Sunday, 27 November 2011


Please post your biographies here. Teacher's Assistant will give you developmental comments.


Please post your autobiographies here. Teacher's Assistant will give you developmental comments.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The Haunting by Marshmallow

I had never been so sure of anything in my 22 year old life but when Matt, the love of my life ,popped  the question, It barely took me a second to say yes because I knew we were meant to be. We started seeing each other around two years back and with each passing day our relationship was getting stronger and stronger.

After a month we tied the knot, life seemed complete and perfect, our jobs were going great too. With Matt, time passed  by really quickly and our first wedding anniversary was around the corner. It unfortunately coincided with the Paris Fashion Week in which I was supposed to showcase my new winter collection. Matt came up with the idea of celebrating the anniversary in Paris together and I instantly agreed  because it sounded like a lot of fun.

After two days, we were going to leave for Paris and Matt called from work and apologized that he will not be able to make it because  some important work has come up. My disappointment was almost palpable but I assured him that I’ll be grand on my own and that he doesn’t need to worry.

The Fashion Week ended, my collection was a mega hit and I was leaving for home, New York in a day’s time. Since it was my last day there I went out shopping for myself and Matt. I was walking through the streets with my hands loaded with shopping bags  and that’s when my phone rang, I rummaged through my hand bag to look for my phone, I took the ringing phone out of my bag to answer it but before I could do it,I got hit by something, I flew across  the road and hit my head against a steel pole real hard.

Only the brain injury was major, because of which I had to suffer from amnesia and worse than that, last four years of my life were completely forgotten. I had enough money  to buy myself a decent house  in  Paris and get all the basic necessities. I started working in a boutique and that’s where I met Jonathan for the very first time. Two moths passed by and we became good friends and then after sometime we fell in love. Things were pretty much fine at my end but I always felt that there was something missing but couldn’t figure out what, back then.

Life was simple before some stupid stranger started following me almost everywhere. And once when he ended up at my apartment at almost midnight, I was extremely frightened. He said something about  relationship and marriage but I wouldn’t believe him. Every other day he appeared outside the boutique I worked in or my doorstep. Every time I saw him, I used to get horrified and upset, looking at him made me feel that I have left something significant somewhere behind which at that time I didn’t want to face, confront or know.

The stranger did not give up and did everything humanly possible to get to me and he finally managed to take me to a therapist, I spent three hours everyday with the doctor  and in a months time I regained my memory completely.

The stranger was nobody but my ever loving husband Matt  who I cant imagine my life without. When I remembered everything, I felt numb with guilt but I am glad that Jonathan understood  me and the entire situation and Matt is always so cooperative and understanding that I did not have to make much of an effort. But even today, If I look back at it, I still feel sorry, guilty and a little embarrassed about what happened  almost seven years ago.

Friday, 4 November 2011

An excerpt - by Amina Raza

A dark figure stood by the window,pensive. After a deep,audible sigh, the figure leaned towards the window sill.
What was it,she thought, that made us human? Is it the sensation of pain she thought,as her hands tightened herself not to scream as she let herself feel the excrutiating pain that possessed her. Was it our emotions? Was it anger she wondered, as it flickered in her dark eyes. Hurt? As her eyes began to water. Hatred? Her eyes flashed and she exhaled. Perhaps, her eyes windened. It lay in our capacity to our paths, to create our destiny, to experience the fear. As her face paled, and not falter? No,she laughed. As that meant that the cowardly were never mortals when some claim that it was that terror that made us human. Was it, she thought, that dread that wrenched our hearts that made us human?
She contemplated for hours over the secret to mortality. And when she hunched over and her fingers loosened their grip over the grill that it seemed that the answer had come to her. Oh she had been so close to the truth but had dwelled in its trivialities. It wasn't hatred,love,pain,hurt or fear that made us human. It wasn't what we felt. It was that we could feel.
Our sensitivity,sentimentality, intelligence, intuition,spirit,soul,judgement,perceptivity,consciousness,reaction. The ability to touch, as she ran her fingers over the window. To see? As she stared at her own reflection. Everything. It encompassed everything, she thought as she slowly slid down to a sitting position,slumped against the wall.
Feeling. That's what makes us human.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Commentary - Style Analysis (Thank you Amina Raza Teacher's Assistant)

Style Analysis: Tone and Attitude

1.What does the word “tone” mean?( define in your own words, look it up in a dictionary, or ask a classmate).  Write your definition below:

2.What does the phrase “tone of voice” mean? (you should be able to define this on your own)>.Write your definition below :

3.List 5 words that could describe a person’s tone of voice. An example : Angry

Write your 5 words here :

Style Analysis : Tone and Attitude

Authors convey feelings through the pieces they write in the same way people convey feelings through tone of voice. Authors, though, must rely on the printed word and cannot use inflection volume, or gestures to make their point.

