The FIRST FABO Story competition for 2020 is here! Author Melinda Szymanik has posted a story starter and it’s up to you to finish the story.
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 April 10th.
5. The winner of the competition will be announced on this website a few days after the competition closes.
6. Every fortnight there will be a new competition and a children’s author will post a new story starter for you.
7. The competition is open to kids aged 13 and under.
8. The prize for the winner of the current competition is shown on the sidebar of the website.
NOTE: Prizes can not be posted until the NZ Lockdown is over.
Melinda’s Story Starter: A Very Unexpected Experiment
Oliver Jamie had been keen on cooking from an early age. Perhaps it was the fun of making Yuck Soup as a toddler, with water from the hose, dirt from the garden, daisies plucked from the lawn, and all kinds of date-expired pantry items provided by his mother.
Now he loved to experiment, and unusual ingredients were his specialty.
‘What’s on the menu today?’ Mrs. Jamie asked her son as she padded into the kitchen, wearing bed hair and her fluorescent pink dressing gown. It was the first day of the school holidays and yet Oliver had been up since the crack of dawn. In the kitchen. Measuring, sifting, and mixing.
‘It’s a secret,’ he said. ‘But it’s nearly done. And you can be the first person to taste it.’
His right arm was a blur as he whisked a thick, orange fluid in the mixing bowl.
‘It’s an interesting … colour,’ Mum said. She didn’t comment on the smell. Partly because she had no words to describe it.
Oliver bustled around the kitchen. Pinching spices and chopping herbs his mum didn’t recognize. Stirring and straining. Opening and closing the oven door. Mrs. Jamie poured herself a coffee.
The oven timer went ding.
‘Voila,’ Oliver said, handing his mum a plate filled with knobbly orange blobs, flecked with green. He handed her a fork. ‘I’ll be back in a jiffy,’ he said. ‘Start without me.’
Mrs. Jamie scooped some of the food with her fork, and pinching her nose closed, opened her mouth and took a bite.
Oliver didn’t notice the flash of white light in the kitchen behind him as he dried his hands in the bathroom. He didn’t notice the deep silence as he made his way back to his favourite room in the house. And nothing could have prepared him for what he found sitting where his mum had sat only a few minutes earlier.
‘Mum,’ he croaked, trembling. ‘Is that you?’ …