Story Competition 2017 Winners - Aged 8 - 10

1st Place - Milly Taylor

The Beauty of Colour: My Imagination

Bored. Bored. Bored. Everything so grey and dull. I hear outside the rumbling of thunder getting closer and closer, louder and louder. The sky lights up in a flash of white lightning, then grey again. Grey, white, grey. Still bored. I go to my bedroom, see what I can find. Still bored. My room is filled with the same old boring books, same boring toys, same boring curtains.

I lie on my bed. The tick of the clock timing every boring second. I stare out of the window, watch the big fat raindrops splashing against the glass, thump, thump, thump. Lying there staring up at the ceiling. Time passes and I lay looking up at the white ceiling. Tick tock, tick tock.

Then something changes. A break in the clouds, a ray of sunlight beams in through the glass window. Flickering on the ceiling are shards of colours like a dancing rainbow. The light gets stronger and stronger, beams of fire red, sky blue, sunset orange, dandelion yellow and emerald green. I look closer and right in the middle of the colours is a golden sunshine. I stare harder and harder still. It seems to be pulling me up from my bed.

I am in a magical land full of colour. Where will I go, who will I meet?

One of the colours, the blue, seems to shine a little brighter. I close my eyes, I imagine walking, running, sprinting, to catch the lights in my hand… in my mind. What do all of these colours mean? I hear a voice… a fairy, a monster, my mum… or is it just me?

“Did you know that if you look into a colour hard enough, they show your emotions?”

“No I did not,” I said, or I thought.

“Blue shows sadness, loneliness and boredom (well that makes sense). Yellow shows happiness and excitement, green jealousy and selfishness, red anger and frustration and purply pink shows fear and sarcasm.”

I concentrate on the colours, looking harder and harder and deeper and deeper into them. The blue is fading… the yellow is getting stronger. How am I feeling? I feel ok.

I look around my room once more, the books, the toys, the curtains. The same room but somehow not so boring any more. I hear mum moving around downstairs. I want to tell her everything.

2nd Place - Lucy Masterson

The Chromatic Tune

Cold air ran over my cheeks as I walked down the street watching the black and white figures move to and fro; heads down, staring at their tablets and mobiles. I looked at the white screen of my phone again. No one looks around for more than five seconds. Every now and then I reach into my white paper bag to pull out a soggy bland chip. I pushed my hand through my hair. My hair is the nicest thing about me. It is black at the top, turning grey and eventually into ivory.
The paving is black. The buildings are grey. The people are shades of black and white. The whole world is black and white. Nobody talks.

As I plodded along, walking heavy on my feet, I came across a junk shop. I sat down in the entrance and scanned my lonely grey eyes around the room. I shivered and shifted further in. Goosebumps rippled up my arms. I shifted further in; moving until I suddenly felt my back hit a strange object. I span around. Before me was a black frame complete with strings running through the middle. All of the strings were white. I looked more closely at it, and found some small inky writing on it. The writing read:

Harp

I reached my hand out to the 'harp' and pulled one of the strings. It made a sweet, pleasant sound, like honey. I pulled the string next to it. It made a different sound; however still calming and mellifluous. I ran my hand from one end of the harp to the other end. It twinkled and sounded all mystical.
My hairs stood on end.

I pulled a black stool towards me then sat down and gripped the harp; pulling the strings one by one. I started to do this in rhythm. The sound filled my ears and I kept playing until I found something unusual happening. The frame of the harp was turning brown and a few of the strings were turning red. I let go of the strings and stifled my scream.
I looked around to check that no one was watching before I started to play again. I played louder then softer, higher then lower. My skin started to turn a peach colour and my shirt turned turquoise. My shorts slowly faded to orange. This time I didn't stop playing. I didn't stop playing when joyful people began to gather around me in purple dresses and emerald jumpers, ruby red lips and long blonde hair. Men pushed their hands through their wonderful ginger hair and rubbed their rosy red cheeks. Laughing children, smiling brown faces, bounced through the streets.

I played louder and louder and the azure sky rippled past the clouds. The warm yellow sun lit up the world. Wet, green grass blew in the gentle breeze. Phones lay smashed on the floor and everyone sang and danced whilst listening to my music. The world was alive once more.

3rd Place - Holly Lewis

The Beauty of Colour

I was four when my mummy died suddenly in a car crash. My older sister, Rosie, was seven at the time. Life became dark and gray. Even the following summer life remained colourless.

I spent a long time looking at photos of my mummy. My favourite photo that spring was a photo of my mum on the swing together with me. Mummy wore a blue, pink, white and red dress with ruffles on the side. She looked like she was floating in the middle of a cloud. I remember my mummy calling me sweet- tempered on that day, I had laughed at that. Life was more colourful then.

To remember my mummy I decided to buy a little flower.

Rosie found one at the garden centre, “This flower reminds me of the smiles in your favourite photos. Maybe this flower will remind us of mummy. We could call it sweet temper.”  I planted it carefully.

The following spring, I was five. The sun came out from the clouds and the little flower, sweet-temper, bloomed gold, saffron and tangerine.
I still felt lost, lonely and uncertain without a mummy. Looking in my photo album I found a picture of us both on a rollercoaster at Alton Towers. We were screaming happily. Mummy had said, “You have to be brave or you won't get far in life”.

To help me remember to be brave I decided to buy another flower.

I found one whose petals were wine-red. They were small, shiny and bright on a tall, sturdy stalk. It looked like a pogo stick and made me laugh a little. I named it ‘brave’ and carefully planted it next to ‘Sweet-temper’.

The following spring I was six. The bees and butterflies came and swooped around my two little flowers. Sometimes my moods were dark and I felt the bees and butterflies were more like bats in a hurricane.

On one of my sad days I found an old photo of Rosie, mummy and I dressing up for a carnival.  We had put lots of effort into our costumes. Other people didn't want to dress up and Mummy had said to me, ‘We must encourage our friends to dress up. We can be inspirational!’

I wished to find a third flower that would remind me of that day. I found a purple petunia with silvery stripes cutting through the dark purple. It was in a trumpet shape and looked like it could toot a tune to the other flowers.

I named this flower ‘inspire.’

The following spring I turned 7.

The sun was out and I sat in the garden for an hour watching my flowers grow taller, stronger and bloom with all their magical colours.

I felt taller, stronger and braver just like the flowers seemed to.

They smelt sweet and looked so beautiful just like my mummy in my memories.