Here is an example of a sentence with an arrogant tone:

John surveyed his classmates, congratulating himself for snatching the highest grade without even studying at all, unlike all the other dolts in class.

Without specifically saying John was arrogant, the writer has conveyed this idea. “surveying”, “snatching” and “dolts” carry out this feeling.

Your next assignment is to choose one word from the tone/attitude list we created.

(Do not choose one of the words in the “arrogance” category). Write one sentence on any topic that by itself (without using your word) gives the feeling of the tone you chose.

Write your word here:

Write your sentence here:

6.Now write commentary for your sentence. What words do you include that conveyed the tone you wanted? How did they do this?

                                           Style Analysis

                                     Integrating Questions

When you analyze style, you will often quote from the passage to support the points you make. The best way to include quotations is by integrating them smoothly into your own sentences. This is also called embedding quotations or incorporating quotations.

1.     Here is an example of a poorly integrated Quotation:

The phrase, “the gloom hovering over them’ shows the ominous feeling of the scene.

This is better:

The scene “the gloom hovering over them’ was an eerie and dismal picture.

2.     If you change the form of the word you quote, you must enclose that word in brackets to show your reader what you did.

Here is an example of brackets:

As the gloom (hovered) over them” the reader felt a sense of ominous unrest.

1.The words diction, language, and figurative language are terms that you will use interchangeably when you analyze an author’s style. There words refer to the concept of an author’s WORD CHOICE.

Word choice is probably the most powerful element of style for you to understand. If the directions in the prompt do not give you any specific terms to start your analysis, always begin with diction- you won’t be wrong. Many words in our language have strong connotations and authors learn to use them in purpose to elicit certain responses from the reader.

These 3 terms are also used when the areas to analyze include many metaphors, similies and other forms of figurative language. Watch for those as some common forms of word choice.

2.The word DENOTATION means the literal, dictionary definition of a word.

Example: the words ‘plump” and ‘obese” both literally mean a person who is overweight. This is the dictionary definition of both words. It is the shared meaning of these 2 synonyms.

3.     The word CONNOTATION means the implied or suggested meaning attached to a word, or the emotional “tag” that goes along with a word.

Example : the word ‘plump” has the connotation of being pleasantly fat, almost cutely overweight. Its connotation describes women mote often than men. It is this extra “emotional” feeling that shows how we use the word.

Connotation is important because it shows the differences between synonyms and suggests specific ways in which we use w word. You must understand connotations of the words you read and write in order to analyze style well.

4.     Here is an example of a sentence with strong connotative diction:

The boy surveyed the class, congratulating himself for snatching the highest grade on the test.

Two words are important here: surveyed and snatching. They are the words with the strongest connotations.

5.     Once you identify an author’s dictions you must analyze it. This means that you write commentary about the word or phrase and the effect that the word or phrase had on you. Synonyms for commentary are analysism interpretation and explication.

You must discuss the connotation of the word or phrase to do a good job of diction analysis. You comment on the reaction toy had to the word choice and what emotional response it brought out in you. Here is an example of diction analysis and commentary on the word surveyed :

Commentary #1: conveys the idea of someone looking around as if he were a king looking at lowly subjects.

Commentary#2: the boy seems himself on a kind of Mt.Olympus, sitting with other gods and looking down on lesser mortals.

This last point is especially good because the writer made an allusion to another bit of information- a reference to mythology.

6.     Now it is your turn to try some commentary for the other strong connotative word in the sample—snatching.(remember to write phrases of commentary, not full sentences.)



7.     So far, you have convered the general idea behind diction analysis. The next step is to practice spotting diction samples in an actual passage on the enxt two pages.

First, read the directions with your teachers to see what the essay is asking for. Circle or underline the key words in the direction.

Then read the passage with your teacher and circle or underline any examples of diction, language, or figurative language that have a strong connotative effect on you. As an example, several words are already underlined. Follow your teachers directions.


                                                  The Rattler

After sunset… I walked out into the desert.. light was thinning,  the scrub’s dry savory odors were sweet on the cooler air. In this, the first pleasant moment for a walk after long blazing house, I thought I was the only one thing abroad. Abruptly I stopped short.

