‘New Assignment’: the evil, soul-destroying message

Kartik – Year 10 Student

Editor’s Note: Written as part of his studies in English Language, the sense of threat and the lack of opportunity for escape comes across really strongly in this edited version of Kartik’s longer piece. The phrase ‘New Assignment’ may also strike fear in the hearts of those posting them during this period of remote learning! MJP

Light pierces through the grand bay windows, illuminating the enclosure in dazzling brightness for a moment, taunting those trapped inside. The light continues its journey across the compound, oblivious to the lust it creates for the outside world to those forced inside. It laughs at the hastily made bed, where it notices the unmistakable lack of sleep that takes place in it. It scowls at the thick curtains pulled to either side of the windows, the guards that had previously not let it enter. It smirks at the boy hunched over his desk, the screen in front of him, being hounded by the message; the evil, soul-destroying message: “New Assignment”.

This was not always a trap. It used to be a room – a bedroom. Where the tremendous television mounted above the desk played endless hours of movies. Today, it solemnly sits  without a job, its bleak, black screen illustrating the darkness of the times in which we now live. It used to be a bedroom where the electronic drum kit perched in front of the windows was played with joy and happiness. Now, it sits there, coming second to the mountain of heavy textbooks that lie upon the desk. It used to be a bedroom where the photographs, dotted across the room like lily pads, used to excite and inspire, but alas, now just serve as reminders of better times.

The light bounces upon a lamp perched on a bookshelf, swiftly changing its colours, longing to be noticed, but instead, sitting in the back, neglected by its owner. From here, the light can snigger at the boy attempting to turn everything in. The light, living its carefree life, sweeps across the room until it’s directly above the boy, shining on his laptop, distracting him. The light disturbs and diverts and distorts the boy, taunting him as it does so.

The boy has lost track of time, and his screen flashes with that same message, the evil, soul-destroying message: “New Assignment”.


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