‘The Intruder’ by Mirkó Benes, age 15, Year 10, Fallibroome Academy, Macclesfield

Staring at the sun rising slowly over the horizon, I sit in my island of serenity, as if I
were alone. I watch its rays bathe the city in a golden glow as a cool breeze wanders
playfully around the verdant park, carrying the sweet smell of roses to my nose. The
memories rush to my head: visiting my grandma’s house, playing with my cousins in
her garden, the single red rose she treasured like a child. All gone. I snap back to
reality, forcing myself to stand up. The sun is fully risen, and I must leave the isolated
park and confront the city.

As I walk down the path, past the flowerbeds and hedges, office blocks loom over me
like guardians, closing off the whole city from me. Once out of the park’s shelter, I am
bombarded by a hurricane of sounds: the cacophony of voices all shouting, trying to
be heard above the rumble of the cars that fill the street, and the futile honking they
think will bring them closer to their goal. I am bombarded by the pungent stench of
refuse, and I can smell petrol as a cloud of smoke rises up from the crowd of cars.

Suddenly, a tall man with a rough face pushes me aside as I try to recover from the
assault on my senses. He shouts some words in a language I can barely understand,
but I mutter an apology and press on. I have places I need to be. Weaving my way
through the crowd, I glance up once again at the towering offices. They are still there,
watching my every move. As I continue my trek, I see a gang of people gathered in a
front garden.

“What are you doing here?”, they shout.

“Go back where you came from!”

I continue my march through the crowd, hurrying to escape the never-ending surge
of people, longing for the light at the end of the tunnel. Nearly at my destination, I
have left behind the uncaring office blocks, now surrounded by meagre shops and
flats slumped on top of one another in a heap of poverty. Alone, a lonely beggar sits
in the doorway to an abandoned building, waiting for someone to help him. But I
have no change to spare, no help to give, and I must carry on.

Finally! I have reached the building I have been marching to for the whole morning.
Excitedly, I rush to the door, and I am about to push it open when I notice a piece of
paper pinned to it. I pull it off the door to get a closer look. The text is slightly faded,
but I can make out the notice:


After putting the paper back on the door, I look up at the midday sun, shining
brilliantly with hope. Slowly, a dark grey cloud covers it, leaving me in the dark,