The following essay is a real GCSE English Language essay that was awarded a grade 9.
The essay is for the story-writing question shown below, awarded 37 marks out of 40.
Grade 9 Answer, option B
“Sweety, get in the car!” my Grandma shouted at the top of her voice; she was annoyed that I had stepped outside without her permission.
The window was rolled down and she had a fierce look on her face. I was going to acquiesce but I had better plans. I had to find out what lied beyond the large wooden door.
She sat there in her old rusty Mercedes; it was a broken car with a loud engine that needed to be oiled. The lights on her car shone through the dust in the dark night, the woods were filled with an ominous brittle silence, enhanced only by the loud, broken car engine.
I told her I had to go, she looked upset that I had ignored her command, but I had to do it. I ignored all emotions and looked forward. Before me, was a dilapidated bridge, built thousands of years ago with stones and rock dripping off of each side. I looked past it and saw the large wooden door, it looked like part of a medieval castle.
I was ready to cross the bridge, I quickly glanced back to see my Grandma looking horrified that I would dare do such a thing, I shook my head, faced forward and focused on the door.
I crossed the bridge in a circumspect manner, as I did, the whole world seemed to quieten down, and everything felt focused on the door. The weather changed, the wind didn’t howl, it screamed. The rain did not fall, it was hard, driven, torrential, merciless.
Cold salty tears trailed down my face, redraw, leaving thin pale streaks. As I looked around, the sunset lapsed, abandoning a dim yellow radiance. It didn’t illuminate much but highlighted the glacial frost and snow, unforgiving. I slowly stepped towards the door after traversing the cold lonely night. By this time you could only slightly see the light shining off my Grandma’s car, the fog was in the way and all that was left was a dark deathly shadow behind me. I glanced at the door, scrutinizing the area and brushed my hand over it to remove the dust. As I turned the handle, there was a loud creak as the door slowly opened. As it opened, it seemed like an entrance to another world, there was suddenly no wind, no rain, no sound, just nothing.
I slowly stepped inside, all that was there was a large pit in a circular shape. Skeletons littered the floor and the cobblestone walls had ivy growing upwards as if it was taking over the once beautiful patterns. There were candles that wept over the malformed skeletons, the skeletons were filled with fear, depravity and desperation. Frozen in time with their last call for help before meeting their demise. As I glanced with horror in my eyes at the deformed and decayed bodies, I felt just like my Grandma when I walked away and ignored her. I couldn’t do it anymore, my blood boiled and goosebumps began to fill my body with fear. I turned around and walked back to the wooden door.
Suddenly, the door slammed shut with enough power to cut a man in half. The turbulence caused some of the rubble to shatter onto the floor, I was pushed back by the sheer force of the door closing. I stopped, looked around, I had nowhere to go. I was ensnared.
I stood there, frozen in time like the skeletons for almost ten minutes, hoping that my Grandma would open the door and come and help me. When I observed the cobblestone walls, I noticed something rather peculiar, the Ivy had disappeared. All that was left was the fungus-infected cobblestone with destroyed patterns all around it. I started to get scared, maybe I was imagining it all? Maybe this is all a dream? It wasn’t. For I was about to experience the worst confrontation ever. It was incontrovertible that something was here waiting for me, I just had to wait while objects slowly started disappearing around the room. After five more minutes, the skeletons had gone. Despite the skeletons being dead, I now felt more alone. The walls started to clean up, the rubble began to fade, the fungus began to die. He was coming.
I stood in the middle, waiting for the horror to appear. I looked up, and I saw his ponderous flaming scimitar peak through the rubble. He was here and I was ready. I saw his dark dehumanising face, filled with hatred and revulsion. He was nefarious, his scimitar was larger than my entire body. As he slowly lowered himself into the pit, I felt his dark black eyes damage my soul, his swift tattered cloak followed his steps. He made a large indent in the stone when his metallic boots punctured the ground and shook the area. As he placed himself on the ground, I knew it was time. I took out my pistol and aimed it at his cold face, but I couldn’t shoot. His presence and magical abilities seemed to prevent me from pulling the trigger, as I stood there with confusion trying to shoot, glancing at my gun thinking it was jammed, he slowly crept up towards me.
I felt his cold breath travel down into my conscience, he moved closer to my face, and whispered, “I don’t work with the living”. Suddenly, he pulled back and took out his flaming scimitar once again. A silver metallic chest plate appeared on him, reflecting the last remaining light in the room from a gap in the ceiling. He spawned a caged helmet, dripping with blood and placed it on his face. All I could see were his dark purple eyes through the rusty lines on his helmet. He was bloodthirsty and had a spine-chilling face.
He swung his large sword, I ducked allowing some room to escape his power. I ran around the room, dodging and weaving his most fierce attacks. I was petrified, running with alacrity holding on for dear life. His sword was so powerful and sharp that it cracked the cobblestone walls around me, patterns disintegrating into nothing. My lungs were filled with fear and blood. He managed to strike my left leg, my blood splattered out all over my trousers and the floor, leaving a revealing trail as I ran around the room. I didn’t feel any pain, all my power was focused on running to get away from his sword.
During his attack, I noticed his chest plate appeared to be shining more and more. I didn’t have much time to think about it as I had to constantly dodge his painful and powerful attacks. Where was the light coming from? I looked up, the gap was bigger, and to my surprise, there she was. My Grandma had her head peeking through the rubble just like him, only this time there was no fear in her eyes, only determination.
He looked up, he was confused and wondered why anyone disturbed his soon to be premeditated murder. “Hey there big fella! Did you forget about granny?” She shouted, just like when she was in her car waiting for me. In less than a second, she pulled out a strange weapon, it looked like a gun only alien-like. There were green accents all over it and seemed to be rather small. He picked up his large sword, which by this time was stuck deeply into the cobblestone wall. He yanked it out with all his strength and power and began to steer it towards my Grandma. Before the sword could reach her, she pulled the trigger.
All I saw was a bright light emitted from her weapon and a harsh scream from him. I couldn’t see much apart from his body slowly evaporating all over the room, she atomized him and it seemed to break up his body completely. He called for help but it was no use. The atoms in his body slowly began to fade away, none hit the floor but rather travelled through the gap up into the sky. My Grandma watched his death like she won a game of bingo.
I was confused yet relieved, she had saved me from death. “How on earth?” I asked in a very confused manner.
“What is it darling?”, she replied.
She acted as if this was normal for her, I felt like I was almost about to pass out. After asking her about where she got the gun, I looked at her and reluctantly admitted I was sorry for not getting in the car. “Don’t worry, but remember next time, always listen to your old granny!”, she announced. She couldn’t have been more correct.
How to Achieve a Grade 9 in GCSE English
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