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Writing Inspired by Pictures GCSE English Students at Barnet and Southgate College

THE LOST SOUL By Imen Oueslati Many years ago he was pushed to leave his homeland and walk away, looking for a better life and a smiley future, searching for safety and freedom. Yes he is an immigrant who came from the other edge of the earth, crossing the vast sea, holding in one hand his suitcase and just some hope in the other hand. It’s the immigrant who left his people, his childhood memories, his parents, his family and friends, who left everything behind and came abroad looking for a new life. He found himself obliged to cope with a new culture, new people, new weather, and a whole different community, with the risk of never finding home again! And have his entire life split between two lands. What a feeling! It’s a heartbroken, immense pain and so hard for the soul. This human felt lonely, fearful, horrified, and tearful and he will always feel the conflict of his emotions like burning fire between his ribs taking away his heart‌. Somehow, he managed after a few years to survive in this new place and tried hard to build a new life, a new family and got on with the very different communities. He found a job, studied and learned their language to be able to live comfortably. He made a family and friends, and he has a home suitable for his wife and his children; he got used to their system and their routine. He felt proud and strong; he climbed the ladder, one step at a time over all these years in his new country since he walked away. He realised some of his dreams that he dreamt of when he was still in his homeland but it was impossible to do so when poverty and war stopped him. Is he now settled and happy? Did he find his lost soul? Unfortunately no, he will never felt complete: body and soul; it will be always lost between two lands, his homeland and where he lives. His soul is lost in the mists of the time, his background shifts him back. His spirit will always be lost miles away somewhere in his homeland. That is the truth!! With all his feeling of sadness and broken heart for missing his homeland, his family and every corner back home. The sun is shining again, dimly, but shining. He understood that he could survive and he would survive because he would be away forever for his new family that he made for himself all these years ago, hoping that one day he will find his lost soul and maybe not feel the gap.

Christmas Day with Family By Mehdi Akbari Everything looked fine. A sunny freezing Christmas Day. I was supposed to go home after almost a year; It was only 100 miles away but I'm a bit lazy and I couldn't help it. When I drove off, everywhere was covered by white crystals: Glittery, dry snow. It seemed nature was wearing a beautiful white bridal cloth and as it was a bit windy you thought the dress was waving and moving around. I was telling myself: "winter, snow, sun and wind are the combination of either a very good or a very bad situation." After half an hour, the snow started to grow on both sides of the road and built two massive walls that captured the road in between. As I drove through this unusual, natural glacial and artistic path I saw lots of lines and layers in both walls with hundreds of different patterns. Flying and dancing dry icy snow, moved by the wind, had created a fabulous scene that I hadn't ever seen before. I had forgotten to bring my sunglasses so the sun and the reflected light from the dazzling and gleaming snow didn't let me open my eyes properly and it made me so uncomfortable. That was the only complaint I had. I carefully avoided the oncoming traffic while I was listening to my favourite music channel and whispered the song; I was warm inside the car apart from the arctic, bitter weather outside. All of a sudden I heard a blaring horn and immediately a cracking noise. Oh, my god "avalanche". I was in pain all over my body and it was getting worse as the time passed; I wasn't able to see anything. “Is it dark here or am I blind?” I asked myself. I was feeling cold; In fact, it was bonechilling. I tried to move my hand and look for my mobile in my pocket; Yes, I managed to get it. Good news: I wasn't blind. It seemed I was in my car which was surrounded by snow. In fact, I was buried with my car under tons of snow; I just recall "The avalanche". There was absolute darkness and freezing. I was stuck in my seat with a locked belt that I couldn't move, numbness. For the first time in my life, I was able to feel my whole body and nerves through the pain. The more I regained consciousness the more I panicked. I started screaming and asking for help, but it seemed there was on one who could hear me. I said to myself: “That is it. This is the end" and then all my memories passed through my mind in a couple of seconds like a fastforwarding movie and all my wishes were bursting and being destroyed like bubbles. I saw my family around the table. My face is getting warm and I can see light through my eyelid; I don't feel any pain, just a bit of a headache. I open my eyes and find myself on the sofa sleeping, drunk, thanks to the sunshine that woke me up.

