Posted in fabo story, The Winner

Sue Copsey’s FABO Story Report

Excellent work, Fabsters! I have so enjoyed reading your stories and finding out what that “Russian satellite” really was: a dragon (popular choice), an asteroid/meteorite (often containing something sparkly like a crystal or diamonds), a stag (unexpected!), colourful worms (love it), zombies (quite a few of those), an alien spacecraft (top choice), zombie dogs, and … a man-eating sloth (terrifying).

There were more than 120 entries in total. Thank you ALL for using your imaginations to such great effect. As soon as I started reading the winning entry I knew this was the one, but before I share it with you, a few honourable mentions:

Alantis James of Westport South School imagined an ‘Everything Machine’ that produced the perfect breakfast buffet, while Olivia Edhouse of Remuera Primary imagined that the thing that crashed to Earth was the lost Mars Rover, Opportunity.

Hats off to Jep Donaldson of Moanataiari School for turning the story on its head by making the humans the troublemakers with their horrible polluting habits, and the dragon who crashed to Earth just a poor creature trying to protect his home.

Angi Li of Remuera Primary School – you have a great future as a writer of horror stories. I thought your ending was clever.

Jordan Hawkes of Marina View School, your use of descriptive language was great, and your story cracked along at a great pace. Your ending wrapped the story up beautifully. Top marks!

I also loved Matthew’s story (Discovery School) in which lots of versions of himself emerged from the spaceship. Beautifully written, and a great ending too.

Rose Curley of Churchill Park School wrote a bonkers story about a piglet with a unicorn horn and fairy wings. I’m a big fan of bonkers – well done!

Indigo Tomlinson of Whakatane Intermediate – I loved your story, the beginning hooked me in immediately and the ending was satisfying too.

Ava Howard of Beckenham Te Kura O Puroto also demonstrated a lovely use of language, and Isabella from Ellerslie – I loved the twist at the end of your story.

Maia O’Callaghan, the ending to your story made me laugh out loud.

Arwen Dove of Ellerslie School had Disney princesses emerging from the crashed spaceship. I love it when writers mash up themes like that.

A special mention for Treehula Turnull of Ellerslie School for the Star Wars-themed story, especially for the line ‘Although he looks more like a Noah than a Luke’. I was so impressed with this line I tweeted it!

Zara S from Remarkables Primary School wrote this awesome last line to her story: ‘The creature lived happily never after because he was dead.’ (I tweeted that one too!)

Erin from Tighes Hill Public School, some fabulous description in your story. Well done!

And Indi Taylor from Pt Chevalier Primary, your story was a close contender for the winning spot. I liked how you used your senses in your descriptive writing: ‘The aroma of feijoas hung around the substance like a low-hanging cloud.’

And so to the winner! Many congratulations to Niamh Murray from Churton Park School. Your story about astronomer zombies had it all. An intriguing start that hooked me in, well-written in short snappy paragraphs, well punctuated, spelling and grammar all excellent. And that ending! So very clever. Niamh I will email you for your address so that I can send you your prize, and once again well done, I knew your story was the winner as soon as I started reading.

Niamh Murray’s Winning Story

We sidled closer and gazed at a bedroom-sized building that looked like a white globe, with silver letters inscribed on it: ASTRONOMER GRAVEYARD. A shimmering golden door hung below the words, and without thinking twice we barged through.

Limp, lifeless bodies lay all around the room, with somehow familiar names embroidered on their flowing academic gowns. Then, to our horror, they slowly stirred and murmured monstrous language, their eyes rolling uncontrollably in their clammy heads. They stretched their arms toward us, and one – labelled: GALILEO – tossed a green bottle toward us. Shocked, I unscrewed the cork hesitantly and read the letters inscribed in black, spidery ink on the parchment inside, ‘I have cloned the dead astronomers! – Vera Rubin.’

We observed the swarm of astronomer zombies as they towered over us intimidatingly. They trotted outside, their eyes darting up many a time to the crescent moon, while we attempted frantically to herd them back.

We barely glanced at each other, too focused on the zombies, who advanced toward a log cottage, and we buried our faces in our sweating palms, pacing around and waiting for the zombies to enter. A moment later we heard a muffled scream, and a lady with round glasses burst through the door, but pulled to an abrupt halt when she saw us.

‘I’m Vera Rubin,’ she sobbed. ‘The one who cloned them. Sorry, I didn’t mean for them to come to Earth…’

We gripped her trembling hand, and she led us to a white hall, oodles of zombies following.

‘The Wellington Authorities… live here, with me, coz they… my friends,’ she panted, and tapped her knuckles against the polished door. A moment later there was a commotion and a troop of authorities bustled into the night, where they turned a deathly, ghastly white, and gaped at the oncoming assault of clones, some dropping into unconsciousness.

People were scattered in various places, hurling things toward the zombies, but the zombies only made deafening, satisfied chuckles.

Then one authority, Officer Matt, sighted a glimmer of hope.

‘Astronomers hate magic things,’ he muttered. ‘They like scientific theories. I have “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”, which is a book to do with magic, and if I throw it at ‘em I bet they’ll go back.’

So he braced himself, and catapulted the faded book into the jet-black sky.

As hoped, the hideous beasts fled back to the mystical object they had come from, letting out high-pitched screams, and the authorities slammed the door firmly.

‘Connor,’ hissed Officer Matt to me, ‘Here are the keys to my police car, which is parked there on the driveway of the hall. Get the gun and shoot the… you know, the thing the zombies came out of.’

The resounding BANG boomed around the district while the vibrant moon and radiant stars hung in the sky.

The next day, many folks claimed that a gunshot had echoed through the suburbs at exactly 3:42 in the morning. But that is a secret.

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