Calvin Christian School students CLAUDIA ZOMERDYK and ELISE JURASOVIC teamed up to write part 13 of the never-ending story. A second plane has crashed in the South West and two survivors were rescued before the aircraft sank.
BUBBLES emerged from the deep blue of the ocean as the plane sank. Rourke, being the strongest, swam with the unconscious mass of Andre to the side of the boat.
Despite being clipped by the plane as it crashed, the Lovesong of the Crow was still afloat. Holly too was swimming with powerful strokes toward the only logical destination.
Alice was heaved aboard by Johnny and Eliza. The six isolated travellers lay – chests heaving – on the upper deck. One by one, each sat up and carefully observed the others. Holly was clearly a rebellious sort; long black hair, torn jeans, an air of depression lingering around her, and dark make-up that was streaked down her face from her recent dip in the drink.
Andre was dressed in a simple shirt and pants with a look of peace upon his silent form. “Andre! What are you doing here? I wish I could have warned you not to come – it isn’t safe,” Eliza said in desperation, water dripping from her jacket.
She soon realised that Andre wasn’t in a state to reply. She then moved on to Holly. “Um… so I’m Eliza, this is Johnny, Alice and Rourke,” Eliza said as she gestured towards her three companions.
This statement and invitation for a response was undeniably aimed at Holly, yet Eliza received no answer. “We were in a plane crash, too. There have been heaps more than you’d think,” Johnny said, attempting to crack Holly’s hard exterior.
“Holly gave them a passing glance and looked around the boat, surveying the area that surrounded her.
Eliza and Johnny exchanged bewildered expressions. Andre rolled over and let out a barely audible groan, bringing Eliza immediately to his side. “Don’t get up too fast, boy,” said Rourke. “Let your mind and body adjust a little bit first.” Andre tilted his head ever so slightly in Rourke’s direction to show his appreciation.
Eliza helped him sit up as Holly scrutinised the scene before her. “What are you doing here Andre?” The tone in which Eliza’s question was asked had become more urgent than before.
“I… knew that you… needed help,” Andre’s voice was scarcely more than a whisper. “The twin connection,” Holly observed. This was the first time they had heard Holly speak. Her voice didn’t quite match up with her appearance; it was too soft to have come from the mouth of a gothic rebel, but it also had a dangerously intimidating cawing aspect to it.
“What is the twin connection?” Johnny asked, intrigued. Andre answered the question. “We’re linked together … we can feel each other’s hurts and triumphs.” Alice emerged from the lower deck after having slipped away without anyone noticing.
She carried the news that changed everything. “The plane made a hole in the boat. There’s water coming in!” Rourke dashed around, collecting supplies that would aid them in the future.
Holly took the “each man for himself approach” to the situation, whereas Johnny and Eliza worked to transfer Andre to safety – the small rubber dinghy that was stowed in the far corner of the upper deck, precisely for evacuation in an emergency.
Just like in a cartoon, trouble arose at the worst possible time. A mob of crows on the horizon was advancing, almost exactly like earlier, when they had taken down Holly and Andre’s plane.
The six stranded travellers loaded up the boat with the gathered bags of supplies. As the crows landed on the deck and railings of the gradually sinking boat, Andre and Alice took their seats in the yellow dinghy.
The main focus was now upon the new visitors. “We have come to collect one of our murder,” cawed a particularly ruffled-looking crow. All attention suddenly turned to Holly as she began to jerk violently. Her shadowy appearance darkened more so, and her body seemed to be retreating within itself.
As she was pulled inward, feathers forced their way out of her skin and a hooked beak emerged from her nose. She had transformed into a crow. “Beware, stranded humans. We now possess the power of your appearances, having had an imposter study your movements.
“Transformation is but the simplest aspect of our supremacy,” the crows spoke as one; high and low pitched voices, husky yet alert. Neither voice matched another.
“The ravens won’t protect you. Your lives are already lost.” Wings started flapping in unison.
“We will return in the dark of the night when the sky holds no moon and when the stars retreat in fear of our wake.” The crows moved swiftly and fl ew back in the direction from where they came, leaving five confused and worried souls behind.
To be continued
First published in the Mercury newspaper, Tasmania, on May 29, 2012
STUDENTS in Calvin Christian School’s Grade 9/10 writers workshop course were given the task of continuing the Mercury’s never-ending story, which is now in its third month.
Teacher and head of humanities, Stelle Carmichael, said the Lovesong of the Crow activity was an incredibly valuable exercise, allowing the students to work together and get excited by all the possible paths the story could take.
“It was fantastic to see that moment in the classroom where, after brainstorming and discussion, students generated a large amount of new ideas and directions for the characters,” Ms Carmichael said. “It was great to see the creative process in action,” she said.
The students wrote in small groups and selected five possible versions of Part 13 for consideration by the Mercury.
Elise Jurasovic and Claudia Zomerdyk were the writers of the version selected. “We really enjoyed writing our chapter,” the girls said. “We came up with our ideas by brainstorming and pulling apart the ideas that were hinted at in the rest of the story,” they said. “We wanted to develop the air of mystery around the crows and reveal more to the reader.”
Claudia and Elise said they had been intrigued by the newly introduced character of Holly. “It was great fun to be able to play with a brand new aspect of the story,” they said.