Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

A New FABO Story Starter By Suzanne Main!

A new FABO Story competition has started! Author Suzanne Main has written a story starter. Now it’s up to you to finish the story.

Instructions

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 16.

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.

Suzanne Main’s Story Starter

“Move it, slowpoke,” Danny grumbled.

I scowled at my older brother’s back. What was the big hurry? Mum was working late. As for Dad, we hadn’t seen him in years, not since he moved away with his new family. The house would be as cold and empty and unwelcoming as it was every day after school. I was in no rush to get there.

I kicked at a stone sending it scuttling across the pavement into the bordering bushes. A high squeal erupted, causing Danny to spin around. With a roll of his eyes and a resentful sigh, Danny trudged back. “Now what?”

“That wasn’t me. It came from in there.” I parted the branches of the nearby bushes and peered into the gloom.

I gasped.

Danny must have seen it too, because he dropped to his knees. Pushing his arms through the tangled branches, he scooped out a small bundle. A floppy-eared puppy, its black and white fur only thinly draping the fragile bones. It whimpered, obviously abandoned.

“Can we keep her?”

Danny frowned. “Mum couldn’t know. She’d never allow it.”

I scratched my head and thought. “It could live in Dad’s old shed.” Mum never ventured near Dad’s old domain at the end of our long garden.

Danny nodded and his mouth stretched into a strange shape. A smile. I blinked at the rare sight in amazement. He tucked the shivering puppy inside his jacket, cradling it against his body as we hurried home.

Together we made a warm bed for our puppy in the shed. We pooled our pocket money and Danny bought dog food from the dairy. The pup ate greedily then fell into a deep sleep. We named her Lyra after a character in a book Danny had read. That Lyra had lost her parents too.

A few days later, Mum left early for work as usual. We fed Lyra and played with her before school. She was already filling out and becoming more playful. When last bell rang that day we raced for home. The front gate was open. We pelted around the side of the house, down the garden, to the shed.

It was empty.

That was when I spotted the puppy-sized rust hole in the side of the shed.

“Ah-oh,” said Danny, noticing something else. “Mum’s home early.”

I turned with a sinking heart. The back door was open. Mum was inside, moving around the kitchen, her head visible through the kitchen window.

Where was Lyra?

Now You Finish The Story…

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

A New FABO Story Starter By Michele Powles!

A new FABO Story competition has started! Author Michele Powles has written a story starter. Now it’s up to you to finish the story.

Instructions

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 2nd.

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.

Michele Powle’s Story Starter: Wild, Wet, Willa.

“You said you had it in your pocket!” Willa’s face was twisted into angry creases as she hissed at David.

“I didn’t,” David replied. “I said I thought I had it.”

Willa closed her eyes for just long enough to make David hope she’d forgotten she was yelling at him. Then she opened them again and wiped rainwater off her face. “You. Were. In. Charge. Of. The. Key.”

David shrank. It was true. Mum had put him in charge of the house key, and now that they were standing on the doorstep, in the pouring rain, he couldn’t remember what he’d done with it.

The school holidays had sucked, big time. One of David’s fish had floated to the top of its tank and gulped its last gulp. Someone had driven into Mum’s car and busted it up so they’d had to cancel their trip. All David’s friends were away and there was nothing to do. Oh, and it had rained. Every. Day.

Standing outside as his hoodie turned into a soggy, skin-sucking mess without any way of getting out of the cold, was the icing on the sucky-holiday-cake.

Willa folded her arms, her wet hair plastered to the sides of her face. “Let’s go next door for a while, you said. It’ll be fun, you said.”

David looked at the skin on his thumb and pulled at a loose bit near his nail. “It was fun. Sort of. And anyway, why didn’t you take the key? You’re the eldest.”

“Mum said I needed to stop doing things for you. You’re eleven.”

“Eleven and a half,” David muttered and knew, immediately that it was a mistake to mutter anything while Willa was in this sort of mood. The concrete thudded wetly as she stamped her foot. She pointed her finger at him and her face started going red.

“It’s okay. I’ll find the key, promise,” David said, frantically digging in his pockets.

Willa opened her mouth and looked down at her body, her eyes growing wider and her face getting steadily redder.

Uh oh. “Take a breath. You can do it,” David said desperately.

Willa gasped and managed to squeak out, “You said this wasn’t going to happen again.”

“I didn’t think it was. Quick, think about kittens. Puppies. Sunshine.”

Willa’s whole face was now the red of overripe tomatoes. Red, and starting to glow. Her eyes started changing colour and as she glared at David, a loud whooshing noise rushed into his ears and made him feel woozy….

Click here to finish the story…

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

A New Fabo Story Competition Is Here!

A new FABO Story Competition is here!