The other lay rigid, as suddenly arrested, his body undulant; the head was not drawn back to strike, but was merely turned a little to watch what I would do. It was a rattlesnake- and knew it. I mean that where a six-foot blacksnake thick as my wrist , capable of long-range attack and armed with powerful fangs, will flee at sight of a man, the rattler felt no necessity of getting out of anybody’s path. He held his ground in calm watchfulness; he was not even rattling yet, much less was he toiled; he was waiting for me to show my intentions.

My first instinct was to let him go his way and I would go mine, and with this he would have been well content. I have never killed an animal and I was not obliged to kill; the sport in tasking life is a satisfaction I can’t feel. But I reflected that there were children, dogs, horses at the ranch, as well as men and women lightly shod; my duty, plainly, was to kill the snake. I went back to the ranch house, got a hoe and returned.

The rattler had not moved; he lay there like a live wire. But he saw the hoe. Now indeed his tail twitched the little tocsin sounded; he drew back his head and I raised my weapon. Quicker than I could strike, he shot into a dense bush and set up his rattling. He shook and shook his fair but furious signal, quite sportingly warning me that I had made an unprovoked attack, attempted to cake his life, and that if I persisted he would have no choice but to take mine if he could. I listened for a minute to this little song of death. It was not ugly, though it was ominous. It said that life was dear and would be dearly sold. And I reached into the paper-bag bush with my hoe and, hacking about, soon dragged him out of it with his back broken.

He struck passionately once more at the hoe but a moment later his neck was broken and he was soon dead. Technically that is; he was still stitching, and when I picked him up by the tail, come consequent jar, some mechanical reflex made his jaws gape and snap once more-proving that a dead snake may still bite. There was blood in his mouth and poison dripping from his fangs; it was a nasty sight, pitiful now that It was done.

I did not cute off the rattles for a trophy; I let him drop into the close green guardian-ship of the paper-bag bush. Then for a moment I could see him as I might have let him go, sinuous and self-respecting in departure over the twilit sands.

The next step is to create an introductory paragraph for this essay.

Diction Analysis is only a tool to achieve another goal-to identify tone and attitude, concepts you studied earlier. Now that you are working with an actual passage, you must extend your knowledge about  tone and attitude. Whenever you read a complex passage, look for different but complementary tones or attitudes. Passages that you will read in this unit will have two.

To practice, look over ‘The Rattler’. Do a quick write on two question:

1)    What feelings did the author have about the man’s killing the snake?

2)    What effect did this passage have on you as a reader?

Frequently readers say they are sorry the snake had to be killed. They can tell that the man did not want to kill it-he didn’t have his heart in it, even though he knew it was necessary. Sometimes students say the snake seemed human, full of power and dignity. They can sense a feeling of compassion from the man and one of calm waiting from the snake. You may have written something like this is the quick write you just did.

Here is a student sample of an introduction for “the rattler”:

The author’s techniques used in “the rattler” convey not only a feeling of sadness and remorse but also a sense of the man’s acceptance of the snake’s impending death. A human being has confronted nature, and in order for him to survive, the snake must be killed. The reader feels sympathy for the man’s plight and a reluctant agreement with him for his decision.

This introduction may seem strange if you use funnel introductions that begin generally and narrow down to your thesis. This introduction states the two tones in the first sentence and then elaborate on them for the rest of the paragraph. Now it’s time to turn to paragraph #2 of this essay. This will analyze only the diction in the “the rattler”. Other elements that the question asks for-detail, point of view, and organization—will come later.

Before you start the diction paragraph, you need a topic sentence for it. This sentence should give a focus for the paragraph and let your reader know with element of style you will be discussing.

Here is a sample topic sentence we will use for practice as we write this paragraph:

The author’s diction heightens the power and force behind the snake as it responds to the man.

12. the next part of the paragraph follows a specific pattern: you will write one

Example sentence with diction examples you’ve circled or underlined, and then two sentences of commentary. The commentary must echo the idea in the topic sentence. This unit of writing-one example and two commentaries- is called a ‘chunk’. You need at least two chunks in each body paragraph.

There is another point to remember in writing example sentences for diction: you should include three different short quotations from several parts of the passage as you write your sentence. Here’s an example:

Like a soldier, the snake lay “arrested”, waiting for the ‘unprovoked attack” after shaking his “little tocsin” at the man.

