Are you ready for a new FABO Story Competition? Author Kyle Mewburn has written a new story starter. Finishing the story is up to you!
This year, the Fabosters are having fun with Time Travel. A reluctant duo travels through time and space.
1. Read the story starter and continue the story.
2. Your story should be no more than 500 words.
3. You have two weeks to write your story, so there’s no need to rush! Take your time and send us the best story you can write.
4. Send your story to us by 8pm Friday August 3rd.
5. Every fortnight a children’s author will post a new story starter for you. The stories will follow on with the same two characters.
6. The winner of the previous competition will be announced on this website a few days after that competition closes.
Illustration by Ronja Schipper
Lost in the PE Shed Vortex: Episode Six
Swarms of whispering drones filled the sky like wasps with laryngitis. Bright shafts of light sliced wildly through the plumes of black smoke gushing from the main school building.
“Battle stations!” a voice boomed through the loudspeakers. The orb-headed students carrying Ella halted as if frozen.
“Battle stations!” the voice boomed again.
“What’s wrong?” Ella asked.
Without warning, the students let go, sending Ella sprawling.
“Hey!” Ella huffed at their retreating backs. “That… wasn’t… very… nice…” Every word was an effort. She struggled to her feet, puffing and panting. The filter wasn’t working anymore. She was running out of oxygen.
“Sorry,” Ballecia said as she swept past. “You’re on your own.”
Ella spun around. David was bent over double, wheezing loudly. His face was flushed. He looked like he’d run a marathon.
“We… have… to… get… inside,” Ella panted as she reached him. She grabbed his arm and tried to steer him towards the school building.
David jerked free and took a faltering step in the opposite direction.
Ella understood in a flash where he was heading. She hooked an arm around his shoulder.
Together they dragged themselves across the grass like zombie Siamese twins.
They stuttered inside the PE shed, breathless and red-faced, then toppled forward into the time travel hoop. A moment later they were sitting in a gasping, wheezing tangle of limbs on a reassuringly normal wooden floor.
Ella gulped enormous breaths of relief. That was close.
“Quickly!” David wheezed, dragging himself to his knees. He hovered over the hoop, hands outstretched.
“Are you going to tell me what you’re doing,” Ella asked, “or…”
“Shhhh!” David hissed. “Get ready!”
CRACKLE! HISS! WHOOOSH!!
As Ratty shot out of the hoop, David’s snatched him up by the tail.
“Squeak!” said Ratty, squirming wildly.
David held Ratty before his face. “So who are you? And why do you need us?”
“Ummmm, it’s a rat, David,” Ella suggested, peering over his shoulder.
“It’s not just a rat,” said David.
“What? Ratty’s some kind of evil genius?” Ella scoffed, rolling her eyes.
“Well, I wouldn’t quite say evil,” Ratty piped up.
Ella’s jaw dropped to her chin.
“I knew it!” said David. “OK, Ratty. Tell us what you’re planning or I’ll…”
“Or you’ll what, chowder-head?” sneered Ratty, folding his arms across his chest.
Ella’s brain was a whirr of disbelief and inklings. As her gaze bounced between Ratty and the hoop, disbelief grew into suspicion.
“Hey, look,” Ella said, twisting the hoop. The sunlight revealed tiny grooves carved into the frame. She peered closer. “They’re dates!”
“That must be how Ratty controls it,” said David.
“The dates on one side are before our time,” said Ella. “And the ones on the other side are in the future.”
The hoop unfolded into two circles clasped by a hinge.
“Hey!” squealed Ratty. “Careful with that!”
“Are there dates inside?” asked David.
“No,” said Ella, laying the hoop open on the floor like a figure 8.
“Don’t do that!” said Ratty, sounding slightly scared.
A swirling tornado of sound and light burst from the hoop and sucked them into the vortex.