11 June 2013

An Occurrence at Coogee Beach

I wrote this moderately fictionalized 'descriptive personal narrative in my Year 10 English class. I think its an (albeit primitive) example of my 'silly' voice which I tend to use fairly frequently - its a lot of fun to write in, and hopefully at least comparably enjoyable to read.

The day started like any other summer day in Australia. I awakened from my log-like slumber and yawned. Pulling myself to my feet, I peered out the window and was greeted by the inviting sight of the ocean. Still partially asleep, I called my friend Dimitri and mumbled something vague involving the beach. Obviously just having woken up himself, he grunted in return, expressing his reaction, possibly positive, to the idea. An hour or so later we met at the nearest beach, Coogee, clad in bathing suits and ridiculously oversized wetsuits.

It was early in the day, so the water was still a little cool for swimming in. Instead we proceeded to cover every exposed square inch of skin with at least a tangible layer of sunscreen. After this ritual had been completed, Dimitri suggested we build a sand castle. I agreed, all the time knowing full well that our own feeble attempts of constructing a sand castle could be more adequately described as 'digging a rather large hole' or possibly 'building a big mound.' Following the completion of our veritable masterpiece, we assessed our efforts. "That thing there looks a bit like a wall, and that hole could be a moat," Dimitri stated.

"I think it sorta looks like when they blew up New York in Independence Day, only messier and less organized," I replied. Dimitri indicated his approval of my appraisal and we decided it was tiem to enter the water. Little did I know what a terrible fate awaited me inside the murky depths of the ocean.

We experimentally waded into the water, it was warm enough to satisfy us, and so we jumped in and started splashing around like enraged hippos. We were in the water for less than fifteen minutes when an unthinkable calamity occurred.

A lance of agony shot up my leg as the horrid monster struck. I gritted my teeth and, showing calm cool judgement in the face of danger, screamed like a baby. Hobbling back to the shore, I grabbed a handful of sand, using it to rub the fiendish aberration's groping arms off my mutilated shin. As the creature expired form the exposure to the alien environment, I sighed in relief. Peering down at my vanquished foe, I paused to think of how dire the situation could have become had I lost my head. Then I remembered my crippled leg and resumed my frantic spasms.

Looking back, I may have overreacted slightly, considering that my enemy was a three-inch long bluebottle. It may actually have been dead before it latched onto my leg, but it still burned like hell. The best way I can describe the pain is like having a line of beestings wherever its tentacles touched my bare flesh. The 'bluey,' as many Australians call it, had become wrapped tightly around my right leg from the knee down; its body was trapped between my toes. This was the first, and last, time I have experienced pain to this extent, but the occurrence will neither be forgotten nor, I hope, repeated.

The pain continued in full for about half an hour. I spet this duration with my leg buried underneath the sand, as this is supposed to help relieve the suffering, but if it did I could not tell. The area soon after subsided into a dull ache, and by that evening it was gone, replaced by a persistent itching sensation around the affected area. The next day my leg was criss-crossed by a series of reddish welts, lined up wherever contact with the devilish beast had occurred. The welts became scabs, the scabs become scars, and eventually these too disappeared.

Soon after the fiasco was over, I looked up the Bluebottle on the Internet and found out some interesting facts, not least of which was that I had done everything in the situation wrong. Rubbing the area will actually cause the pain to increase, as will attempting to remove it using wet sand, both of which I performed under the ever helpful instruction of my friend's mother, who claimed to be an expert in the area of Bluebottle Sting Treatment.

Today I am left with no visible physical signs of the event, but it will be seared into my memory as one of my most intense experiences ever.

What fun we have together, you devoted readers and I. Join me next time when I reveal which House I have been sorted into (HINT: Its Slytherin)