Writer's Blog: Issue 4
This week we have another fantastic example of a dual narrative created by Year 11 student Chanel Balaza earlier this year. I really like the way that dancing is used as a motif for friendship throughout both halves of this narrative.
- Mrs McCarthy
#dualnarrative #perspectives #Year11 #greatwriting
Dancing After Death
All night I kept hearing strange noises, as if someone were walking on the roof and banging on the walls. We moved all the way from Germany into this old furnished mansion on Saturday. It has long halls and walls decorated top to bottom with ancient paintings and rusted mirrors. The lounges are silky, and the dining sets and cabinets are made of polished wood. Mother said this was built in the 1920s and owned by a rich British family. No one has been here since the 1940s.
The noises kept getting louder. I was sick of the racket keeping me awake. So, I lit a candle that was sitting on my bedside, it did not seem to be lit for ages. I then got up from bed and set off to put a stop to this madness. I could not see anyone. Everyone was asleep. Maybe it was just wind? Or maybe a ghost?
I ventured into the lounge room and saw things moving on their own. The vases on the coffee table were knocked over, and the pictures on the mantel fell to the ground, smashing all over the red carpet. That was no wind.
One of the pictures from the mantel had shattered on the ground. It was of a lovely family. A mother, father, and son. I flipped the photo around and saw Mrs. Amelia Campbell, Mr. Felix Campbell, and Peter Campbell, and the year ‘1941’ written in faded ink.
I pointed to the picture, looking up and asked, “Is this you?” praying for a response.
“Yes.” He spoke. A ghost! “I died when I was young.”
“You look handsome,” I complimented him, nervously, though I could not see him.
“Thank you,” He replied, softly spoken. His tone was sad.
I did not know what to say. I felt sorrowful, though fascinated by this rare encounter.
I started exploring around the antiquated room and spotted an old machine with a massive horn on the side. There was something that looked like a giant CD from the olden times on top. A record, I think. I flicked a switch and the record started spinning. Muffled music started coming out of the horn like component.
The music sound so different, which made me laugh. I held out my hands, yelling, “Let’s dance!” I hoped Peter would join and take mine. Though I could not feel anything but a friendly presence, I danced anyway. I was the happiest I had ever been. I think I made a new friend.
I have been here for over ninety years, if you count the eleven years I was alive for. Eighty years alone. That was until a family moved into my family manor. They were German, I could tell by their accents. My father told me years ago why the Germans were such wicked people, and why we went to war. Their mere presence made me feel infuriated, but also fearful. I wanted them gone. Far away from my home. They did not belong here.
Among them was a little girl, her name was Bonnie. I thought if I could scare her, I could force them to leave. While she was walking around the lounge room one night, with my childhood candle as light, I decided it was time. I pushed over the porcelain vases on the coffee table, knocking out the expired water and dried roses. I threw the pictures from the mantle onto the ground. I regretted that, as one of the frames smashed. The girl picked up the broken frame. It was an old picture of my family. Just the sight of it made me choke up. I missed them so much.
After looking at the photo for some time, she flipped it over and read the back, with all our names and the year 1941. She looked up into nothing, as if looking for someone, and asked if it was me. I replied, telling her I died young. She seemed downhearted but continued to call me handsome. I had not spoken to anyone in so long. Such a simple, small compliment had made me feel so warm and cared for. A feeling I almost forgot.
We went silent after that. The girl started looking around the room, like she lost something, though she seemed determined to find whatever she was searching for. She went over to my mother’s old record player and started playing a song I had not heard in decades, sparking so many heartfelt memories. She looked up and asked me to dance, holding out her arms. I held her small hands, though I doubt she felt mine. For the first time in what felt like forever, long after death, I felt alive dancing with her. Maybe, despite our differences, we could be friends after all.