IGCSE Creative Writing Coursework

A walk through the mind of sir Esteban Winsmoore.By Louie Jacques Kalvis (italics mean thoughts, they are in present tense for they are unspoken dialogue)



The deal was sealed and our old friend the psychiatrist Dr Johnson, whose efforts have been required before, would be needed once again. Johnson with Sir Esteban Winsmoore’s consent, drank the elixir, which he knew he would need to do, to truly understand the other. The decanting process had worked and within seconds. Johnson fell into a sleep which would last a lifetime.

It felt like falling, but no distance had been fallen, as if Dr Johnson had awakened to a hypnagogic jerk. He found himself in the ruins of a Greek structure by the sea. Far below him, standing on a pyre, was a grey-suited man who was of slender stature and appeared to be forty years of age. “So you have arrived on time, true to your reputation. I must digress, you need to understand each room or place, including this one, and what it represents in feelings to achieve your goal of understanding. I just need to follow your lead and my employers will be satisfied with the reports I make. Call me Swīn.”


The man was far off yet Dr Johnson heard him as if he was standing adjacent to him. The water flowed and broke on the rocks below, but this was not sea water, tears. “A sea which mourns,” said Swīn, “do you see it?” Johnson replied “Yes, the sea is forming faces.” He watched the faces shatter on the rocks. Woe.


Dr Johnson found himself in an inn. His immediate observation worried him, where is he? Swīn could not be found and for the first time he was properly engaged and involved with his environment. Faces of confused Norsemen stared straight at him. “What is the meaning of this, who are you?” Johnson was severely distraught by the huge man who stood like a barbican looming over him. “Good people I am Samwell Johnson and I mean to cause no trouble, could one of you tell me where and when we are?”

“This place is the hold of Skyörg and the year is Aböræng.” Then a flood of answers came rushing through from the various pagan religions “Gorgocia” then “Invilla”, the naming was disrupted by the furious innkeeper. “Its the tenth year of High Chief Tormänn’s reign,  now come up stairs before I knock your head in.”


The upstairs was dingy. A bed and chest were the only furniture there. The innkeeper opened the chest and said “Change into these furs before someone starts calling you a demon, and then leave.” Reluctantly Dr Johnson changed out of his attire and donned the furs. If the royal society gazed upon me now, I would look more like a barbarous jackal than my reputation would have them believe. He then proceeded to leave, unmolested. He saw where he was for the first time, the central hold of Skyörg, which was built with wood and thatch roofs. There were only two buildings of decent size, the rest were hovels. The main structures were the inn and the keep, which was atop a hill in the centre of the hold. The keep was run down in parts, including its only tower which had fallen, but it was extremely well defended with stake pits, archer positions on crenellated roofs and murder holes covering the gate.


Dr Johnson headed for the keep so as to find High Chief Tormänn and get further information to understand what this place might represent. “So you were the one who caused the problems over there,” a man said as he was on his way “You look almost normal here but you don’t fit well enough.” Johnson was short of useful words to say: “I am Samwell and who are you?” There was a long pause before the man replied “I am Thēof Bana, perhaps you have heard of my exploits. Visiting the chief?” Johnson replied “As you say, but I must depart with due celerity, I must be hasteful.” he continued to his destination. Bana joined him uninvited.

Bana hailed the guard and he and Dr Johnson entered the great hall. There were only four people in the hall excluding themselves: Hȳdan the spy master, Sven the steward, Gefeoht the marshal and High Chief Tormänn. The marshal was close to sixty years of age. The chief was forty but looked beyond his years for he carried the burden of leadership, not as a shepherd to his flock but as father to son, for he was kind, which was his greatest flaw.

Dr Johnson walked to the seat which symbolised Tormänn’s rule, where his advisors stood around. He looked toward Dr Johnson: “Why are you here in my hold, why have you caused trouble these moments past? My clansmen would gladly kill me for my position. Now any trouble you cause will result in me having to appease them. These small problems build up and the more that come, the more usurpers there are. You have obviously come here for a reason: state your business and begon!” Johnson felt sympathy but not exactly empathy for him. “All I wish to know is where I am, where I really am, where Swīn is.” The chief replied: “Where you are? Look around you, you’re not dreaming. Isn’t it obvious?”


One Response to “IGCSE Creative Writing Coursework”

  • jnorth Says:


    This is an ambitious piece that deserves praise. Your structure is complex and I think that this might be worth evaluating in consideration of your set task.

    1) There are still some sentence structures that use subordinate clauses but do not punctuate them. Re-read and edit to be sure you get full credit for this.
    2) Give each new line of dialogue a line of its own.
    3) Consider dropping one of your locations and then developing some details in the others.

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