This quotation sentence integrates three separate short quotes taken from different parts of the passage. This shows your reader that you have understood the entire piece and are choosing quotations thoughtfully.

13. now look over the words and phrases you marked on your own copy of “The Rattler” and write a quotation sentence of your own. Remember to use three different quotes.

Write your sentence here:

14. the next step is to write commentary(analysis or interpretation) for the three quotes you included in your example sentence. This should echo the tones and attitudes from the introduction.

Here is an example based on the sentence from section 12:

Commentary#1: feeling of adversary vs. adversary

Commentary#2: snake knows its  power but holds back; doesn’t want to put up a fight but signals that it will defend itself if necessary.

Commentary does not mean paraphrasing the quotation sentence; it means thinking about the feeling behind the quotations and the reader’s response to these words and phrases. Within the two points, the commentary talks about all three quotations.

15. now look at your quotation sentence from section 13. Think of two points of commentary for your choices and write them below:



16. what you have just done is jotted down ideas for the first chunk of this paragraph on diction analysis. Each body paragraph must have at least two chunks to be fully developed; it may have three chunks if you have time and more to say, remember, too, to give a sense of closure to the last sentence in each body paragraph.

‘The Rattler’ sample introduction and diction paragraphs

The author’s techniques used in ‘the rattler” convey not only a feeling of sadness and remorse but also a sense of the man;s acceptance of the snake’s impending death. A human being has confronted nature, and in order for him to survive the snake must be killed. The reader feels sympathy for the man;s plight and a reluctant agreement with him for this decision.

The author’s diction heightens the power and force behind the snake as it responds to the man. “arrested’ at first, the snake becomes a “live wire: as she shakes his ‘little tocsin” at the man. Unmoving at first, the snake plays a waiting game as adversary meets adversary across an imaginary line drawn in the desert. Then a feeling of electricity jolts the reader, heart beating faster from the noise of the warning that, like battle stations aboard a ship, calls all to readiness, yet it must lose; despite its attempts to hide in the ‘paper bag bush’ the snake knows its life has been ”dearly sold”, but it remains “sinuous and self respecting” ion the man’s mind. The hiding place is an illusion, and a costly one. The reader admires the valiant behavior of the snake’s last moments and the dignity which the man offers. All involved recognized the strength of both the man and the almost-human snake, but know that responsibility and duty to others makes the killing necessary.

The Haunting by Zainab Alam

It was all white. The trees. Even the grass. Even the sky. All serene. And from somewhere between that serenity and whiteness, we came out running – you and me. I was running after you as if indulged in a childlike game. You were exuding happiness – I’d never seen so many colors on one person. But you looked like you belonged there; a drop of color on a white canvas. And then we were suddenly reaching the end of the hill – you didn’t realize, you kept on running. I reached for  your hand, so as to hold you back, but you were so fast. I tried to scream out your name, but the quietness drowned my voice. It was so close, I simply had to stop you now. I ran faster, my face contorting in concentration and focus – I had to hold you back. And then you fell. I didn’t see you falling, but you were gone. And I just stood there…

It’s been two months today. Two months to the day he left me alone. Two months to the day I killed him. Yes, killed him. His death was a murder. It was my constant nagging, my habit of arguing, my tantrums, my immaturity that drove him insane – that gave him a tumor. Doctors say that it was some chemical reaction in the brain, but I know that’s not true. That’s why whenever I see him these days, he’s always lurking in the corners of the house and never looking at me… maybe he realizes that it was my fault, as well.

Aapajan came to the house yesterday. She kept ringing the bell for about fifteen minutes but I didn’t open the door. I haven’t spoken to his family after he left; I know they just want to make me feel guilty; guiltier than I feel already.

I’m so scared. I hear voices in my head all the time, telling me to kill myself because I don’t deserve to live anymore. This morning when I woke up, I had knife-inflicted wounds on the sole of my left foot. They were raw and bloody… I don’t even remember how I got hurt. I haven’t been able to walk at all. So I’ve been sitting in his armchair, draped in his grey shawl, and writing.

The night after he left, everyone was staying over at our place. I was in our room, lying down curled up on his side of the bed, hugging his beanie pillow. And I saw him… I saw him again. For the first time ever. He was standing right in front of me, and he was crying. Howling. Pulling his hair and wailing. Screaming for help, screaming for someone to save hi,. And suddenly he became still, blank. And in the most broken of voices, he whispered my name. I jumped off the bed and screaming, ran out of the room, through the corridor and into the TV lounge. I collapsed in front of Bhaiya and started to cry. Everyone was relieved, because I hadn’t cried till then. But no one saw what I saw. No one felt how I felt – so scared. So guilty.

