Wow! What a wonderful lot of imaginative stories came flooding in last week. They featured everything from riddles and magic spells, through to time travel and black holes. All kinds of amazing creatures appeared as well. My favourites were Neve’s rampaging fluffy pink unicorn, Lily’s screeching Crat (a cross between a crow and a rat) and Eden’s spine-chilling creature without a name.
Phoebe, I loved your description of the principal’s spell misfiring. Your story was very close to being one of the winners.
“But what was most astonishing was the chalk blue rooster pecking impatiently at the teacher’s desk. ‘Principal Lancelottus,’ Oliver muttered inaudibly although somehow Lydia heard and answered.”
Best beginning goes to Owen. There was some excellent use of dialogue in your story, and I was also very impressed with your description of Oliver’s magic potion …
“Oliver rushed to the science lab, grabbed a Bunsen burner, a glass container and started on his project. … While he was pulling the slime of a slug out of his pocket, Lydia walked into the room.
Rose, I liked the new school subject you invented, sciegic.
“It turned out that science was magic and magic was science, what a strange school.”
And Brianna, you included some great descriptive sentences in your story.
“Wispy smoke and foul smells were a speciality of Principal Lancellotus.”
My favourite simile goes to Jess.
“I need a volunteer.” Mr Lancellotus’s voice filled inside Oliver’s head like someone pumping up a bike tyre so much it would explode.”
Tiffany, I especially loved your description of Lydia being inside the principal’s brain.
“Her mind felt like some massive being, stretched across the world.”
Best use of the bonus word “evaporated” goes to Maggie.
“What is happening to that boy! He’s evaporating into thin air!” Lydia screamed. And it was true, for the boy had evaporated straight into thin air, as if he was never there at all.
With so many good stories, it was a difficult decision to choose a winner, so in the best Fabo tradition I have chosen two winners …
Julia from Willow Park Primary and Isha from Rodney College.
Julia, I liked the way you used the letter from the story starter as a link into your story, and the great mix of humour and suspense. Also, it was a masterful touch to end your story back with the long suffering caretaker.
Isha, your story really drew me in and I loved the characters you created.
Could you please use the CONTACT US form on the website to send in your address, and I will post you out your prizes.
Oliver peered over her shoulder and dropped his letter from shock. A girl his age was growing, not just taller, but wider as well. She was filling up the whole classroom, and quickly.
“AAAgaahhh!!” Kids were going frantic, and running around screeching.
“Planko dokado!” The tall, plump man who Oliver thought must be the Principal was muttering strange words, pointing a stick at the growing girl and doing the stupidest dance in the world. It was clear Oliver’s Principal was crazy. Or maybe just drunk.
“I meant big as in famous! Not big as in giant big!” The growing girl was booming over the petrified screams of her classmates.
“Sorry. I got your wish wrong!” the Principal squeaked.
The already pushed to the limit classroom was going to explode any second.
“I can’t stop her growing!” the Principal shrieked.
“GET OUT OF THE ROOM!” Lydia yelled.
Oliver gazed at Lydia admiring her beautifulness and bravery, although she hadn’t really done anything brave.
“AAAAhhh!!” Kids squeezed themselves outside the squashed classroom yelling, “The Principal’s in there!”
Lydia cried, “I’m going to get him”
“No!” Oliver ran after her but it was too late. She was already squeezing herself around the edge of the class trying to get to the Principal. Oliver dashed inside the class just as Lydia collapsed.
“No!” Oliver wailed. He felt his breath bring sucked out of him as he shoved his way past the girls’ expanding body to reach the Principal. Anger burned inside Oliver. This magician had ruined his first day and hurt Lydia. In his rage of fury he reached the Principal quicker than expected. “Grrr! You hurt Lydia!” Oliver screamed and lunged at the Principal magician. SNAP! In a quick movement Oliver had snapped the wand in half.
Pfffffhhhhhh! The girl deflated like a balloon. Poof! The two half’s of the wand in Oliver’s hands evaporated. Oliver ran over to Lydia. Luckily he could hear her heart beating.
Curious kids filled the classroom. One telephoned an ambulance. Soon Lydia was being whisked away to hospital and so was the Principal. The other kids all went to different classes for the day. The classroom was well… damaged you could say.
After everyone had left the poor old caretaker trudged in, took one look around and grumbled, “And I just fixed this class last term!”
Oliver stared up at the thin windows and grim, brick walls of Eel Creek School. He shivered. Even the motto above the school’s arched doorway was creepy … BE PREPARED. Gripping the letter from his previous school in a sweaty hand, he stepped into the dimly lit, high-ceilinged foyer.
An arrow on the wall pointed towards the principal’s office. But before he could head that way, a voice behind him said, “You must be the new boy. I’m Lydia, your buddy for the day. Come on, hurry up, or we’ll miss it.”
