ArtsTalk Blog - Creative Works Intermediate Short Story 1st Place Winner

The South Simcoe Arts Council has been shining a spotlight on up and coming writers of all ages, in all genres through its Creative Works Writing Contest for six years.

We are excited to share the winners writings with you over the next few months.

Please enjoy this first instalment of our Creative Works Youth Writing Contest winners series featuring Intermediate Short Story - 1st Place Winner, Sasha Siska-Humphries.

Sasha decided to enter the Creative Works Contest because she thought it would be a great opportunity to refine her creative writing skills. She was inspired to write her short story, "The Darkness", by a dream she had the night before she decided to enter the contest.

This award is sponsored by Premier Contractors Ltd

The Darkness
by Sasha Siska-Humphries

Fire roared all around me. I had nowhere to go. I could feel my skin starting to burn and blister. I heard my parents. It hurt me to know that I was the one causing their deafening screams. Worst of all, I could taste the smoke. Flames started circling around me, it was like wolves hunting their prey. Then I fell. All I could see was black. It was cold and I felt numb.

I woke up in the middle of my backyard. I was confused because I didn't know how I got outside. I looked down at my legs. I could see my brittle skin peeling off my legs and falling on the soft, perfectly cut grass underneath me. For some reason my legs didn't hurt. I just felt numb everywhere. I stood up and I heard my parents screaming from what sounded like the front yard. I was glad to hear their voices and I was glad to know that they were safe. I didn't mean to set the house on fire, I just wanted to be put into the darkness and for once in my life feel something. Even if that meant dying for it.

I could hear the crackling of the fire, slowly but continually burning down my house. Then I heard someone running into the backyard. I could tell by the heavy boots, making loud thuds on the newly cut grass that it was a firefighter. I quickly jumped into our massive raspberry bushes that were planted before our family had moved into the house. I don't know why I hid from that firefighter, I just had this feeling inside of me that devoured me. I just didn't want to be found. I wanted to be gone, put into the darkness.

The firefighter quickly searched the backyard, and I saw the look on his face, the one that my parents always gave me, disappointment. Then I heard another firefighter shout from the front yard "James, have you found her?!" he shouted back "no" and ran back to the front yard, again ruining our newly cut grass.

I started slowly crawling to our front yard. I jumped behind our big willow trees so that I had my parents and my 7-year-old sister, Lilly in view. I could hear the firefighters talking to them, telling them that I was gone. I was confused. How could they say that without finding my body? When my parents heard the news they looked at each other and said nothing. I stared at them for hours, while they just stood there, they didn't even shed a tear. Were they in shock or did they just not care about me as much I thought that they did? I couldn't stand watching them for any longer so I quietly ran into our house.

I ran into my charred room and started sobbing, then the feeling devoured me again. I wanted to be in the darkness. As I started to cry I heard the broken door slam open, my parents ran into the house and started sobbing, they were screaming and kept calling my name. For the first time ever I actually felt something, I finally knew that someone cared for me and I wasn't alone. That internal feeling of wanting to be in the darkness stopped. I couldn't hide for any longer, I needed to let them know that I was still alive and was feeling happy for the first time.

I rushed out of my bedroom and into our scorched living room. I ran up to my parents, and said, "Mom, Dad, I'm alive, you don't need to cry anymore. I'm finally happy, and I love you guys so much!" But they didn't even look at me. I yelled again, louder this time "Mom, Dad, I love you guys!!" But they still didn't look at me. I was starting to get confused. I went right up to them and tried to hug them but I didn't grab onto anything, I just fell right through them. And that's when I realized that my wish did come true, I had finally reached the darkness.

Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for more short stories and poems from our winners