Posted in fabo story, The Winners!

Maureen’s FABO Judge’s Report

Every day I looked at my inbox and there was a trickle of Fabo stories…. and then there was a flood… they were like rats… I started having nightmares.

Funnily enough the stories were similar… there was a trickle of rats and then a flood.

They didn’t have to be rats… they could have been small furry intelligent aliens from another dimension… but mostly you all picked… RATS!

One of the reasons I picked four tricky words for you was to stretch your creativity.

When you box a character in a story… or set yourself some high walls to climb over to achieve your story goal, your brain starts getting a workout. The stories become more imaginative. Your brain pops and fizzes and so do your stories.

When writers are stuck in a story, sometimes they throw more obstacles at their main character to see what their brain might come up with. This shakes up the story and the writer often finds a way to get un-stuck.

Most of you gave the story starter a good shake and I got lines like…

‘The rat had a twinkle in its eye.’ from Tsehai.

‘I let out an eldritch scream,’ from Genevieve.

‘He also drank a lot of Quaff’- from Miranda

‘Hubba Twinkle Weedle’ from Sarah

‘… quaffing up rainbows’- from Peyton

‘The library was flooded with eldritch souls.’ from Daniel

‘A mini blanket sewn from old pieces of string.’ from Danielle

‘To celebrate Jack decided to throw a quaffing party.’ from Emma

‘He cursed the eldritch piper.’ from Alice

‘Its tail slithered across the room like a slimy piece of string.’- from Rika

A lot of stories became episodes with a definite horror feel. I started looking for stories that definitely finished. (Mostly because I didn’t want any more nightmares.)

I was really impressed with the effort everyone made to work those words into the story with the right meanings.

These winning stories had me thinking beyond the ending so WELL DONE Daniel, Rebecca and Rosa!

Could you please use the CONTACT US form on the website to send in your address, and some goodies (Not Rats!!) will be on their way to you.

– Maureen Crisp

Daniel Wilson age 8 from Fendalton

…HIS CAT JERRY!!!so that night he brought Jerry to the library and lowered him from the roof with some string while the principal was quaffing beer down and thinking of the rats. Jack was checking if Jerry was eating any rats but he wasn’t so he pulled Jerry up and called the exterminator. He came and after that he said “it’s all clear.”
The next day in the library the librarian got bitten by a rat and she grew a tail and started to twinkle and turned into a rat lady. After that she fought crime all around the world and the library was flooded with Eldritch souls.
The end

Rebecca Wilkins age 11 from Northcote

If only he had his teddy bear to cuddle, then he’d be alright. Even though he was 32, he still couldn’t get to sleep without Tatty, his bear. Oddly, he still found it soothing to clutch Tatty in the darkness of the night.

Like Tatty, Jack was a big softie. And they both hated rats: once Tatty had almost been eaten alive by the rodents. And then there were the dreams, the Pied Piper, the rats and Tatty, every night he watched Tatty being murdered by the rats. He would wake up, trembling, only to realise it was just another nightmare.

An ear-splitting, squeaking sound that could only have come from the rat’s claws echoed through the library. Jack began to cower and shake, wishing he had a shell as protective as a tortoises that he could retreat to as a last resort. Be brave, he told himself. But he did not move.

As the sun went behind a cloud, Jack noticed the books (bathed in dust) and the cobwebs covering the ceiling. The library, normally a light and airy place, was eldritch, terrifying.
Jack couldn’t take it anymore. He curled himself up into a ball and attempted to wish himself away into fairyland, like the girls in the Year 1 class did.

He wasn’t surprised to find that this didn’t work.

What he needed was a drink. He thought longingly of the spinach juice at home, wanting to quaff it all down. That would make him strong. Tatty liked spinach juice too, she had a little green patch on her fur from the time when she’d attempted to ‘drink’ it.

Spinach. He suddenly remembered the rat catcher, Margaret Spinach was her name. Someone had told him about her. He looked her phone number up in the phone book, it was there! And before he knew it he was hesitantly dialling her.

He waited.

Finally, someone picked up the line at the other end.

“Hello there. Margaret Spinach the rat catcher speaking. How can I be of any help?”

Jack explained his story while Margaret patiently listened.

“Sure. I’ll come around now,” she said, and the line went dead.

Soon a neon pink van pulled up. It was the Spinach Rat Catchers and Co official van.

Margaret swept out of the van, her fiery curls tied up with multi-coloured string. She had twinkling eyes, a cheery smile and a Barbie doll strangely strapped to her belt. Jack liked her instantly.

She was very strong and soon prised the desk open effortlessly. She wasn’t afraid of the rat inside it. Jack peeked around the corner of a bookshelf.

Inside the desk he didn’t see a rat. Instead he saw Fluffy, the librarian’s beloved cat. Mrs Merlinsky walked in right at that moment.

“Fluffy darling!!!” screeched Mrs Merlinsky as Fluffy scampered up to greet her.

From that day on, Jack didn’t have a single dream about the Pied Piper. But he did dream about Margaret. And he still slept with Tatty…. just in case.

Rosa Martelletti age 8 from Newtown

If only Jack had some string. He could have easily got anything with that. But unluckily that was all the way down in Mr Lancelottus’s office. Lancelottus would have definitely caught him there.

Jack sighed. He kicked the box one more time, just to make sure. Yep, there was definitely a rat in there.

He took the energy drink off the table. It said “Drink this and you’ll never be scared again”. Jack quaffed it down quickly. He didn’t feel any braver than usual.

Then something occurred to him.

“What is this rat like?” he thought “Will it hurt me?”

He tried to push the doubts out of his mind. Jack decided that if he got bitten, he wouldn’t have to be the caretaker anymore. With that happy thought in his head, Jack opened up the desk. But what he saw gave him a big surprise.

He saw a dead rat, yes, but there was also a live one as well! Jack thought the live one looked friendly. He touched it. It didn’t move. He very slowly patted it. It still didn’t move. So, very cautiously, Jack picked up the rat and slowly moved towards the corridor.

When he went in the corridor, he went past Ms. Joris’s room, Mr Brooke’s room, and Ms Eldritch’s room into Ms Green’s room.

Jack turned to Ms Green. “I heard about Tina’s show and tell, miss, so I thought I’d give you this.” he showed Ms Green the rat.

“Oh my goodness.” exclaimed Ms Green. “What a lovely rat!” Then she turned to the class and asked them “What should we call it? “Twinkles!” everyone shouted. So once he made sure that Ms Green had got hold of Twinkles, Jack turned and walked out of the class. “Well,” he thought “ I may have not been able to get a break from my job, maybe even quit it, but at least I met the friendliest rat in the whole wide world!”

And with that happy thought, Jack continued to walk up the corridor.



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