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I sat on the hard compacted earth; roots digging up into my straightened legs, probing through my purple and black striped tights.
The colour had started to fade out around the knees and I could see the thin velvety material starting to fray, a small hole making its presence known.
A light gush of wind picked up stray locks of my hair, throwing them backwards to merge with the deep scaly brown of the sturdy tree trunk. I closed my eyes, letting my body slump flaccidly; an old flower thirsting for hydration. I imagined myself sinking down into the earth, becoming Queen of the Underworld - a lost soul drifting through the very bones of the earth, my restless, haunted moaning harmonised with the slow groan of the world turning on its axis.
The soft roar of the sea stirred me back to the land of the living. I reluctantly prized open my eyelids, one eyelash unclenching at a time; like those tiny fluffed seeds that blow off old dandelions in the wind. The afternoon sun's rays lulled down through the branches of the old oak tree; the colourful autumn leaves caressing the light's fall.
Jared should have been here by now. I bit back my swirling emotion of despair; my heart was sprouting icicles - the sharp unpolished tips stabbing into the plush red centre, breaking the slight tension of the soft delicate flesh.
Despite what I felt I knew it was all nonsense - the heart was strong, muscular; emotions couldn't possibly break it, could they?
My thoughts wandered back to this morning; Jared bounding through the creamy kitchen door, his red canvas shoes squeaking excitedly on the checkered linoleum in their anxiety to find me. I looked up from my half-eaten bowl of cereal, the light from the rising sun glancing off the curve of my spoon. With his toothy, childish smile and crinkly blue eyes he blabbered on about his plan to take me out this weekend. I had stupidly nodded my head in confirmation - the tips of my hair dipping into my sloppy milk-soaked breakfast.
I raised my hand to pick up one of those victimised tendrils now; on examination several strands had clumped together by the almost transparent substance. I busied myself with eradicating the flaky mess, absent-mindedly glancing down at my watch. Two hours late. I felt the muscles in my eyebrows twitch - drawing themselves down to meet my eyes. I twisted myself to face the gravel road. It still lay empty. He wasn't coming. I shouldn't be surprised, I mean, it's not like he hasn't blown me off before, but this time I had hoped things would turn out differently.
The Queen angrily stomped her ghostly feet without making a sound. Her wailing turned to whimpering - longing for the return of her true love. She ripped out her heart and threw it to the ground; ghoulish features twisting with agony. Her empty black eyes lay stationary, awaiting the spark of life that only his presence could bring.
The sun had sunk behind the jagged rocky cliff, the last wisps of light extinguished for the day.
The moon stood solemnly above me, full and round like a blister - it burst, leaking its black velvety ink into the sky. And I sit here under the safety of this old Oak tree, waiting aimlessly for someone I know will never come.
• By Peita Ferens-Green, Year 13, Logan Park High School