Y8 Descriptive Writing
Monday 1st February 2021

In English, Y8s are currently learning about different Greek Myths and had the task of writing a description of the Underworld. This anthology has been specially selected by teachers and contains some of the best examples of descriptive writing across the year group. Well done to all those students selected!

Jacob Barnett

The River Styx runs through the centre of the Underworld like a long black mamba, twisting it’s skin around in a zigzag direction.

Flowing through the waters, a coffin rocks from side to side. It is decorated in skulls like white piano keys. Standing in the boat, a soulless, abstruse figure pushes his rigid, long cane through the wavy water. On the figures head sits a vain of cobwebs, entwined delicately. Ashe knew the route well, he rode swiftly.

The tunnel of stone walls dripped with blood; the sound echoed from one end to the other, right across the vast river. Sat motionlessly in front of the oarsman, another white statue- identical to the rower- stares across the large tunnel. Like a prisoner in jail, his face remains solemn and melancholy. He did not try and escape, for he knew his destination was his destiny.

The untamed liquid beneath the boat has no reflection or visibility. Its depth is unknown and so is what lurks inside it. Although the body of water brings terrifying heads to the surface, they remain soulless – as do the floating heads. They represent the people who didn’t make the boat journey. As they pass, the heads continue to lash up onto the surface of the murky water.

An eerie noise comes from your destination; Pluto is waiting for you…

Isabelle Oxley

The River Styx is a snake that slithers through the centre of the Underworld. A boat that’s like a bus transports people to their new eternal home -Hades’ domain.The boat is wearing away with signs of ancient mould. On the boat there are rotten and decayed skulls that are deathly warning signs for the living people. The souls of the dead swim underneath the cursed water like fish in a pond. Vigorously, the river was crashing into the mountainous boulders and side of the boat, but the boat did not tumble over. The stone walls were grey prison walls for the souls and restricted them so they could never escape the deathly,eternal darkness.They shadowed over the passenger in the boat, making him experience complete despair and hopelessness.

While the dark gloom created evil shadows that stared at the grim-reaper like boatman, he directed the boat along the river. The boatman had a dark cloak that covered his face and had bandages that encircled his arms.His face was dark and ominous and he gripped a long wooden ore that resembles a sinister scythe, slicing through the murky water below them.

Keiran Walker

The River Styx runs through the centre of the Underworld. It is lifeless. Dull. The River flows and tumbles over itself, yet the boat on it gently glides across. One lonely, coffin-like boat passes, with one soul, sitting at the front. The ghouls laying under the water give a gentle push towards the boat, so it sways towards the empty, dull tunnel.

The rocks stared at the boat and the light shining above, like a glistening star. The calm river, like a mirror, reflects onto the rock face, exposing them from the darkness. The crumbling walls are like a block of jenga, falling apart. Lifeless men controlling the boat are ghouls, guiding the dead to their new home. Scythes were forcing themselves through the powerful depths of the river. Vigorous waves pouncing over the empty souls.

The journey to the underworld is never ending; this is tormenting their souls forevermore.

Laila Barnett

The River Styx runs through the centre of the Underworld with stone walls like prison gates surrounding it, allowing no human or creature to escape.

The only mellow sound in the underworld is the rain, but the howling of the storm above makes it impossible to be calmed by the raindrops that fall. The River Styx is like a black snake slithering through the shadows, like it’s about to creep up and pounce any second. The boats that look like coffins glide throughout the lake and the deathly beings (like ghosts and grim reapers) are sat there just silently with their deadly-looking faces, staring into the emptiness that the Underworld holds.

Gracie Priest

The boat was like a wounded animal as it slowly carried the passengers through the never ending water. It looked a million years old; the wood was starting to peel like sore skin, and it looked like it had been going for way too long.

Persephone peered down to look at the water however, she soon wished she hadn’t as a skinny, withered hand tried to grasp here and pull her into the water. Persephone backed away as quickly as possible and kicked furiously at any other lost souls who tried to grab at her.

The skeleton-like figure that was in control of the boat took no notice; he didn’t care. His only job for millions of years had been to get the passengers to where they needed to be, and so he carried on pushing the oar deep into the hopeless sea of darkness.

Persephone looked up to see what was above her: tangled vines, like snakes, were hanging high. She also noticed huge, cobblestone walls that reached straight to the sky, meaning no escape for anyone.

Bluebell Miller

The Underworld. An endless nightmare, teeming with misery and depression; any spark of light or hope was rejected long before they could reveal themselves, and instead of it you would only find infectious shadows. From top to bottom lay crumbling debris and crushed dreams that mindless husks hurled themselves towards from the River Styx, that ran all across the Hell. It was a body of tears and long forgotten souls, some of which tried effortlessly to escape but burned and melted at the touch of land, and some held too much despair to fight against the inevitable, allowing themselves to deteriorate. Plodding along this paranormal path was a small vessel resembling a dying stallion, within it was the ferryman, driving dismally, and someone else, someone different..

