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For my first story, I have an extract from Olive and the Monstress, a work in progress and the piece that got me accepted on to the Masters course. It is aimed toward teens and has quite a dark theme so be warned. I hope you enjoy it.

Prologue

It was a cold dark night with clouds in the sky. A chill in the air and the glare from the moon casted ghastly shadows over the high rise buildings ; a tall lanky man with a hat and razor sharp teeth, a giant bear that had claws the length of hedge trimmers. The owls twits twoo’d through the gusts of the wind causing an eerie echo down the dark alley full of broken glass bottles, bins and back doors, their eyes glaring bright in the darkness. Up in the sky planes flew ahead leaving trail marks behind their tails. On the ground mice and rats scampered across the cold hard concrete and into the bins looking for food.
A loud bolt of thunder followed by lightning went through the sky and rain started pouring down like a waterfall. I struggled to keep my eyes open as the rain spattered down my face soaking my clothes through.
Down the alley I walked, cold and wet, looking for the green door. That’s where I was told to go. It was dark, so dark that every door looked grey, or black. I was all alone. What was I getting myself into? The further I walked the darker it got and the shadow creatures disappeared. The rain poured and poured down, the thunder cracked and the lightning zapped the sky. I could barely see what was less than a foot in front of my eyes.

“Any spare change, love?”
I swirled around unexpectedly while my heart pounded against my chest. I should have known I’d not be the only person here. But no one was there, not that I could see.
I continued walking, but before I could pick up the pace the voice spoke again.
“The green door is here.”
I stopped in my tracks and a shiver went down my spine, for I could hear a voice but see no face.
“I…I can’t see you, where are you?”
Silence filled the air for what felt like an eternity.
“Hello?”
There was no response.
My heart was beating so fast I thought it would burst from my skin any second.
I considered turning around and running home, fearing that if I stayed it would be the end of me. But it was the end of me anyway.
The voice spoke again.
“The green door is here.”
“Wh…whe…where? It’s too dark I can’t see anything.”
Tears started to swell into my eyes and I tried hard not to cry.
“Don’t cry, little girl.”
The voice cackled so loud the bats I couldn’t see flew up into the night sky making sounds as if they had been set on fire.
“WHERE ARE YOU?”
“Now now, little girl. What did they tell you when they spoke to you? You won’t get rid of the evil in you with that kind of attitude.”
“I NEED TO SEE THE MISTRESS NOW.”
“Oh yes, I know the consequences well enough…”
“Show me where you are! Show me your face!”
I instantly regretted my desire to see the face of the voice. On came a light. I looked on in horror. The face behind the voice had once had eyes that had now been plucked out to leave holes full of crawling maggots.
I recoiled and threw up.
“Ha! You’re lucky I don’t take offence by such a gesture. Bet you wish you never asked, I know.”
His voice sounded solemn, and I felt a twinge of guilt at my reaction. That could soon be me. What terrible thing had he done to deserve that? What was going to happen to me? I was scared. Everything that I believed was just fantasy was soon becoming a reality.

The man led me inside the green door and shut it firmly behind us. We walked down a set of narrow steps, him leading the way with a lantern in his hand. We got to the bottom of the steps and walked down a darkly lit corridor with a ceiling so low it almost touched my head. Either side of me was door after door, none of which we went into. We just kept walking and walking and I wondered where we were headed through this never ending corridor. My shoes squelched every step of the way, leaving puddles from my drenched jeans.
“What’s your name?” I asked the man.
“Ah so now you’re interested in who I am? I don’t need your sympathy.”
“My name is – “
“I know who you are, Olive. I know everyone’s name who comes strolling down this dark alley. I know all about you and what you did to end up at this door. You and your stupid friends.”
“But, your-”
“My eyes may not be on my face anymore, but I can see, that’s for sure. Now don’t go asking me how. That’s not for you or anyone to know. You’ll find that out soon enough. You’ll see. You won’t come out the same person you went in, Olive.”
What’s that supposed to mean?
“What’s…what’s… your name?” I asked again meekly.
“You can call me…Jebyn.”
“That’s…an unusual name. Is it your real name?”
“It is now, and that’s all you need to know.”
“But-”
“But nothing. This is about you now.”

I felt somber, weak and I wanted to go home. But it was too late. I’d made a mistake. Me, Luna and Millie. But they weren’t here, just me. I never saw them after what happened. They just left me there.
“Come on, Olive, she’s waiting for you. Dry your eyes, you can’t appear weak in front of the Mistress. You need to be strong.
We stopped by a large black door right at the very end. Jebyn knocked and it opened wide. In I went, to face my future. I turned around to speak to Jebyn but he was gone and the door shut behind him. The air was filled with an eerie silence. Where am I? I looked around, it was a smallish room, similar in size to a classroom, but completely empty except for a lantern hanging on each wall. I stood and waited, my heart racing, not sure what to expect and wanting to flee.
“Speak your name.” A voice suddenly spoke from behind me breaking the eerie silence as I jumped out my skin. I tried to regain my composure but could not bring myself to turn around. My feet were glued to the ground.
“I said, speak your name.”
“Olive Treyster. I’m here because…”
“No! I asked your name, nothing else.” She walked to the far wall in front of me. Her figure was tall and slender. Her hair flowing black in colour, right down to her thighs. Her left eye was black and her right red. She wore a black dress made of leather which showed off her slim figure. She moved towards me slow but graceful, never taking her eyes off me.
“Clide!” she shouted.
Feet scurried through the door behind me into the room. As he walked out in front of me I let out a ghasp. He had the figure of a man with legs and arms but his eyes, mouth and nose were missing, leaving a smooth surface across his face. But there was something else terrifying. He had claws for hands, just like the bear shadow I saw outside. I gulped.
“ This one is for you, take her away, I don’t want to see her before the transformation.”
“But…WAIT! YOU’VE NOT EVEN SPOKEN TO ME! WHERE ARE YOU TAKING ME? NO! PLEASE, NO! I MADE A MISTAKE! I didn’t mean for it to happen!” I whimpered.

I cried. This was it. I was being dragged away by Clide, his claws digging into my arm, blood trickling down. I cried in pain.
“Stop weeping, girl. You asked for this.
“What are you going to do to me?”
Clide strapped me to a chair. I couldn’t stop the crying.
“Your tears won’t save you now.”
“What are you going to do to me?” I asked again.
“The mistress has given her orders.”
“What orders?”
“You young witches, you think you’re invincible. You think nothing can go wrong. It may have been an accident, but it was carelessness that caused it. And now you pay, in exchange for the mistress returning life back to the girl. You lose yours.”
“I lose my life?! But…they told me I wouldn’t die!”
“You’re not going to die. I’m going to put you to sleep now.”
“NO! What do you mean?! What are you going to do to me?” The tears continued.
“That spell you pulled with your magic -”
“But I never had magic to begin with! We were just practicing from that stupid book, we never thought it would work -”
“Hahahaha! You stupid little girls, you shouldn’t have been playing around with magic in the first place!”
“It was Luna, she was the one who wanted to do it, I just went along with it, I didn’t really want to but -.”
“Well where is she now then!?” Clide shouted.
I couldn’t answer that because I didn’t know.
“It’s time to go to sleep.”
Clide pricks me with a needle, everything goes dark and I’m gone.

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