IGCSE narrative essay | 2008 Oct-Nov | 'The figure sprinted away from the angry crowd and headed


You are advised to write between 350 and 500 words on the following topic:

‘The figure sprinted away from the angry crowd and headed towards a gap between the buildings.’ Use this sentence to start a story.

Model Essay

The figure sprinted away from the angry crowd and headed towards a gap between the buildings. Heart pounding, breath ragged, Maya pushed herself harder, glancing over her shoulder at the mob that chased her through the narrow streets. Shouts of fury and accusations echoed off the brick walls, growing louder with each passing second.

Just a little further, she thought, spotting the narrow alley up ahead. She darted into the gap, a sliver of darkness between two towering buildings. The sudden drop in noise provided a fleeting moment of relief. She leaned against the cool, damp wall, trying to calm her racing heart. But she knew she couldn’t rest for long. They would find her if she stayed still.

It all started at the town’s market square earlier that afternoon. Maya had been there to pick up some vegetables for her grandmother when she saw the commotion. A young boy, no older than ten, was being accused of stealing a loaf of bread. Maya knew the boy, Jacob, and she knew his family was struggling. Without thinking, she stepped in, defending him and insisting on paying for the bread herself.

But the crowd wasn’t satisfied. The atmosphere had been tense lately, with rumors of theft and unrest circulating through the town. Maya’s defense of the boy had been seen as an affront to the community’s call for justice. When a loud-mouthed man in the crowd accused her of being part of a gang of thieves, the mood turned ugly. Before she knew it, she was running for her life.

Maya pushed herself off the wall and continued deeper into the alley. It twisted and turned, a labyrinthine passage that led her further from the main streets. She moved quickly but cautiously, aware of the dangers that might lurk in such hidden corners.

After what felt like an eternity, she emerged into a small courtyard. It was deserted, save for a few stray cats that scattered at her arrival. In the center of the courtyard stood an old, dilapidated fountain, its water long dried up. She could hear the distant shouts of the crowd, still searching for her.


Spotting an open window on the second floor of a crumbling building, Maya knew it was her best chance for safety. She climbed the rickety fire escape, her muscles protesting every movement. She pulled herself through the window and into a dusty, abandoned apartment.

The room was dark, save for a sliver of light from the window. She stayed low, crawling to the far corner where she could see the courtyard without being seen. The minutes dragged on, her nerves fraying with every distant sound.

Finally, the crowd’s noises began to fade. They had moved on, searching elsewhere. Maya let out a breath she hadn’t realized she was holding. She knew she couldn’t go home yet—it wasn’t safe. But she had a plan.

Maya’s uncle lived on the outskirts of town, a gruff but kind-hearted man who understood the value of staying out of sight. She would make her way there under the cover of darkness, avoiding the main roads and using the back alleys she knew so well.

As the sun set, casting long shadows across the town, Maya prepared to move. She wrapped a scarf around her face, pulled up her hood, and slipped out of the window. The journey ahead was fraught with danger, but she was determined. She would clear her name, protect her family, and find a way to help Jacob and others like him.

With resolve in her heart and the cool night air on her face, Maya set off, disappearing into the maze of alleys, a figure against the injustice that had driven her from her home.

Word Count: 621