Intermediate

Highly Commended

Danger, Disease, Death

By Melissa Wilson, aged 13

I run, not looking behind; I keep going but all I can hear is my breath beating out of time.

“Stop!” someone shouts not far behind. The adrenaline is not the only thing keeping me going; it is the pain and suffering these people have caused me. The goodbyes they made me say. I start taking in the scene, the trees that make me swerve and spin. The tree roots coming up from the ground like snakes tripping me; I fall into a sea of darkness, and it swallows me whole.

I awake with a jolt. My metal leg connected to wires, my malfunctioning arms feel stiff.

“You are safe now,” a reassuring male voice booms from the shadows, bouncing off the walls.

“How can I trust you?” I ask.

“You don’t really have a choice but in time I will earn your trust” he says, stepping from the shadows, he can’t be much older than me; he’s about 19 with midnight hair.

“Why would you help me? I’m a metal monster,” I cry spitefully.

“Because you need to be cured of your disease, it’s spreading.”

“I’m not diseased, you creep, and I’m certainly not contagious,” I lie unconvincingly.

“Everything you just told me is a complete and utter lie. Now tell me the truth and we might both live.”

“What do you mean?” I say, not hoping to find the answer.

“You know you’re ill and I can catch it and so can a lot of others, we will die if we do.”

All of a sudden a burst of pain travels up my leg, through both my arms and into my tightening chest. I scream, uncontrollably.

“I’m here, I’ll help you to forget the pain.” He grabs me and injects me with an emerald liquid. The pain fades away.

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