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Exmouth Community College

Exmouth Community CollegeAcademy Trust

Creative Writing

New piece using the photo as a starting point


The English Department have had so many beautiful pieces of creative writing submitted over the past two weeks. Here is a stunning example from Jess, using the image as a stimulus:

Beauty is the Eye of the Beholder by Jess Scott-Sheppard 

As the sun began its gentle descent towards the horizon, an old man watched the view from afar. His weathered brown cabin, secluded in the heart of the woods, had seen better days- but still had that peaceful charm that made it a perfect place to paint. It was late August, and that familiar scent awash in green that filled the summer air was slowly beginning to fade, making way for the crisp and clean start of early September. 

Gazing one last time at the golden harmony that enriched the sky, the man rose from his seat, grabbing the worn walking stick that rested on the wall. The thud of his frail yet steady footsteps echoed in the silent front room of his home as he came to a stop in front of the mirror. 

The man in the mirror was unfamiliar. His dark, sunken eyes stared wildly, the few wisps of white hair that he still had clung to the top of his head, and his pale skin was carved wood; thick lines that plagued his face and deepened at the permanence of his furrowed brow. This figure didn't resemble at all the youthful man that beamed at him from the black and white photographs that adorned the wall. Surely, surely he couldn't be this man? How long had it been since he'd last looked in the mirror? He felt as if there was a stranger inches away from his eyes. 

Taking a small step away from the glass, he peered instead at the desk behind him, home to countless paintings and sculptures, fragments of his life and being. All of it seemed so long ago. The man was reminded then of who he was, his features a distorted reflection in the murky water of the mason jar. 

Change had happened, and was always going to happen. Physical beauty would come and go, just like the swallows that would soon leave these woods and migrate to places unknown. But true beauty, as the old man now realised, wasn't the youth that he'd longed for, but the life that he'd lived.

Jess Scott-Sheppard