Creative Monologue Task on Falling from Grace, by Jane Godwin

“'Annie!' my voice croaks. I've been calling for ages. I can hear them, but they can't hear me. There's no point yelling, the storm is just pulling my voice out to sea." An excerpt from Saloni Gunasekera's Year 7 English Creative Monologue Task. Read the full piece below. The artwork is by Alice Freeman, Folio Photography and Photoshop.

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I manage to make myself look at the gash. Blood and flesh. The rock ripped my leg as I fell. I move myself away from the opening of the cave. Pain shoots up the side of my body like fire, I wince in agony. My head swings back and explodes; a blinding light takes over my sight and I get dizzy. I bring myself to lie down on the rocky cave floor, I curl up to keep warm and shut my eyes.

I pass out, almost frozen.

I try to open my eyes; everything is fuzzy. They hurt, so I close them again. Stars! It’s not night though. It’s dark – but not night. That can’t be right. It’s dawn.

I hear. I hear someone. I open my eyes. It’s a man. I talk to him, but nothing comes out. I try to moan, but he doesn’t hear. The man has a bright coat, he pulls it over me. Then he leaves. I yell at him to take me back, but it was just a whimper. The man will get my dad. I know he will.

I lay. Almost dead.

I slept a for long time, all last night and this morning, I think I fainted but I’m not sure. I sit myself up and stare directly at the cave wall in front of me while my eyes focus. My throat is bone dry; every time I try to breathe my airways burn. Who knew you could get so thirsty when you’re right next to the sea? I look desperately for water, and I notice the arm of the coat is sitting in small puddle. There were multiple puddles, it probably rained last night. I took the arm out of the puddle and rung it out. The water dripped off. It reminds me of my grandma. She washes her clothes by hand, she doesn’t believe in modern technology and washing machines. The water was fresh! My heart did a little flip. I place my palms into the puddle and put my wet hands on my cheeks. I splash water on my eyes and forehead. My body filled with a sense happiness. And finally, I did what I had been wanting to do forever. I cup my hands and sink them into the puddle, I let water fill them and I lift my hands towards my mouth. Joy, a sense of joy and relief. I let my dry, cracked lips absorb the water, it stings the cuts which have blood dried all over them. But it’s a good feeling. A good sort of pain.

I catch sight of a ray of sunlight coming through the small opening of the cave, warm sun, cool water. It’s the happiest you’re going to be if you’re going to stay here for longer, I tell myself, looking at the bright side. I move myself over to the sun, dragging my injured leg across the rocks. The first thing to reach the light is my hand, warmth rushes up my arm and into my blood. I move my whole body into the light I can’t help it but sigh. It wasn’t a sad sigh or a happy one – just a sigh of relief.

I ended up sitting in the sun for a long time, letting the light gleam on my skin. It made me warmer. The sky is getting darker, and the tide is coming up, so I move back over to where I had slept last night. I push the bright coat over so I can sit on the smoothest part of the floor. I realize, I never saw who the man was. The man who gave me the coat, he didn’t say anything. And he didn’t hear me speak to him. I wonder why he didn’t rescue me. He wouldn’t have given the coat to someone he knew was dead – so why did he just leave. I believe that he will get dad. That he will remember where I am so that he will come back with help. I hope.

I pick up the arm of the coat and hold it close to my chest to keep me warm. The coat, it’s bright red and yellow. Bright. A lightbulb moment appears in my head. Something my friends would call extremely rare. I put the arm of the coat out the opening of the cave, for someone to see and search for me. It’s approaching dusk now so I don’t think anyone will notice it, but tomorrow morning when they start looking for me again. Maybe, just maybe they might see it. I cover myself with the rest of the coat and sit, resting my back against the wall of the cave.

I wait. Almost giving up.

It’s late, at home I’d be in bed by now. I miss the warmth of my blanket; I miss Mum’s hugs. When she wraps her arms around me, and when she kisses my forehead before turning the lights off. A tear rolls down my cheek. I remember Simon, he would be fast asleep by now. He would fall asleep as soon as I finished reading him his book. I hope someone read to him tonight. Annie’s face runs across my mind. I’ve been trying not to think of her. I start crying, I don’t know why though. It’s the same feeling I get when I go to my friends’ houses for sleepovers even though I’ve been to their home many times.

Annie’s call repeats in my head. I can hear the pain of her voice. GRACE! It all happened so quickly. One moment it was sunny and beautiful and then I found that stupid animal. The weather turned, and I got lost in my head. It’s fair. I should be lost in this cave. I never listen to Annie; she has a reason for everything she says. Not like me. Now she must search, she must bear the thought of losing me, when I was the one that let it happen. I am the oldest. I am the one that is meant to think straight.

It is my fault. Almost completely.

Tears are running down my face now. I curl my legs under the coat. My leg throbs with pain, but I’ve gotten used to it now. Even with the coat, I shiver. For a while I stay in silence, listening to the waves crash and do their thing…

Please. Someone find me.

I drift off to sleep. Almost found.

Written by Saloni Gunasekera, Year 7.