Do Not Click Do Not Click Do Not Click
School Stuff
Fun Stuff
Life of Brian
The Tail

By Emma Donald

“Come on, it could be something awesome, like a, you know, a key or something! Oh, come on Holly!”
“But what if it’s nothing, though, what if we get hurt?” I pour my worries and fears into the understanding cup of Julia’s mind.
“I’ll look after you, come on!” she urges in a hopeful voice, as she drags me along like a mother cat drags her kittens by the scruff of their neck, to the shimmering, winking, object in my neighbour’s tiny, enclosed yard.
“Okay, you stay here so I can throw it back to you. I’ll just jump over, they won’t mind a tiny little bit, they’re about five million years old!” Julia cries in an unconcerned voice.

Three minutes later we mournfully flop on my pale, silky, bed, and Julia converses with me about the mysterious coin. It just fills me with a sense of buoyancy, curiosity, I explain to my encouraging friend. No proper activity follows, just an hour of being bored senseless by just absent wondering about the ridiculous ten cent coin that crumpled our dreams of entertainment like a sheet of paper in the hands of a confused student.

Julia stays the night, and for a few fleeting and carefree hours, I forget that strange, yet so normal coin. Movies, chatting, fooling around, and then finally, staying up to midnight leaves our heavy eyelids drooping and our tingling spirits falling.
“Julia- Julia! The coin!” I whisper into my companion’s ear, just as she is heading for the world of dreams. Rubbing sleep out of her red-rimmed eyes, she joins me in gasping like a drowning swimmer at the glowing, sparkling, coin.

Ten minutes later Julia and I stare, wide eyed, mesmerised, at that eerie, electric-glowing coin. It hovers in front of us like a wasp, and begins to move forward. Out of my room which resembles a bomb site, down the hall, past the painting of that lady at a circus, and banging out of the rickety fly screen. Out of the whitewashed gate, onto the footpath that is by day a graffiti haven and by night a moonlight bathed marble dance floor, and slowly increasing in speed, we arrive at the desolate park.
Our strides become long and confident as we head for the whirler-thing that resides in the bark-floored playground, under the oak that forever moans it’s grieving to the world. The whirler is rusty and dirty, and nobody uses it because it’s so unstable and ancient. But today of all days, Julia and I are compelled to spring on, and spin, spin, spin-


Out of the blue, we find ourselves plummeting like marbles scattered from a giant’s hand into an infinite blackness, an eternal pit with desolation and tears seeping from the darkness. It forces a scream of terror and confusion ripping out of our throats, straight from our trembling hearts, so loud that the whole world should have woken in their beds. But nobody hears. Nobody at all.
As I spot a ledge on the rough walls of this terrible pit, instincts I never knew I had kick in, plonking Julia and I on the fortunate jut, which leads into a cave.

After what seems an hour of groaning and moaning and clutching each other with recently unknown strength, we regain our full senses, which are instantly pierced by another electric-blue glow, just like that from the coin. The resounding, harsh light is emitting from a breathtakingly beautiful sapphire set onto the lid of a dull, silver box. The ever-present ten cent coin of dread is still in my tense grip, an the tiniest voice in the very back of my fevered mind pushes me, wills me to bound over and flip open that stunningly terrifying box.

I do just that, in a zombie-like trance. But what then confronts me, to my ever-lasting dread, is a bloody, dripping, cat’s tail, with no cat attached to it’s stump. It squirms, wriggles, writhes like a worm. A split second before a silent scream emerges from deep inside me, Julia spots it too. Instantaneously, darkness begins to eat at the edges of my vision, sending me to the ground with a sickening faint.

Our eyes flick open and light up like torches. Julia and I are yelling and screaming as if it’s the end of the world. But not in that horrible cave. In a bed. A bed that smells of disinfectant soap and stale air. It’s a hospital bed. What?
“It’s alright darling. You just had a little accident. That’s all,” Mum gently soothes me.
Out of the corner of my watering eye, I spot something. It squirms, wriggles, writhes. The tail.


Brian Falkner Books