Posted in fabo story, Prizes!, The Winners!

Johanna’s FABO Report!

Thanks for your entries, everyone! I loved reading your stories, and was thrilled by how many different types of popcorn accidents you managed to dream up.

Winner 1:
I’ve chosen the story by Abigail Shin-Kelso (Glen Eden Intermediate School) as one of the winners. Abigail had a great idea and wrote a tight, dynamic story, with well imagined scenes, where no detail was irrelevant or out of place. Her dialogue gave the reader important information and moved the plot along, but at the same time, sounded perfectly natural and in character. Everything led up to the wonderful ending, and there were no loose ends left hanging.

Winner 2:
Also a winner is the story by Laylani Wendt-Fa’apoi (Glen Eden Intermediate School). This is a beautifully written and paced ‘slice of life’ story – where the sometimes antagonistic, but ultimately loving friendship between a brother and a sister gradually unfolds.

Runner up 1:
Another story I loved was Montana Harper’s (Greenhithe Primary School). Listen to the satisfying rhythm of this paragraph. It’s great to read aloud:

She looked everywhere, under the stove, in the oven, then stopped as she heard a strange popping sound. Pop, pop, pop. She moved around the kitchen. The sound got louder and louder. Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. She stopped in front of the microwave. The popping was the loudest there. Carefully, she peeked through the tinted glass and gasped. Before she could open her mouth to scream, the microwave exploded.

There are three characters in the story – all beautifully drawn – and what I especially liked about this story is the ending.

Runner up 2:
The story by Benjamin McQueen (Kohia Terrace School) is the second runner-up I’ve chosen. This is a long, detailed, complex story, full of great ideas and enjoyable characters, and set in a really well-imagined place. I get the feeling this could be developed into an even longer story! (And I have to confess – this reminded me of elaborate, ambitious stories I wrote when I was at school.)

Special mentions:

Madeline Renner-Daun’s creepy demonic popcorn princess sent a shiver up my spine. (Birkdale Intermediate School)

Paige Cusiel’s story is a beautiful depiction of sibling relationships, and showed some wonderful psychological insights. (Remarkables Primary School)

To the six of you above, a prize pack will be heading your way soon! I’ll be in touch with you to get your postal addresses.

Once again, thank you to everyone who entered. I genuinely mean it when I say I was impressed with so many of them.

Winner: Abigail Shin-Kelso

Bryn turned, and started to walk down the stairs of the small building they called home. They had been living there their whole life, but every time there was a full moon, since the beginning of their lives, the next morning a mess of popcorn awaited them at the front of their house.

Cilla followed Bryn down the stairs anxiously, and out to the front of their house. Popcorn was everywhere. It was strewn across the grass and rolling off the roof onto the small lawn which was overgrown and wild.

Bryn opened the door, with Cilla following close behind, and stepped onto the front porch.

When they walked out, they triggered an explosion. Beneath their feet, popcorn flew out of nowhere, whacking them in the face, and raining down on them.

“How do you stop it?” Cilla yelled in the direction of where she last saw Bryn.

“You get on the grass, I think!” Bryn yelled back through the mass of popcorn.

Cilla struggled through the flurry of popcorn, and fell onto the grass. “Freedom at last!” she announced, sighing with relief.

A minute later, Bryn waded out of the cloud, and sat down beside her.

“Let me guess, you ate some popcorn,” she assumed.

“Well… Um… Maybe I guess.”

Cilla rolled her eyes. Obviously her brother ate some. He loved popcorn.

“It tasted really nice,” he tried to justify. “Like butter.”

“Whatever. We need to find out why there is popcorn everywhere.”

“Well… It could be a Were-popcorn.”


“What? I’m just suggesting.”

“I know!” Cilla excitedly exclaimed, “We could stay up tonight and see.”


Later that day, at around eleven at night, Cilla crept into Bryn’s room to wake him up. But there was no one there.

“Maybe he’s waiting for me outside?” she voiced aloud, and crept out to the front door. Outside, it was silent. She walked softly to a nearby bush, and hid behind it.

She waited in the dark night for about ten minutes, then a rustling came from the bushes opposite the one she was hiding in.

A giant kernel of popcorn walked out from behind the bushes, and started throwing popcorn everywhere.
Cilla froze, confused. This was what attacked with popcorn every night. She turned, about to whisper something to Bryn, but realised he wasn’t there.

