A new FABO Story competition has started! Author Helen Vivienne Fletcher has written a story starter. Now 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 August 30.
5. The winner of the competition will be announced on this website a few days after the competition closes.
6. Every fortnight a children’s author will post a new story starter for you.
7. The competition is open to kids aged 13 and under.
Helen Vivienne Fletcher’s Story Starter: The Shortcut
“On your marks … Get set … GO!”
Two hundred pairs of feet pounded out of the school gate onto the cross-country track. Jodie had managed to position herself in the middle of the group, but lots of the other kids were overtaking her. Soon she would be at the back, coming last like always.
She started to puff, out of breath already, and she could feel her cheeks turning an embarrassingly bright shade of red.
Oh, how she hated cross country!
It wouldn’t be so bad if there was something interesting to look at, but it was just the same streets and houses she saw every day on the way to and from school.
Jodie wished she could stop for a rest, but teachers lined the course, encouraging everyone to keep running. At least the crowd was thinning out, as more and more students sped off, racing towards the finish line.
Jodie bent down, pretending to tie her shoe, so she could catch her breath. When she stood, she noticed something strange up ahead. One of her classmates, Arlo, had wandered off the racecourse. He glanced around, then ducked between two houses.
Did he know a shortcut?
Jodie checked to make sure none of the teachers were looking, then stepped off the pavement, following Arlo.
There was a narrow alley way running between the houses. How had Jodie never noticed it before? She walked down this street every day. The passageway smelt of mould, and she could hear a repetitive plink, plink, plink noise like water dripping. Jodie couldn’t tell where it was coming from, as the walls of the houses towered above her on either side, blocking out the light.
Jodie stepped forward, peering into the darkness. “Arlo?” she called.
“You shouldn’t have followed me, Jodie.” Arlo’s voice echoed, bouncing off the buildings around them, but she couldn’t see him in the gloom.
Suddenly, the passageway filled with a bright light.
“What is that?” Jodie asked.
Arlo stepped out of the shadows. “Come on. I’ll show you …”