Author Sue Copsey has written a story starter. Finishing the story is up to you!

Instructions

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 May 24th.

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.

Sue’s Story Starter

Did you see that story in the news back in January, about the meteorite or broken Russian satellite or whatever it was that loads of people in New Zealand saw? What do you think it was? Most people seemed to swallow the Russian satellite story – they got scientists to say that was what it was. THEY being the people who wanted to keep the truth a secret. The Authorities. I bet they paid that Auckland University physics professor to say it was a Russian satellite.

Me and my friend Archie know what it REALLY was. Because we were there when it landed.

We were at a campsite on the East Coast, and we’d been playing football on the beach. It was about nine o’clock at night, and everyone else had gone back to their tents. Me and Archie were just leaving when it appeared in the sky – a really bright light with a long tail. It flew straight for a while, then it dipped towards the earth. It came pretty close to where we were. It disappeared behind some trees, and then we heard this dull thud, and the ground shook a little. We set off running for those trees, and soon saw a column of grey smoke, so we made our way over to that and … wow. You wouldn’t BELIEVE what we found!

Now You Finish The Story…

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

Enter the first FABO Story Competition for 2019!

Are you ready for the first FABO Story Competition of 2019?

Author Maureen Crisp has written a story starter. Finishing the story is up to you!

Instructions

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 May 10th.

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.

Maureen’s Story Starter

The class trip had started off badly when Jody fell in the water getting off the boat. Everybody had laughed. But he did look funny as he clambered out of the water onto the sand. Byron fished his bag out of the sea. ‘Lucky we’re only here for a day,’ he said handing the dripping bag over to Jody.

Jody squelched along behind us on the island trail. We were trying our best to be quiet so that the birds we had come to see would come closer. Everytime a bird swooped down there was a squelch from Jody’s shoes and it flew away again. You could see Mrs Fraser was trying not to get angry at Jody.

When we came to a clearing Mrs Fraser asked us to sit quietly and maybe the birds would come to us. Jody sat on a rock and opened his schoolbag. He pulled out his Aquaman lunchbox which was full of water and tipped his soggy sandwiches on the ground. We all sat in a circle trying to be quiet and feeling sorry for Jody. But he ended up having the best day ever and the island trip became a school legend.

The bush surrounding us was cool and dark and shady from the hot sun. In the distance we could hear a weird cry. We looked at each other, wondering what type of bird made such a cry. Mrs Fraser looked excited and put her finger to her lips. The sound came closer…

Now it’s up to you to finish the story!

Posted in fabo story, The Winner

FABO Story Judges Report by Elena De Roo

Wow!!!! This is the highest standard of writing I’ve seen, since I’ve been part of Fabo. You’ve made it extremely hard for me to pick a winner.

A wonderful variety of creatures (both extinct and invented) appeared in your stories. Moa (with dinosaurs a close second) were popular, but some of the others that featured were: a dryad; a living statue; a taniwha; a cyborg moa and robotic tuatara; and a giant, light pink Orchard Mantis.

There were so many wonderful entries that stood out for one reason or another.

Amanda – I loved your variation on a classic ending —[Anika] was just about to try and steer the Moa back to where they had come from when Levi rode up beside them, sitting on top of the largest North Island Goose in the world. “This is awesome,” he breathed and together they rode off into the sunlit city.

Niamh — I was super impressed with the calculator-like device you came up with, to explain Anika’s and Levi’s predicament — … with switches labelled:
ANIMALS ALIVE
GLASS VISIBLE FROM INSIDE
MOVING THINGS INSIDE VISIBLE FROM OUTSIDE. The first switch was on, the second and third were off.
Also — The International Invention Convention Building — is such a great name!

Piper – lovely attention to detail, especially colour.
His blue eyes were so wide, they looked like small doughnuts — was my favourite simile.
And I loved your description — A mammoth-sized T-Rex skelton stomped on visitors to the museum, and it lifted them up with its dagger-like teeth. Luckily when it ate them, they simply fell through its bony rib cage …

Divya – Your lovely sentence — A heavy breeze pushed past us — is one of my favourites.
It was also a nice touch to describe Anika and Levi as ‘curious creatures’, in your ending — “Well the most curious creatures here are probably you two. Where did you run off to?”

Maebel —Excellent world building!
When Levi argues dodo’s didn’t exist in New Zealand back in 1580, Stanley the Dodo explains — “We were here back when the land was still called Pangaea but the other two species [snake and giant brown moth] died of fear, when we started to drift.

Lewis — Your short story was full of energy. I especially liked the image of Levi being spirited away like a fat chicken.

Anaya — Nice use of sound and onomatopoeia.

