‘The Writing on the Wall’ by Izzy Hamer, year 10, Crompton House C of E School

Many streets I have walked all seeming leading back here to this place of terror. The air is electric, fizzing with pain. If you close your eyes, you can hear the screams of the fallen carried on the wind. It whips around me, warning of what’s ahead; the tyrannical monster leaching life’s colours, stealing the children’s laughter. I’ve traced this scar upon the earth, seen it grow through the seasons from the thawing of the ice to the falling of the blossoms.

In the beginning, when its reign had not long begun, the grass grew tall, their long spindly shadows snaking up the blank canvas, a miniature army. Our first line of defence against tyranny, ready to lay down their lives for us.

What did we do to deserve such loyalties?

Back then, we were all too scared to join them; we thought it best to stay back. After all, what could we do against their power? We were naive and so very wrong. We thought we were safe; the power of nature on our side. The armies of grass their reinforcements strong on the horizon. In those days, the sun shone brightly, circling with relentless vigilance. Casting dazzling colours across the sky, brilliant corals and deep indigos. But its playful nature was no match for the darkness that grew below.

In the months that followed, the wind grew wickedly cold, sending flurries of ice to quell the green-bladed armies, and the boundless summer days were cut short, sapping the light from the world.

And with it, our hope.

The darkness seeped in poising minds, turning hearts black, stripping people bare. Dividing us, whispering lies in our ears, till neighbour turned on neighbour, taking us down from the inside out. It had been years since we’d seen a smile or heard a laugh, we were dead to the world. This is the world I grew up in a hostile place always taught to fear the wall and what sat beyond.

But colour has been brought back one stroke at a time our vows are wrote in blood upon the walls; we have risen above and we refuse to be silenced again. All these streets I’ve walked through time, all leading to here to now in front of this mural surrounded by a sea of faces this is our power the writing upon this wall our wall tells of our history tells of our courage together we are strong ready to re-join the world.

‘Three, Two, One.’, Crash!

Beams of light breaks through the dust that now sits heavy in the air piles of rubble bow at my feet. Once one had fallen, the others came down in fast succession, revealing the sprawling fields beyond. Upon the horizon sat an orchard, each tree bountiful with deep blood red apples that glittered in the daylight. The sun shone from behind, haloing the orchard in a golden bath of sunlight. This was our new life in all its glory.