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Today there was no cloud in sight. The sky was a painted a cerulean blue and the grass glistened with droplets in the sun. As you can imagine, A house that was falling apart would not match the sight. Holes had been eaten away by years of wear and tear in the roof, and wood panels were far from only beginning to waste away. As I opened the door slowly, an unearthly creak filled the bright day with a decomposing feel. Mice droppings scattered the floor, and packaged food was scattered everywhere. I sighed. Just another annual cleanup I guess then!
“Kids! Bernie!” I called.
All six kids and one enthusiastic looking husband piled into the worn down house waiting to be assigned jobs. After they were given, everyone split up to their areas including me. I grabbed a broom from the cupboard, And began to sweep another years worth of dust into a pile. I picked up a packet of biscuits, and another of rice, both ageing to at least ten years past their expiry. Rice spilled all over the floor as a result of a hungry mouse. Just as I turned to the bin, a black shadow caught the corner of my eye. I shook this off as being a mouse, regardless of the premonition of imminent danger that was coursing through my veins. I opened up a small cupboard to check for any more spoiled food when a slick black and orange snake with glassy eyes hissed in my face! I slammed the cupboard shut and screamed for the kids to get outside and get their father who was bringing things in from the car. He ran in, a sense of danger evident in his eyes I pointed to the cupboard with an unsteady finger
“S-s-snake! I t-think a t-tiger s-snake is…” I broke off, my voice shaking. His eyes widened, and he began walking to the door as he mumbled a
“ill be right back”. A couple seconds later, he was back with two shovels in his hands. He handed one to me.
“What on earth are we going to to with these?” I asked. He replied a simple
“just watch”. He asked me to step back and opened the cupboard with his shove from as far if a distance as possible- that was the the cupboard enclosing the snake. Then he said to me-
“quick hold it down!” All in a blur, my shovel was down onto the snake with a thud. Just for luck, I decided to give it one more satisfying whack before helping Bernie take it out to the river. Who knew what a day the bright blue sky could’ve held!

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As I look through the bars of my cage, all I can see is the despair and loss that I have been forced to endure. My orange fur has lost its shine and become dull and matted with blood.
It all began when I was with my daughter who had only been born a few months earlier. We heard a tortured screech of an friend in the distance and paused for a second too long. The humans were upon us in an instant, their faces obscured with hunger and desperation. My daughter held on for her life when they tried to take her, so they cut her hand off in one crazed swing. As the fury built up inside me, she screeched in a way that would break any normal creatures heart, but maybe humans don’t have hearts.
I used one of my long arms to swing myself onto the one who held my daughter, and hit anything I could as hard as possible. They lost interest in my daughter, and left her on the forest floor for the tigers or leopards - whichever got to her first. Diverting their attention to me, they shot me with a dart. When I woke up, the first thing I recognised was the musty smell that was filling my nostrils. I dragged myself to the bars of my cage, and lay my head against the edge. Everything had been taken away from me. At this thought I gently whimpered. My daughters fate, I never will know.


NOTES
The familiar way the the orang-utan thinks is written to express their similarities to humans. They are able to feel fear, anger and despair as it is displayed in the piece. In the end, the bars had her enclosed in a cage, but no crime had been committed. She was being forced to endure the same pain and punishment that a murderer would never have been punished with.

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My stomach lurched up to my throat, obviously not satisfied with its assigned place. I looked over the ledge, the ground looming beneath. My figure had cast a shadow on the ground, and I could almost see the fright in my movements. My silhouette seemed so far away! I decided I would move back a bit from the ledge, but a tingling sensation moved up from my legs, making me feel sick. I decided to change my focus to somewhere else. A bush with entwined branches was sprinkled with green leaves. It’s reflection was distorted but the river’s ripples. As I was thinking this, a leaf floated ever-so-softly to the ground. I looked up, and a current of fear rippled through my body once again. I mean, if I fell off this one meter high ledge, I could get a graze! I think I really need to do something about my fear of heights!

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The wind whipped around the corner, moaning and warning me that he was coming. I ran down the shadowy alleyway screaming in terror as I felt the force of his wind lashing at the skin on my back. Black tendrils of smoke began to form a black silhouette of a figure in front of my eyes.
“There’s no more running from here,” he rolled the words around in his mouth and then spat them out in his foreign accent.
“I-I…” I broke off as a force gripped my neck, him creating the hallucination of nails digging into my flesh.
“Please listen! I can repay you!” I tried to gasp in air as the grip tightened around my neck.
“One. More. Chance.” He spat through his accent.
The force pulled down from my neck and I inhaled frantically, the air not coming back. I held my throat as it burned for air and collapsed on the ground onto my knees.
Falling… The black swallowed me whole as my eyes rolled back into my head…
I gasped as I awoke, lying face down on my pillow. It must’ve been stopping me from breathing while I was asleep. I slumped into my bed and wiped a droplet from my sweat glazed face. The dream had seemed so vivid … The feeling that had gripped my body had created an illusion of such terror that no dream could create. As these thoughts crossed my mind, a faint swishing noise came from my window. I looked out, noticing the mist pouring through the small crack that the window was opened to. I felt something grab me from behind, the echo of my piercing scream the last evidence of my remains.

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As the dingo gazes out where rusty red plains used to lie,a depression fills his heart. the desecration of the land is unfathomable and towering buildings are encroaching the land. As he stares out to where the buildings are, an ache of the past tugs at his heart as he recalls the loss of the bygone.

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Like a patch of the fallen summer sky,
It is as calm as if it is made of glass,
Like an endless expanse of wonder,
The imaginings it creates are so vast!

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Stole the words out of my mouth. The way I tell a good book from an average one is when the book has been read long ago, but I still find myself fantasising about the world I once travelled to.

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I feel like a ray of sunshine,
Piercing through the clouds,
I feel like no more I am endowed,
To the ties of misery,
That were holding me abound,
Finally, I break through,
And instead of being grey,
Now the sky’s a cerulean blue,
Today will be better than yesterday!

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I lay a hand on the steady ocean and felt its thrumming heart beat with life. The morning sun reflected on the calm ocean, adding a shade of rose pink to the vast expanse of blue water. I gasped a breath of air and broke the surface of the glittering blue glass.
The cold water crawled up my arms and legs, sending a familiar shiver down my body. Suddenly, I caught sight of a glittering rose pearl. My mouth curved up into a smile as I dove down to lodge it from the months of sea debris and sand that had it trapped.
As it popped out, a looming dark shadow blocked out the sun above me. I slowly turned acutely aware I was running out of breath. My throat tightened and released a scream as a set of blood-stained teeth a beady black eyes blocked my vision. My throat was aching from lack of air, and black spots were blocking my vision. I kicked my legs furiously, but found myself being wrenched back into darkness. I knew this was the end, but I pushed that thought to the back of my mind. Instead, I replaced it with an image of my son Joseph and wife Dora. “I love you.” I whispered, but it was drowned down by the oceans clutch. Only the shadows heard those last words, never to be uttered to another soul.

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Michelle Cooper

For all those other aspiring young authors out there, this website has some great links!