Lady on edge

By Claudia Schreuder. Claudia, 12, is a student at St Francis’ College, Letchworth Garden City, UK. Please read her entry and leave your comments below. (*Shortlisted for the 2018 prize!)

I was contemplating why this was happening, why it had to be me! I was confused. I couldn’t stop the abysmal thoughts whirling around in my head…I was too weak.

My eyes scanned the fog that blanketed the lake district mountains and then down to where light mist clung over the valleys like a limpet to a rock, it would not clear. Neither would my mind, no matter how much I breathed in the freshest of air, nor how much my family had begged me, my mind would not clear.

Would this be my end?

The famous writer lying unmoving, untouched, at the bottom of the Lemar Cliff, dead.

I wasn’t sure.

I was scared.

The wretched thought of dying caused my stomach to jostle and turn but my life was unpleasant and I knew I couldn’t go back to it, I had a one way ticket out of hell. And that was to die.

I looked down at the ground, the moss and green grass now moistened by my saturated tears. The intricate cracks like the veins running through my own skin. I took a step forward. I was going to do this, my legs began to quake until I fell to my knees, curled into a ball and I started wailing.

Why? Why did God have to make my life a misery?

I dug my hands into the soil and something overcame me like an animal was trying to split my skin open and escape. I started squirming. I clutched my chest and felt for my heart but I couldn’t feel its gradually quickening beating.

I gasped and tried to speak but only silent air came out. I tried to scream again but nothing came out. I was trapped. I started kicking, trying to inhale some oxygen but I soon grew tired and my stick- like legs stopped. As is starving myself wasn’t enough, God wanted to punish and mock me some more.

I lay there motionless, my eyes transfixed on the fog.

Goodbye cruel world, I thought, as I took my final breath before everything turned pitch black.

69 comments on “Lady on edge

  1. Fiona Schreuder on

    It isn’t often your child leaves you speechless. Claudia asked for help typing this story up and entering the competition and this story blew me away. It is short and succinct and I had no idea my 12 year old could write about emotions, such as those displayed by the narrator, so eloquently.

  2. Helen on

    Wow! Left me completely intrigued! I would love to know more – what happened before and what will happen next?! Please do continue wiriting this inticit story!!!!

  3. Kim on

    Emotive and gripping narrative, and thought-provoking prose, well done Claudia! Your story is very impressive, and we want to read more!

  4. Fred Schreuder on

    Intense and thought provoking – I had no idea my 12 year old daughter could write such dark and gripping words. Very proud and just a little bit intimidated!

  5. Jude on

    Impressive, I have been teaching for 20 years and this is indeed a high quality piece of writing. Sending much encouragement to Claudia to keep on producing writing of such high quality.

  6. Rachel Bennett on

    As a teacher of 15 years, it is an incredible pleasure (and a rarity) to read work like this from such a young student. Such a mature concept explored so sensitively is very hard to achieve and this work is fantastic. The vocabulary, structure and precision within the writing is astounding. A great talent and I would love to read more. Well done to Claudia!

  7. Gill on

    I’m in, I want to know more. Such descriptive writing from Claudia – Congratulations. In so few words Claudia has created a very compelling scene and drawn the reader right in to her story. Keep using your talent Claudia.

  8. Nicola Channell on

    Wow!! Incredibly advanced writing for her age! Such a vivid imagination. Well done Claudia – this is fantastic! Keep writing and sharing!

  9. Rachel Coe on

    Such a wonderfully descriptive piece so beautifully written it had me absorbed & wanting more…good luck with the competition and keep up the good work!!

  10. Harry on

    The story is very gripping! Being in sixth form, this is certainly better than anything I could have written! Very well done.

  11. Noelette Hall on

    What an amazing gift you have Claudia. You show such xsensitivity and maturity way above your age.
    I look forward to reading the beginning g and the end of your story because I am sure some one will send this to a publisher.

  12. Erica Newby on

    Wow Claudia, I was hooked until the very end. I reckon even my teenage boys will read this and enjoy it! Well done, I hope you win.

  13. Jarvis Hayman on

    This story shows an imagination and command of the English language consistent with an intelligence and maturity much older than a 12 year old. Well done Claudia, keep writing and keep developing it.

  14. Hannah Schlote on

    Such an amazing story for such a young age!! The story grabbed my attention and impressively used complex words and sentences. Well done!!!

  15. Susie May on

    Well done and good luck! People too easily forget what was going on in their head when they were 12. Keep it up and dont let your age be a barrier to your talent!

  16. Lisa Plummer on

    Fantastic. Gripped from the start.
    I struggled to believe a 12 year old had the words and vision to tell the story she did and how beautifully and eloquently.
    Words that often are not used frequently enough in day to day English – this young lady has a wise head upon her shoulders.
    Well done for putting pen to paper. Keep up the excellent work.

  17. Nicole Bradshaw on

    It’s difficult to believe that the writer is only 12. I look forward to reading more from her in the future as a published author.

  18. Melissa lewis on

    Woah that was an intense read, Amazing Claudia. You should definitely keep writing, finish the book for us all we’d love to read it.
    Well done and good luck

  19. Jenny Jones on

    Wow Claudia! An amazing piece of writing.
    Very impressive use of language to build emotion and tension, it prompts the reader to want to know more… The perfect formula for a budding young novelist.
    When’s the next extract?? I would definitely read on.
    Keep it up Claudia as you obviously have a great talent!

  20. Annabel on

    Gripping from the beginning to the end. I want to know the whole story. Awesome insight and awareness. Your writing is very powerful Claudia can not wait to see more of it.

  21. Caroline Greenway on

    Wow Fiona that’s amazing! Go Claudia, I look forward to reading more in the future. 12!! I definitely wasn’t writing like this even for my GCSEs, pretty sure I still couldn’t now!

  22. Alison Webb on

    Claudia this is an amazing piece of writing. I’m desperate to know how it ends. Please write the whole story. Gripping and powerful. Well done.

  23. Anita Neal on

    Such an amazing piece of work. If I didn’t know how old Claudia was I would have thought this was written by an adult.

  24. Sam Scott on

    Amazing piece for a child of 12! So lovely to see so much encouragement as well. Well done young lady, keep up your passion for writing and you’ll go far. 😊

  25. Michelle Atherton on

    Wow, just wow…..I’m blown away by this……it’s amazing for a girl of Claudia’s age to have such in-depth feelings of what this lady is going through…..well done. I can’t wait to read about what has brought this lady to this place and is this the end? What is the aftermath of her actions and the effects on others…..a book in the making can’t wait to read it.

  26. Dorothy on

    An impressive piece of writing for her age demonstrating creativity and a skilful presentation .Claudia has a mature vocabulary and shows great potential, I wish her well .

  27. Dawn McCarthy Dyson on

    Amazing writing, allows you to completely submerge into the story and lose yourself in the rich vocabulary bringing the story to life so vividly.

  28. Katrina Norman on

    Fabulous opening paragraph that hooks the reader. It is a thought provoking story full of intrigue. Well done Claudia and good luck.

  29. Eira Bagenal on

    Dear Claudia- what an powerful piece of writing! The setting is evocative, the tension real and gripping, the language vivid and well-chosen. I was pulled instantly into the story and not released until the final word. I really enjoyed reading this and hope to read more of your writing in the future!

    And Congratulations on getting shortlisted!!!


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