Are you ready for a new FABO Story Competition? Author Elena de Roo has written a story starter. Now it’s up to you to write the rest of the story!
1. Read the story starter and finish 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 September 14. A winner will be announced a few days later.
Elena’s Story Starter
Anika’s class rushed ahead of her, into the “Curious Creatures” exhibition at the end of the hall. Silly moon boot, slowing her down. All because of one broken toe. Why did she have to go and break it the day before the school trip to Te Papa?
Strange bird calls and rain forest sounds, were coming from the darkened entrance on her right. The sign above said, “The Land that Was – Aotearoa, New Zealand 1000 years ago.” It sounded interesting, closer than “Curious Creatures” too — she’d only have to hobble a few steps. Anika scanned the corridor. Maybe no-one would notice if she made a small detour.
Once inside, the soundscape was even louder. A chorus of birds, boomed and hooted in the semi-darkness. Nice! There was even a bench seat, where she could rest her foot. She had the exhibit to herself, just her and the birds, most of which were now extinct. Moa, adzebill, huia, whekau (the laughing owl), the North Island goose, and more — all arranged in various dioramas behind glass.
“An-i-i-i-ka! An-i-i-i-ka! “
Oh no, it was Levi. He was such a pest. And by the sound of it, he was just outside. Maybe she could hide somewhere.
“Are you in there, Anika? Miss Payne sent me to find you”
She wasn’t sure why she hadn’t noticed it before, but the moa diorama had a door, like a large cat-flap, in the glass. Must be for maintenance, she thought. Climbing through was going to be difficult with her moon-boot, but if she was careful …
“Hey, what are you doing?” yelled Levi, barrelling round the corner.
Too far through the opening to go back, Anika tumbled down into the exhibit. Her toe throbbed.
“You’re in so much trouble,” said Levi, scrambling through the flap after her. “Woah, this is so cool.”
Anika sighed. This wasn’t going according to plan. And what was that weird, crunching sound, behind her?
Levi’s face paled. “Anika?” His voice sounded squeaky. “Where’s the door gone? And wh-wh -what’s that creature coming towards us …?”