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Edited by Eddie Fernandes,
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Edmund, aged 11 is the son of Conrad (ex-Mombasa), and Amala (ex-Mumbai)

Talented: Edmund de Souza has won a national essay competition

Croydon Advertiser
Friday 16 July 2004

The Field

It lay there, golden and yet, forbidding. Who knew what lived in those tall, dry grasses. Barry Codger swore that he had seen a three-eyed mouse: “I tell you, for goodness sake! It was staring right up at me!” Nobody had even bothered to remember how it got there – the field had just always been there. Now, in the modern world, its true place in life was revealed………….

“I’ll tell you umpteen times if I had to, I don’t care. You won’t go into that old field!” My Mum was driving herself up a brick wall. I knew my brother Laurence knew ………..that Mum wanted us to stay out of ‘that old place’: but we knew that we just had to go in.

The day we chose was bright and awfully hot, no ghosts ( if that’s what the field contained ) would scare us in broad daylight, no way! Our E.P.’s (explorer’s packs) were ready. I kept on rechecking mine, as if I was determined to find something that I’d forgotten to pack. It was all there: torch, spare batteries, sandwiches, gum, watch n’ compass, raincoat…..I won’t bore you with the incredibly long list. My brother Laurence strode ahead, confidently. Oooh…….it makes me so angry to see him like that, strutting about like a balloon. Anyway, we reached the field and drawing our swords (penknives actually) we hacked a path through this unexplored jungle. Crickets chirped and grated but they were the only sounds that we could hear. The bird song had been cut out ages ago. The earth was damp and sludgy….no sunlight filtered through the solid wall of grass heads that soared powerfully up to meet and clash with the rays. Laurence’s knife had broken minutes ago, and now my knife arm was tiring, the cold steel of the blade blunted at the edge. We trudged on in silence, my brother and I. Our entrance was a mere pinprick of light in the eternal blackness of the field. Then we met our worst nightmare. Rising out of the darkness were obscure shadows, blacker than night itself. The ground trembled………..Then the shadows spoke. Well, they weren’t exactly speaking but a noise came out of their mouths ( did they have them?). I mingled together and became one, sounding as a low, monotonous hum. In fact, it was slightly soothing. Hmmm…….I liked that sound……! Wait. It was great! I’d never heard anything like it in my entire life. It was harmonies and melodies, major and minor, octaves apart, yet all this hidden in one single, beautiful note. I felt the penknife drop from my hand. Suddenly. I seemed to be falling, down, down into nothingness. Noooo………! The music was fading. I felt as if, when it went, I would no longer have even the will to live. Then oblivion embraced me like a friend……….

It’s quite nice here. Laurence and I are sunbathing on a Hawaiian beach, each with an ice-cream the size of an adult’s arm. Whenever you wish for food or something like that, it just appears. Paradise at last. Or is it really?

Author : Edmund De Souza : age 11
Elmhurst School , Croydon


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