I sometimes wonder. I wonder a lot, actually. Most of the time. What if I hadn’t fought with him so much?  What if I hadn’t neglected him so much? I mean, I practically blamed him for everything. We had a small apartment, I blamed him. We didn’t go out often, I blamed him. We didn’t have a big car, I blamed him. I wasn’t getting pregnant, I blamed him. I feel so hollow sometimes, like there’s no feeling left inside of me. And sometimes, I feel so heavy, as if I’m full with things to apologize for. Maybe I am. But the irony is, he’s not here to accept my apology and forgive me. And how could he forgive me for taking away his life? For taking away his desire of becoming a father? For taking away his dreams of watching a football match in Manchester stadium? For not letting him complete his wristwatch collection? How could he forgive me? I can’t forgive myself. I can’t.

Sometimes I feel like my end is near. And then I begin to fear -  where will Allah put a murderer? Heaven or Hell? I shudder at the mere thought of what the answer would be. But without him, there is nothing, so I might as well cease to exist. Everything is meaningless without him. I don’t drink coffee anymore, because he’s not around to make cream smiley faces. I don’t watch TV, because he’s not here to fight with me over the remote anymore. I don’t even talk on the phone anymore, because it reminds me of how he used to record even our most random phone call conversations, just because he loved hearing my voice. And I took all that away from him. Me. I did it. GOD. I wish I could die… I wish I could die.

I feel him around me right now, again. He has come to see me. Yay. Sometimes he scares me, because he just gets so angry. Sometimes he makes me hurt myself. Not directly, but it just hurts. Oh I remember, how he used to get fever when he got too angry. Sometimes I dream of fire. And me burning in it. It’s scary.

Oh, he has got me coffee. I don’t understand how he could still be sweet to em after all I did to him. It’s beyond my understanding. My head is getting heavy now – maybe it’s the too many pills I took earlier. My throat is also getting very dry… I don’t understand…

… I stood there, my hands outstretched, eyes staring at nothing. You were gone, I had let you go. I began to walk towards the edge, as if hoping that you’d surprise me by coming back – your usual I-scared-you-game. But I couldn’t see you… I kept on walking, closer to the edge… and then I fell.

The Haunting by Ayesha Bhatti

Waking up on a Sunday morning in his arms made her lazy. They had recently shifted in their new home, and she thought the location was just perfect. He had brought her there exactly a month from then, on her birthday, blind folded, to surprise her.


She shifted a little to turn around and see if Bob was awake- he was fast asleep. She helped herself out of his iron firm grip and crept out of the room; into the balcony.

The view was marvelous. She was standing in a house which was perfectly located on top of the highest hill. It was exceptionally beautiful, with lush green trees covering the hill all the way to the bottom, where the yellow-blue lake stood still, reflecting the rising sun.

Bob had bought the guest house from an old, wretched woman on surprisingly low rates. Taking six months leave from work, he wanted to spend his entire time alone with Cheryl, loving her, and caring for her till the time she got delivered.

Uptil now, working days were spent fixing the house, and weekends were officially treated as days off from work.

In the balcony, Cheryl’s thoughts shifted from Bob to their new house, and from their new house, to the diaries she had discovered in the attic…

She had kept them safely hidden; out of Bob’s sight, and would only read them when Bob was not around.

She made her way to the attic; Bob would remain in bed for another two or maybe three hours, she was sure.

“November 25th, 1813: Today, I am happy. It has been two months now that we have shifted in our new house. Darling Susana keeps me very busy these days, and that is the only reason I am not able to do you justice, dear Diary. Even now, she calls me to play with her.

“December 1st, 1813: Our new home might not be as lavish as our previous one, but the area is peaceful and I can spend hours only sitting in the balcony, watching little ducks in the lake. I am satisfied. Victor says he will buy me an ostentatious carriage so that I do not face trouble while visiting the country-side, to shop.

My husband is quiet a gentleman. He is handsome, wise and rich, and I am lucky to be his wife.

“December 18th, 1813: Christmas is near and it is time for celebrations. Yet, I am grieved. Victor has changed. My hand is bruised, and my favourite silk gown got torn from the sleeve.

I cry as I write.

