SHORT STORY COMPETITION WINNERS 2020 - YEAR'S 6-7 CATEGORY

17-Jun-2020


WINNER

New Home 
By Louis Pitto

I sat in the car reluctantly. I didn’t want to. I had tirelessly argued with my parents that a move was not what I wanted. What I needed. Yet for the third time in eight years we were on the move. I looked out the car window watching everything I had known for the last two years go by. Everything I had loved was left behind.

My parents were listening to the radio the news reader explained how they had identified the child robber in Kent. He had a golden tooth with an “N” carved in to it. Just my luck I thought to myself. Kent will be my new home.

“Lucas, wake up!” My mum’s voice echoed in my head. “Lucas we’ve arrived.”

I opened my eyes and everything was a blur. As things began to come to focus I sat up and looked around me. The white picket fences and two story brick house stood before me was simply picturesque. Surrounded by green. Nothing like our small house in London. Though I loved it, I began to understand why my parents wanted to move. Naturally, I wasn’t going to give the satisfaction of knowing these thoughts. “Picturesque!” I said to my mother as I got out the car, in my most sarcastic tone.

I approached our new house I started to feel content and happy. The quiet surroundings, birds chirping in the trees and fresh air filling my lungs felt good. I had a good feeling about this place.

Our neighbor came to greet us. My parents were busy talking to the removal guys. So he approached me instead. “Hello, I’m your next door neighbor,” he grinned at me.

My heart sank. I stood there, palms sweaty, my heart like a racing car on overdrive, pounded in my chest. I stared at him. The tooth. He had a golden tooth with an “N” carved on it. I’m looked back to call my parents, but I had opened my mouth and no words came out. Frozen with fear I stood there watching them walk into the house. Does the devil live in paradise?


Judge Charlie Durante’s comments:

Moving house is always traumatic, especially if you are happy in your old home.  Our protagonist reluctantly follows his parents in a move from London to Kent, from the hustle and bustle of the big city to fertile Kent.  Upon arrival, he is favourably impressed –his new home is picturesque, he says.  But there is a fly in the ointment: before leaving London he’d heard breaking news about a child abductor with a distinguishing ‘N’ carved in his gold tooth loose in Kent! As luck would have it, the criminal turns out to be our protagonist’s neighbour.  This story is carefully structured with a premonitory beginning, a pleasant middle and an ominous ending. We are left wondering what the upshot will be.  Will the devil destroy paradise?”


RUNNER-UP

Dinosaur Chase
By Siddharth Lakhiani

The ominous low rumble shook the ground and made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. He was terrified as he could hear the bellowing sounds getting closer and closer. He picked up his bag that had fallen and sprinted towards the old garage.

As he ran, the noise became fainter. He smiled and stopped to breathe.

“Sid, Sid!” He heard someone whisper his name from the abandoned garage on his left. Sid tip-toed to the garage. He saw Kyle. He smiled at him. At least this moment of danger could make them closer.

If they survive this danger together, he felt Kyle will not be a bully he had always been. He remembered how embarrassed he was that day when Kyle had pushed him in the presence of Samantha.

Sid got to where Kyle was and whispered to him “what are you doing here?”

“Shhh, the dinosaur is outside; behind the garage”

Sid broke out in a cold sweat and shook in fear. The dinosaur chasing them began to move slowly, swinging its tail against the wall, its gigantic body casting a menacing shadow on the stall.

The boys lay still, trying not to make a sound. Their teacher had taught them that when hiding from dinosaurs, they have to remain still and sometimes even stop breathing. The dinosaur stretched his neck through the broken window of the garage and roared frighteningly. He did not see anything at first. He raised his head and was about to leave when Kyle stupidly kicked against the empty can in the garage.

The dinosaur turned to look again into the abandoned garage; Kyle became scared that he had put Sid and himself in trouble. In his panic, he nervously scurried out of the garage through the back. In a quick swoop, the dinosaur pounced his tail on him, and he screamed in pain.

“Siddddd, please help me, Sid, please. Don’t let me die”

The dinosaur turned to Kyle to gorge him.

“Noooo…” Sid screamed himself out of sleep. It was all a dream.


Judge Charlie Durante’s comments:

Dinosaurs populate children’s fiction; they are endlessly fascinating and frightening.  Siddarth’s story feeds off this obsession.  Poor Sid has been bullied by Kyle.  Their present precarious situation-trapped by a terrifying dinosaur-makes Sid think Kyle will treat him with more respect. Sharing danger and coming through can sometimes bond even enemies together.  It is Kyle who gives their presence away and makes a dash for it, leaving Sid behind.  The monster sets upon Kyle and is about to gobble him up when he calls Sid for help.  It is at that precise moment that Sid snaps out of his nightmare.  It seems he was about to help Kyle when the dreaming stopped.  Dream analysis would reveal Sid is re-enacting a situation where the reverse of reality is the case: in the dream, Sid is the superior partner, Kyle has to call for help.  This is a classic example of a wish fulfilment with a   deeper meaning than appears on the surface.”


HIGHLY COMMENDED

Felicity 
By Bella Weir

Felicity was a shy awkward girl. She had long brown hair which she tied back in a pony tail and large thick rimmed glasses which slid down her nose when she walked as she always looked at the ground. “Four eyes flick” they called her at school. Half the time she was surprised that people actually knew her name. But things were about to change for Felicity…

One morning during assembly the Drama teacher made an announcement. “The school are going to put on a show at the end of summerterm2 said Ms Craven the Drama Teacher. “Auditions will take place at the end of this week. We need actors, dancers and anyone who has a talent! If you would like to audition then please write your name down on the school notice board.” Felicity, who would normally not bother to even look up, could barely contain her excitement. A show! How exciting she thought. But then she remembered that was “Four Eyes Flick” there was no way she could audition.

All week Felicity walked up to the notice board to write her name. Every time she got there she couldn’t bring herself to do it. But something inside told her to just do it.

It was the day of the audition and Felicity was feeling quite sick. The teacher called her name. “Felicity Jones”! It’s now or never thought Felicity. Felicity stood on the stage and waited for the music. Ms Craven waited not expecting much. Then all of a sudden Felicity started to dance. She glided across the stage and as she did her face came alive. Ms Craven’s mouth opened wide. She was lost for words. Four Eye Flick was never called that again. She was Felicity the amazing dancer.


Judge Charlie Durante’s comments:

It is always uplifting when the underdog has a hidden talent which makes him or her special.  Felicity (obviously a misnomer as she is far from happy) has many of the qualities which, in the eyes of the world, make her into a failure. She is shy, has a simple, conventional pony tail and her thick glasses slide down her nose. She is not anyone’s favourite, the sort of pupil who is easily labelled (Four Eyes Flick) and then ignored. But even the least promising pupil has some saving grace or quality.  In Felicity’s case it’s dancing. The end of term show provides Felicity with the chance to flaunt her innate talent.  From now on, she will be noticed and courted by friends-she has emerged from her inferior condition and cast off the ignominious label. She has now become a star!”