‘Rabbit Foot’ by Isabel Sanchez, Kingsdale Foundation School

Our story begins with a man and a rabbit’s foot. Outside, birds twitter in glorious harmony as the sun shines down on a picturesque and bustling city. Yet amidst this idealistic environment there is a troglodytic creature barely noticeable residing in a gloomy apartment. The closed curtains betray just a glimpse of the cowering silhouette.

However, he is in a perpetual state of invisibility to the outside world. A social recluse, this John Doe has been staring at the same 4 walls of this apartment for 20 years. If you asked his neighbors “Say who is that peculiar figure in the window of Flat 27?” they would have no more of an idea  of the figure’s identity than the person asking the question. Yet the man himself was, unbeknownst to his blissfully oblivious neighbors, in absolute certainty that Friday the 13th was the end of the world.

The mysterious man was the epitome of peculiar – at least that was what you and I would believe on our first encounter with him. As a this moment, Philip Pickering was rocking back and forth, frantically rubbing a half disintegrated rabbit’s foot. He was enveloped in monotonous grey walls barely discernible amongst the gloomy shadows of a squalid apartment. All that could be heard in this bubble of paranoiac anxiety was the faint buzz of the tv reporting a  heinous and grisly crime, one of those tragic happenings often seen in the news.  A bomb exploded on the screen, obliterating the nearby buildings. Philip screamed. Not a pitiful scream of panic, or even one of terror, but a guttural ear-splitting shriek of complete and utter frustration.

The world would be soon gone. The writing was on the wall. Mirrors had shattered, black cats roamed free. Humans, so ignorant in their carefree ways of life would soon be gone. Yet Philip found some comfort in this fact; to never have to worry again about all he did not know would be a welcome future, finding peace in a life free from superstition. Philip mused these thoughts in the quiet confines of his apartment.

With cautious steps, he opened his door  and peered into the outside world. A sort of pity came over him for these unsuspecting lives, yet the truth was inevitable, the signs had been everywhere. He closed his eyes, his frail legs giving way as his knees buckled beneath him in quiet defeat. He waited for the end to come. He waited…waited…and waited some more. A small, wrinkly old man curled up with his eyes tightly shut, dismissed by passers by.

The world did not end. Life carried on. But alas Philip never did escape his fear of the unknown, never reached the peaceful acceptance most humans reach as they realise they have no control of the world. He would be forever waiting and worrying, stuck in the same place he always was. And life would pass him by.