A stray kernel of popcorn flew over the bush she was hiding behind, into her hand, and she placed it in her mouth. As she ate it, a buttery taste appeared in her mouth, and she realised something.

Bryn, her brother was the giant kernel of popcorn.

She was shocked, but it made sense. His love of popcorn. Why he wasn’t in his bed when she looked earlier. Why he always seemed tired the morning after a full moon.

Cilla walked bravely out from behind the bush, and spoke. “Bryn?” she called softly, “Is that you?”

The giant popcorn turned to face her, and walked over.

Cilla cowered slightly at the size of it, but continued talking. “If it is you, please, stop attacking with popcorn. Just maybe leave a little bit.”

The popcorn nodded, like it understood everything she said.

“Thanks,” she concluded. “I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.”

She walked back over to the house, and collapsed on her bed. The next morning, Bryn woke her up.”Sorry I didn’t come with you last night. I can’t remember a thing, and I’m so tired,” he explained. “How was it?”

“Good,” Cilla replied with a knowing smile. “Nothing interesting happened.”


Winner: Laylani Wendt-Fa’apoi (Glen Eden Intermediate School)

Bryn cringed. “You really aren’t going to like it.”

Cilla raised her eyebrows. She didn’t believe that it could be ANY worse than last time. “That’s what you think. After last time, I’ve seen everything.”

Bryn put his hands up to his face again.“No.” His voice sounded muffled. “You really aren’t going to like it… Oogh I really don’t want to show you this.” Bryn covered his face with a bright Christmas scarf from around his neck.

Cilla crossed her arms and tapped her heavy Doc Martens down on the lino floor. “Just show me already.” She rolled her eyes and tied her hair up, as if she was a warrior. “I’m ready.” She chuckled as she followed her little brother’s small footsteps.

Bryn’s hand shook as he turned the handle. He turned and faced Cilla. “Don’t kill me,” he whispered, and backed into the corner and huddled his knees to his face, rocking back and forth.

Cilla stared, shocked by the things she saw. “MY CLOTHES!” She contorted her face into a small frown. “WHAT did you do!”

Bryn shook, scared to speak. “I was making popcorn in your room with your popcorn maker and it was hot but I touched it and… It tipped over and scorched through your clothes.”

Cilla held her head in her hands. “Mum and Dad are SO NOT going to get me another new one. UGH you’re such a little brat!”

Bryn shivered. The words ran down his spine and chilled him giving him goosebumps. He stood on the balls of his feet and cringed. “I know what you’re going to do…” Bryn cringed again, this time, he felt worse.

Cilla clapped her hand against her knee. “I almost forgot! Thanks for reminding me, now for the torture.”

After two hours Bryn was a fully-fledged makeup guru. Ombré lipstick, cat eyed eyeliner and even contouring. He was wearing Cilla’s favourite pink dress, now ripped in awkward places and also her white leather Jimmy Choo high heels from their rich grandma.

“Don’t forget, I still have more makeup, despite the amount you MELTED.”

Cilla grabbed her iPhone and opened up the camera. She giggled, “Say cheese!!” She laughed as she thought about the blackmail she could do with it.

Bryn raised an eyebrow while wiping his face with his hand. “Yeah okay I get it, but how on earth do you get this stuff off? You didn’t really do a good job…”

Cilla smacked his leg playfully “oh hush up! Here.” She handed him a makeup wipe that removed the grunge from his face with ease. “And by the way, my makeup skills are better than yours, you wouldn’t have even guessed to use the lipstick to help your olive complexion shine!”

Bryn muttered while wiping his face down, “ugh, girls.”

He shoved off the clothing and laid on her bed. He was wearing truck boxers and a white shirt. On his way out, Cilla chuckled. What he didn’t know is that he’d laid on the melted makeup that was open. He walked out with makeup all over his back, and a note saying ‘BEAUTY GURU’.

Cilla covered her mouth with her hand, shielding her smile from him, “that’ll teach him to mess with my stuff.” She laughed and then tripped up on her dress, showing a note: ‘Shame on you, I’m wearing your only good shirt.’

Cilla ran down the stairs and wrestled her brother in the kitchen.

Exasperated, Bryn blurted out, “sorry, not sorry!”

Cilla laughed and ruffled his hair, “I guess this is how it is to have siblings.” She rolled her eyes and laid her back on the ground.