“January 2nd, 1814: “Dear Diary, I am filled with emotions; my heart is burdened and my eyes are swollen.  Victor loved me so much, that at times I really feel I am living with merely an animal, not my husband. He has been torturing me mentally, and physically.

But I believe it is not his fault; he is bewitched. He came home before Christmas Eve, drunk. As soon as I opened the door, I was disgusted at his misconduct. But upon looking at me, he started crying like a three year old. My heart melted and I took Victor in my arms. He told me he loved me, and did not wish to leave either me or Susana alone. I was utterly confused, yet told him he would go nowhere alone, and that I was with him, to which he yelled, “She would take me away! You can do nothing to save me!” I asked him what he was talking about, but he kept on repeating what he had already said, till he finally fell asleep.

Dear Diary, that day marked the beginning of my misfortune. Victor has been harsh on me since then. He comes home late, usually after dawn, drunk. I try to keep Susana away from him. I don’t want the little angel to go tumbling over an issue she won’t even understand.

“January 14th, 1814: You won’t believe what I have to tell you. You won’t believe that an incident can add more misery to my life, yet, it happened. Victor’s face has shrinked to half of what it was, and he is covered in bruises. I heard him say things like “mistake”, “ Zoshita” and “I don’t want to die..” in his sleep one morning, and was disturbed since then, till I came up to the idea of mixing herbs in his meal that would force him to sleep for atleast a day. I was sure Victor was becoming a mad man with all the stress he was taking. He needed a day off. 

It wasn’t till evening that the door knocked, and somebody called for Victor. To my surprise, it was a veiled lady in black dressing gown, and a black pointed hat. I asked her who she was, to which she responded by grabbing my arm, pulling me closer to herself, and asking in a rather impertinent tone, “Where have you hidden him?” I responded by slapping her: the intensity of which revealed her face as the veil fell off.

She was the ugliest creature I had ever seen.

She threw me across the floor with a non-human force that expressed her anger. I slammed over the dinner table, and the china tea service fell on the floor, broken into pieces.

“Zoshita! I told you to stay away from my house, my family!” I saw my husband storming downstairs, into the dining room.  

The hideous creature turned towards him like a she dog wagging its tail, “My love, I travel here to meet you, and this ugly woman doesn’t let me… Why not did you come to me? I got tired of calling you…” her nasty eyes shown as she spoke.

“I…” and Victor collapsed on the floor. I ran to his aid, but the witch stopped me halfway saying it was her job to clear the mess.

To my astonishment, she responded, “This is my land you live on! Every man that is to set foot in my territory is to be my possession, and every woman to accompany him is to die!” she laughed a sinister roar as she disappeared into thin air, with Victor.

“January 17th, 1814: Victor has yet not returned. I will die of waiting for my poor gentleman. Dear Diary, I do not know what to do. I know Zoshita has made him a prisoner somewhere.  All of this complication took place because of me! I forced poor Victor to move in this cursed house. It looks magnificent only to attract more people, to ruin more lives! Dear Diary, ask God to help me! He has stopped listening to my prayers… He has left them unanswered… Susana asks me why I cry, but I do not know what to tell her…”

“Cheryl! Darling, are you up there?” Bob’s voice pulled Cheryl back in the twenty-first century.

“Yes sweet-heart, I am coming down.”

She kept the diary safely and went down to serve him breakfast (it was her turn to work in the kitchen).

Bob ate in peace, whereas Cheryl was disturbed. Unrealistic thoughts came in her head, which she tried to abandon. “Witches and all those other creatures only exist in books. They are not real. Not atleast in today’s world.” She kept on telling herself. Yet, something deep inside was troubling her greatly.

She needed to tell Bob, but what for? He would only make fun of her and say, “Stop acting like a silly pregnant woman who has lost her brain.” She ignored the idea.

Days passed and Bob had started to behave rather differently. He would make fun of Cheryl on petty issues, without knowing she was being hurt, and then not even realize his mistake. Eventually, he stopped bothering to care for Cheryl or even make her sleep like he used to…

Cheryl sensed the fact that they were growing apart, and wanted to talk it out with Bob, but she couldn’t find the time… To her, it felt as if days had become shorter then seconds. Most of her time was spent resting on bed: her delivery date was approaching. She didn’t know where Bob used to spend his time when she was not around. And she didn’t even bother to know. He had become a selfish man.

All this time, the only mistake Cheryl made was not to find out where Bob was…

After a frightful dream one night, where Cheryl saw herself crying hysterically, only because she was guilty of an act she did not even know, she woke up with a start. She acted upon instincts and ran to the attic.

