2021 DSE English Writing Question 7 (Sample)

7. Learning English through Short Stories

You are joining a short story contest organized by a book shop.

  • Write a scary story about a security guard on duty one night,
  • Use the pictures to help you write your story. You can use the pictures in any order.

An Unforgettable Death

Five years before Bob’s retirement, financial crisis broke out and hit the economy very hard. Bob was sacked by his company where he had worked for his whole life. He was devastated because he still had to pay for the rent of his flat and the university tuition fees of his only son. While the job market was very bleak, to his surprise, Bob saw a job advertisement in the newspaper. It read, “A Brave Security Guard Wanted. Guaranteed Good Pay”. Without doubt, Bob immediately applied for the job and had a telephone interview with the security manager. “Do you mind working night shift?” The manager inquired. “No, indeed. Not at all.” Bob replied firmly. “That’s great. You got the job. If anything does happen, just take it easy.” Bob was very grateful.

On his first day of work, Bob found out that it was a top rank high-rise office building that he had to report duty as a security guard. To his amazement, the building had the state-of-the-art security system to detect any unauthorized intrusion and monitor all the entry and exit. The job looked easy and it seemed that the only drawback was that Bob had to do the night shift. At midnight, Bob checked the record system and was pleased that everyone in the building had checked out and left. As soon as Bob started to patrol the building to make sure that he was right, he saw a lady-like shadow walking slowly in the corridor on the 11th floor on the CCTV monitor screen. Suddenly, the alarm bell on the 11th floor set off. Bob immediately went to see what happened. 

When he reached the 11th floor, the alarm bell stopped ringing. It was completely silent. But the office light was going on and off. Bob unlocked the office entrance and entered. Upon entry, he felt a cold breeze blowing against his cheek. He turned left into the office area and saw a long hair lady in a red dress typing very fast with her back to Bob. Bob cleared his throat and said, “Excuse me, Madam, are you the employee of this company?” “Yes.” The lady answered, typing even faster. “Sorry. I would like to have an identity check. Could you show me your company pass?” Bob asked. The lady slowly turned her head around. She did not have five sense organs and her face was covered with dripping blood. Bob let out a cry and fainted. 

The next morning, Bob’s manager came to wake him up. “How are you? Are you alright?” Bob came to his consciousness and screamed. “What happened?” The manager asked with a grin. Bob was so scared that he immediately quit his job.

When Bob arrived home, he went online and searched for the old news about the office building. About a decade ago, a top university student who freshly graduated with distinction worked there for one of the most famous marketing company. Six months later, she jumped to her death from this building. She had left a suicide note and revealed that she committed suicide because of overworking and insistent mental abuse by her manager. Back then, she was only a 21-year-old orphan. 

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