Congratulations to Mika who has won the recent FABO Writing competition by children’s author Sue Copsey (author of The Ghosts of Young Nick’s Head, and The Ghosts Of Tarawera). Using Sue’s story starter below, Mika created an ending that “had it all – superb descriptive writing, really creepy, and a great twist at the end.” Well done, Mika!
Sue’s Story Starter
I wasn’t in the slightest bit happy when Mum said I was going to stay with Aunt Jules for the Easter holidays. Aunt Jules lives in a town Mum calls ‘quirky’ and I call weird. It’s not even a town, really. It’s just a place on the way to somewhere else. There’s a petrol station and a couple of cafes that Mum says are just like the ones she grew up with (which means only pies), and … nope. Can’t think of anything else.
So here I am, sitting on Aunt Jules’ sofa, coming to terms with dial-up internet. One good thing, though. Aunt Jules says there’s a toy shop, and she’ll give me money. She says the shop’s ‘curious’.
The bell dings as I open the toy shop door. It’s dark in here, so I get a bit of a fright when a little old lady pops up from behind the counter. She’s got frizzy grey hair and round glasses that twinkle.
“I bet you think this town is boring, eh?” she says. “You’d rather be somewhere else?”
I think this is a strange way to greet your customers. I told you this town’s weird. But before I can answer, she takes out something from under the counter. It’s a globe – an old-fashioned one with brownish land and sea, and scary looking sea serpents in the oceans.
“Spin it!” she says. So I do.
The light was inexplicable. It tore away everything, blocking out all sound and vision. My throat was raw, my limbs paralyzed. Terror took hold of me, gripping my heart with icy fingers. I screamed, willing my legs to move, but nothing would come.
Something solidified under my feet. Solid ground. The earth beneath me was hard like rock, and had a strange, foreign feeling underfoot, almost bouncy.
As the vision returns to my eyes, I hear a raspy, terrifying voice choke out a feeble sentence, “But… Where… no…” My hand flies to my throat as I realize the voice was my own.
The scene around me is both horrifying and stunning. The land is perfectly flat, covered in long, wavy grass that goes up to my waist. To my left the land slopes downwards and meets the waterline. The waves soar above my head, crashing just metres away from me. I catch the salty spray on my tongue and pull away, scrambling into the grass. Briefly I remember the strange creatures that roamed the water on the globe. The sun suddenly becomes unbearable. The heat pelts down on the land. Sweat breaks out on my brow and I cringe. I raised my head and stared upwards. My heart skips a beat.
Above me, the sky is curved upwards, forming a glassy dome above me.
And behind the dome is the face of the store owner. Her grey hair surrounds her laughing face like a hood, her eyes peeking out from under her fringe of curls.
I am trapped, gone.