“I love you Brynny.”

“Love you too, Cils.”


Runner-up: Montana Harper

… 10 minutes later, they were standing at their door. “This better not be like last time Bryn, if it is I’m not helping.” Cilla stared at him, he was looking devastated. “Really Bryn! I thought you would have learnt from last time!”

“I forgot.” he said sheepishly, looking down at his toes.

“You always forget! Will you just go away so I can sort this out!” she shouted.

“O.K. Cilla” Bryn looked down, and shuffled off breathing short and sharp. She immediately felt guilty, but she had to do this herself, without her little brother.

Bracing herself, she walked into the kitchen. It was spotless. “Huh?”

She looked everywhere, under the stove, in the oven, then stopped as she heard a strange popping sound. Pop, pop, pop. She moved around the kitchen. The sound got louder and louder. Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. She stopped in front of the microwave. The popping was the loudest there. Carefully, she peeked through the tinted glass and gasped. Before she could open her mouth to scream, the microwave exploded.

One huge popcorn piece leapt out of the microwave and called in a strangely deep voice, “fill her mouth comrades!” He waited a few seconds and sighed, remembering that he had swallowed them all to make himself giant. “Ooops?”

Suddenly a bark sounded from outside, and Cilla had a lightbulb moment. Carefully, she jumped up and walked slowly towards the verandah door.

“What are you doing beast!” screamed the popcorn.

“I’m… oh I don’t know but it isn’t good for you. Holly! Come girl I have some dinner for you!”

The popcorns eyes widened “No!!!”


Runner up: Benjamin McQueen (12), Kohia Terrace School

They entered the theatre where a screening of ‘Gemma Danger 2: The Truth About Lies’ had ended just a few minutes earlier.

Bryn, the cleaner, had already experienced many messes in the theatre, including a couple of days back when he found popcorn EVERYWHERE! Literally everywhere, all over every seat and under them. The special lazyboys at the back where the adults sit and drink wine were absolutely covered in popcorn! Crushed popcorn, half eaten popcorn,popcorn butter wiped everywhere. It was a nightmare and it took just under an hour to clean up.

When Cilla walked in she was expecting the worst. As the manager and owner of the RedMoon theatre, the only theatre in the small town of Tirau, near Matamata, with only a couple of small auditoriums for the screenings, she had quite a stressful job. Especially because of one boy that came to almost every screening Cilla was proud that in her theatre she never showed any movies above the rating of M), called Roger (Rog for short) Macfarson, who could not sit still and would always throw around his food when the credits rolled because he wanted to watch another movie. Thus he was the official ‘messmaker’ of the RedMoon Theatre.

Cilla just shuddered at the thought as she prepared to enter the dim auditorium. She looked at her feet as she entered and managed to muster up the courage to look up. She was surprised to see that everything was quite clean. ‘Hahaha! Very funny Bryn!’ she said sarcastically.

He didn’t reply, he was hardly even paying attention to Cilla whatsoever. He was looking up, to where the projector was. Cilla dared a look up. She was shocked with what she saw. The projector was ruined, along with the window that separated the projecter room from the auditorium. It was cracked and part of it smashed out, and the projecter hanging half in half out through it, its long black reels of tape hanging out and dangling down, almost touching the floor below. (Cilla could not afford a new age projector yet so she relied on an old one).

‘How can popcorn do that?’ she asked Bryn.

‘Actually it is a bad coincidence really. When Rog had his usual tantrum after the screening, there was popcorn everywhere and with popcorn comes butter, and with butter comes grease, with grease comes slipperiness and of course that causes a trip hazard. And one of the viewers slipped and her coke bottle that she was holding that she hadn’t drunk through the movie and was planning to save for later fell to the ground. You know what fizzy drinks are like and this particular bottle had been shaken around quite a lot already and the bottle cap had been twisted around as well (this viewer got scared quite easily), so when it hit the ground it reached it’s limit… you can probably guess the rest.’

‘You’re really telling me that a fizzed up coke bottle really had the power to just shoot up and do… that?!’ She asked, disbelieving.

‘Yes, unfortunately.’ Bryn replied.

‘Wow… just…wow. Well, we might as well go up and take a look at the state of the projector room! If it’s as bad as it looks from down here then I’m going to have to ask Rog’s parents to donate some money and maybe we might have to ban him from the theatre if he disbehaves.’

