Short Story Competition: Black Snow

A short story by Amina, 13, IntoUniversity Haringey North

Humming to myself, I hung the pristine sheets in the garden. A garden of lush greenery brought to life by the music of nature. I’ve always tried to join the choir of buzzing bees and chirping birds but it seems like humans aren’t just ready yet. My dear mother was a different case. Up and down, her voice rode like a wave through the air, silencing nature’s melody. Her voice rang clear and true across the village of stone rectangles and mosaics for streets. Her voice, an enchanting beauty as she was.

From a distance, I admired the curtain of white that criss-crossed around the garden. They all fluttered in harmony with the wind. They seemed to be waving a solemn goodbye to the neighbour’s washing which was being collected. I smiled at the thought and calmly ventured to the market. The weather was perfect for idle chatter.

So I left unaware of what was to come.

The market was an intersection of cultures and greatness. An array of food was presented to the customers, beckoning them with their mouth-watering scents. Fabrics shone in the sunlight, injecting everyone with wonder and positivity. Towering above this was a giant mountain rumbling with joy as the chief said. I struggle to agree and dread cloaks me when I lay my eyes on it. Instead I looked around and I saw the efforts of the people around me triggering my aspiration. It was always my dream to please others and what better way to do this than to offer them a cold drink? I set off on my job and approached many clients. Some were jubilant children others worrisome mothers and even some street vendors showering me with gifts for my kindness. It was a really happy day.

That was until the mountain belched a grand rumble and caused the ground to tremor. The crowds cheered and celebrated completely unaware of what I feared. Again it shook spewing out black clouds. The crowds quietened but some were still cheering. Yet again it rumbled, jarring our sanity as we saw flames leap in to the sky. This time no one cheered. We stood stone still as the black snow began to fall. Softly it perched on the buildings, the tents, the street smothering everything in darkness. This snow wasn’t cool and burned to the touch. Now was the time help was in dire need so I tried. My efforts were wasted as one by one the villagers choked on the darkness gasping in pain. I was already face down on the streets searching for my last breaths. My last thoughts came spontaneously. Those sheets were white no more. Stained black by the silent killers.

This short story was written by Amina, a Year 8 student at IntoUniversity Haringey North. Anna's entry was shortlisted in the 2015 IntoUniversity Short Story competition,

Amina with her mentor, Helen, at IntoUniversity's Haringey North centre

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