Dusten By Colette Heavyside-Reid His name is Dusten and he shuffles into work every day stinking of weed. Fixing motorbikes for a living isn’t easy but he seems be able to do a good job when he manages to make it in, which makes it difficult to sack him. His mannerism isn’t great but the customers are always happy with the job he does. This is his photo for the staff wall; we asked him to pull his dungarees up over his shoulders but his reply was “The customers will always see them around my waist come rain or shine. I’m no fraud.” Then when he was asked to smile we got this vacant glare. Dusten is a man who does what he wants and when he wants; a perfect example of this is his poor girlfriend. She’s here at least 3 times a week looking for him because he hadn’t come home the night before; she’ll be better off once she’s left him. He’s 31 now he really needs to wise up and realise that he’s punching well above his weight as it is and that he needs to show the people in his life some respect. He’s always wearing black. Even though our overalls are blue he got a can out from his back pocket and sprayed them black as the night on his first day here. His jewellery is loud; larger than life. He has these massive circles in his ears which I’ve bet myself on numerous occasions that you could fit a cucumber through.

Snow by Luisa Doncheva Every winter I look forward to a white Christmas or at least a snowy December…or at least a few days of snow?! Coming from Bulgaria, where winter only comes with snow, I tend to get quite nostalgic if I don’t get my yearly snow fix. My best childhood memories are embedded with snowy moments. On a snowy night the sky would go all pink and bright, an enchanting picture, though at the same time, it would evoke in me a subtle feeling of restlessness, anticipation, like something was about to happen. In the morning - the silence: perfect, absolute silence that would have swallowed every single noise, enveloping the city in its muffling blanket. The only distinct noise would be the rubbery sound of the thick snow giving way under your own steps and the squeaking sound of the tree branches under its weight. The multiple socks! They were supposed to keep my feet warm but never did anyway. The layers of gloves or better yet, the mandatory pair of woollen gloves and then on top, a pair of leather mitts to keep your hands dry, us kids would have our hands in the snow all the time. Again, it never helped. Somehow -20°C always managed to make its way to my skin and penetrate my bones. These were the times when pain and happiness did go together. After school, I remember, it would take about a 10 minute brisk walk to get home and by that time my hands would have turned into jelly. Red and almost translucent from the cold they ached so badly, the pain would often fill my eyes with tears. I’d pull my key out of my pocket, quite the enterprise as my fingers would be bending in all directions, like cheese strings, refusing to obey. Ten minutes later I would have somehow managed to insert the key into the keyhole by holding it in my right hand and trying to stop the shaking in my right hand with my left hand, also shaking frenetically. Now, it was one of those automatic door locks, not a very sophisticated one, on the contrary, and it would have gone all stiff from the cold…just like my hands. Ha, but I had a system, I’d block the key tightly between my hands, right at the base of my palms, where the thumbs start, and would then begin turning slowly and contemporarily with both hands, the struggle! Click! Phew, I was in!

Storm at sea by Lilli Wang Jamie lay on the white sheet of the bed; eyes opened widely but seeing nothing; face pale as a piece of plain paper. He could feel vaguely that someone was around him, busy saving his life. However he was too tired to wake up; his consciousness stayed at that storm, the storm at sea... It was a lovely afternoon. The crystal clear sea was glittering in the sparkling sun; the “Sherry� was reaching closer and closer to the pier. After a five-day sailing, the crew were preparing to have a delightful break. All of a sudden, the snow-white clouds started to thicken hugely as well as change to ice grey taking over the entire sky. A few minutes later, the sky turned to a dark, miserable grey; it looked like a cloak that had been spread far and wide casting gloom and despondency amongst the sailors. Jamie had noticed the change of atmosphere aboard ship; there was an indescribable feeling of unease in the eyes of the faithful captain. Darker and darker it grew, the sky started to flash with bright, blinding light. It was concealed behind the extremely thick clouds which now made the sky pitch-black like dark coal. Building up from what happened before, Jamie knew there would be great trouble with a storm. The fearful and agitated sailors considered that this was a sign of bad luck, as they believed that the terrible storms were created by the fighting of two gods battling for power. They tried hard to prepare for sudden, violent storms, but they knew it was impossible.

