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by Dajana Spajić, grade 7

 It's the year 1333. James is in the study room. He's quietly observing one of the candles on a chandelier. Wax is dripping down the candle on the coat of Mr. Dalton, his teacher. James could stifle his laugh no longer. He started laughing uncontrollably as the teacher turned around with a confused, but yet disapproving, look on his face. “Enough! Absolutely outrageous! James Binks, of all six-year-olds I've taught you are, with no doubt, the worst one! You are dismissed!“ James stood up and left the room, giggling childishly. He heard the teacher mumbling something like , "Such a wealthy family” and , "Should at least behave well”. 

The lights in the Binks household went out. London went dark. Only few oil lamps were glinting in the distance. James dozed off, no worries on his mind.

As for Matthew… He certainly had worries on his mind. Matthew Cadbury, a small, thin boy, was huddled up in a corner of a dark street, another person lying at his feet. The person was his mother. The woman was not dead yet, she was still breathing.  He rested his head on his knees and sobbed silently. The moon lit the empty streets filled with stifled sobs.

15 years later, 1348

Both boys turned 21. James has inherited his family house from his father. He lived there with his mother. At the time the Binks family was highly respected. In another town called Weymouth, Matthew was struggling to earn food or anything at all. He worked in the fields, he begged, and sometimes when he was extremely desperate, he stole. No matter how horrible or rough his life was at the time, soon enough, it was going to get even worse. It all started with the return of the seaman. The seaman arrived in Weymouth. With the ship came rats. That might not seem like something worth of the attention, but turns out it was. In June 1348 people started getting sick. They had the Plague. The rats were flea-infected and they had spread the disease. Matthew didn’t get to see the diseased people. They were banished. Well, the alive ones were. The dead ones were dragged and “dumped” outside of the town. One day it was already July, Matthew was walking through the market when he saw a big crowd. He pushed his way through the people when he saw the market attraction. He was one of the diseased. The man was lying on the ground and he was thrashing around, screaming in pain. Suddenly the screaming stopped and the man was lying still on the ground. He managed to whisper out,"Goodbye…agony..” before his eyes rolled back in his head. The man’s body was horrible to see. His skin seemed blistered, it was covered in, what looked like fresh burns and injuries. It looked like the plague was eating him alive. A week passed before Matthew became one of the diseased. The pain was almost insufferable, but Matthew hid it well. He was sitting on the pavement, leaned on a cold, almost rumbling, stone wall. He squeezed his eyes shut and set his jaw. It took all his will not to scream out. At one point, hours, or maybe minutes after that, everything went black. Matthew woke up. He blinked away the white dots in front of his eyes, caused by blinding light. He looked around. He was in the most beautiful room he’s ever seen. The windows were open, exposing a stunning view of – was that London?! He stood up to take a better look. Matthew turned around to see a boy starring at him blankly, white-faced. Matthew was instinctively stepping away, backward. The boy was holding Mathew’s hand, preventing him from falling. Matthew pulled himself back in the room. “…’M Mathew” he blurted out. “J-James”, the other boy said, stuttering. James was staring at something behind Mathew. Matthew tilted his head: “What’s so interesting back there?” James looked down: “Y-Your wings…” “My – My what now?” “Wings… Not to spoil it for you, but you’ve got wings, mate…”, James chuckled lightly, a hint of satisfaction in his voice. “I guess… I’m an angel now…” Matthew whispered and looked up. “How come you can see me?” he asked directly. James merely shrugged at the question: “Maybe you’re my angel.” Matthew blushed slightly, he felt that it’s true. He looked up and examined James. He felt himself turning redder. James` eyes...Mathew found them almost hypnotizing. James laughed when he looked up to find Mathew staring at him. James was also examining Mathew, but a whole lot more subtle. He only caught glimpses trying not to be too obvious. Matthew cleaned his throat. Slowly, they started a conversation. At first, since the two boys barely knew each other, it was awkward. But, as they talked, the uncomfortable feeling washed away. James was barely leaving his room any more. His servants and his mother were getting worried about him. They couldn’t hear Mathew’s voice, only James could. The conversation he led with Mathew reminded him of Pax, only this time he got actual responses. They’d walk for hours, holding hands. Imagine the look on people’s faces when they saw James Binks, holding hands with – no one! With air! But James didn’t care. You can see how close James and Mathew were. That went on for months, until the plague reached London. Matthew couldn’t bear the thought of James going through what he went through, suffering. Also, there was a chance of losing James. What if he just disappeared? Faded away? Matthew shook his head. He didn’t want to think about that. James was in his bed, lying. James’ eyes closed. He let out his last breath and his soul left his body. James’ mother was sobbing by the head of his bed and servants were all over the room. A flash of brilliant light shone next to Mathew. When the light died away a bit, he could see the well-known figure, face, everything! Tears of relief flooded over Mathew as he pulled James into a kiss. He pulled away and took James’ hand. They left the house. They might still be in London, maybe they’re even in Weymouth. Or maybe they’re watching over you this very moment.

mentor: Ivana Martinjak

OŠ Ksavera Šandora Đalskog

Donja Zelina