Presentation Secondary School Waterford

Short story

Ty student, Aleyna Bozkurts entry to this year short story competition ran by the Waterford LIT group. She was awarded 3rd place for her written piece.


“Edgar Allan Poe is said to be one of the earliest writers of short stories and poems. One of his most famous works was “The Raven”, only published in 1845 by Thomas Dunn English, one of Poe’s friends, before they got into a public scandal involving indiscreet letters, an angry brother, and a pistol which English refused to give Poe to defend himself from the threat of the enraged brother. They ended their friendship in a fistfight full of miscommunication and what some would say, betrayal.

“The Raven” is still known to be one of the greatest pieces of literature to this day. With an eerie feel as it's said that there was “a rapping at my chamber door” but when Poe opens the door, he is left confused as there is not a single soul in sight. Readers are constantly left wondering what could've made the noise, and if there was a potential hidden meaning behind the mysterious knocking. Especially considering Poe died October 7th 1849, and no one knows how.”

This was all said by Emily Hayes’ English professor on the introduction to creative writing and short stories. Emily had always found it difficult to write creatively, she had it in her head that she couldn’t think thoughts that nobody else would think, and that anything she wrote would never be original. Yet with the new assignment of a short story with a 20-page limit, she somewhat felt a new sort of inspiration. She thought it would be different this time. No one would ever see the plot coming anymore.

Emily got home that evening, greeting her parents. Yes, she still lived with her greying parents, the housing crisis had caused her to remain in the same household. She went up to her room, got into some comfy clothes, lit a candle, grabbed her notebook that was near to falling apart and sat on her bed, getting comfy for the long night ahead.

She started with a brainstorm and decided that the most relatable thing to do was to write about her situation. Her “writers block” as some would say. She knew she had to have a relatable story for people to connect, and what better way for writers to connect than for her to write about common problems writers have. Emily was going to write about a person struggling to write a short story.

She started off with describing her main character, a short woman in her late twenty’s working in an editorial establishment while also trying to make a successful life in being an author. Emily then erased her description, thinking it was too original. She changed her to be tall instead of short, her hair brunette for blond and then changed her age to be more of late thirties. Emily wanted her character to seem like she was going through a mid-life crisis, someone with only a German Shepard to love.

Her parents aren't in the picture, for reasons Emily’s wasn't even sure yet and she’s an only child. Her boss is strict and the perfect example of a boundary pushing man. Her comfort in the night is the cold champagne glass nestled in her hand as she falls asleep on the couch while the TV is playing.

Emily wanted to write a happy ending for her. She talked about her character -which she hadn't decided a name on yet- writing a short story for a local newspaper, about a man who also was in a writer's block. Emily wanted her character to think like her. So, she was going to write a short story about a person writing a short story. She thought it had a fun and confusing twist, something she hadn't seen before.

She finished it on a good note, her character ends up finally getting noticed by a famous author and is promoted by them, which ups the sales of her books. She goes on a whole bunch of interviews later on how she wrote a short story about a person struggling to write a short story.

Nina Bozzelli was in her late thirty's when she had to write a short story. It was far from her first one, but she had always struggled with shortening a story down so that you get enough detail in a short number of pages. She felt the same as Emily sometimes, doubting their creativity and originality.

Nine had grown up in a Mexican household, where she was told to always work to success. Her parents constantly encouraged her to focus on medical or law studies, but Nina never had any interest in it, and often times found herself falling asleep in business classes.

Her first love for English literature started to grow when she was just fifteen. She fell in love with the way words could hold some much meaning depending on how you place them. She loved the idea that poems could have so many different interpretations.

Her parents failed to support her choice in continuing to study English Literature in Boston, her dream college. They had told her that if she were to go through with it, they would never speak to her again. Nina hasn’t spoken to them in over 15 years. And she's changed a lot. Her growth spurt came in, the doctors were surprised to see it come so late. She got rid of her bleached blond her and learned how to embrace her naturally dark hair. She also got a dog, which keeps her warm and cosy at night.

