Walsh Wildcat E-Zine Walsh Middle School Framingham, MA
Issue Date: Thursday, May 09, 2013 Issue: MAY #54 Last Update: Friday, June 14, 2013
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The Corpse in the Back Closet
by Sophie Barowsky

Two Walsh 8th grade students were recognized with honors in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards as Gold Key winners, both in the category of Flash Fiction writing.

Congratulations to Sophie Barowsky who was recognized 
for her story
"The Corpse in the Closet"

Winning a gold key award means that Sophie will have her work automatically forwarded to the national level of the competition, and we wish her the best of luck!


I turn on the closet light. It’s almost cozy, minus the odorous corpse slouched against the wall. There’s a small knife through his heart. I sniff the cold musty air­–wait, cold? Yes, the crisp wind is coming from somewhere. I search around for the source until I stumble upon a small window. Examining it closer, I find that I can barely see through it due to its size, but still, I continue trying to find out where it leads. I press my nose up against the glass trying to get a better view. A cold concrete wall is the only thing I see, but then again, isn’t that what I had seen before I found this place?

            A few days ago, a door had mysteriously appeared. Until today, I had been waiting for the right moment to approach it. Suddenly, I get chills, starting at my fingers, then running up my arms, and through my veins. I feel as if my uncle is watching me from the corner, just as when I was a kid, writing poems in my little scarlet book as he looked over my shoulder, disapproving by softly clicking his tongue. In fact, the day I finished writing my favorite poem, ”Secrets” was the day I got the mysterious letter.

            The mailman had come to the door with that burgundy envelope, but it wasn’t until I actually read the lettert hat I couldn’t help wondering what was used to dye the envelope to make it as red as–blood. I had convinced myself that what it said in the letter wasn't true, that my uncle hadn’t been murdered; after all, the police report had specifically said “fire victim,” which had made sense to all of my other family members. There had been a great conflagration at one of the bigger manors, and many of the wealthy men would gather there daily, including my uncle. That day, I stuffed the letter in my sock drawer, and whenever I saw even a glimpse of the burgundy paper, I would immediately push it back further into the drawer and slam the door shut. I, now, pull out the letter from inside my jacket, and smooth out all the wrinkles.


            I spin around to find a camera on the floor. I cautiously pick it up and examine it. I find that it is somehow rigged so that it will take a photograph every minute. I scroll through the pictures. All I find other than the picture of me is a picture of a window, an open window…an open window! It’s not a coincidence that a door had appeared where a concrete wall had once stood, now a concrete wall in front of the window. Suddenly, it dawns on me: what if there was a moving concrete wall, better yet, a set of rotating concrete walls?

            My uncle had always told me that the stars could tell me everything. I wonder…my eyes drift to the ceiling. There’s a soft glow coming through a rounded crack in the ceiling. Is it a crack, or…a button! I find some dusty boxes and pile them one on top of the other. I climb up, wondering if the cardboard can hold my weight. Not wanting to find out, I quickly press the button, and hop down. There’s a screech as I walk to the window. I look out the window to find a library. There’s someone in there cloaked in black and holding a small scarlet book of poems.

            “Hmm,” the man says, his back still turned to me. ”What poem to read next.” He speaks in a heavy Irish accent. He over-pronounces the last word, then turns a couple of pages.

            I hold my breath.

            “Secrets,” he says. He begins to read.

            “I once had a secret/No one ever knew…” he continues reading.

            A shiver runs up my spine. I know this poem. I wrote this poem.

            He starts to walk out of the room, his shoes rhythmically stepping to the poem as he reads it.

            I look up at the ceiling. It’s shining brighter than ever. I hurry to restack the boxes, and scurry to the top, stretching to reach the button. I’m almost there. My index finger touches the button, but the button won’t move. Why won’t it move?! I hear a screech and the concrete walls slide around me. The floor begins to quake. The boxes under me topple to the ground, bringing me down with them. I look around, unsure of what to do. I grab the camera and my letter, and stumble to the door. The concrete walls start to slide, shaking the room with such force that I am launched into the wall. I can hear the man on the other side of the door through the rumbling. He recites the last line of my poem.

“But secrets are meant to be kept hidden.” I hear him close the book.

I try to reach the door before the man does. He locks the door just before the walls slide into place.


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