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11 edicin del Certamen literario Instituto Espaol de Londres, 2011-2012 Categora A: Prosa Primer premio ex aequo: Melissa Camargo

2 E.S.O. A


The sun rose over the untrimmed hedges surrounding Lasve Castle. The dirty, crumbling stone sculptures looking much dirtier than before, due to the bright light illuminating and accentuating every weathered feature. The castle walls werent in a very good condition either, the windows were smothered in dust and the walls covered in green, thick moss. The many doors scattered around the green walls of the castle looked horrible; they were a nice brown colour, but most of it had peeled off, revealing a ghastly dull grey colour. The door knobs on every door were silver and slightly rusted. The size of door varied on the importance of the part of the outside of the Lasve Castle. All in all, the exterior looked worse for wear. It looked many centuries old, and as if it had been long since itd been inhabited. Nevertheless, anyone who thought it was empty and most likely about to crumble down entirely was wrong. It was neither inhabited nor on the brink of destruction. Its interior was the entire opposite of its exterior. With immaculate hallways and tidy rooms, one would most probably think they had entered another house somehow. No cracks in the walls, no chipped paint anywhere. It was unnatural and most likely bordering on obsessively neat. Nyla Lasve, the only occupant of the ancient castle, was hidden in the South tower. She was staring into the dawn, seemingly captivated by the wide variety of colours the early morning had to offer. Her dark mocha hair flying in the wind. It was waist length and wavy. Her light azure eyes shone with tears not yet cried. Nor will they ever be cried. She couldnt.

She, of course, knew she wasnt really captivated by the dawn. She had seen it every day for the previous fifty years, and it never changed at all. It was always the same, in summer it was early and in winter late. Always orange, then pink and a smidge of a green shade, ending with the sky blue colour it had all day, until dusk. It tired her, as her days were always so repetitive. The worst time of day was most probably dusk, for Nyla. It somehow represented the end of the day but also the continuation of a never-ending dark and light day, for she couldnt sleep. It showed that even the darkest nights could not put her at rest. She greatly, every night, regretted choosing this life. She couldve chosen to just die, and then that would be done. But she chose to live in this non-corporeal form, sentencing herself to an eternity long punishment for which crime she hadnt done. It wasnt fair. That was basically all she thought. She wouldve screamed it from the highest tower in the damn castle were it not for the fact that she had no voice whatsoever. Death had stolen her voice in exchange for the chance to live in this almost translucent form. All those myths, legends and stories were lies. This castle wasnt haunted by a bloodthirsty, ravenous, maniacal demon. It was occupied by a lonely, sad, mute ghost. Damn her wish for immortality. Damn her wish to see the future. Damn her naive and hopeful teenage mind. Damn Death and his conditions, loopholes and games. Damn destiny. *** Nyla... a whisper sounded from across her room. Nyla... Nyla, dressed in her modest nightgown and sitting by the fire, sat up and closed her book. Who- Who is it? she asked out loud. When no response came, she forgot about it and opened her book, to continue reading.

It started again, this time repeating her name many times; Nyla... Nyla... Nyla... Nyla... Nyla... NYLA... NYLA... NYLA... NYLA! Every time her name was said, the voice got a bit louder and angrier, until it was practically shouting, screaming in fury. I have come, to collect your debt. She had a second to remember what it meant, and she paled considerably at the thought. Shed forgotten her deal to save her life. Suddenly, it all went black, and white, and back to black. It changed rapidly from white to black, making her dizzy and slightly sick. Soon after, although itd felt more like hours later, it stopped and she was lying on the floor, her book misplaced clumsily on the cushion upon her armchair. When she tried to lift her hand to place it properly, she found she couldnt her body was immobile. Nyla... the voice whispered, a hint of smugness laced into its menacing voice. You have eternity... Once again, it all went black. *** Days, or weeks, later, she finally thought of something. An idea which; if it worked, would set her free. Shed rather be dead literally than to live another day alone. She spoke the same words the voice had spoken to her moments before her supposed death, with the needed change: I wish to break a deal, she declared, as she stood tall at the same spot she was to have died. She faltered a bit once she realised she had spoken for the first time in half a century, but pushed it to the back of her mind; it wasnt important. The effect was instantaneous, the atmosphere suddenly became dark and depressing, and the weather was suddenly cold. A dark mist appeared in front of her, like so many years before, shapeless and blurred. Nyla Lasve, it drawled in its deep voice. It sent shivers down her spine fearful ones and she looked down. Her nose burned while she breathed, it smelt of death, which, admittedly, was logical as he was Death. My dear- You called for me? Nyla, her voice hoarse and stuttering, managed to force out a semi-strong; Yes. She looked up and stared into a pair of blood red orbs, no black or white in them whatsoever. It motivated her, encouraged her. Yes! I wish to break the deal, she informed it. I wish for death and I no longer wish to live eternally mute. Dont you hear, you have a voice now.

Now, but the fact remains, sir, that life has become awful. I no longer am possessed by the thoughts I was thinking back then. The red orbs seemed to look at her disapprovingly, as if scolding her. It trapped her, her own eyes couldnt look away from them, she forgot where she was, who she was. If you want... So be it! An aged scroll appeared and Nyla unrolled it, hastily ripping it up as proof of her broken deal. Once she ripped most of it up, she saw a small print at the bottom of the paper. Deals are only broken once the name is erased from the agreement and blood from the deal maker is spilled. Only then is this scroll to be destroyed with fire from Hell. Horrified, she looked up and saw the thick black mist had grown in size and now loomed feet over her. Instead of feeling scared, though, she felt a sense of relief, as she thought she was dying anyways. The last thing she saw before she passed out in pure and utter shock were the burnt orange, fiery walls of Hell and the terrible sight of the laughing face of the devil.

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