A Volatile World – by Anna Triesman

Winning entry in the 11 to 18 years category.

My parents always said the world was a volatile, unpredictable place, but until today I never understood what they meant. I mean, I looked it up in the dictionary and all that, but I never truly realised the importance of what they said. I just assumed it was one of those things adults say to sound wise and important, when really they don’t know what they’re talking about. That was three years ago, when I was eight. I’m eleven now, and living through history. 

It all began this morning when I woke up, got into my uniform and headed downstairs for breakfast. My mum was in the kitchen, looking confused and a bit worried. “I have some very big news for you Kate,” she said, turning away from the coffee machine. It was only then that I realised something. “You should be at work by now, shouldn’t you?” I asked. “Did you lose your job or something?” 
“No,” Mum replied. “Sit down and I’ll explain. You know about the coronavirus don’t you?” “Yes,” I replied nervously, “What about it?”
“The government says that it’s closing all public places to stop it from spreading. I can’t go to work, and you can’t go to school. If you read the news more often rather than mystery novels you would know about all this.” And that was how the morning of the craziest day of my life began. 
It’s true that I don’t read the news, but it’s not because of me not being interested. It’s because there are so many stories of crimes, accidents and disappearances that are never solved. I like questions with answers, puzzles with solutions. I hate the not knowing. It scares me, but lockdown is more frightening than even the most perplexing of news stories. The idea of being unable to leave my home, speak to my friends or even go to school is terrifying in itself, but what makes it worse is that I don’t know how long it’ll last. Weeks? Months? Years? All the uncertainty is driving me mad, and my school play that we’d been practicing for weeks has been cancelled! Drat! 

I’m sitting in my book-filled bedroom now, writing in this old homework book which I’ve decided should be my lockdown journal. For the rest of the morning and afternoon, I read books, watched movies and attempted (unsuccessfully) to solve a Rubik’s cube. Not too bad, huh?  Well, that’s day one of this bonkers week I guess. The adventure has begun!

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