A young girl, the first source of light in forever. She had flowing hair woven with flowers and delicate, porcelaine arms, with sparkling eyes drenched in tears that ran down from her face to the river it was drawn to. Emotions are so familiar in this world, emotions that are promised to live beside you for as long as you stay here… She stared across into nothingness, but not because her soul was lost and unmindful or that her eyes were tired haven seen the same wasteland for lifetimes, but because she dared not gaze upon the lost souls of children, or into the eyes of a prisoner having slaved away since the beginning of Hades’ reign.

William Bailey

The River Styx runs through the centre of the Underworld…the rocks are like barackades; there isn’t much light. There are 2 people on a boat made of bones. It is a cavern full of mysterious objects. There are souls and ghouls in between all of the big, giant, unsmooth stone walls. The only sound is the river moving slowly, and the person making the boat move with the paddle.In the darkness there are shadows from the wall.

The river is like a big giant poisonous snake. You wouldn’t want to fall in because the spirits will burn acid on you. It is a long river. It is very quiet, only the sound from splashing against the walls and the padal being moved in the water and the spirits moving around can be heard. It is a scary river in the underworld. The boatmen look lost and mysterious. It looks like they are coming out from the mysterious, dark and scary cavern. They might have heard the spirits calling their names.

The boat was moving slowly down the river. The boat is made from dead people’s bones and the paddle is just a long stick. They made it out alive from the dark shadows of the big cave.

Aleya Fawcett

The Underworld is like a miserable dream, full of shadows, without sunlight or hope. It is a dark, dismal place, where the despairing cries of dead souls echo against the cold, hard walls. It is a cavernous hall of emptiness and terror, like a graveyard of eternal hopelessness.
The winding River Styx runs through the centre of the Underworld like a big, dark snake: searching for its destination. The ripples like scales protruding from its back. After devouring hundreds of souls, the river became engulfed with melting faces that elongated as they faded into the pool of darkness beneath the river’s surface. Translucent hands would struggle out of the water but rapidly forced back down like prisoners held against their will. I was cautious of one of the hands gripping me: wouldn’t anyone sit near a sea of lost souls, eager to escape?

The ferryman used a withered oar to pierce the core of the river, tormenting any of the prisoners swimming down there. I was surprised the end of the oar had survived that blackened pool of death… Perhaps it had been enchanted. The ferryman I would describe as a mummy. His arms and legs looked unhealthily skinny, they were wrapped in long strips of white, brown-stained cloth.

I felt steady in the medieval boat. The beads and skulls were embedded into the sides of it and seemed decayed and rusted. I doubt they ever cleaned them, they gave off a putrid odour that I couldn’t stop bothering my senses. I didn’t want to breathe. Stop breathing. The coldness is turning your nose purple and making you feel uncomfortable. The smell is getting stronger.. Maybe it isn’t the boat. Something is getting closer. Stop breathing. Stop breathing…. Stop… Breathing…….

Renee King

The Underworld is like a miserable dream, full of shadows, without sunlight or hope. It is a dark, dismal place, where the despairing cries of dead souls echo against the cold, hard walls. It is a cavernous hall of emptiness and terror, like a graveyard of eternal hopelessness.

Towering like unbreakable walls keeping prisoners at bay, the stone cliffs glared at the unknowing passenger, shivering instantly at the daunting feeling of being watched. A cage bobbing in the water, covered in dread-baring skulls like demons, taunting anyone who encountered them. It was as if the waves were arms, thrashing against the ancient boat. Although the air was a carpet of heavy, thick fog, the captive could make out distorted faces in the water, pining to be set free. Watching the boatman’s oar breaking through the darkening river, they shook at the thought of angering them. Carving faint patterns in the murky water, the demon’s spear ripped through each wave, pushing the boat forward, closer to the passenger’s looming fate.

A faint, white glow pushed itself from each crack in the menacing cliff faces. A giant eye formed in the sky, staring into the back of the hostage’s head, clawing at their misted thoughts, tormenting them further. Crawling forward slowly, almost mocking the fear they felt at each corner, the boat ride seemed endless, writhing with suspense..

Summer Razaq

The Underworld is like a miserable dream, full of shadows, without sunlight or hope. It is a dark, dismal place, where the despairing cries of dead souls echo against the cold, hard walls. It is a cavernous hall of emptiness and terror, like a graveyard of eternal hopelessness.

As the River Styx runs through the centre of the Underworld , it curves and carves its way like a giant snake prepared to spit its poisonous venom at any bend. The ripples spread out seamlessly, distorting the faces underneath, only stopping when they reach the towering walls that caged them in. I no longer have any hope for happiness. Why should I, when the rain is battering down at me like my emotions are being erased slowly as I lose my life.

The boat cuts through the water effortlessly, the oars in smooth motion, as the boatman keeps his balance at the head of the boat. The more I look at him, the more he resembles a crow with a shadow for a face, always bringing bad news, never stopping, never speaking. He seems oblivious to the fact that the sun hasn’t risen in days, the dark sky remaining permanent and the clouds rumbling and threatening every day.

Matthew Orsborn

The Underworld is like a miserable dream, full of shadows, without sunlight or hope. It is a dark, dismal place, where the despairing cries of dead souls echo against the cold, hard walls. It is a cavernous hall of emptiness and terror, like a graveyard of eternal hopelessness.