Bethany – Your story had lots of twists and turns that kept me on my toes, and I loved your lively dialogue, especially the line, “Where next? Where next?” said the chit-chattery voices of the class. Especially impressive as you were the youngest entrant.

Charlotte – Love the moment, when Anika asks Levi if he’s still going to tell on her, and he answers — “If I make it out alive I won’t, but if I don’t I will tell on you!” whispered Levi back. A smile drifted across Anika’s face …

Cole – You also had great dialogue which captured the character’s voice — Anika, showing off as usual, and also trying to hide her panic, began talking. “This type of Moa, the Dinornis Novaezealandiae, lived in the lowlands of the North Island. Though it hunted and ate meat, it was mainly a herbivore and was tall enough to reach the higher branches of trees. It was also annoyed by sound … Oops.”

Special mention to the following finalists who all came close to winning:

Evangeline — Your evocative first sentence was my favourite opening — Crunch, crunch, scaly feet trod on leaves, gradually looming closer to the children — and I was impressed with the way you included the “grandfather paradox” in your time-travel story.

Lucia — Great attention to detail and vivid description that really brought your characters and story to life for me —
She[Miss Payne] pushed up her purple framed glasses and stared in horror at the scene before her. “How on earth did you two get in there,” she cried. Her face turning an ugly shade of tomato red.

Indigo —I loved the humour in your story, especially when the supernatural voice gets a little confused —
“For the male with his sore foot,” boomed the voice. Anika and Levi looked at each other in confusion, surely the god could tell that Anika was a girl?

Rilee — Lots of nice moments in your story — Levi’s eyes snapped shut; he shrunk down into a ball whispering, “I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die …”Anika kicked him. “Snap out of it! It won’t hurt us – it’s a herbivore.”
Also, I’m super-impressed that you included the word “lugubrious” (I had to look it up to make sure I had the meaning right.) Well done!

Lucy — A beautifully crafted story, and it was lovely to see your use of Te Reo Māori in it.

Fleur — Your story came a close second place, and was very nearly the winner. I loved the way you cleverly included all the extinct birds from the story starter. And what a beautiful opening — Anika turned around, only to feel her insides drop. Towering above them, with gleaming brown feathers, was a Moa. It’s dark, malicious eye gazed down at them. “Levi, move very slowly”, she whispered. As she tugged at Levi’s sleeve, her heart pounded in her chest. If only she could share this special moment with the rare – extinct – Moa with someone other than Levi.

My winner is Rose Vannini (Mid Canterbury Centre for Gifted Education) — for a story which impressed me with its entertaining characters, overall quality and satisfying ending. Congratulations Rose, I’ll be in touch to organise sending your prize.

Rose’s Winning Story

Anika turned painfully to look. They were in a huge forest that couldn’t have been there. The exhibit was only about the size of their classroom. Stalking towards them through the trees was a moa. Not a stuffed moa. A real living, breathing moa. Anika had always thought the moa in other museums were beautiful birds with their amber eyes and huge feathers. But this one charging at her suddenly looked more like a cross between a monsterous giraffe and a chicken on drugs. It was looking right at them with its creepy amber eyes.

“Can we run now?” whimpered Levi.

He looked absolutely terrified. This moa shouldn’t be alive! But it was, very much so. It raised its head and let out a deafening “caaaaa!”

Anika stumbled backwards but that was all thanks to her stupid foot. The big monster trampled bushes under its massive clawed feet as it came closer. “Caaaaa!”

Just as the moa was nearly upon them the door reappeared in the wall and a man with a wild beard and even wilder eyes stepped in.

“What are you moaning about bird?!” he growled.

Then he saw Levi and Anika and froze. “Hello kids,” he leered “you’d better come with me. Bird- take them!” he said to the moa. It grabbed their t-shirts in its beak and stomped off after him, deeper into the forest.

“Welcome,” said the old man, “to my humble office.”

“Caaa!” called the moa.

“Shut up,” said the old man.

“Who are you?!” Anika yelled. “Put us down!”

“I am the brilliant scientist Professor Citrius.”

“Who?” asked Levi.

“Don’t tell me you have never heard of me?”

“Nope.” said Anika, trying to disguise her fear.

“Bah! Ignorant children these days!”

“He’s completely bonkers.” Anika said to Levi, who didn’t answer. Out of all the people to be captured with, it had to be him.

Just as Anika was trying to think of an escape plan Professor Citrius cried. “Here we are! Home sweet home!”

The professor’s idea of ‘home sweet home looked just like all the rest of the forest to Anika. “Drop them bird!” he shouted.

Anika was surprised when the moa placed them gently on the ground.

“One day I will rule the world using these birds as my minions.” He said, more to himself than anyone else.

“You can’t do that,” cried Levi “we’ll warn people!”