Nina was relaxing on her couch one night, one hand pressed firm against a champagne glass and the other softly petting her German Shepards – Leo- , occasionally removing it to turn the page of the newspaper that rested on her lap. Her eyes fell across a writing competition, more specifically for short stories. She perked up at the sight of the prize, a 500-dollar money prize, a meeting with world renowned authors, and the final edit of the short story was to be published to all newspaper in New York.

Nina scrambled off the couch, feeling a new found motivation. If she won, she could finally quit her job in the editorial company she was working in. She would never have to deal with her boss's sexist remarks ever again.

She decided to keep it relatable, because she knew that people liked to read something that they relatable to. She decided to create a story on a man facing the struggles of writer's block while also dealing with divorce. Nina had decided it was time to stop writing about feminist women and start writing about things both genders would read.

Nina knew that she had to write something fun, something that would keep readers interested. Yet she also knew she couldn’t have anything to ridiculous because people would get annoyed on how unrealistic it is.

She wrote about the man, filing for divorce when he found out his wife was cheating on him with another ,more successful author. He decided to write another book out of spite, about one of the most beautiful women he had ever met. The man is set out to make his ex wife life a living hell and he knows how jealous she can get. So, him writing a story on how he met the most beautiful women, and describe it completely different from her, would drive her insane.

He needed to have more of a plot though, he decided to write about her life and about how one day she meets a man of her dreams, which he describes to be him. They end up to have a happy life. Nina then went on to write about the aftermath of the book. The husband becomes extremely well known and is considered to be one of the new upcoming authors of the year, outrunning the man his wife cheated on him with.

Nina sent it off to the publishers the next day, making sure to double seal the envelope before slipping it into the post box. The editors had read the short story and had decided to put it in one of the papers. Nina would know if she won the prize soon enough, and whether they wanted her to transform the short story into a full book or not.

Noah Fitzgerald had been in the writing game for years, but he had never made it to a point where he could live comfortably and not worry about a possible eviction notice. He married his wife when he was twenty. They were high school sweethearts that knew each other since they were in 7th grade. They had known everything about each other. Or so Noah had thought.

He was forty-three when he came home to his wife cheating on him with another man. He had found himself foolish, how could this have gone on under his own roof? Under the roof he had worked so hard to keep over the both of their heads.

Noah couldn’t bare the sight of her, or the man she was sleeping with, a more well-off author, one who had enough money to secure the rest of his lifetime. Noah had always looked up to him, but he didn’t know how he could now. He kicked his wife out and was grieved at the fact that she moved so easily to her new partner's house. It seemed so easy for her. And Noah hated her for everything she had every done and said to him.

He had decided that night that revenge was the best policy and that in order to make her suffer he would just have to succeed more than the other man ever could. He wrote about a man meeting the most beautiful women in his life. A woman that changed his life forever. He wanted to make his ex-wife jealous, talking about a woman that was completely different from her.

Noah decided that he wanted the book to be more of a spiritual book with lots of hidden meaning. While he wanted the book to make his wife jealous, he also wanted the book to be a masterpiece, he wanted it to revoke thoughts on what true literature is. He also wanted the book to end in heartbreak and embarrassment. A best seller was also on his mind while writing.

It took Noah almost 2 years to finish the book, having it published was almost as bad as a reoccurring nightmare due to all the references and copyright claims. It was on the market for 5 years before it came to be a bestselling book. His ex-wife lived a lonely life after she tried to get back with Noah after the man she cheated with left her for a more noble woman. Noah obviously refused and now lives a happy life with his new girlfriend, Gwen and their two dogs, Marley and Kenna.

Cassia Aydem met the man of her dreams when she was just sixteen. She was working at a café when she met Arlo, a tall brown haired with green eyes and a smile that lit up Cassia’s day. They ended up talking after she ran into him after she finished her shift.

They got married when she had just turned 19, her parents didn’t agree with her decision and kicked her out. Cassie didn’t care though, she had lived her life constantly worrying about what her parents would think of her, her being kicked our relieved her, she didn’t have to worry about her parents or their expectations. She moved in with Arlo and soon fell pregnant with her first child.

