Monday, June 25, 2012

The Celtic Head

The Museum's Celtic Head has been used to inspire creative writing in a number of ways.  

It has been taken into schools to inspire personification poetry - asking how an archaeological object would 'feel' about being discovered and put on display in our new museum.
The Celtic Head has been used to inspire a varied range of creative writing!
It has also been on display in Drury Lane Library, where it inspired this piece of writing by Brittany in the Library's Teenage Readers Group.

I held her hand and supported her as she limped through the library.  Turning towards the literature section I noticed something and hatched a plan.  

At 8pm I caught the bus back to town.  As soon as I’d tucked her in bed I had changed into my jeans and jumper and snuck out.  Sitting on the bus I evaluated my plan.  I had never done anything like this, never thought I’d be capable but here I was.  Jerking forward as the bus braked at the bus stop, I climbed out of the bus, throwing a wave at the familiar bus driver.

Watching for any standing public, I walked around the back of the library.  I stood at the back door and slipped the key in.  I ran through the hall and deactivated the beeping alarm.  I caught it just before it screamed at me, and I pushed away the thought of what would’ve happened if they’d changed the code.  

I went through the doors and strode into the main hall, overwhelmed by the vastness of the area without the bustle of the crowds.  I stopped at the dome holding the Celtic head.  Up close it looked like it was snarling, as if it knew my plan.  

I pulled out my nail file, and gently eased it around the circle lid.  Being careful not to drop anything I eased the lid up.  Lifting myself onto the cabinet I reached inside and lifted the Celtic head from its place.  Slowly and carefully I pulled it into my arms, set it on the cabinet and climbed back to the ground.  

Staring at its gruesome face I realised what I had done, a tear rolled down my cheek.  It was for the best, I knew that.  But why, I questioned myself, had it come to this?  Why had we been dealt this hand?  I pushed the thoughts out of my mind, picked up the head and turned around. 

“Hey Rox.”  Standing there was Liz, a library worker, my personal favourite one at that. The head suddenly felt 10 times heavier, I didn’t have time to hide it.  “What you doing here?”  She continued, although it was pretty obvious what I was doing here.  
“I was…um…I just needed to…”  I sighed, giving up the façade.  “I was taking the Celtic head.  Its magic you know.”  Tears started coming quicker.  

“I don’t believe in magic.”

“Neither do I.  But it’s worth a shot.” I tried to wipe the tears, but the stupid head got in the way.  “How did you know I was here?” 

“I was just leaving, heard the alarm beeping.  Came to investigate.  I assume you used your mum’s old key?” 

“Yeh.  It was still on the hook.” 

“Look Rox, I’m not going to involve the police.  But please, put the head back.  Its thousands of years old, it won’t help.  Please.”  She took a step closer.  By now the tears were coming so fast, and my nose was running, but I couldn’t stop.  I was nearing hysterics.  

“Well nothing else helps.  We need something, and this is the only thing I can see at the moment.”  I hiccupped.  

“What did your mum say?  Did she think this was a good idea?”  She came closer, held out a tissue.  I put the head back on the cabinet and took the tissue.  

“She didn’t say anything.  I didn’t tell her.  Even if I had she wouldn’t have agreed. She’s given up Liz, and I can’t accept it.  She may accept that there’s nothing else, but I don’t.  I need my mum, forever, not for the next 3 months.  I can’t just sit there and do nothing.  When I’m helping her walk I see people look at us, they pity me.  I don’t want that, I want people to be jealous of my beautiful, healthy mum, one who doesn’t have…cancer.” I’m hiccupping so much now.  

“Listen.  You can do this.  You don’t need a silly head to sort your life out.  You need to just accept it…I know it’s hard but there is nothing left.  You need to get on with your life, enjoy it while you still can.”  She’s come over now, she puts her arm around me, just like she did when I was younger, and came to work with my mum, it was her way of saying hey.  Now it feels like a comfort blanket, all warm and safe.  “You know we’re always here for you both.  Come see us more often.  We miss your mum, and you.”  

I turn towards the head.  It doesn’t look as scary now.  I realise I don’t need it to feel better, I have something better. 


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