Posted in fabo story, The Winner

FABO Story report for competition 10 judged by Michele Powles

Wow! Who knew there could be so many options for the contents of a fridge? Lockdown has not dulled your imaginations one bit. Well done everyone! With over 130 entries, anyone who gets a mention really stood out because there were some fantastic efforts, definitely some future novelists in the group here!

There were some common themes that emerged this time – crazy magical food, portals to another dimension, monsters, slime and witches all appeared in more than one story. I particularly loved Ruby Shepherd’s broccoli monster, Aria Llewellyn’s carrot nosed giraffe, Kaydee Marsh’s jelly trampoline and spaghetti rescue rope, Jonah Hinds epic food battle with carrot daggers and onion swords, and Janna Chans’ possessed Buddha hand – one cool looking piece of fruit (google it if you haven’t heard of it).

There were a lot of other types of monsters too, particularly blue and green, gooey and goopy ones. The slime is strong with all of you. Oh, and a fair few fluffy creatures in the fridge too. Possums and chinchillas were a fave, who turned out not to be quite so fluffy and cute, even if they did like eating cheese.

There were some truly wonderful descriptions. Congratulations on bringing your work to life with such vivid images and a really great understanding of metaphor and simile. Impressive! Special mention for descriptive prowess goes to Gracie Moodie, Arshiya Tuli, Sophie Vincent, Elsa Hurley, Bella Chen, and Gracie (from Bethlehem college, not sure of your last name).

A few special mentions. For pure creativity: Emma Herrett, loved your top tips, who knew you could google how to remove a strange creature that looks like your teacher from your fridge and find a good answer. Javhan Eka, I enjoyed your Dr. Wondertainments Magical Meat horror movie twist, it made me wonder what you’d been watching this lockdown, and Lennox of Epsom Normal Primary School managed to pull off a great twist on the “it was all a dream” narrative that we generally encourage writers to stay away from. Paige from Helensville Primary, making your story work within Prodigy game play was particularly clever, well done.

I also wanted to reward spine tingling tension. Bill Kelly from Brookland Primary school, you had me squirming as the kids dragged their lizard to the bathroom. And Beni T, your dismembered clown is going to give me nightmares.

And now…drum roll please, the runner up this time is Indigo Tomlinson. A wonderful story, rich with descriptions like “fantastical ribbons of green and purple, unspooling across the night like ribbons” and an emotional edge that made for a really satisfying read. It was a very close result this time around.

But the winner of a $20 book voucher, is Taylor Goddard from Lincoln Primary School! Congratulations on delivering a really fun, well thought out and structured story with a particularly good use of dialogue.

Well done to all of you who entered, keep up the great work!

Michele’s Story Starter

“Nothing has miraculously appeared since you last looked!”

Tor swung the fridge door closed and sighed at his mum. “But I’m hungry.”

Mum patted him on the head distractedly as if he was a puppy. “I’ll make lunch once I’m off my next call and you’ve finished your math. I have to go, don’t come downstairs.”

Tor picked up his iPad and looked at the 20 math questions his teacher had set. Fractions were his least favourite thing. Okay, that wasn’t true, class Zoom calls where everyone had to share were his least favourite thing, but fractions came in close. Lockdown was laaaaaame.

“Done and done.”

Tor looked up at his brother Duncan. “You are not.”

Duncan wiggled his eyebrows. “Level 39.”

Tor snorted. “Prodigy doesn’t count as school work.”

“Does if you’re in Miss Morelli’s class.”

Tor shuddered. Miss Morelli might set the least amount of home-schooling work, but she was creepy. End of story. When she looked at him with her dark, flashy eyes, Tor always got a sucking sensation like she was trying to pull his brain out through his eyes.

Tor grabbed his brother’s iPad. “You’ve still got this task to do.” He clicked on it:

Lockdown Life Lessons

Share a story and snapshots of life in lockdown. Things you’ve seen on a walk, things you’ve grown, creatures from your fridge, silly tales about your pets or family.

Weird. 

Duncan cleared his throat; it was a sort of strangled sound. “Ummmmmm, I thought you said there was nothing in here.”

Tor looked up, and saw Duncan bathed in the light from the fridge, his face twisted in a strange expression…

Taylor’s Winning Story

Tor could swear he heard angels singing, like in those movies when an incredible thing was about to happen and the camera zooms in on someone’s shocked expression.

It was exactly like that but with no camera and no movie.

And with a chipmunk in the fridge.

“It’s so beautiful!” Duncan said tears welling up in his eyes.

Tor looked from his brother to the chipmunk then back again.

“Have you had a knock to the head?” Asked Tor, genuinely concerned for his brother’s health. “Or is it the lack of chocolate biscuits in your diet?”

“I had three biscuits this morning,” replied Duncan without taking his eyes off the chipmunk.

“Duncan,” Tor treaded carefully towards his brother, not wanting to be caught in the chipmunk’s cute but deadly gaze. “You need to step away from the chipmunk. And eat less biscuits.”

Duncan took a couple paces back, until the golden light coming from the chipmunk couldn’t reach him. He shook his head then rubbed his eyes, trying to grasp onto what had just happened.

“We have a chipmunk in the fridge,” Duncan said.

“Oh really? I didn’t notice,” Tor muttered under his breath.

“Go talk to it.”

Tor looked at Duncan like he was mad, but there was a chipmunk in the fridge and that problem had to be dealt with first. He would worry about his brother’s sanity after.

Tor walked to the chipmunk.

“Good afternoon, err, chipmunk.”

“Good afternoon,” the chipmunk replied.

Tor blinked twice in astonishment.

“What… um… may I ask what you are doing in our fridge?”

“I was looking for a face mask.”

Tor wasn’t quite sure what to say.

“In the fridge?”

“Yes,” the chipmunk nodded. “You humans always look in the fridge before you put a face mask on to get food so I thought they would be in here.”

“Oh. We keep our face masks in a drawer,” Tor said, grabbing out a blue one and showing it to the chipmunk. “You can keep it if you want.”

“Thank you,” the little animal grasped the face mask in it’s paws and hopped down from it’s perch. “If you are having trouble with dividing numbers I always use short division. Search it up.”

And with that the chipmunk scampered away.

Tor and Duncan stood where they were, bewildered by what transpired. Duncan was the first to recover from his shock.

“Well,” Duncan said, brushing his hands together, like he was pretending to get rid of dust. “I have a Lockdown Life Lessons story about a chipmunk to start. See you at lunch.”

Tor took another couple minutes to calm his confused brain. He then took a big breath and laughed.

There had been a talking, magical chipmunk in their fridge who had wanted a face mask.

What are the chances?

He heard Mum come up the stairs.

“Almost ready for lunch?”

“Yeah,” Tor smiled. “I just need to learn short division.”

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