United Kingdom

Charlie’s Dahlia

June 12, 2020


It was the thick scent of bleach that woke her up. It scuttled up her nose like hundreds of spiders; it burnt like flames in her eyes; and bled out of her ears like water. Her body convulsed and she sneezed, her head knocking against the cracked, white wall behind her, the bed teetering back and forth slightly on its wheels. 

Her eyes snapped open to the thud on the wall and she cried out, instantly clutching a hand to the back of her sore skull. The world wasn’t still. When she gazed upon the room, it was like looking it thousands of red, blue and green circles turning in a kaleidoscope, straining her eyeballs so much that they could have exploded. 

Where was she? Who was she? She could answer the last question: she was Maria Dahlia, the renowned actress of theatre, but the former? She didn’t have the slightest idea. 

The circles in her vision halted spinning and she could discern her surroundings as the they morphed into objects. Maria sat up, but not before being stabbed a thousand times by a sharp ache in her neck, as if she was being beheaded in the moment. To prevent another cry of pain, she bit her lip, not wanting to draw any attention to herself (although she liked it in on stage) in this state. 

Maria gave the room a proper look: she was in a bed- a white bed on wheels; there was an open window just to her right, its cream, translucent curtains fluttering in the wind; and on her left was an array of garishly-coloured cards and presents on the bedside table, glaring printed love hearts, pretty flowers or her smiling face on the front, as if she had… died. 

‘What happened to me?’ Maria thought, before glancing down at herself. A hospital gown was draped over her slender form like a potato sack, a stark contrast to the tight-fitting, sparkly dresses that she was used to wearing in the limelight, the sort of dresses that got her picture on magazine covers. 

What if her looks were damaged? Panicked, she searched around her face- she wouldn’t be able to live if she were scarred, but she wasn’t. She was fine, except from her neck- at least she hoped it was her neck- it felt more like a steal rod was speared through her skull. 

She looked to her hands, soft, slim, small hands, with bruising on her fingertips, whilst her crimson-painted nails were chipped in jagged shapes. The hideous sight made her gag, but it brought her to recall something: her fiancé, Charlie, had requested she put on that nail varnish before they went to the premiere of her show. He said it made her look ‘ravishing’. 

The crimson nail varnish plunged Maria’s memory further to what happened that night in the car. The limousine took them to the premiere, except they never reached their destination. The crunch of the car’s gleaming, white shell rang in her ears and she could remember spinning for a few moments, then forcibly being thrown onto the floor like a child with a rag doll. There was this sensation of flipping upside down; the back window smashed, its dismembered shards flinging into Charlie’s face, yet she slipped into the pit of unconsciousness before she could do something. 

A dark and dreaded thought pulverised her mind, a terrorised and tormented howl broke her lips. 

Was Charlie dead? 
(576 WORDS) 


So in England, when you’re around fifteen to sixteen years old, you’ve got to do these exams called GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education) to get some qualifications from school. 

For your English Language GCSE exam, you have to do some creative writing and last week my teacher set us this exam question and I’m really happy with my response. It’s very short because you only have around forty minutes to do it, but this seems like an interesting idea to expand on. 

Exam question: Write the opening to a story based on an accident.  

Do you like me posting short stories (although some of them are more like flashes into moments). If so, I’ll try and do that more. :) 


Note about Hunting Swans:

I’ve decided to not post the script of Hunting Swans after realising that if I do, I may cause upset among the producers of the piece and I would hate to ruin this opportunity. 

However, I will definitely post the piece once it has been performed and is no longer a focus. :) This may be around August time (apologies for the long wait). By that time, the piece will be fully edited and revised, which is a bonus.  

Have a beautiful weekend,



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  • elliem

    Ellen, I love this! Review on the way. Awesome job, girl, and have a good day! :)

    5 months ago
  • outoftheblue

    Oh my God Ellen this is INCREDIBLE. Also, this reminds me of Eliza a lot, like is it sort of a backstory to Maria?
    also I wish ICSE had as interesting questions as the GCSE does hahah. And yes, yes yes to the short stories.

    6 months ago
  • joella

    this is amazing!! it reads like the opening to a thriller novel (which, by the way, i would definitely buy). please post more short stories- you don't see too much of that on here and i love your style!

    6 months ago