Darkness had swallowed me, capturing me, suffocating me. I was trapped, trapped in my own despair, my own terror. I was imprisoned in a dimly–lit room, where food and water came just once a day, isolated from the rest of the world and the rest of my life. No one knew where I was apart from my kidnapper. My prison, no one could find, my existence, no one could prove. With only my own disorientated voice to keep me company, I was slowly going crazy. Falling asleep was a relief as it meant that I could escape reality for a world I could only imagine. By day, strange shadows would haunt me, by night my room was pitch black. A small rusted window made of steel bars was set high in the wall, just out of reach, but no one could see in and no one could see out. Eerie noises and anguish yelling sounds echoed in the hallways, echoing in my head. All I could do was stare at a wall all day and listen to the slow ticking becoming louder in my head. This was my life, this was how it was supposed to end, no matter what I thought. As the days grew longer and the nights shorter, I sat huddled against the wall. Less and less food was being given and I lay on the cold concrete floor, tears in my eyes, my stomach crying for something to eat. But then one day, I could no longer remember who I was, what I used to be like or what light even looked like. With each day, I grew emptier. With each week, I started to lose track of time and I started to wonder; what was it like out in the real world, what created those terrifying sounds each time I went to sleep and who I even was. Then something emerged inside of me, something painful, something horrifying. But it felt like an old friend, like something I had once lost and then found, it felt, like I had woken up from a deep sleep. Now I lie in pain with cold tears streaming down my face. All I wanted was for someone to find me, care for me and, love me. I wanted to know what that felt like, what all the kids felt each day. I knew that could never happen, I knew I could never escape. Now I don’t stare at a wall, I don’t have a ticking noise in my head. Now I cry myself to sleep, I dwell on the piercing pain in my head and I spend hours straining my memory, trying to find a tiny hint of what I once was.


25 was established in 1997, and since then we have successfully completed numerous short story and poetry competitions and publications.
We receive an overwhelming positive feedback each year from the teachers, parents and students who have involvement in these competitions and publications, and we will continue to strive to attain this level of excellence with each competition we hold.


Stay informed about the latest competitions, competition winners and latest news!