ctd Accompanied by the dazzling lighting, the horrendous wind began to howl furiously in every direction. The ship started to wobble unsteadily shaking the crew side-toside as if they were only a tiny bitty bugs. Their fear grew every minute as they knew it was just the beginning of the atrocious storm. Jamie had sent out an SOS before they lost the signal and connection with the rescue team; it seemed really hopeless. Now the crew huddled and prayed that the ship would be strong enough for them to reach the land. Rapidly and aggressively, the waves crashed into the sturdy hull. The waves would destroy anything in their way. Suddenly, the waves grew stronger allowing them to crack a tiny part of the ship. Relentlessly, the water squeezed through the minute gap! The down-pouring rain had somehow turned into hail which was as hard as rock. It was battering against the thick window which was sooner or later going to shatter and break. The crack made earlier was opening wider, meaning the water could more easily and quickly. Whatever the crew did the water was always going to get to them. Not only that, but the ship was sinking fast. “Life buoy! Life buoy!� That were the last words he heard from the beloved captain. Jamie slipped on the water soaked deck and was thrown to the sea. One wave after another, Jamie could not bear the fear anymore so he let himself sink down and down all the way to the bottom of the sea. He knew he wouldn't survive. Until....

Horizon by Jordan Nicholls

I lay on the beach watching the sun descend over the beautiful horizon. The sky was like a curtain of silk filled with big thick white clouds; you could see the bright colourful colours peeping through. Oranges and reds filed over the sky with delight. In the distance peacefully flew two solitary seagulls. The sounds of the rippling waves soothed me; I dipped my hand into the water; a glacial feeling rushed through my body as if I had fallen 100 meters deep. I stand still on the sand as the water rushes up past, then back down over my feet. The water actually pulls a bit of the sand out from between my toes under my feet. I barely even notice the sand disappearing but then I get this tickling feeling as if my feet are sinking into quick sand. I quickly pull my feet out and they make a little sucking pop sound. There is a taste of salt in the air.

All six of them in that not so big, yellow inflatable boat, rushing down the river stream. The river – wide, loud and booming, cascading wildly between the bone-chilling black rocks. What they were thinking? These enthusiasts, hungry for an adventure, weren’t expecting what was about to happen the very next moment. Some of them were brave men with lots of experience and training behind them; they knew the potential risks and hazards of rafting but they weren’t prepared for what followed. A whirlpool, three times the boat’s size, opened before them. With no time for reaction, the water, splashing deafeningly, consumed them. A moment of silence lasting eternity… She woke up with terrible aches all over her body. What happened? Where am I? These thoughts rammed her mind. She was lying on a beautiful beach and the sun was about to set over the horizon; everything was painted in bright paradisiac flame-like colours. “Am I dead?” thought the poor girl for a second. She had no clue where she was and how she got there; all she remembered was how they were rafting down the river. Wait a minute, where was the rest of the crew? What happened to her friends? Were they alright? Hundreds of questions were spinning her mind. All alone, she had to bear the facts and fight the reality. Julia, stood up on her feet and started walking around calling for her friends; no one answered. Night was coming. “Maybe I have to find a shelter”, she thought. The young girl left the blue warm sea behind her, headed towards the jungle and started to look for a place to spend the night. You probably know that the jungle isn’t a good place to be, especially if you are alone, tired and injured. But it was no ordinary jungle: it was the deepest and darkest jungle, full of bizarre creatures with a great variety of shapes and sizes. Really strange vegetation, she thought while passing a tree-like plant with huge blossoms. She was wondering what kind of shelter to seek. A cave? No, too dangerous, there might be animals inhabiting it, she thought when suddenly she saw a car. Yes, a car with a 50s’ design but looking brand new. How was that possible? The car stood there like someone had left it a couple of days ago. But how, why? She felt totally confused. Maybe I’m dreaming. She pinched herself and it hurt.

Julia went closer, the car was unlocked and she entered. There couldn’t be a better place to spend the night. She was so tired that she couldn’t stand any moment more. She sat at the passenger’s seat and fell asleep almost immediately.

Snowing by Boon Keen Lee

Snow was falling from the densely foggy sky like sparkly stars and all the ground was covered thickly with buckets of shimmery cream. Trees stood gently and used their gigantic branches to catch and gather the silvery diamonds. Even though the wind was freezing, like thousands of needles stinging my skin, and my limbs started numbing, I was willing to keep walking on the street and I still enjoyed it. With every step I took on the gleaming ground, I could hear a light low sound as though my legs were plunging into a soggy cushion. For a moment, I thought I was in a different world as it was so tranquil, calm and mysterious. I was so excited but the people in the city were not. They may have been thinking it was ordinary weather or even felt annoyed by it, especially a day after as the shiny, milky powder turned to dusty, grey

and slippery mud. Therefore they walked harshly and weren’t attracted by the snowy world except for children. They played joyfully in a small park. Some were snow-battling and others were making a snowman

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