The Woman in Black | English

Hi guys! Been awhile since I posted and just wanted to share something I wrote in English class. IG’s are coming in less than two months and I’ve somehow been locked into this writing zone hahahaha. Because our class was feeling a little bit sick of all the past year papers we’ve been doing, Miss Laura graciously decided to give us a multimodal text to write about, and she chose the film of ‘The Woman in Black’, based on the book by Susan Hill. It’s a little bit of a horror piece, and though I have never watched a real horror film ever in my life, this was creepy enough for me. I sat through it just fine though, thank You Jesus x

Here it is!

The Woman in Black

You are Daniel Radcliffe and you have just arrived at the gates of the estate. Write about what you see.

Crossing the final stretch of the vast expanse of the snow-layered marshland, I stared through the mist at the thick forested estate looming before me. “You’re stuck here for the day,” announced the burly, bearded cart driver. I felt my chest clench from the idea of being in this abandoned home alone, even if it was only to sort the paperwork for the deceased family. Trudging along the worn footpath past unmanicured lawns and overgrown shrubs, I paused at a clearing on my left to stare at the few headstones sprouting from the ground. Shrugging the chills of my spine, I continued towards the unkempt residence of the late family.

The gates of the foreboding household had fallen on either side of the overgrown path, hosting the leaf-less vines growing wildly on the rusting metal. Drawing a pair of keys from my coat pocket, I instinctively glanced over my shoulder though I was entirely aware I would not see a soul. Creaking the door open, I was greeted by the scent of vintage wood and layers of dust that had settled on everything I touched. Individual portraits lined the black-painted staircase on the left of the foyer, completing the details that spelled isolation in every corner of the expansive room. Searching for the study where I assumed the paperwork would be, I began to feel an eerie chill creep up my spine regardless of the lack of open windows in the increasingly dense rooms.

Cobwebs lined overhead chandeliers and mantlepieces in the many nooks and crannies of each spacious room I entered on the ground floor, and I was surprised to find no woodlice infestation in the old, rustic mahogany drawers; no remnants of moulding cheese hidden in a kitchen cupboard. In the massive household there was no sign of life, apart from myself. I finally found the ledgers and record I had been looking for in a room with violet walls and cobweb-covered antlers that hung overhead, almost as if it once was a chandelier of sorts. Opening the shutters to allow the evening light into the room, I looked outside and noticed the melting snow beginning to turn the marshland into a swamp; a white mist had started to cloud the gravel road on which the cart had brought me in, consuming the desolate, lifeless space that stood motionless at the grey vapour made its move.

Staring at the mess of paper and parchment before me, I glanced over at a record I did not recognise, an official entry of death of a young boy, presumably the son of this once valiant family. Finding childlike drawings of stick characters alongside these records, I wondered at the possibility of an innocent, gay child living in this house that spelt of death. I suddenly found myself shudder; again, not from the cold but from the prickle of fear and wariness I felt down my spine. The hairs on my neck stood on end, but naturally, I found myself standing alone. I was extremely conscious now, as I walked upstairs along the dimming corridors, through empty bedroom chambers, not realising what I was searching for, but a part of me hoped there was some form of life among the shadows that tickled my ear with their passing.

Finally I came across a bedroom with veils shielding a quaint, queen-sized ben and approached something that caught my eye near the fireplace. It was a nest, made from twigs and branches and all things natural, missing only its builders and hosts. A slight movement under the nest caught my attention; my eyes drifting towards the baby bird that had fallen out of it. I picked it up carefully and placed it gentle in its home, when a flutter of black wings and a shrill caw made me stumble back in surprise. I supposed it was better than a house with nothing living in it. Composing myself, I noticed the forest through the window of the room, where an early winter bit at the yellowing leaves of grey bark. Focusing my eyes onto a small clearing in the woods, I found myself staring at a shapeless figure in black dress, staring back at me with eyes I could not see. My heart beat loudly in my chest and my breath caught, but I was more curious as to who would be watching me, and why.

The crow’s shriek pulled my from my trance at the window only momentarily, but as soon as I looked outside again, the very clearing which I had seen the figure in black now held no evidence that anyone had been there. Not knowing what compelled me to do so, I made my way out of the house and into the forest as fast as I could, my heart pumping with adrenaline. The thick mist had settled fully over the marshland, I could not see anything beyond the palms of my own hands. I kept running towards the only thing I could hear besides my own breath, not stopping to think about how I would escape the wispy grasp of the mist to the safety of the estate. Perhaps it was my imagination or perhaps it was real, but I heard cries of desperation through clouded vision, and it was then I found myself face-to-face with the stoned expression of the cart driver who’d brought me here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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