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Write a short story: Winners

Congratulations to all participants in our short story competition. The entries were of an extremely high standard and we enjoyed reading them all.



Nicholas Bailey
The Robin’s Tale 

There was once a plump little boy who lived in a small village and wished to become a great hero. His chance arose when autumn turned to winter and the people of the village were terrorised by a monstrous wolf who lived in the woods nearby. The villagers thought the wolf was a punishment from the gods and were too scared to defy it.

One day, after a vicious attack in a neighbouring home, the boy  decided that the wolf must be stopped. He grabbed his father’s axe and set off into in the woods whistling quietly as he ventured along a meandering path. Before long he came to a glade and on the other side of the glade, he saw the wolf’s den. Unbeknown to the boy, the wolf had heard him as he strode through the forest. The wolf pounced upon this intruder, greed written on his face. In terror, the boy fell, too late to swing his axe upon his enemy. Taking his chance, the wolf tore a great gash in the boy’s chest with his claws.

High in the clouds, Bor, God of courage, watched as blood seeped from the boy’s plump chest and pitied him, for he had shown much bravery. So he saved the boy from the jaws of the wolf, before placing the valiant boy in the hands of a wise healer.  There was only one spell that could save the boy’s life but it was not without consesquences for the injury was too great to keep him in human form. So the boy would live but only as the little bird we know today as a robin; his red chest permanently stained from the blood that was lost that day.

To this day, the boy’s descendants can be seen in winter, whistling quietly close to humans, a reminder of the little boy who was once so brave.


Isla Flavell-Grant
The Story of the Tardigrade

We have all heard of Aphrodite She was, of course, the daughter of Zeus and her beauty was such that it could cause the fiercest of winds to stop blowing, still the pull of the strongest tides. But what most people don’t know is that Aphrodite’s beauty was once matched – perhaps even exceeded – by her twin, Tardivain.

Whereas Aphrodite was modest and humble, her twin was vain and conceited. Tardivain could not pass a mirror without pausing for hours to admire his reflection. Tardivain surrounded himself with admirers, who praised him during every waking hour. While he lapped up their flattery, Tardivain mocked his worshippers, for no-one could ever match his dazzling looks.

Tardivain continued his life of vanity until one spring say when, singing a love song to himself, he ignored his half-brothers struggling to stay afloat in the vast waters of an Olympus River. As the winds picked up speed and the river started to sweep the children away, Tardivain sang louder, replacing the children’s cries with lavish self-declarations of love. 

Hearing his beloved sons had drowned, Zeus became furious and vengeful. Whereas the king of Gods had once made allowances for his unkind and selfish son, Zeus’s love turned to hate. 

Whereas Tardivain’s beauty had only been skin deep, the King of Gods decided that now it would not even be such. Seus condemned Tardivain to become the Tardigrade.

Given Tardivain’s desire for attention, Tardigrade was punished by virtual invisibility – he could not be seen, even by the eyes of a God. Whereas Tardivain had once possessed spectacular beauty, Tardigrade was the most repulsive of creatures. And when Tardigrade could no longer withstand the horror of his miserable existence, he was condemned to suffer for all eternity in a hideous body that would not die.  


Jemima Greenald

Way, way back, before the mists of time, a mother gorse bush was contemplating how best to send her babies out into the world. All of the other mother gorse bushes were thinking similar thoughts, so they called a council, to decide the next generation’s fate. When all were assembled, the head of the council called them to order. “I am sure that all of us are aware why this meeting has been proposed,” she said. “We are gathered here today to discuss how we shall best introduce our offspring into the world.” A younger mother raised her hand. “Perhaps we could lift them up to the air, and let the wind carry them away to new lands and new places?” she suggested. After a moment, one of the wiser, older bushes spoke. “That may be a clever idea, but it is not original. The dandelions had a similar council only last week, and if we choose the same outcome as them, then our honour as gorse bushes will have been compromised in the extreme.” All the others mulled this over, then the original mother gorse got up. “I’ve been thinking this over,” she said, “and I think I have the answer. What we can do to send our children into the world is to shoot them out of pods when it’s hot. That way they will always leave us in good weather and will not face winter until they are ready. They will also go a good distance from their parents, but not so far that we will never see them again.” All of the assembled rose to their feet and started a storm of applause. This was the answer. And so this is why the gorse bushes shoot out their seeds in hot weather.


Molly Branchett
The Land of Myths and Legends 

Tia woke with a start. Observing her surroundings: tall, leafy oak trees, blinding sun blazing, damp leaves and moss underneath her, she realised she had fallen asleep in the woods. She sat up groggily, rubbing her eyes, wondering whether the game of hide-and-seek was still on. 

