Story Competition Winners - Aged 8-10

1st Place - Lucy Masterson

I was searching through my boring, stinky Grandpa's chest.

He keeps a chest to put things in; silly things that he collects.

I was trying to find his ancient yo yo.

Eventually I found it. I pulled it out the box and wiped away all the dust. It was a green slimy colour. I held onto the string then let go of the wooden ball. The yo yo went zooming towards the floor. The string snapped and it went rolling down the stairs. I chased after it. My foot slipped on the staircase and I went crashing down. I landed with a thump on the floor, my shoulder really hurting.

"Ow!" I yelled.

My Grandpa came tottering along. He looked down at me.

"Helena? I thought you were taller than me!"

"I am, Grandpa. I'm lying down. Where are your glasses?"

Grandpa usually loses his glasses.

"Upstairs."

"Well, step fifteen is very slippery."

"I'll remember that. Thank you Helena!"

He slowly walked up the stairs. I wasn't sure if it was him or the stairs creaking. I scrambled back to my feet and followed him.

When I reached the top of the stairs, the silly old man was going through the chest. It was a big wooden chest ornately carved.

"You've left your glasses in there?" I asked, surprised.

"Aaaagh!" he shrieked, not expecting me, falling into the chest.

I covered my mouth to stop myself laughing.

"Help! I'm under attack!" I heard him shouting.

"I'll pull you out Grandpa!"

I put my hands on his feet, that were sticking out.

"Stop! Let me get my glasses first!" came the reply.

I let go and stood there waiting. Eventually I heard the muffled words,

"Pull me out!"

So I did. I dragged him out of the box, and he wiggled and jiggled.

He came out of the box with his glasses. There were also things like china cups and a medal that he had in his arms. The medal, unlike everything else, was really shiny.

"What's this?" I asked, yanking the medal from Grandpa's arms. He dropped everything.

"Oh!" he mumbled, then looked at me, "that's just a medal."

"But that's the Victoria Cross!"

"Yes."

My mouth fell open.

"Were...were you a war hero?"

"No, not really."

"Well, you are my hero. Tell me more!"

"Why, thank you, Helena! I wanted to help in the war but not fire a shot. They made me a stretcher bearer. I had to bring in the wounded from the battle field."

"That's amazing!"

I smiled.

"Oh...and this china cup..."he began.

I sighed. That day I'd discovered my Grandpa was an amazing war hero; and that he was a complete and utter fruitcake. Well, I kind of always knew that.

"I drank from this china cup after the war! I was with a few other army generals, and the King was there, and.."

"What?! You met the-"

"Thought your Grandpa was a boring wrinkly old man, didn't you?"

2nd Place - Wilfrid Smeath

If there is one name I don’t like, it is: Eric. Eric’s the name of my older brother. He has blonde hair, blue eyes, pale skin and he is 15 years old.

Anyway, enough about him, my name is Lola, I have black hair, green eyes, pale skin and I’m 12 years old. I live with Eric and my father. No one has ever told me where my mother is, or why she doesn’t live with us, but all anyone does is hesitate, and change the subject.

On Saturday, I woke up to see Eric under his duvet, looking at something with a torch so that he could see whatever it was that he was looking at.

“What are you doing?” I asked, curious.

“Mind your own business!” he replied, he stuffed the unknown item under his bed, and walked away. I reached under his bed, and pulled it back out. It was a postcard! It looked ordinary enough. The picture was a beach scene, blue sea, white sand and a surf board. I turned it over, and read the short message. The writing was swirly, and neat. It said: Dearest Eric, and Lola, I am longing to hear from you, please get in touch soon. All my love, mumXxx

At first it felt hard to believe it, I read it again to make sure I wasn’t seeing things, until finally I found it true. I hadn’t heard from my mum in years. I cried myself to sleep a lot because of her, but to hold a letter from her was crazy, however, I needed to find out the truth.

I looked under Eric’s bed again, to find a battered, old shoebox, full of loads more letters, signed by our mum. This was terrible! He knew I missed her, and to find out he had been hiding the letters was heart breaking. How could my brother do this to me? I raced downstairs, with angry tears, flooding my eyes.

Eric was just sitting in the lounge, looking at his phone. “I know about the cards!” I almost screamed at him. “Where is she? Tell me now” I begged. Eric looked at me, his face seemed to have changed. He had tears in his eyes as well. “I was too scared to tell you Lu” his voice was croaky. “When mum left you cried every night for weeks on end. It broke my heart as much as it did yours. We heard nothing for 8 years! How could I risk telling you she had written? I had to protect you. I knew you were too clever and would find out one day.”

“Do you know where she is?” I asked, trying to understand. He nodded slowly and sadly and passed me his phone. A number was selected: ‘Mum’ was all it said.

With trembling hands I pressed the green button. As it started to ring, I could feel my heart pounding. My new life was about to begin…

3rd Place - Robert Lewis

Jake is ten, he’s tall, has a freckled nose and is usually happy, however that morning he was in a grump. He had moved to a new town, away from friends and instead of playing outside he had to unpack.

He dragged his heavy suitcase and plonked it on his new bed.
“There’s too much to do, I’ll go outside now,” he decided.

Huge drops of dew shimmered on the grass at the end of the garden where the tall oak trees grew. As Jake looked up into the leaves he tripped, fell and saw a glint of metal amongst the shrubbery. Pulling back the shrubbery he discovered an ancient door handle and lock. He put his ear to the door but heard only silence.

The door was locked but a loose brick shifted slightly catching Jake’s attention.  He moved the brick revealing an old fashioned key.  It turned the lock and Jake swung the door open.

Suddenly a sandy vortex sucked Jake downwards and he was spat out a matching door with his mouth full of sand.
“Eeeuuuurrrrgggghhhhh,” he muttered, wiping sand away.

Turning back, he noticed the wooden door becoming encased by poisonous roots caging it in. Terrified, he walked into his new surroundings.

Tall emerald green trees were peering at him with scary faces, their branches stretching high, grass so thick it was cutting into his shin, tree roots moving at his ankles. He had discovered an enchanted overgrown jungle.

“What are you, don’t hurt me?” Jake pleaded as he broke into a run, but the trees followed.

Jake saw an ancient oak tree looking kindly upon him and instinctively ran towards its shelter.
It commanded the others, “Do not attack him” The other trees slithered back.

The ancient oak announced to Jake, “We are the council of trees, we protect the humans who come here.”

Jake explained how he had come through the door. Though the ancient oaks had never left the wood or been to the human world they wanted to help.
They gave Jake magic potion to burn through anything and told him the route home.
After a few miles Jake became exhausted and forgot his way. Lost, he started to walk towards certain death.

As he ambled along, he noticed a strange red glow amongst the leaves. IT WAS A DRAGON!
He froze with shock then started running back but the dragon’s flame singed his hair. He sprinted faster and saw a fence ahead with a large hole. He leapt and dived through. A tree grazed his leg but he slipped through without the dragon.
He was back on the right path.

When he reached the door he pulled out the potion. There was plenty, he splashed it over the poisonous roots, they hissed, revealing the portal door.

He remembered the time! He had left his room at 9am, what must his parents be thinking?
He charged back to the house just as the grandfather clocked finished chiming 9am. Time had stood still.