Andrecia, a 17-year-old student at the Antigua State College who wrote “I enjoy writing stories”, says of her 2017 Challenge submission: “Strange is the story about a teenage guy who had a dream that he was taken back in time to the Caribbean during the19th century and also contemporary 21st century Caribbean. He discovers that although the times has changed. There is one thing that remains the same.”
In the 2017 Wadadli Pen Annual Writing Challenge, the judges ranked Andrecia’s story 3rd (tie) in the 13 to 17 age category.
The thunder clanged violently, as the rain beat in a mad fury against the rooftops. The wind howled outside, singing an eerie bewitching tune. I stared, mesmerized at the incomprehensible words on the pages in the book that I held tightly in my hands. With each page I turned, I became more enraptured as the words seemed to swirl and dance before my eyes. In the distance, I could hear a monotone voice, but the muffled words made no sense to me. A blanket of darkness suddenly washed over me, and it was as if all of a sudden I was being carried far away, to a distant foreign land.
The darkness that had so suddenly engulfed me lifted. After taking two deep, shaky breaths, I opened my eyes, clueless as to my whereabouts. Suddenly, a loud cheer erupted, around me stood over 400 persons decked in the finest clothing. The women, adorned in bright morning silk dresses and lovely lace parasols and hats of the finest quality. The men were clad in breeches and silk waistcoats of unquestionable sophistication. All eyes glued to the horror movie unravelling before their cold, cruel, unfeeling eyes. The weather was nice and warm and it was an exceptionally lovely day, but such was insignificant. All that was to be focused upon was the body, jerking and trembling at the end of a rope tightly fastened around his neck. The flailing of limbs and the agonized expression, the urine that dripped from those stockinged feet. I stared in horror, aghast at what I was witnessing. My body began to tremble uncontrollably, and my blood ran cold, as I stared continuously and unwaveringly, mouth agape. When I finally somehow returned to reality, I heard them chanting and chanting and chanting. “This was an outward demonstration of the consequences of his vice, the minimum necessary to appease God, before whom he was an abomination!” over and over again, as if reciting a psalm drilled into them since birth. With that being said, I ran as if the chariots and horses of Roman soldiers were after me. My feet sped down the dusty street. I was running and running, not knowing where I was going, or even if I was going anywhere at all. I felt myself fading away, losing touch with my surroundings, then I saw nothing but black.
A blanket of darkness suddenly washed over me, and it was as if all of a sudden I was being carried far away, to a distant foreign land. I opened my eyes slowly, and stood up, and it was as if by some mysterious force, my legs began to move and I started running. Lo and behold, I encountered a small abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. Slowly, I entered the mysterious house, but there was noone in sight. Empty liquor bottles were scattered across the floor, and the ground was also littered with blood-covered knives. I began to see visions of a soul being tormented. Trying to numb the pain by dragging sharp objects against his skin. A soul spending days and nights drowning himself in alcohol, just to ease the pain, and silence the haunting voices that terrorized him day and night. Those voices screamed.
“Bun fire pun anti-man, bun fire pun anti-man!” A soul that dreams about what it would be like to no longer be alive, a soul that fantasizes about death. The visions began to get more real, and I could see a man with a gun in his hand pacing unsteadily in front of me. “Me cyan tek um no more,” he repeated over and over again like a broken record. I tried to get to him, to take the gun away to tell him that he didn’t have to do this, but it was as if the words couldn’t form, it was as if… “You likkle bwoy, you beta get outta de bed an gwan get ready for school.”
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With thanks to our patrons, see this writer’s total prize haul below (and remember, support the businesses/individuals who support the arts):
EC$75 (contributed by the International Women’s Club of Antigua & Barbuda)
Books – The Sisters and Manco’s Stories by Jan Carew + Reached by Ally Condie (contributed by the Best of Books)
Certificate (sponsored by the Best of Books)