Visualising a Perfectly Calm Day

By Hayley, 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.




Visualising a Perfectly Calm Day

Tall trees reach up to the sky, the wind howls, the birds chirp and talk loudly. I can hear the water stream in the distance. 


It was dark. I heard a loud noise and I was alarmed. My mum told me to hide. They were hunting. We saw flashing lights in the not so distant trees. There was yelling. I was terrified. A net covered me and my mum.

‘Mimi,’ she called. I had escaped through a ripped part in the net. I ran, I did everything I could to save her. I wasn’t fast  enough and I lost my balance. For years I was alone, I had no guidance, no safety. Weary of every step I took. That night haunts me in every dream that I have. 

I’d lay quietly in my underground cave and wait. Day by day I’d wonder if my mum was ok. Constantly, my mind bullied me into thinking what I could have done to save her. I saw a tiger younger than I was on a stage one night. People cheered and applauded and took photos. The flashing camera night reminded me of the night she was taken. 

One afternoon I went hunting for food, I found a perfectly good lunch and brought it back to my cave. On my walk back I heard rustles in the bushes. I snarled as a defence technique and then was frightened of what looked like another me. He said his name. I was no longer alone anymore. We hunted together and he took me to find the prettiest meadows where we would run and play in the tall grass. I told him about what happened to my mum. He told me that one day we’d get her back for me.

He kept his promise but I lost him instead. He healed my broken heart then left me with it destroyed.

We spent 10 years together every day, I loved him more than anything and when I was around him I forgot all my problems.

Four months had passed. After I got my mother back, she was heading towards her final years. I felt over the moon to have her back with me but empty, sad, guilty for the absence of Eli. I still felt alone.

One night I woke up alert. I heard footsteps running towards me, but there was no flashing lights, something was different. The jungle was quiet. The wind stopped. The seasons had passed by year by year. I grew up. I had no motivation to go running in the meadows or chasing a butterfly. My memory of Eli was slowly fading but never felt more alive.

As I grew older, I came to forget the pain he had left me with. I began to feel happy without his presence, I had healed.

I had all the time in the world to be happy, to meet someone new.


Much is Rife, Blak Douglas, 2021

Art Write Light is generously supported by the Balnaves Foundation.

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