“I’ll explain as we walk.” Lydia strode ahead up a flight of stairs.
Oliver had no choice but to save his questions for later and run after her.
“Our teacher, Miss Green, is on leave, and Principal Lancelottus is filling in for her,” Lydia called back, as she climbed the stairs two at a time. “Mum says, before he came to Eel Creek, he used to be a magician. So when he teaches a class, instead of ‘show and tell,’ he performs a few magic tricks every morning.”
Oliver started to feel a bit more cheerful. Maybe this school wouldn’t turn out to be so bad after all.
Lydia stopped in a corridor, at the top of the stairs. “This is our class,” she said. A burst of bright, white light flashed through the gap under the closed door, and the smell of gunpowder wafted out.
“Rats! We’ve missed the beginning,” Lydia whispered, opening the door gingerly.
Then Oliver saw her face turn white.
“Oh no, I was afraid this might happen,” she said. “Sometimes the principal’s magic tricks go wrong … very, very, wrong.”
Lydia grabbed his wrist and pulled him into the classroom. She scanned the room. Ten or more kids were cowering at the back of the room. A short, fat, middle-aged man stood at the front. Oliver guessed this was the principal.
Then something in between the kids and the principal, something Oliver had missed, stirred and raised its head. Lydia’s grip on his wrist became tighter and he winced and pulled his hand away.
A shout came from the group of kids. “Get help!” Get help. It was the sensible thing to do, but his feet seemed to be glued to the floor. Lydia grabbed his arm once more and pulled him out the door.
They ran down the hallway and burst through the next door they saw. “The principal! His magic trick! It went wrong! There’s a monster thing on the ground!” Oliver and Lydia gabbled. The teacher, whom Lydia later told him was called Mrs. Callister, told them to calm down.
“What on Earth are you talking about? I can’t understand a word you’re saying.”
Oliver took a deep breath. “We think the principals magic trick went wrong. There’s something in the classroom. We were sent to find help.”
Mrs. Callister still looked a little puzzled but she followed them to the classroom anyway.
There it was, on the floor, about the size of a soccer ball. It was green and oozey and covered in warts. Jagged fangs dripping with saliva lined its mouth. It growled and moved closer to the students.
Mrs. Callister fainted.
“Wow, she was helpful, wasn’t she?” Oliver whispered to Lydia, but Lydia wasn’t there. He turned around to see her sprinting down the hall. “Hey!” he shouted, “Don’t just leave me here!”
But a minute later she was back, this time with two long metal javelins.
“Got it from the gymnasium,” she panted, “we were doing javelin just the other day. Thought it best if we were armed.”
“Wha- you mean we’re going in?”
Lydia motioned to the teacher lying on the floor. “I think we have to.”
Reluctantly, Oliver took a javelin and advanced into the room.
Immediately the creature turned to face them. It bared its teeth and growled. Oliver felt his heartbeat quicken. Lydia waved her hand at the students and pointed at the emergency exit.
“Go!” she mouthed. When they were safely out of the classroom Oliver and Lydia crept closer, brandishing their javelins. Just when they were about to stab – “STOP!”
The principal. He lept over the desk with surprising ease. “Drop the javelins!”
Lydia shook her head at Oliver.
Principal Lancelottus walked over to the creature and patted its head. “There, there, sweetie, I won’t let them hurt you.” Sweetie?
“Principal Lancelottus-” Mrs Callister had resumed consciousness. Oliver jumped at the sound of her voice. “-are you aware that that creature… thing … is dangerous for the children here?”
“Dangerous for the children…” the principal mocked.
Mrs Callister put her hand on her chest in shock. “Sir, I must-”
“SHUT UP, SUSANNA!” he roared. “I need to get out! If the kids are mysteriously killed… I won’t have to deal with them anymore!”
“Er… you know you can just quit, right?”
The principals face turned a nasty shade of purple.
“QUIT!” he roared, “QUIT? You think I just… just up and leave, do ya? Well not if my great great grandfather has anything to do with it!” Mrs Callister tried to stutter an apology but he was on a roll now. “This WRETCHED school has been passed down for generations. My father, my great grandfather and my great great grandfather would roll in their graves if I just quit!”
“Like they wouldn’t be rolling now.” Lydia muttered to Oliver.
Principal Lancelottus grabbed the creature around the waist. He ran to the window and leapt out. “I’m leaving this school for good! I can’t stand it here anymore!”
There was a stunned silence. Oliver, Lydia and Mrs Callister stared at each other.
“Well that sure was odd, wasn’t it? What a first day!” Oliver laughed. The other two laughed too and soon there were tears running down their faces.
“Come on then, you two. We’d better take you to my classroom.”