Intermediate. Years 7/8/9


Second place in Intermediate category

Deformed

By Zaheer Anees, year 7, Elizabeth College

“Why are you outside, boy? For your entire life I’ve strictly ordered you to stay inside the mansion! Explain at once!” Master boomed with rage.

“I..I looked outside and saw the lovely festival. I just had to come out, I’m sorry! Why can’t I go outside Master?” replied Tom.

“We’ve talked about this before. You’re deformed, boy. Ugly. No one will ever like you. Now you’re wrecking my reputation being around me in public. Go back home. NOW!” bellowed Master who was about to blow a gasket.

“Yes...yes master,” Tom muttered solemnly as he dawdled aimlessly, his heart buried in his unpolished black leather boots, back home. “I’m deformed...I’m ugly...no one will ever like me. I wish I was normal.”

The walk through the celebrating city back home was painfully long as well as embarrassing. Not a single soul dared to make eye contact with the poor lonely boy. Some people screamed, some gasped, some people hid, and some even fainted. Tom kept asking himself why he'd decided to go to the festival and why he thought that this time it would be different. Why did he think that this time, he wouldn’t be sent back to the mansion?

The city was filled with large grand houses and lovely bright decorations. On either side of the road there were small cherry blossom trees, each with posters on directing people to the city centre where the festival was taking place. The cobbles on the road were perfectly spaced, except for one. Tom paused and stared at it before moving on. Soon he came up to a fork in the road. The left path proceeded back home. The right path went into the forest.

Tom longed for a life of freedom. Heading back to the mansion wasn’t freedom. Venturing into the forest was.

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