‘The Walls’ by Finley Denton, age 17, year 11, Westcliff Highschool for Boys

The television, which had been placed directly in the centre of my living room, was the source of all I knew about anything. Now, it was playing a news broadcast.

“The grand walls which shield us from the villains of the north have been defaced,“ said the reporter, with a stern countenance, “this was an attack on our liberty and our rights by the terrorists of the north, our police force have concluded.”

My brother’s face grimaced as he heard her. Understandably, of course, being victims of such a harrowing attack would be unthinkable. ‘Wake up. Be free.’ was scrawled over the wall in crimson red graffiti. Clearly propaganda from the north, their spies had clearly infiltrated our country. Just the thought of their arrogance infuriated me, and my brow furrowed; can’t they comprehend our belief and freedom?

“The trio criminals that carried out this politically-driven assault have already been captures and executed by the heroic officers of our police force,” the reporter continued.

Images of the three young men appeared on the screen. My brother’s face became sullen. It felt strange to be looking at people who had been killed just a few hours prior, these photos captured their final day. Yet, I was thankful that we had been protected from these malevolent actors. One of these men looked oddly familiar. Indeed, it was our neighbour, who my brother had been talking to just yesterday; finding out that these damned spies were crawling in my own neighbourhood made my hands numb and my face cold.

“In order to protect our freedom, our government will increase efforts to install surveillance across the country, in order to prevent any future terrorist attacks. We thank them for everything that they provide for us. Glory to our leader,” the reported announced, finally ending the broadcast.

The devastating news had clearly struck something within my brother, still staring aghast at the now blank television screen, his mouth just gently open in shock. That was the last I thought about the attack that day. The news was an endless cycle of the disgusting actions of the north. I went to sleep thankful for the safety provided to us by the walls and our leader.



I awakened to clattering and scraping downstairs. My eyes were only slightly open, the grasp of sleep still clung to my muscles. There he was. My brother’s body lying on the floor, his mouth just gently open, all strength in his muscles had left him. His lifeless, pale face stared at the wall, his dull eyes had no spark of life behind them. The carpet which was now his deathbed was stained in his crimson red blood, all from a slash in his neck.

Sleep still had its grip on me, and I had failed to notice a police officer standing right before me.

“He had ties to those criminals we caught yesterday. ‘Freedom fighters’ they called themselves. Idiots if you asked me,”      grunted the officer, “we had to put down their audacity one way or another, they’re a threat to the peace. I’m going to have to deal with you too, you’re too dangerous to the state to be kept alive.”