“March 25th, 1826: Mother treasured you, yet you couldn’t save her. Neither could I. I was too young. I am sure mother would have wanted to complete you. Sadly, she couldn’t.

With tears in my eyes, I tell you dear Diary, that father came home after months. He was not my father, but some violent man. He abused mother in front of my young eyes. He wanted to kill her. I saw mother push him away, to protect herself and me, but instead, she unwillingly killed him. He fell off from the balcony, into the depths of these very hills. I could hear him screaming till his body finally thrashed into pieces. After the accident, mother went crazy, and had to be admitted in an asylum.

From then on, I went to live with my aunt who took care of me, I am grateful.  

To this house you belong, and thereby I shall leave you here, Diary, to benefit any other soul who decides to set foot on this damned place, to be doomed for eternity.

Note:  Any adult who is accompanied by a partner and has chosen this hell for a home can’t leave this house till their fate sentences them to die.


Susana Williams.” 

The Haunting by Iqra Khalid

Sweat trickled down her temple as her eyes darted across the room.She was  breathless with fright.Her teeth chattering with fear,Leslie looked up at a familiar figure,seated on an arm-chair;a frail,old man in his fifties,glaring down at her with looks that could cut steel.His very presence sent shivers down Leslie’s spine.Slowly,she murmered,”Father!”.As if hearing her voice was unbearable,the gentleman yelled in rage,
’’Father! Is that all you have to say to me after five years? You ungrateful child!” “But,Father,It wasn’t my fault.I was just…….”.Leslie tried to clarify.                                                                      But she was cut short by her father,who declared,                                                                       ’’Lies! All lies!Of course, it was your fault.Every single moment of pain and sorrow in my life has been brought upon by you,ever since the day you were born!”                                                                                                                                                                 “Believe me,Daddy,ever since that day,I curse myself a thousand times,for ever existing and I swear that I would have gone to any lengths to make sure that vile day never occurred in history.Please,Daddy,forgive me! Forgive me and free me of this pain!”                                        Tears oozed out of her eyes and fell onto her burgundy,cashmere-woven cardigan.Expecting clemency out of her father’s actions,she looked up and gazed pleadingly at him.But the old man’s anger knew no bounds,especially on this occasion,where he had no regard even for his own child.Rising up,he stomped towards his daughter and pointing a finger at her,screamed fiercely,                                                                                                                                          ”Don’t you dare try to hide your filthy lies in your crocodile tears!You would have never tried to prevent it.As a matter of fact,the world wouldn’t have been surprised if you had watched me dying and left my body to rot in its own way!”                                                                                         Those words hit Leslie like a ton of bricks as the memory of that fateful day came flooding back.Sunday Morning was boring as usual.In an attempt to pass yet another monotonous day,she decided to go down to the mall with her friends.They were happily passing the time away;strolling by the shops,scanning through the windows,looking for anthing that catched their eyes.But who knew that Leslie’s father,the one man so close to her,would meet such a terrible fate in a tragic accident.                                                                                                                                              She had seen it all with her own eyes;her father driving,the lorry approaching from the opposite direction,the speed and the brutal force of the impact,the pool of blood dripping from his mutilated body,his helpless screams and yet,she just stood there,bewildered,unable to move.Her eyes were lost in a daze,as she stared ahead, shocked and terrified at what had taken place right in front of her eyes.Tears of despair streamed down her face as she helplessly looked at her father’s body.If only she had walked over and gone for some help!
 The haunting memories of the past enveloped her like a dense fog of misery and sucked out the remains of her composure.Her panicky eyes flashed,encompassing the room with the fear of an unknown presence,lurking about in the dark of the night.She gulped in fear,becoming restless.The familiar face of her dead father flashed continuously in front of her eyes and his rasping voice filled her ears with terror and guilt beyond her imagination.The massive burden of the situation was over-whelming and was tearing her apart.In a desperate attempt to break free from this madness,Leslie’s hands crawled up to her tangled hair and tugging it,she shrieked with all her might,shattering the unbreakable glass of her imagination.She was dying to let the silent screams of her conscience be heard.
 Gasping for breath,she wiped the beads of perspiration from her face.She was drenched in tears and her cardigan was soaked in sweat.She rubbed her eyes and scanned the room for any sign of her father.None.It was just another figment of her imagination.She shook her head as she slowly rose from the couch.She gently walked towards the window and stood besides it,glancing out at the storm as the rain pattered on the window sill.She shuddered.Strangely enough,the silence of the night made her feel colder.But what worsened it was the fear that the repressed memories of her past may creep out of her mind and haunt her once again.

