Ardgillan Class in Transition Year all wrote short fiction pieces for an anthology of writing as part of their English Transition Year ‘Short Story’ Module. During the module the students read work by Guy de Maupassant, Arthur Conan Doyle, James Joyce, Frank O’Connor, Yiyun Li, Claire Keegan and Zadie Smith. They were encouraged to see how each character in the story they read changed over the course of the tale; to see a truth about humanity in each piece; to learn something about how life, their own lives, contain many moments in which small changes occur. I am both proud, and delighted to see each student has brought forward their learning from their study of the short story to create a unique, imaginative piece. Each story in this collection is a brilliant insight into the world and minds of teenagers living in 2016. The stories were written anonymously in order to give the students the freedom needed to express themselves as they saw fit. It is this freedom of expression, and courageous honesty in the writing which, I feel, will impress readers most.
Here is an except from the anthology. It is a piece by Georgia Murphy.
‘Normal’ people have a dominant, stronger voice. So what happens when the mind does not have a dominant voice? Hundreds of feeble voices share the brain like ants to an apple and the result of this is a person that we define as a “schizophrenic”.
We leave the psychiatric ward and continue to head down the white hall. It wasn’t the kind of white that springs to mind when you think of a pure afterlife or angels, but the kind that reflects sun light and has absorbed the screams and prayers of past patients. I look up, straight past the common room in which the other “crazy” people mingle. My eyes beam to the door. I see my two beautiful children standing there, with their wide eyes that resembled smouldering chest nuts, like amber gemstones when the sun hits them just right.
It’s been a year since the incident; the thought of it is a blood-curding scream of anguish that has broken my soul. There are no words to describe the sorrow that overcomes my mind, almost as though I am mourning in a language I’ve never learned before. I do not believe it was me that took their lives, it just happened to be the body in which my soul is trapped.
I ask myself how? and where does one come across a sea that is not filled with water but with sadness and grief? Time is a thief and I am but a result of my ghostly past, these waves of guilt have eroded me to nothingness and I stand here at the end of the hall awaiting corpses stuffed with life to pass through the door. I am the soul that death forgot and the heart that love broke.
Despair is a friend of mine that I’ve grown to be fond of. I Watch the endless passage of day and night and wait for my time to return.