The boat of Charon runs through the centre of the Underworld, cutting its own path through the River Styx. Above them, rocky icicles hung, waiting for the right moment to fall on anyone below, causing an even more painful life. Eerie, gentle ripples formed on either side of the boat, almost calming the people travelling on the boat. However, dark stone walls stood towering on each side of the river, incarcerating anyone who travelled through.

The light was being stolen by the outside, causing a wave of darkness forever through the grim underworld. All that could be heard was distant barking coming from the gates of the underworld. Every minute or so, a gentle hand would be felt on the travellers shoulder, like a spider crawling across them.

Alicia Collins

The Underworld is like a miserable dream, full of shadows, without sunlight or hope. It is a dark, dismal place, where the despairing cries of dead souls echo against the cold, hard walls. It is a cavernous hall of emptiness and terror, like a graveyard of eternal hopelessness.

The River Styx runs through the centre of the Underworld…like a poisonous black snake,the tall suffocating cave walls towered over everything beneath it.The dark thick shadows stared down at the long coffin that sailed across the river showing of its souvenirs that acted like warnings staring the prisoners that was attached to the boat.

The underworld was a abandoned prison that took place like a living nightmare,the dead swimming underneath your feet,the boatmen are statues guiding the boat along a river that never came to an end.It was a repetitive cycle that never stopped only went round and round.It was like a rebellion that none wanted to take part in yet most people always ended up in the same position,the overwhelming place was enough to push anyone over the edge just the thought could drive everyone and everything insane.Nobody ever got out once you were in the you would stay there for the rest of your time alive doing whatever anybody who ruled told you.

Poppy Ducksbury

Huge, man-sized eagles swarmed around the jagged, eroded cliff edge. Attached to the largest rock was a malnourished, injured man. Looking up, he was howling in pain as he watched the terror birds swoop and clamp their beaks down. Meticulously, they separated yet another chunk of skin from his body. Squawking maliciously, it seemed almost like they were taunting their new victim. Prometheus carried on with his screams and each time metallic tasting blood spilled into his mouth running like a river from the agonizing, freshly carved wounds. A foul damp smell radiated from the birds, who consistently, and almost enjoying their assault, inflicted pain onto the hopeless Prometheus . To add to his woeful state, the bitter cold winds whipped and abused him, whilst the rain poured. Eagles and weather, rock and isolation, together they made a very cold and deadly team.

Alexandra Griffiths

While the sky fought with the sea in a battle of crashing waves and fierce lighting bolts, a lone figure struggled in the midst of it all. Chained to a rough jagged rock, rusted metal cutting into his wrists, he watched with wry amusement at the thought of those who put him there, simply because they could not see sense, fighting among themselves. Writhing upon the precipice, his golden blood dripped, sparkling in the stark, flashing light created by the periodic bolts, from his torturous prison into Poseidon’s vengeful sea, swirling and mixing with the salty waves that splashed at his agonised face. Exposed skin and flesh contorted on the rock as he was, he would be a hearty meal for any monster who would want him – weak as the mortals he created and all but willing for it to be over – though Zeus had made sure that wouldn’t happen. Prometheus’ sodden hair stuck to his face in the raging storm and from behind this curtain he glimpsed a lone bird.

The magnificent golden eagle did not struggle against the wind, as a bird created by the gods could never be put off by something as mundane as the weather, and instead persevered towards its target – the lone titan rebellious enough to stand up to Zeus’ tyranny, but one who had suffered greatly for it. Prometheus looked up, against the wind which whipped at his face, to stare down this bird, determined that he would not look away and instead show the courage that he thought the gods lacked. His haunted, yet piercing, blue eyes cut a striking image, only marred by the large gash on his eyebrow, from where the eagle struck him the first time this happened, and Prometheus had struggled. Now, resigned to his fate, he rebelled in small ways, like this. Every night he would stare, stare down this eagle as it ripped apart his flesh in search of his liver; he would watch even when his own ichor splattered his face, for he had become used to the pain and he knew it would eventually fade. The mental battle was one just as big, for tonight there was a new tortue – the terrified screams of things that could only be humans creating a horrific chorus with the crashing waves and booming lightning bolts. In his heart he knew that they were screaming because of him, that they had only been punished because of them. It pained him as much as the eagle ripping his liver to shreds to know that Zeus was punishing the mortals, the helpless, defenseless humans, for his actions. And he was furious. Furious at Zeus and his reign of tyranny, but also furious at the other gods: because none of them ever did anything to help him; none of them ever did anything against Zeus. And he was fed up. Prometheus screamed; he shouted at the clouds, over the weather, at the gods. He screamed about all of the gods’ mistakes; all of their misjudgements and taunted them about their bravery – not one of them ever had the courage to stand up for what was right. His agony only fueled his anger, and so he screamed until his throat was hoarse and his shredded liver had been fully healed. But no one ever came, and so the wind still cut at his face and saltwater splashed his eyes and the eagle still ate his liver – because no one would ever come, and this was just another night.

Related Articles