The Unknown Virus

By Raif, Stage 5

Written as part of Art Write Light 2021

Art Write Light 2021 is a  creative writing project curated by Story Factory, in collaboration with visual artist Blak Douglas. During the program, students from Bonnyrigg High School and St Clair High School were introduced to the work of Blak Douglas, and created written and audio pieces responding to his artwork. The audio you’re about to listen to features a young writer from the program reading an extract from their work.



The Unknown Virus

No one knows what it really is, where it is, until you hear the tinkle of metal. Then it’s too late to run from it. 


As I stared at my hunting knife I asked myself why what happened, happened. Was it destined to happen or did I cause this myself? I put the knife in the holster and walked out my door to go to the forest cave where I go to think. On my way there I walked past the three places I will never go again. I looked at the first place which is the dark forest entrance. If you stare closely you can see some purple embers. I walked past it. Right next to the entrance is a restricted zone where I think the beast was made. I looked to my right and there was my hometown that was burned down and where my friend had lost his life. After five minutes of walking the path I saw the most horrible thing: the darkness of the forest had consumed my cave.

There was only one explanation: the beast had made the cave its home. I started to walk back slowly but I tripped over a rock that seemed to make enough sound to wake up the beast as I could see its glowing purple eyes staring into my soul, wanting to eat me for what I had done to it all those years ago. It jumped at me and hit me against a tree. In my last seconds of consciousness I saw it charging at me with a wrathful intent to kill me and I thought: ‘Am I going to die?’ as I blacked out.

When I regained consciousness I looked around me and it seemed I was in a camp tent. I looked at the end of the bed and saw a woman waiting for me to move. I sat up in pain.

‘You have a broken arm and a broken leg,’ said the woman.

I had so many questions going through my head but I asked, ‘Where am I?’

She didn’t respond to that, so I asked, ‘Why am I still alive?’

She shouted at me, saying, ‘I saved you from that monster!’

I asked, ‘Who are you?’

She responded with, ‘I’m your saviour and that’s all you need to know.’

I was very confused. I’ve never met this person and I don’t know why she saved me. Now she tells me she’s my saviour. I felt compelled to run but if I did I would probably be eaten by the monsters out there or be pulled back into the tent so I stayed in the tent and laid back down and slept. 

When I woke up I heard screams and cheering so I got up and went to see what was happening. Someone was being burnt while the people who saved me were dancing. I quickly grabbed my knife and some clothes. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a long stick that looked familiar to me. It looked like my scythe. I grabbed that as well and started to run. My saviours had become my hunters and I was their prey but I wasn’t going to go down without a fight so I stopped and prepared to fight. As I was preparing, light from their torches burned brighter. I grabbed my scythe and when they stepped into sight I jumped forward and sliced straight through one and through the tree the blade hit.

So many thoughts went into my head. ‘Did I really just kill someone? Why don’t I feel sad? Who was that person?’ Then what hit me at first was I thought I had no purpose. Was this my purpose, to save people from these monsters, or did I just do it for the thrill and the rush? As I walked back to the camp hearing chirping turn to screams. I felt at peace as I shouted my name: Isaac.


Much is Rife, Blak Douglas, 2021

Art Write Light is generously supported by the Balnaves Foundation.

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