Eliza saves Johnny’s life in part 28 of the
never-ending story, written by NIAMH BRADY from St Aloysius Catholic College.
THUD! Eliza’s body crashed to the cave floor. She groaned and sat up, seeing Johnny about 10 metres in front of her. “Eliza, you have to look at all this,” Johnny said, forgetting that she had just fainted.
“What is it?” She murmured, her vision still blurry. Johnny was busily rearranging some of the wires in the broken aeroplane wing.
Not terribly interested, Eliza shuffled over to inspect the other half of the cave. She was going through some pieces of paper when she heard something unusual.
She leaned in against the cave’s muddy wall. Tick, tick, tick. “Something isn’t right,” she thought as she listened carefully.
“Johnny” she whispered cautiously, but he didn’t hear her. He was still in his own world. “Johnny,” she tried again, a little louder.
He still didn’t hear her, he just kept muttering to himself about the wiring in the wing. “Johnny!” screamed Eliza, suddenly. “What?” he asked, irritated. Eliza grabbed him by the arm. “Run!”
Before he knew it Johnny was being dragged out of the cave. She was still injured from the fall, but adrenalin had taken over.
“Eliza? What the…” Johnny was cut off by Eliza’s desperate scream, “Get on the ground!” He ducked and put his hands over his head, following Eliza.
Suddenly, there was a deafening bang and Johnny’s ears began ringing. After that nothing seemed to make any sense. He remembered Eliza dragging him away, then nothing.
“Johnny!” Eliza cried. Johnny’s eyes fluttered open and he saw Eliza, red in the face – but whether it was from exhaustion or pain Johnny couldn’t tell.
“What just happened?” asked Johnny. “I don’t know, the cave blew up and you fainted and I, I…” Eliza suddenly burst into a fit of sobs.
Johnny embraced her. “It’s okay, we’re fine,” he said, reassuringly. Eliza pulled away after a while. “I’m sorry,” she said, shaking her head.
Johnny waved away her apology and stood up. He stumbled back down almost immediately, in shock. The image of the smoking, flattened cave was overwhelming his mind.
What was even worse was the crows swarming over it. It was disgusting, a black sea of crows engulfing the ruins.
“Why are they swarming all over it?” whispered Eliza. Johnny ran sweaty fingers through his hair. “I dunno, must’ve been important to them. But why?” Eliza and Johnny sat there.
They didn’t dare move. They heard the ominous screeching of the crows. It seemed to last forever. A shadow crept over the pair as a magnifi cent black crow flew above them.
Eliza groaned and Johnny turned to look at her. Her arms were red with blood and there was a deep cut on her calf. Johnny bit his lip, he didn’t know first aid.
He took off his shirt and wrapped it tightly around Eliza’s leg but blood soaked through almost immediately.
Eliza’s face was pale and she gradually sunk into unconsciousness. Johnny sighed and looked into the sky.
The golden sun hung in the sky like a lost balloon. The blue sky would soon be turned black by the dark veil of night.
Johnny turned back to Eliza and shook her awake. “Huh? Oh, Johnny I…” She was cut off by her own groans of pain.
“Don’t try to move, just stay still,” said Johnny. Eliza gave a weak nod and lay back down, holding the journal she’d found close to her heaving chest. “I wonder where the others are,” she pondered. Johnny shrugged.
After a few long moments, Johnny and Eliza heard the high pitched scream of a young girl. “Alice,” said Johnny, already on his feet.
To be continued
First published in the Mercury newspaper, Tasmania, on October 23, 2012
WRITING this week’s chapter of the Lovesong of the
Crow has reinforced St Aloysius Catholic College student Niamh Brady’s interest in a literary career. “I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, and when I was offered this incredible opportunity by my teacher, Sally Broadribb, I
was ecstatic,” Niamh said. “A few of my friends enjoy writing, so sometimes we team up and write books, or hold creative writing competitions,” she said.
The Grade 7 student said the process of writing a chapter for the Lovesong of the Crow project had seemed very realistic. “It was as if I were publishing a book, and it has really helped me to decide that I want a writing career,” she said. Niamh said her treatment of the cave may seem a bit harsh but she hoped it would provide opportunities for future writers to explore. In particular
she hoped other writers would seek to explain why the crows had swarmed over the
ruins of the cave after it had been blown up. “I am also very excited to see the explanation of the journal come together,” she said. “Once again, I would just like to thank my teacher Sally Broadribb and Damian Bester at the Mercury for this opportunity that I am so happy to have had.”