The Haunting by Sonic

It wouldn’t stop raining. She had been waiting for hours.The phone lines were dead, her mobile phone’s battery had finished over twohours ago. She looked at her arms and couldn’t help but notice that they werestill swollen. It reminded her of what happened earlier today…
Everything had been going as planned. Jamal confirmed thathe was on his way. Alina stared at herself in the mirror. Her satin dresswrapped around her body, her beautiful tight curls tied in a bun and her honeymilk complexion glowed. If anyone were to look at her right now, they wouldnever have suspected where she was intending to go. As she waited, she staredat the suitcase next to her door. She was having second thoughts about her decision,and she knew it. She could not come to terms with herself, and what she haddone. If everyone were to find out what happened, would anyone understand? Wouldthey forgive her? No, she thought. No one will understand. They would judge heractions, and never look at her the same way again. She did not deserve what shegot , at least that’s what she thought. For the sake of her mother, she thoughtshe should reconsider this. She owed her that much. The guilt overcame her completely.It was dominating her mind now. It had taken over her emotions, and makingthese decisions for her. Alina thought she could not even forgive herself forwhat she had done, she was not strong enough to face the consequences. Hermobile rang and interrupted her thoughts. Jamal had arrived, he was waiting atthe end of the lane for her. She thought about it for a split second before shegrabbed her suitcase, but then the bruise on her leg caught her eye, and shestormed out.
The drive was tiresome. The roads were slippery because of therain. The cottage was just around the corner. Alina didn’t mind the long drive,Jamal was there. She had always been attracted to him. Whether it was hissophisticated behavior, his charm or the perfection of his features, she didn’tknow. But she was sure about one thing, at a time like this he was the only oneshe could count on. He never judged her actions. He always saw the good in her,and overlooked her flaws. Despite that, Alina had not honest with him. She toldhim it was self defense. She told him it was a mistake. She told him she neverintended for Yawar to die.
She was taking Jamal’s help in hiding the body. Someone wouldeventually notice his absence, and report it to the police. That was the least ofher concerns right now.  They finallyreached the cottage. He opened the trunk and pulled the body out, it waswrapped in a plastic bag. Jamal knew he was not in a position to question her.They decided to throw the body in a ditch. As she walked towards the backyardwith a shovel, she thought about the person she had become into. More like amonster. Stabbing a man to death and brutally, insensitively, inhumanely, getting rid of the body asif it were trash. Alina knew there was no justifications for her actions. Shehad had MPD  (multiple personality disorder)for almost  year now. People around hernoticed it, but even she was not aware of it. All she knew, was that she hadmurdered a man, her friend, Yawar. She did not know why. She saw his blood allover her body and the dagger plunged in his chest as she held it. The bloodoozed out of his chest like lava from a volcano. His face was already cold. Shesaw a wrench near the closet and she acted on the first thought that came t hermind. She injured herself with it, till it blood gushed out. She bruised herarms with it. She could say it was self defense if she ever got caught. Plus,she needed to show Jamal this. In order for him to help her.
She dressed in formal attire as she told her mom she wasgoing to her college reunion, which would be overnight so she was carrying asuitcase. Alina intended to run away. From this city, from her family, herfriends, her illness. Multiple Personality Disorder is not something that’s takenlightly, unfortunately she didn’t even know she had it.
The ditch had been dug, the body had been placed. All of asudden, she doesn’t  know what overcameher. She went towards Jamal, and pushed him off the cliff. His scream wasexcruciating, and a few seconds later he wasn’t even visible. The night justgot darker, the clouds covered the moon and obstructed the dim light. It was asif nature disapproved of what was happening. She was completely oblivious towhat had just happened. She had not even realized it yet. “Thank God I took thekeys out of his pocket, there’s no way in hell I was going to get a cab in themiddle of nowhere,” she said to herself. Her satin dress had ripped from thewaist while she assisted Jamal in dragging Yawar’s body towards the ditch. Therain started again, so she waited inside the cottage for it to stop. She wouldleave as soon as it stopped. She looked through the window whilst she dried herhair, and observed the mysterious night. She was planning her escape, and themost outrageous thought occurred to her. She unzipped her bag, took out herrevolver and thought of her father. He had given it to her for protection. Sheglanced at herself one last time, before she put the gun to her head and pulledthe trigger.