‘Inner Voices’ by Boaz, Year 9, Soham Village College

A man hurried down a crowded thoroughfare, navigating the ocean of scrambling, screaming,swarming people. A
sharp black suit cutting through the masses like a shark fin in crowded waters, not concerned with the smaller,
panicked fish that swarmed by. He stopped at the crossroads. By the road, a little boy was crying. Of course.
Everyone was in some state of distress. Even the man looked harried, brows knotted permanently above his
eyes. Wet streaks framed a haggard face. He glanced at the child. Poor little mite, he thought.
He is irritating, though, a voice whispered back. The man froze. Did he just think that? He couldn’t have. He
shook his head, and almost made to walk off, follow the crowd, run, but the voice came back. You should do
something about that boy. The man nodded, tattered tie flapping in the chill wind, torn from when he had been
running from —
No. Don’t think about it.
That boy is pathetic. The man started again. What? No! No one cares about him. And he is so loud. But he’s just
a child. What was he thinking? A pressure started building behind his eyes. He looked around. Who was saying
these things? That boy thinks it’s all about him! Why doesn’t he shut up? No! The man stumbled, nearly falling
into the crowd that surged, wavelike, around him. Why don’t you make him? What? He beat his fist against his
head. What was happening? He would never— Really, you’re doing him a favour. You’re helping him to end his
miserable existence. He couldn’t! No, he wouldn’t do it! But as he protested, the pressure in his head grew,
smothering his thoughts. A whining noise built up in his ears. Do it. Do it, the Voice chanted. He couldn’t. A child.
No, he was not—
The pressure behind his eyes balloon out, exerting a crushing force on his cranium. Go on. Do it, the Voice was
shrieking now, lancing through his brain with overwhelming urgency. The man clapped his hands to his ears. He
could feel something wet. His hands came away red. “I’m-not-listening!” he shouted aloud. The crowd around him
scurried away from the man stumbling and mumbling to himself, terrified. Was he one of them?
DO. IT! The Voice drilled through his brain. The man felt like his head had been filled by pumping acid in through
his ears.
He would do anything to stop the pain. Anything? Anything. Then do it, The Voice said, now hardly above a
whisper, yet still echoing through his mind. The man supposed it wouldn’t hurt to do a little thing…
The crowd around surged away from the crossroads, screaming all the louder, as they saw a man with bloodshot
eyes and velvet red liquid on his ears lunge at a small child, tackling him to the floor. Then they were lost.
Drowned in the crowd, the silence was more chilling than all the wailing that had flowed through the crowd since
it started.