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A snapshot of Classwork in 5CD Literature (Section Internationale)

“We were honoured to have a visit from our CPE, M Dominique Gerard, who sat with us and heard 5CD SIB students sharing their own short stories inspired by the Gothic Genre. M Gerard also assisted in awarding prizes to our top 4 writers.

This year’s Class writing competition produced superb and developed responses from the whole group- very well done to all!”

Mention Bien: Anne-Claire Bonisseau & Romain Chapellier

Winners: Bhanyasinee Leelerdphan & Alizé Tournemaine

‘A Frightening Experience’ by Alizé Tournemaine

I woke up to the sound of a clock chiming. I recalled that the house clock was currently unfunctional. Nobody could have replaced it since I live alone. I live in a castle that once belonged to my grandfather, surrounded by pitiful hills, a despairing landscape far away from the city. As I started walking, the air got denser, forming a thick veil of fog. I barely saw anything. By the time I arrived at the clock, it had already stopped making any sound.

I must have been dreaming. Unaware of my surroundings, I accidentally knocked something over the table. I bent down to pick it up when I realized what I had just touched. It was the skull of a human. I backed away silently in shock. Then, I fell into an embrace.

“I have been feeling quite lonely…Wouldn’t you stay?” He whispered.

Rain started pouring down. Each new clap of thunder was louder than the last. Impossible, I thought. I hurried into a chamber. I immediately locked the door and looked through a small crack. Even with the fog, I could still recognise my grandfather, who died years ago, but at the same time, not. Someone dug out his eyes from their sockets, and his long, sharp tongue was dropping from his mouth. His limbs were unproportionate. His pale face was savage like a beast. Worst of all, he cried crimson tears.

Unable to find me, he left. I quickly ran out of the room. I needed to get out of there. The moment I ran out, I started hearing tapping on the floor. Sometimes distant, sometimes near. Sometimes left, sometimes right. It was fast, and it was coming for me.

I turned innumerable times when I eventually rejoiced at the sight of the exit. The rain came to an abrupt stop as I got out of the building. I was safe.

Just then, something dropped onto my palm. It was wet yet viscous, unlike rain. The stench of blood lingered in the air. Then, I heard a laugh. I slowly raised my head and looked up.

A Frightening Experience’ by Bhanyasinee Leelerdphan

Rose sat down heavily on the canopied bed. It swayed a little, stirring the crisp, cold air that lay atop the castle. The movement sent dust flying, causing Rose to sneeze softly.

She’d come on a field trip many miles from civilization. Everything had gone smoothly in the morning, the sun splashing the courtyard and rooms with golden puddles of light. The birds had merrily chirped their songs. Until Rose had wandered off all alone and forgotten to check the time, all was good. The sun had set by the time she’d looked up, casting blood-red rays on the walls.

The portcullis had been lifted, trapping Rose inside the sinister castle, shadowed by its towering keep. Rose now hated that keep. It looked like it was keeping a really close eye on her.

“Little girl…” Was that a voice? The curtains by the bed rustled. Was someone there? She must be going crazy.

The wind whipped the quilt up, bringing along a stench of sulfur and rotten eggs to assault Rose’s nostrils.

Suddenly, a translucent, green and wigged head flashed into existence before her. Rose screamed.

“BOO,” said the ornate head. Rose tumbled off the bed and brandished what she could get her hands on first. In this case, she’d scored an unlit torch.

“Mademoiselle,” said the ghost of some random French king Rose couldn’t identify in a slick, slow voice. “It is most impolite to point sticks at the French monarchy.”

More green vapor swirled into a vague shape on the floor: feet, legs, torso and arms, shoulders and… a stump where the head should have been.

“AAAAAAH!!” shrieked Rose. “You haven’t got a head!!”

“Hein? Non, little girl…” purred a deeper rumbling voice. “I’ve got it right here.” He lifted his arm, and on the end of it dangled a sneering severed head, held by its oily dark hair. Its mouth unleashed green vapor that reeked of blood and decay.

Rose got up and ran. Down the halls, up the stairs.

“Sstay, little girl,” hissed the spectres as they slithered after her. “It’s been ssooo long since our last proper haunting.”

Rose threw the unlit torch down and hid. The ghosts’ heads snapped to attention. Almost morning. Hang on. Suddenly, a bodiless head rolled to a stop at her feet. Rose’s heart flew out of her chest.

“Found you.”