stories, photos, thoughts & scribbles

Hope

500Words

In April I entered the Radio 2 500 Words story competition. My story, Hope,  didn’t get through to the second round, unlike last year when I got onto the longlist. (You can read last years story here.) Here is my story:

 

HOPE

Three long years, this war has been raging now. It’s funny. I can’t remember a time when there was no war. I can’t even remember what my family look like. It’s like my cousins are my brothers and sisters, and Auntie is my mother. Ayesha does think she’s our mother. But then, she was only 2 when we last saw our real mother. At least, that’s what Auntie says.

Every day, me and my oldest cousin Amani go to sell the mangoes that grow in Auntie’s garden. We make a stall of cardboard boxes outside a bombed out house. It was probably hit by a mortar shell. When the soldiers come, we scramble through a hole into the cellar. It’s cold, dark and full of rats as hungry as we are. But it’s safe.

Hardly anyone has money to buy the mangoes. So they tell us stories, or give us an earring in return. Auntie gets cross if we give them mangoes ‘for free’. But me and Amani don’t mind. We tell the stories to Ayesha and my cousins, and that makes them happy. It gives then hope. No amount of money can do that.

Sometimes Amani asks me what it was like living in the city. I tell her I can hardly remember anything, and she asks me what do I remember. I tell her I remember watching the sunrise over the tops of the buildings, eating freshly baked bread, and a fresh, minty smell. She asks me what smells fresh and minty. I tell her I don’t remember.

I know I have two brothers and one sister, as well as Ayesha. I keep trying to think of what they look like, but I can’t. I can only see Ayesha’s face. No one else’s.

Me and Ayesha were lucky. We managed to find Auntie, among the maze of rubble and abandoned houses. I recall hardly anything about that night. Except the noise. Everyone was shouting and screaming. Gunshots filled the air. Ayesha was crying. The soldiers found us trying to escape. They had hidden in the empty buildings, and ambushed us. That’s what Auntie says. When she found me and Ayesha, she took us to safety. All I remember is seeing Auntie’s house for the first time, and crying. I don’t know why I was crying.

Then I remember something. My mother’s face. She’s got kind brown eyes and dark hair. She looks a lot like Auntie. I start crying. And I realise that if I stay here any longer, I’ll end up like Ayesha, calling Auntie mother. I have to find my family. I need to know they’re more than just names on a family tree.

So now I’m going to find them. Ayesha, Auntie and my cousins are staying here. Amani thinks I’m crazy. But I’m still going. I wonder what my family look like now. I wonder if they’ll recognise me.

But I will find them. I promise myself I will.

I just entered 500 Words

Book Flying Letters

I have just entered the Radio 2 500 Words children’s short story competition. I entered last year, and got longlisted. You can read last year’s story here. This year I am hoping to do better, and try and get into the top 50. I will put my story up when I know where I came. Fingers crossed…

mirrors

Fox Friend [Chapter 3]

Amber-2

This is Chapter 3 of my story Fox Friend which I am publishing on my blog chapter by chapter. You can read chapter 1 and chapter 2.

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Chapter 3 The fox

“Ahrooooooo yip yap arooo!”

“Mia, stop it” Lizzie muttered sleepily.

“Ahroo yippy yappy roooha!”

“I said stop it”

“Ahroooh yip yippy yappy” Lizzie sat up and looked around. There was no one in her bedroom. “Yippa yappa roooooooaha” What was making that noise? “Roohaaaaaaaa” It seemed to be coming from outside. Lizzie raced to the window to have a look. By the rose bushes she could see a small fox with shiny orange fur and bright amber eyes. “Ahroooooooo.” The fox was making the noise.  Lizzie picked up the clock on the table next to her bed. 6:45. She tip-toed down the stairs and into the living room. Lizzie felt for the key on the top of the bookshelf. Her fingers touched its cold metal. She picked the key up but it slipped out of her fingers. It clattered onto the floor and Lizzie froze.  She was sure that someone had heard. After a while she picked up the key, went to the kitchen, slipped it into the lock, opened the door and went outside. Read the rest of this entry »

A Hero Sits Next Door

I recently entered another short story competition – this time for Inkhead. I came 3rd. The judge Lucy Caldwell commented:

A Hero Sits Next Door is a charming and witty tale, and an inventive take on the assigned subject matter. I particularly liked the description of the near- catastrophe of the packet of butter in the microwave… That was very inventive, as was the cat’s-eye point of view. Well done! I want to read more of the adventures of Benjamin Buttons!’

I was very pleased about it. Here is my story:

A Hero Sits Next Door

ginger-cat-path

If you had to imagine a hero, not even in your wildest dreams would you come up with Benjamin Buttons. He was greedy, conceited, selfish and lazy. Oh, and he was a cat. Read the rest of this entry »

Wolves? In England?

Earlier this year I entered the Radio 2 500 Words short story competition. My story got on to the long list but unfortunately did not make it to the final. Here is my story:

Wolves? In England?

wolf

It was Rosalind’s 12th birthday. Her parents owned a huge estate and we were all going on a treasure hunt, looking for chocolate wrapped in gold foil.  There were eight of us; well, nine if you count Sandy the golden Labrador. It was a warm April day and Lizzie Evens had just found the fifteenth piece of treasure. Read the rest of this entry »

500 Words

blogging

In February I entered the Chris Evans’ Radio 2 500 Words children’s short story competition. A few days ago I had an email to say that I had got through to the second round of judging. Hurray! There were 90,000 entries to the competition and only 3000 got through. I am now waiting to see if I get into the top fifty…

I will put the story up when I know.

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