As part of their English Language A level studies, students explore both descriptive and narrative writing.

Students write a range of stories, from a variety of genres from romance to suspense and horror. Many students particularly enjoy the creative aspects of horror writing, students feel this allows them to play the most with the characters psychological profiles, and allows for vast character development.

The Haunting by Lana, Year 13

Slow breaths and quick steps. With bloodshot eyes and the impatience of someone that had everything to lose and seemingly nothing to gain he advanced on an x-ed out part of the stage. What had compelled him to return to this stage after so many years?

It wasn't the money that's for sure...after all, the only thing that this place could pay him was half a pint at best. And still, he found himself here, searching for that zest for life, that childlike wonder that seemed to be radiating like heat off people who were on an eternal search for meaning. He was one of them once, wasn’t he? That person seemed like an idea, like a passing thought, the kind which was brought front only momentarily before being engulfed back into the blank void of the mind. Maybe that’s what he hoped would greet him once he returned here, either an epiphany or complete surrenderance. Either would be better than the numbness he walked with.

Suddenly he was hit with the lights, not the glimmering pleasant kind, but rather the ones that blinded a deer before it was hit by a car. That’s what he felt like now as well, a blinded animal left for fate to toy with as she saw fit. He looked around the room now, scanning it slowly and taking in the adequate amount of people that sat at the bar and sprawled over dirty couches. He wished to be ignored, he wished to be forgettable.

He dragged his finger over the raspy textured front of the microphone and testingly muttered a few words into it.

He slowly put a plastered smile in place and cleared his throat.

“So ladies and gentleman are you ready for a laugh?” he paused unaffected by various sounds suddenly surrounding him “I thought so! Let’s start off with a joke about our lovely ladies” he could feel the attention turning to him, it was choking him.

“When can women make you a millionaire?” he asked the audience, not really expecting an answer “When you're a billionaire!”

Laughter erupted in the room and he started to feel a familiar sense of dread.

He knew he wasn’t funny.

He left the club, half himself and half a shadow. The city lights seemed unable to guide him. Darkness spread all around him, promising peace if he only allowed himself to let go. His steps were loud and bothersome to him, but he allowed the steady rhythm of his walk to take him away. Somewhere an eerie sound of organs started playing, signalling a time when even the heaviest of drinkers slowly started making their way home. He started turning towards his apartment, seeing a shadow reminiscent of a rat watching him from the opposite end of the street. It seemed like a messenger to him, someone that wasn’t here to warn him but rather remind him of his upcoming fate. Shivers running down his body, he rapidly fished the key out of his pocket and turned it clumsily allowing the smell of carnations to quickly fill his senses. His breathing became shallow and he found himself gasping for air, he started sweating and reaching the cupboard cabinets. Grabbing a container he filled his palms with white pellets. In them, he found the sun that never seemed to shine outside. He knew he was only supposed to take two but why would he stabilise his condition when he could completely lose his worries for a few hours. He gulped 5 of them dry and washed down 2 more, that should do it.

“You can avoid it as much as you want, but the undeniable truth is you’ll never really be funny,” the voice said.

“I know, oh god do I know” the comedian cried while tracing the shapes of wallpaper surrounding him, “I never wanted to be a fake I swear, but after I started I couldn’t stop”.

“They all see you for who you are, they’re not fooled” the voice boomed “they laugh out of pity”.

“I k-know, I know, I can’t pretend I don’t see it,” he sobbed out while looking at the wall, waiting for its next words.

“You can’t escape your skin, you are forever stuck being your pathetic self” the wall looked at him with its big all-seeing eyes, its mouth now tightening into a grin “But you can try”.

And the comedian did try.

He was found the next morning dead with a number of self-inflicted scratches all over his body but a strangely peaceful and content expression on his face.

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