For our clubCREATE magazine we often call out for our readers to submit stories and poems for competitions. We receive stories that are everything from lighthearted sci-fi tales, to spooky poems. However, sometimes we receive stories where our clubCREATE members have drawn on real-life experiences to share important messages.
In our December clubCREATE magazine, we asked our Over 12’s readers to send us a story that starts with the prompt “The plan was to have a quiet day at home, but that’s not what happened”. It was the following entry from clubCREATE member Allanah that highlighted the need for conversations around bullying.
The plan was to have a quiet day at home, but that’s not what happened. I don’t even know what happened myself, i just ended up here. I walked along a rope bridge that was swaying in mid-air. I don’t know how to get back to wherever I was before this, but I know I must get to the light and darkness at the end of the bridge. The trees were whispering their secrets to each, the whispering was getting louder and louder as I walked further along the bridge.
“Another one falls.”
“Sad lonely little girl.”
So young, little girl? I am fourteen not three! What was I thinking, trees can’t talk! It’s just in my head. I continued my walk closer to the light and the ever lingering dark. The darkness was towering over the light trying to crush it. As I reached halfway, I noticed the trees where changing. The trees closer to the light were a soft glowing pearly white, with light blue flowing silently through its veins, but the trees closer to the darkness were an angry black with red pulsing savagely through the tree’s cracks.
The bridge was getting wider, like it was going to split. I was right, it did split, one path was leading into the cruel darkness and the other into the present light. I walked up to the light and reached out my finger to touch the light when I heard the trees again.
“It’s hard to tell what this on will be,” said a voice coming from the dark area.
“Most walk straight through but this one is different,” said a voice from the light area.
I ignored it, because like I said it was probably just in my head. I moved my finger closer ever so slightly. When I toughed the light, I felt this thing in my back, not pain or numb more like a pleasant kind of thing. The pleasantness faded so I shoved my hand further in. Nothing.
I walked over to the darkness hoping to get the feeling again, the darkness looked bad, but it can’t be that bad, I kneed to know what it did. I regretted touching it immediately. I yelped pulling my hand away, a pain like no other erupted through my skull.
“No!” whispered the trees around her.
“It can’t be!” whispered a white tree. “Only one has ever done it before!”
“She is of both,” said a black tree. “What does this mean?”
I pulled out my phone and went onto camera.
“No!” I yelled. I had devil horns and tail but also soft white hair and gold angel wings!
I was about to turn my phone off when I notice the time, it was two thirty. The same time I… it all came back to me. How could I forget? I knew why I was here. I was dead! I was walking home on my way from school when I felt this shove, Ashley the school bully had pushed me onto the road.
“Ha take that Cherri!” Ashley yelled.
And a car came and yeah…
The darkness must be hell and the light must be heaven and earth must be the way I came! I ran back the bridge swaying menacingly all I cared about what was at the end. I ran for what felt like hours. Although it took no time at all seaming time stops here. All the trees were normal again. In the distance I saw a green light. I ran straight through it. It was not pleasant or cruel but kind of in-between. And I blacked out.
I woke up in a hospital. I had survived the crash!
“What happened to Ashley?” I asked
“She went to prison for attempted murder.” Replied my mum.
What to do if you’re being bullied
Allanah’s story isn’t the first time bullying has been raised as a problem by our clubCREATE members. In stories, interviews, and Youth Advisory Groups (YAGs), our clubCREATE members have told us how bullying has affected them, with many stating that the bullying was due to them being in care. Breaking down the stigma of being in care is something we’re passionate about, and it’s why we run our Snap that Stigma campaign. But for those experiencing bullying right now, it’s important to know you’re not alone. Around one in four Australian students have experienced bullying. It can be incredibly detrimental to your mental health, and there’s no shame in asking for help if you’re struggling.
If you need help, please reach out to one of the services below.
For crisis suicide prevention
13 11 14
A phone helpline, email and chat service for young people who want confidential counselling
1800 55 1800
Includes an anonymous forum where you can get support from other young people who have experienced similar things
For more information on bullying and advice on what to do if you’re experiencing it