I enjoy the subject of creative writing at school, as I get to express my imagination through words. This influenced me to take a Gotham online class to improve my writing skills.
The course I chose was Teen Creative Writing. At first I was quite nervous, and questions arose such as “What if my story isn’t good enough?” or “What if I can’t relate to the topic?”
Having said that, my first class was a total breeze and so enjoyable. All my fears and doubts were forgotten the minute I set pen to paper.
The topics were exciting and allowed me to explore different themes. I also learnt how to incorporate many different writing techniques, which helped me write more captivating stories.
After I submitted a task, I received tips and advice on my writing piece, which was extremely helpful. Once I completed the course I felt much more confident in my writing!
In the beginning of the year, I received an entry from my teacher for a writing competition sponsored by Sci-Bono, an educational science centre in Johannesburg, South Africa (where I live). I decided to give it a shot. I had to write a 500-word story about water, which we could interpret in any way. I was in awe when I placed 3rdin the competition.
Here is my story if you would like to read it.
Ruined by Water by Maseeha Hoosen
I am awoken by loud shrieks throughout our tiny flat in Malila, Indonesia. My mother barges into my room and utters something that I am unable to hear as I am still overtaken by sleep. I hear my younger sibling Marcus wailing and suddenly my mother drags me out of my crowded room. My body begins to rattle and I am unsure if it is the building shaking or if I am still drowsy from sleep.
All of a sudden I hear people bawling out the words, “TSUNAMI, WATER, RUN!” and immediately it is as if my senses are alerted and I begin to tremble, uttering the words tsunami over and over again. Our flat is in a state I have never seen before. People are running aimlessly and are emptying out their apartments searching for their beloved possessions.
Marcus clutches to my mother’s side and I run close beside her as we rush out of the building. “We have to get to higher ground!” my mother yells. While I am running, I stop and turn around only to see a gigantic breaker of WATER. I never imagined something like this. It looks as if the water is a monster devouring the land…my home. The huge wave travels viciously behind us as I run with my mum and Marcus towards Hill Kawaii [the tallest hill in the city]. There are so many people running towards the hill that people begin pushing each other to get to the top of the hill, people begin falling to the ground and others trample over their limbs.
The wind howls and the water roars, thrashing against buildings, claiming its rule. Children wail loudly from fear and parents try to comfort them, the palm trees vanish, buildings and schools collapse and the icy, heartless water removes any obstacle in its way and is now coming towards us.
I grip onto my mum’s arm and tell her, “I don’t think we…”
Where am I?
As I try to get up, I fall to the ground as if there is a magnetic force between the ground and me. My body aches and my muscles throb, my eyes slowly adjust to the sunlight and as I look around, I see people scattered on the ground moaning in pain. There is glass and remains of what used to be buildings all around. The land is ruined and you will never say it’s Malila. The green grasses and colourful buildings have vanished and now the land looks grey and dull. The water tried to devour me yet I have managed to survive.
I am not sure where I am, where my mother or Marcus are or how I am going to get up, but I am sure of one thing: I won’t stop until I find my family.