“Friar!” She heard someone shout. She threw herself down flat again, remembering rule number one: the other team couldn’t know you were ‘alive’.  As she hit the ground, she locked eyes with a young man wearing a green pointy hat with a red feather and green tunic. He ran towards her.

“You okay?” He asked.

“I think so.” Tia answered.

“Run! The Sheriff’s men are coming,” he whispered hurriedly. Tia scrambled up, following him to a wooden shack. He bolted the door.

“What is going on?” Tia demanded. “It’s just a game… who are you? And why are you dressed like... this?” 

“You don’t know who I am?” The man scoffed.

“No,” Tia snapped. “Am I supposed to?!”

“Robin Hood. Nice to meet you.” Robin offered his hand, smiling for the first time. Tia looked dumbfounded. “Seriously? But Robin Hood is fiction!” 

Robin’s face dropped. “Oh. You’re from the real world! Come here.” He peered through a crack in the door and stepped out. Tia followed cautiously. “Welcome to Sherwood Forest - the Land of Myths and Legends,” he said.

Tia couldn’t believe her ears. “You’re kidding?!” she gasped.

“Nope,” Robin smiled. “Trojan Horse to the east, Nessy to the west.”

“Nessy?” Tia asked.

“Yes, Loch Ness Monster. She’s very nice actually. And Achilles lives just across the banks. Persephone is around the corner, down there!” said Robin.

Tia realised with horror that the game of hide-and-seek and her friends were now a world away…how was she to get home? What should she do?


Erin Docherty
Myths and Legends 

Once there was a magnificent dragon, with vast scarlet wings and scales that glittered like rubies in the sun. One night she was soaring across the moonlit sky when she came across a village enveloped in burning orange light, her golden eyes widened. The village was ablaze, ravenous flames devouring house after house, scorching the grass until it was burned and dead. She saw villagers fleeing into the surrounding forest while burning debris collapsed. Then she spotted a small child, screaming and crying, huddled in a ball as walls burst into flames around him. The dragon did not want to leave the child to die so she folded her wings and plunged towards the ground, landing with an earth-shaking thud. She pushed through the roaring flames and gently took the child by the back of his clothes, lifting him to safety. She unfurled her wings, about to take flight when she heard a shout.

“It’s a dragon! A dragon has set our village on fire!” the villagers began to gather weapons.

“No! That’s not true!” she shouted back at them, but all the villagers heard was a thunderous roar. Then she turned to see a man on horse back, wielding a long sword.

“I am St George! I shall slay this monstrous creature!”

“Please stop!” the dragon bellowed, but the villagers could not understand. The Saint charged. She scrambled into the sky, flying upwards. But Saint George drew back his arm and hurled the sword. It whistled through the air and buried itself deep in her chest. She roared in agony, dropping through the sky and landing with a thud. She let out one last wail of despair, and died. On that woeful night, the last dragon was murdered, cruelly and mercilessly, and a man went down in history.


Emily Pipe
Odysseus and the Cyclops


“Who’s ready for another story?” spoke the old man who was prodding the fire with a long stick. “We are!” yelled the young children, already buzzing with excitement from the previous tale. “Alright, let’s begin.” He stated, pulling his long white beard out of the way of flying sparks that had escaped from the fire.


Once upon a time, on an island far away there lived a lonely cyclops with one huge brown eye that could see that all over his land, ragged, mud stained clothes and coarse, tattered skin. On another island, not too far away, lived a man called Odysseus. Odysseus lived in a grand castle guarded by hundreds of soldiers, owned many boats and wore a clean suit painted with gold and red embroidery but Odysseus wanted more. Being ruler of one land wasn’t enough for him; he wanted to rule others. He gathered a  troop of 12 of his  most potent soldiers and set of in venture of the Cyclops’ island.  By the time Odysseus and his men had got the Cyclops’ key it was dark and the Cyclops was asleep.  “Charge!” Screamed Odysseus as he and his men ascended from the ship and ran at Cyclops’ cave. The 12 men stabbed at the Cyclops’ eye until he went blind while the Cyclops wailed in agony. Out of pure self defence, the Cyclops grabbed 2 of Odysseus’ warriors and devoured them whole. “Retreat, retreat!” Odysseus yelled “Back to the boat!” The Cyclops still suffering his torment swung his arms around trying to capture who ever had done this to him, roaring and howling with every swing. Odysseus took one last stab at the Cyclops right into his heart, he watched him collapse, placed down his flag and sailed back home victoriously.

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