My Own Paradise


I was just drifting into consciousness. Brightly coloured shapes flowed across the darkness that was the inside of my eyes. I was completely comfortable, snuggled in…Wait. What was I cocooned in exactly? Sitting bolt up right I examined the chaos of debris around me. Dizzily looking around the clearing, which was in fact more like a ragged scar, I surveyed what I had been out cold in: broken bits of twigs; dead leaves; mashed, almost rotting fruit and salty, sticky, sand. Standing up, I tried to remember why I was here. Shattered fragments flashed through my mind. Then it hit me. It hit me hard.  I was stuck, on an island, in the middle of nowhere. I was back in the plane. Smoke curling around my throat. Flames creeping silently through the mass of seats. And then…me, in inky black water, thrashing to get that last breath of life giving air. Thrusting those thoughts to the deepest regions of my mind.


I squinted around. The jungle was densely packed with objects beyond my realm of imagination. A cluster of flowers caught my attention. Blooming brightly in the small streaks of sunlight coming down through the small gaps in the canopy. Small breezes lifted the petals, sending delicate fragrances in my direction. Brightly coloured butterflies flitted past. Brushing my face and hair gently with their wings of every hue. Reds, blues, oranges and greens. Birds were singing tropical melodies: they made me want to dance. The songs called to something deep inside, it blossomed out tinkling in the air. It was, Laughter. Tears of mirth ran down my face my tracks in the grime that I am sure was every where.


Then I saw the ocean. Onto the white-sanded beach I ran, watching it in awe. The sea, it glittered and shimmered in the sun’s rays, dancing up onto the shore and pulling me in. Enticing me deeper and deeper into its azure depths. Leaning on one of the many palm trees that lined the diamond-studded sand, I lay drinking in the sunlight. I could feel my skin taking it in, gulping it down like some life giving elixir. I breathed deep, like I would the smell of a chocolate cake baking. The smell was nothing I had ever smelt before, it was even better than the buttery sunlight. The very air made me feel alive, it was so free of the smog and smoke that I was used to.


Leaping up, I swung myself up onto an old, carved tree. Leaves and fruit rained down as pushing them aside I emerged at the top. My eyes wandered as far as they could see, taking in the sheer cliff face and the icing-pink rocks the burst out of the water. In front of me the horizon was completely flat apart from the breakers on the coral reef. Behind me the jungle cool, inviting and full of wonders hidden in its shadows. Above me all I could see was the clear deep blue sky. There was no sign of the destructive storm that had wrecked havoc last night. Closing my eyes I watched the shapes and shadows change, just like I had when I was waking up. Reds and pinks roamed across my eyes. The fire was all around me, closing in, hungrily devouring all else in its path. I quickly snapped my eyes open. Looking toward the other side of the lagoon I saw the pitted rocks and the raised platform that lined it. 


Two. Short. Sharp. Blasts echoed around the bay, disturbing the peace. The silence suffocated ears, but then the noise sounded again and again and again. Jumping down from my perch, I made my way steadily up the beach towards the platform, while hundreds of tropical birds made a rainbow across the perfect sky.







Throughout the whole piece I wanted to create a dreamy, contented atmosphere to convey a feeling of just awakening. I did this through the use of long sentences and words with dreamy connotations such as “drifting”. This implies a slow and soothing way to wake up.


However, several points during the task I tried to make the atmosphere tenser, for example when Kara, the character, remembers how she got onto the island. I did this through use of repetition and short sentences to emphasize my point, “then it hit me. It hit me hard”.


By using synaethesia, ‘drinking in the sunlight’, I wanted the reader to see and feel the ‘buttery’ sunlight on their skin. I tried to do the same thing with the sand, sea and sky. By using the word ‘diamond-studded’ to describe the sand I wanted to imply just how white and crystalline the beach was. In the same way, using the words ‘perfect’, ‘azure’ and ‘heaven’ to describe the sea and sky, I wanted to convey a picture of a stereotypical tropical island. Additionally, by describing the setting in all directions around the character, I tried to give the impression that she was completely surrounded by this wonderful, place, ‘which was densely packed with things just waiting for (her) to find’.


Furthermore, I wanted to show how the character was so much more comfortable, I did this by using words like ’cocooned’ and nest’. I also did this by comparing the air on the island and in England. The air on the island made her ‘feel alive’ but the English air was full of ‘smoke and smog’. Additionally I used little discomforts like ‘salty, sticky sand’ and ‘mashed, almost rotting, fruit’ to emphasize how much the island was a paradise.


As well as references to the paradise around the character, I also made repeated references to birds, tropical ones in particular. This was partly again to emphasize the paradise especially in the last sentence ‘hundreds of tropical birds made a rainbow’. I also used birds because I wanted to create a carefree and joyous mood. I did this through using the idea of birds flying free ‘across a perfect sky’. I also used words like ‘leaping’, ‘laughter’ and ‘mirth’ to contribute to the mood as well.