prey staring at you and giving you them eyes as if to say welcome but I’m the one in charge. Friendly look but stern. Then we walked past Henry didn’t even realize he was there we thought it was someone in the background taking but no it was Henry talking away to us as much as saying hi to us all. Just when I thought I saw it all I swear I was seeing things in the large field there was a giant guinea pig well I thought it was but it was a capybara. I was seriously thinking I was going insane or they fed a guinea pig way way waaaaaay to much food.

Carla

Nightmares Don’t Hold Back

The sound of a slight breeze was invisible to my ears, but not to my eyes, with the swaying grass and bushes and flowers. Candle light flickered shadows onto the ground, flowers and grass, dancing to their own ritualistic jubilee. I could hear the soft creaking of floor boards as I walked towards the polished door, like someone was tiptoeing around the silent house.

Around me was a neat garden, with green grass that would put the Queens garden to shame. In front of me was a 18th century house, large in size, and despite it’ design it looked brand new, with cream stone walls, and light brown window frames. Candle light is evident and the curtains don’t stop the warm glow, but despite it’s warmth, the cold stone walls brought no welcome, and the brand new feel of the building gave off the aura of hollowness, a hollow home for unsettled ghost’s.

My breath deepened as a cold shiver ran it’s way up my spine. It’s warm here, but I could see my breath freeze, strained swirls of grey, like death had left his cold aura in his wake. Something had infected the air of this once inhabitable place, a place which filled days laughter echoing it’s corridors, and filled hearts with heart felt welcome and love.

It’s cursed.

I wanted to turn and run but my feet only wished to move forward and I couldn’t stop it.

A huge groaning of wood and splinters awake the warm night air as I take a cautious step and reach for the jewelled door knob, the house was screaming in the night. The paint started to flake, dropping off its foundations, dying, falling to their death. Suddenly the once proudly polished and painted door, cracked in half, a lightning bolt crack, the life of the paint and polished dulled and chipped.

The cracked door swung open, halting the onslaught of noise and anguish, and at that exact moment, the candles, only source of comfort and warmth, blew out, and left me in the shadows of the haunted premises.

The moment of terror had past, I was terrified of the death trap in front of me, but my feet only halted for a half a minute, as if waiting for me to take everything in, before slowly shifting me forward towards my untimely doom.

The smell of damp and musty wallpaper hit me like a hammer hitting a nail and was just as sudden as the front door swinging open. The air was dry, like something had sucked the oxygen out of it. The dust, disturbed by my boot, flew into the air, as if to reach for whatever oxygen was left, as if fighting for their last breath.

The house groaned loudly with pain and effort, a delayed but violent reaction to the violent opening of the crumbling front door.

I took another step forward.
I wanted to turn and run back out, but I could only keep going, some sort of nagging thought moved me forward, a truth I needed to know, a secret that needed to be set free, could only be found in this house, and by me.

A scuttling noise and a darting shadow averted me. Scratching caught my attention to the open door way to my left….

Letter to a Friend
From One Vampire to Another

5th June 2013

Dear Natalia

It has been a long time since I have wrote to you and for this I am truly sorry and I must apologise.
I have found a place that I know would stir unwanted memories from their slumber if you were to visit me.
It is an old house, I’m not sure how old it is, but I am sure it would have been thriving around about the time I met you and Ed’.
I sit now in its highest point, a large bedroom, with royal blue carpets and simple wooden beds, about three of them, but there is also another mattress and bed frame under the bed nearest the toilet, which could easily be put up in this rather spacious room without getting in anyone’s way.
I have the window open. It has a design a lot like the windows of the house I was brought up in, which then I thought the glass panes and wooden squares were a cage. How naïve could I have been? To think I was caged into a horrible place and terrible home? How could I have been so wrong? I look at the window now instead of the beautiful sea view in front of me and pine for a home I can never go back too, or ever find again.
The sea view is something new, as you very well know the house I was brought up in was surrounded by fields and the nearest beach was at least a good five hours away by horse and carriage.
I am glad I can see it. This place is enough like home for me to miss it and to feel comfortable, but it’s different enough for me to feel content and not send me into a panic and dramatic episode, where I would be a complete nightmare for at least 3 days.
The breeze through the window is a comfort to me. I can smell the sea salt in the air.
It would be better if I could not hear the traffic, a constant drifting hum through the peaceful countryside and reassuring waves, you know how much I hate technology and vehicles.
It is a very unwelcome change, as well as this fire place beside me which looks like it’s come straight out of a distasteful 1940’s/50’s junk yard sale.
I am sorry my friend for my moaning.
I guess it’s my old age, or maybe I am just missing home and the 18th century, I miss you too.
Just to let you know that I am well as I ever will be, and that I hope to cross paths with you soon.

Yours Truly
Elizabeth

Madison