‘The Great Outdoors’ by Josh Rimmer, Year Twelve

The air is cold and the sky is an entrancing ocean blue, the air tingles in my lungs with a sharp spike of bitterness. I wander up, wading through the thick layer cake of mud, snow and leaves, with the brutal cracks of every rich Yorkshireman’s favourite gadget accompanying my trek, acting as my rendezvous point, back into moderate civilization. The brisk flapping of wings is met with a huge uproar of rioting screams before the golden feathers descend to ground in an almighty thud. I slave away for the luxury of others, removing the sharp blades of thorns from my arms and legs every few paces, with my now soaking feet carrying me every step of the way. Every few seconds, golden feathers ascend; for some a graceful return to ground is imminent, for others, a spiral through the red mist descent is the only outcome.

The whistling sway of the emerald green trees match the whistling blast of the black barrels, the murderous black barrels which still brings excitement and enjoyment to the operator. The energetic wagging tails of the wandering dogs is enough to sweep you off your feet into the shallow pits of murk that lay below. Dark branches sit in the undergrowth, waiting like a cobra to attack, before striking and strangling your ankles without warning; the only way to escape to brutally kick and stamp your way out before scrambling further forwards through the mud-infested minefield.

Those who dare to push to push further into the minor scale jungle risk struggling through holes as dark as a starless night sky and undergrowth strangling the life out of your tiring legs, clawing and scratching like a terrifying attack dog. You sense the buzz around the area; a sense like no other that cannot be explained, which you have to witness and feel for yourself.