Life Must Go On

Stephanie Dodds

Geelong Grammar School

Is that you? Walking across the plain? It’s been so long, yet you haven’t changed.

skeleton-man1I remember that night, it’s so clear in my head. No-one knew who They were but I now want Them dead. They didn’t have the keys but had enough experience to unlock a chaste young thing before the tick went tock. I’ll never forget waking to a scream and hearing the car race down the street. Little did I know They’d removed you from my life. Cautiously. Carefully. Without causing themselves strife because for them life must go on.

Who else would appear a floating image before you?

They only took me because they knew you couldn’t steer. Now I can no longer change, no longer grow. All I have there is a dark cavernous hollow. Oh, that day, that night, was a time divine, but then They came and blew my mind. Do you think I’d forget when one came from the front and another jumped up, pressed into my back? They wouldn’t stop, I couldn’t start. But finally I lay resting on that sable summer night, somewhere beyond the darkness of light. Rashly. Roughly. Without causing themselves strife because they thought: life must go on.

I don’t remember the date but it was tranquil and bright. I thought nothing could go wrong but there still was the night. No one knew from whence They came, because They came so silently along our little secret trail. I don’t think there’s any evidence from that silent night. They took everything, then They took flight. We couldn’t have heard them, because They were as silent as death; you couldn’t have known They’d take you from my life. Swiftly. Quickly. Without causing themselves strife because They hoped hard that life would just go on.

I remember it a Monday, it was crystal clear. We could see a rough horizon and we could see the mountaineers. I woke up a slave and went to sleep no freer, my fears from yesterday came out in an instant through my tears. When They came calling at both my doors, They didn’t wait for me to reply, just knocked down the door. Painfully. Powerfully. Without causing themselves strife because for Them life would just go on.

The red on the walls never washed away, though the rain pelted down ever after that day. No-one’s been back since the day we found you gone, maybe it’s faded, like green does come autumn. Children are playful and touch everything they see, so when they run through the trees back to the wall, they’ll always find the salty red spot left there, from that night when They removed you from my life. Messily. Carefully. Without causing themselves strife because for Them life would simply go on.

The red on the wall will never wash away, even in years it’ll still be the same. I’ve revisited a couple of times but never could I strain my eyes to look through the vines. They’re beginning to creep up that old garden wall, but I know what they’re hiding, even though it is small. The last thing I remember was the pain and the fright, and I couldn’t believe They’d wandered into our place of respite. But They weren’t fazed by the moonlight of the night, so went about it. Soundlessly. Silently. Without causing themselves strife because for Them life would simply go on.

Today is Tuesday, tomorrow is Wednesday. I love imagining what could have become of that forlorn date. I like to remember you in your beautiful white dress, a bow in your hair and a lily in your hand. Yet everyday comes and goes, and the thought comes by of those who I once prayed for, that they may be at peace, though they weren’t a feast for things six feet under. We’re getting by now, but only just, with welfare money we pay for our ‘musts’. I’ll always remember that frightful night, They took you away without a being’s knowledge or sight. They were swift. Quick. They caused themselves little strife because they just hoped that our lives would go on.

Where I am now, we lose track of days; there’s no time, no date, no feeling no shape. I think about you for all the time I seem awake, it doesn’t feel like much but I think it always seems to be a long wait from when I am locked up to when I can visit. I wish I was there, I wish I could help, I want to send money but here we have no wealth. I hope you live long. I wish I was there to stop the strife but because of Their ‘knife’ I can’t do anything, anything real at least but I’ll be watching you and watching our street. A phantom and guardian to cause Them strife because for you I want life to go on.

That night, though it was long ago, will stick in my mind ‘til I too must go. I could never forget, though, waking up in the morning, hoping all of it was just in my head. But as I went downstairs I found it true and all I was left was a memory of you. I’d dreamt They dragged you over to the wall, I tossed and I turned but somehow I seemed to continue sleeping through it all. I thought I heard Them grunting their orders and I thought I heard you whimpering replies. I dreamt They then took you far far away, I’ve no clue where but I’ll find out some day. I wanted to stop Them, make it all stop. However, a dream is a dream lest I wake to a cold reality.

***

Stephanie Dodds was 11 when she started writing poems and lyrics to express herself and release emotions from the day. She has always used writing as an escape, and does this in the form of writing lyrics, music, poetry and stories. She loves dark stories and has always leant towards a more sinister storyline as opposed to happy ones because they often are more interesting to delve into. Her parents live in Seoul while she lives and studies at Geelong Grammar School. She is in year 10 and enjoys fencing (among other sports) and writing music, especially in her free time.

Image by Sarah Allen, Deakin University