So they made their way out of the auditorium and up into the projector room. Sparks were flying as they entered. There was coke everywhere, fizzing all over the equipment and on the floor. Cilla noticed that the flying coke bottle had turned the projector completely around and it was now facing them, a faint glimmer in it’s lenses.

Suddenly, almost as soon as they entered there was a bright flash and Bryn and Cilla were temporarily blinded. When they managed to regain their sight the found themselves standing before a strangely familiar figure. ‘Gemma?…Gemma Danger? In real life? I must be dreaming!’ Bryn exclaimed.

Cilla just stared.

‘You are not dreaming!’ she said. With her flaming red hair and her blue eyes, her blue fedora tipped up at an angle, khaki shorts and her brown leather jacket covering a plain green T Shirt, Gemma Danger looked quite marvelous (maybe due the fact that there were sparks flying all around her in the background like one of those action movies).

‘B-but…how?’ Cilla asked her mouth gaping.

‘To be honest I have absolutely no idea whatsoever and I don’t even know where I am. All I know is one minute I’m being chased by Doctor Raskar and his army of Egyptian assassins through a pyramid and then suddenly… I’m here!’

‘Which means somehow you got transported through that projector from the movie world and into the real world and it must have something to do with the coke…’ Bryn said thoughtfully.

Suddenly there was another flash, this time brighter and more powerful, so powerful that the force of it almost pushed them all down the carpeted stairs. And from inside the ball of light a strange figure appeared, he wore a midnight black cape with silver lining and black pants and a black shirt with an intimidating silver pattern on the torso. He hair was also black and stood up menacingly on his head, he wore a monocle and had a scar from his emerald green eyes down to his scraggly chin.

Gemma gasped. ‘Doctor Raskar!’

He laughed menacingly. ‘You really think you can escape me, Gemma Danger! And who are these people? Your new friends? Hahahaha, all the more to destroy!’

Bryn and Cilla were terrified. ‘Run!’ Gemma said, grimly.

They quickly ran down the stairs and made their was down the corridor as fast as they could. Cilla heard the slide of metal behind her, and she turned around to see Raskar with an unsheathed rapier that had been hidden behind his cape in one hand, and a revolver in the other hand. He cackled loudly as they rounded the corner and down another flight of stairs to the small ground floor. And they dived down behind the snack bar, Gemma toppling over a coke bottle which spilled its contents onto the floor.

Bryn jumped as someone gasped behind him, right beside his ear. He turned around and saw Gemma staring at her fingers in shock. All five of her fingertips had disappeared!

‘Some spilled coke splashed on them,’ she explained.

Suddenly Bryn had an idea. He got the half empty coke bottle and held it ready like a weapon. Suddenly a shot rang out and one of the glass fridges shattered. ‘Whatever you’re planning, do it now!’ Cilla whispered.

Bryn stood up. ‘Come on you coward, come over here and fight me, man to man!’

‘Hahahaha! You’re hardly a man but I’ll take it!’ He threw his revolver and rapier to the ground and bunched up his fists, advancing towards Bryn. He didn’t seem to notice the coke bottle in Bryn’s hand or what it was about to do.

Suddenly he threw himself forward and poured the coke all over Raskar from head to toe. At first he just spluttered and shook himself then suddenly he started to disappear. ‘What th-!’ Sparks suddenly burst out of him and he vanished into thin air.

At that moment Cilla heard a strange noise and turned to see the glass fridge repairing itself. ‘So the coke sends them back to the movie world and fixes what they did in the real world.’

She turned to Gemma who was eyeing another coke bottle nearby. ‘Well thank you my friends, but I must be going. I need to catch Raskar before he escapes.’ She grabbed the bottle and popped of the cap. ‘Farewell… I never learnt your names!’

‘I’m Cilla’

‘And I’m Bryn,’ they replied.

‘Good to know, goodbye Cilla and Bryn, I hope to see you again soon!’ And she poured the contents all over herself. Just as she was about to vanish Cilla and Bryn heard her say, ‘Why does this soft drink have to be so sticky?!’ And then she was gone, and the coke spills automatically repaired themselves.

Cilla and Bryn sat in silence, letting the past 10 minutes sink in. Then Bryn said: ‘We still have to clean up the theatre!’

2 thoughts on “Johanna’s FABO Report!


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.