‘Stained Wall’ by Yamid Hossain, year 11

It was a police state. Guards patrolled every corner of the country. The world had turned bleak for the denizens of this nightmarish wasteland of a nation; there was no escape. The haggard, dreary carpenter walked through the street. He was wearied from his laborious day of cutting giant mahogany planks for gilded stairs that are to be installed in the president’s place of residence. How he hated the president. Ever since he was ‘elected’ the nation had turned into one giant shanty town. Everyone was constantly hungry and terrified.

The carpenter did work for the president, thus he was allowed a meagre income however it was not enough to feed his family. Prices were too high to justify – the economy had gone bust paying for the new president’s expenses. Anyone who complained about this was taken away –no one knows where. What happens to them alludes even the highest ranking of officials in the ministry.

There was a group of rebels that opposed the regime. This group was prolific in that they were known for their constant vandalism. The carpenter had reached the city centre. This area had gold lined statues dotted around the streets that it consisted of. There was a giant, golden wall, beset with ebony spikes on the top, beset with various jewels. How he hated the president.

This was the building that the carpenter was building stairs for. It was a grandiose affair, a giant stucco-white edifice. It towered over the rest of the buildings and made the carpenter’s own home seem miserable in comparison. A sense of rage boiled over him, like a large wave on a seafront. This deluge of anger resulted in many murderous thoughts within him. For how long have the people of this nation suffered at the hands of the incompetent bourgeoisie? How long have people suffered so that the powerful can live like this. The house could easily house twenty families. The stairs he was working on were 12 metres wide. People could sleep on them.

The carpenter dropped his satchel and pulled out a spray bottle. “Wood stain: Dark” was written on the metal can. Though it was an aluminium affair he could feel it warming up from the wrath that he felt towards the president. He then slowly sprayed on the wall. After about 10 minutes, he stopped. His message was on the wall.

“Death to the President”, his message said. The letters were a deep maroon and there were droplets of wood stain slowly streaking down the wall – extra damage. Was this justified? Many thoughts raced through the head of the carpenter. He was a good man and would never wish death upon anyone. The president was a morally bankrupt individual who did not give a damn about his citizens but to wish death upon him.

As the carpenter thought, his hands were bound behind his back by a shadowy figure and a steel gun barrel was pointed at his head. He was now a rebel.