English Ext 2

Mia Childers


À la Recherche d’un Passé Perdu (In Search of Lost Past)

Nostalgic short fiction

My piece, À la Recherche d’un Passé Perdu (In Search of Lost Past), focused on a protagonist obsessed with nostalgia and reliving old childhood memories for the sake of comfort and security in simplicity and what is already known.

Developing a Hero’s Journey-style arc - where my narrator, Time, follows Madeleine’s venture into an alternate mirror dimension to recover a lost family heirloom - was not without its obstacles, but I have highly enjoyed the English Extension 2 course and how it allowed me to blur the boundaries between past and present, fantasy and realism, and mortal and immortal in the emerging genre of magical realism.

This major work has been an outlet for creativity, a source of frustration and, probably, what I’m most proud of achieving in Year 12.

I think I speak for all three of us Extension 2 students when I say that we all loved this subject and would highly recommend it to any Year 11 English Extension 1 students considering taking on the challenge.

An excerpt from À la Recherche d’un Passé Perdu

‘The Dark is … well, dark. It swallows everything. Floorboards previously well-oiled and shining now creak, the gaps between them filled with dried, flaking blood. The world tilts; the joyless daylight that streamed through windows now clings to falling dust motes, as if desperate to avoid touching the ground. Shadows chatter to each other as wings beat steadily in the distance. The Girl looks about Her with a longing fascination that unnerves me; She seems to see none of this. Somewhere, a crank winds up, softly, slowly. Tick-tick-tick.

“We shouldn’t be here,” I mutter, glaring at the rats-that-aren’t-quite-rats in a corner. “I’m forced to operate differently within the confines of this realm.” Already I can feel myself being weakened, pulled backwards; no, not backwards, downwards? Ugh, the limitations of three-dimensional descriptions. “Everything’s going to seem much slower here, and it’ll only get slower the closer we are to Nostalgia.” Already, the walls are twisting into trees, intent on wrapping Her in their branches and squeezing tighter, tighter, like a python. Gulp.’