‘’ I am honoured to have won this competition, I didn’t expect to win! I am definitely considering writing a short story in Paper One of my Leaving Cert- this has really boosted my confidence!’’ -Thomas Coll, Fifth Year
‘’Thomas is a very focused and hardworking student. His natural talent for writing deserves to be recognised and praised- Well done Thomas’’ -Miss Doyle
The Decisive Moment…
By Thomas Coll
Boulderstown was a tired old town, as old as the giant boulder it was founded beside; which had now been reduced to dust. Paint had flaked like snow, and weeds dominated the drainpipes. At the end of a short cul de sac road lived Terry Kite.
Terry was a troubled young boy. His face was paler than the flaking paint of his house, and there was always something on his mind. His hair was thinning and split at the ends like shredded paper. The ten-year-old had no friends, but regularly turned to his conscience for entertainment. He was his own best friend, which did not bother him at all.
As with many aspects of his later life, Terry Kite struggled with school. There was a joke going around about him. It was so common in fact that it could be published as a nursery rhyme:
‘Terry Kite, O so white, Stands out like a star at night!’
‘Hey!’ It was Tom. A twelve-year-old boy from the older year. His brown eyes were sharp and he was quite tall for his age.
‘You’re that Kite kid aren’t ya?! Ha ha!’ sniggered Tom. There was no audible reply from Terry, who was standing in the middle of the dull road, with a football at his feet. Tom, seeing the ball, snatched it from Terry with impressive skill; he was the captain of the school football team.
‘Come on Terry,’ challenged Tom. ‘Just try and take it from me.’
After a moment of sheer silence, Terry whispered ‘fine…’ in one heavy breath. He approached Tom, one unsure step after another. At this point, Terry would have allowed the bully to keep it, providing he had the confidence.
When the young, pale-faced boy finally reached kicking distance of Tom, the sportsman dashed away. To Terry’s slow reflexes, he could have sworn Tom had teleported away, with the ball still at his feet. ‘Come on!’ screamed Tom at the top of his breaking voice. ‘Try a little harder and I might just enjoy myself.’ Seeing Tom taunting him with his football, Terry built up the courage to charge at him, in a pathetic wild rage.
A smirk formed on Tom’s thick face. ‘That’s more like it.’ In one lightning quick move, Tom parried the screaming child’s assault, and shoved him to the ground; a move that would be rewarded with a red card, had this been a football match. A soft ‘thud’ was heard as Terry’s feeble body made contact with the black tarmac. ‘You’re the only Kite that will never fly, remarked Tom. Before leaving, he walloped the ball as hard as he could. As he shuffled away, Tom seemed pleased with his performance.
Noticing that the bully had vanished, Terry rolled onto his back and gazed at the grey sky. Luckily for him the road was so unused that he could have slept there for the night. Terry sighed as the first drops of a heavy shower of rain hit his thin cheeks. ‘No…, he thought when he realised where his ball had landed. He stumbled to his small feet and made his way to the ‘creepy house’.
Next door to Terry stood the ‘creepy house’. A derelict wooden mansion with more rotting wood than a discount builder’s yard. The veranda was non-existent, and the stench of damp wood and dead flowers was overwhelming. The owner ironically was a carpenter, who had restored the dwelling to its former glory. He has been missing for five years now.
The garage, located to the right of the abandoned building was structurally sound. Made entirely of concrete blocks, its only weakness was the rusty iron shutter. Spooky. There was an air of death-tinged despair about the place. This was not a good experience for Terry. The only way onto the roof was up a black PVC pipe. Well, it looked black from a distance, but it was turning white with age and weakness, like stretched out chewing gum. In a world as small as Terry’s, the decision to climb up was a decisive moment in his life.
For once, his fear had given Terry the energy to get it over with. He approached the pipe. With a deep breath, Terry began his ascent; slowly but surely, and with calculated accuracy.
CRASH! Silence. It was as if time had stopped to allow the red river to flow freely from Terry’s shattered skull. Blu-Tac would have fixed that pipe to the wall better than the stumpy nails. The PVC pipe plummeted to the ground and shattered like glass. No birds flew away. No dogs were heard barking.
As the world grew dim through Terry’s dark eyes, he shook his head in agony. But it was only making things worse, as the wound become covered in cold moss from the colder concrete. He reached out. It seemed pointless. But to Terry Kite of Boulderstown, it was his final salute to the world. The only thing Terry’s best friend couldn’t do was call for help.