Arlo had never been happier. He had met the love of his life and was living a happy life with her. It wasn’t often where the man got the girl and Arlo was happy that in his case, that wasn’t true. When their first child, Stacey was born his world lit up just a little bit more. He loved to look into her green eyes whenever he felt just an ounce of stress, all his problems seemed to disappear when he had his two girls with him.

Cassia and Arlo’s relationship had never been better. Their new found love of Stacey had brought them even closer together. They still found time to be together, occasionally going to the theatre and having date nights. That was until Stacey started to fall sick and all their time was taken on trying to make sure their baby would be ok. She had come down with a strong cold, but due to her age it was a lot worse. She was a new-born, and her immune system hadn't developed to be strong enough yet.

Arlo and Cassia’s relationship had started to fall apart. Cassia refused to give Stacey any sort of medication, she didn’t want for her child to have to have medication in order to life her live. Arlo didn’t understand why Cassia was doing this, their daughter was clearly dying, so he didn’t get why she wouldn’t do anything to get her daughters health back.

Stacey had started to get better and doctors had expected her to get better within days. But that was just the calm before the storm. Stacey had started to decline rapidly and within weeks she was worse than she had ever been.

Stacey was only 11 months old when she passed way from a severe cold. Arlo was furious at the world for taking away his daughter and even more so at Cassia. He found it easy to blame her, he hated the fact that she refused to give Stacy any medication, he blamed her for her death and couldn’t seem to think of it any other way.

Their relationship had started to decline. They once used to talk with love and care for each other had now turned into hatred and rivalry. They had to find things to blame each other on to live. And soon they realized they couldn’t bare to look at each other any longer.

Arlo moved out six months after Stacey's passing, when he realised, he could no longer live with Cassia. They were both left heartbroken but knew they couldn’t do it any longer. They both knew they needed time away from each other in order to heal and comprehend everything that had happened in the last few months. Cassia had to deal with the fact that she birthed and cared for Stacey yet whatever she did to care for her wasn’t enough to keep her well enough to survive a cold. She was mad at herself, she had birthed her and thought it was her fault that she didn’t make her daughter strong enough, and Arlo’s commentary didn’t help.

Cassia’s older brother, Elias started to step in when he realized what was happening. He hated Arlo for putting his sister through more pain when she had enough to deal with in the first place, they had both lost their daughter and it wasn't fair to blame it all on one person.

It didn’t get better when Elias and Arlo ran into each other. They got into a huge fight since Elias hated the way Arlo was treating his wife, they were supposed to be partners in crime yet were constantly putting each other under a bus and hoping for one another to get run over. Elias threatened to kill him if he continued to treat his wife the way he was. Arlo went home afraid for his life and didn’t know what to do, he missed Cassia dearly but whenever he thought of her refusal to making Stacy better he felt a new found hatred.

Cassia also missed Arlo deeply, but knew he was very unlikely to ever come back to her. She sent him letters monthly, asking how he was and if he had considered coming back home, he didn’t reply to a single one. She felt embarrassed and told her brother of the shame she felt. Elias refused for her sister to feel that way and went on a mission to get the letters back. He failed however and Arlo feared evermore for his life and had a new feeling of a sudden death occurring shortly.

She never wanted Arlo to feel afraid in his own home. She went over to his house one day in order to talk, but dreaded in the fact that she'd have to see him again after so long. She thought it would be humiliating for her to go and claim her love for him when she knew he hated her. But she knew she also wanted her best friend back. So, she knocked on his door one night and suddenly thought of all the things he had put her through and realized that if anyone should beg for forgiveness it should be Arlo. She ran down the steps leading to his friend door, hoping to leave before he got to the door.

Arlo heard the knocking and went to open his front door, but when he did, he saw nothing there apart from the glistening street lights and swaying park trees, he was left confused but thought it was mostly due to the alcohol he was drinking earlier that night.

He closed the door behind me and walked back down the hallway. He thought nothing more of the rapping on his chamber door.

Cannon Street, Waterford, Co. Waterford, Ireland
051 376 584
© 2024 Presentation Secondary School Waterford