“Oh don’t worry about that. I didn’t spend years creating a gap in time for my plans to be foiled by two interfering children. I shall rule the world! Bird, you may have your dinner!”

The moa didn’t move.

“Didn’t you hear me? Eat the-”

“Chomp!”

The moa swallowed the professor in one bite.

“Nobody likes being bossed around,” said Anika to the moa. “We understand that, come with us.”

“Wha-” began Levi

“Shush,” said Anika “we could do with a class pet.

The moa looked at her with its beautiful amber eyes and let out its first truly happy “caaaaa!”

Posted in fabo story, The Winner

Judge’s Report: ‘The Final Call’ by Jane Bloomfield

First of all, I would like to mention the sixty young writers across New Zealand, who filed a story: Emir, Jackson, Erica, Archie, Renee, Angela, Zoe, Maebel, Alex, Tyla, Stella, Alex, Mikayla, Neihana, Beata, Casey, Jullian, Zach, Zoe, Bridget, Alyssa, Finn, Sera, Immy, Sophie, Mackenzie, Zara, Amelie, Joe, Xavier, Lachlan, Milanya, Zoe-Jade, James, Brooke, Caitlyn, Eva, Ella, Georgette, Harrison, Jayden, Axel, Georgina, Olivia, Ruby W, Aaron, Tony, Georgina, Honor, Anna, Troughton, Maia, Indigo, Hannah, Briah-Rose, Ella, Troughton, Lucia, Wayne, Eloise. Give yourselves a pat on the back. Writer’s write. You are all writers!

When I’m writing a story, I usually always know my starting point and my ending. This method is often used by screen writers (writers of movies) and is very useful in situations like Fabostory, when you have a limited word count. Knowing where your character will end up, can help alleviate getting bogged down at the start of your story. There were many writers who did not get their characters out of the airport toilets. Or off the tarmac.

However, I was really thrilled to see plenty of high-octane imaginations heading out on wild adventures. Many entries had great imagery, clever language and sassy similies. For example:

Ella – “The ground was too far away they were over the sea and all she could see was a long stretch of blue and green, and a tiny island shaped like a diamond.”

Wayne – “Ubiquitous face of Shockley Rogers … cackled cockily like a crazed lunatic.”

Stella – “As the wind is making a mountain out of a molehill underneath the plane.”

Aidan – “Her tangly long brown hair flapped in the wind like whips.”

Lucia – “Panic burst into Chessies stomach like someone had just chucked too many logs on an already very large fire.” “… her voice sounded as sweet and fairy-like as Thumbelina”

We had spies, doppelgangers, watery plane crashes, dragon kingdoms, catacombs high-speed getaways, “dun, dun, duns …”, a bathroom-vortex, an arctic fox, a dragon-vet, King and Queen Teapot, assassins, murder weapons, escapes by parachutes, gold bars, fingerprint scanners, demon potions, kidnappers, murder, plenty of mayhem, secret agents, villains, shark repellant, emergency landings (I’m happy to report everyone has been watching the safety videos). And mermaids, which leads me to my winner:

A very mermaid story by …

Indigo Ciara Tomlinson – 10 (who happens to live by the sea) Ohope Beach School

The aircraft rocked wildly from side to side. Chessie removed her headphones and gazed around in a panic. ‘’Attention,’’ came a voice, but no one was listening. ‘’This is your co-pilot speaking. We are experiencing some minor problems please remain cal…’’ Her voice was cut off, as the plane plummeted towards the ocean, which swirled until it became a sickening blue blur. Chessie hastily scrambled for her lifejacket. The plane dropped ever faster. People tried to reach the exit doors as, with a mighty crash, the plane smashed into the water.

Chessie’s mind was a blur of terror. She couldn’t focus. Everyone converged towards the exits. She was too numb to follow. Everything had a blue tint. Her lungs were starting to hurt. She pressed herself into her seat, feeling as though it could protect her from this nightmarish horror. The stewardesses swam past. No one saw her. Then she was all alone. ‘’Nooooooo!’’ Chessie cried, as water filled her lungs. She swam towards the floor. Trying to reach the surface. Dark shapes loomed out at her. Jeering and pointing. Everything was swirling. Her brain was shutting down. Nothing made sense anymore. As Chessie slipped into unconsciousness, she thought she saw a girl with long wild hair, reaching out to her. And then, she saw nothing at all.

Chessie felt strange. She cried to move her legs-but couldn’t. Her breathing felt regular, but different at the same time. ‘’Is she awake?’’a girl asked. ‘’Shh, Coral,’’ said another voice. ‘’We must give her time,’’ Chessie opened her eyes. And saw her legs. Or, more accurately, her tail. ‘’Arrrrgh!’’ she exclaimed, as a mermaid reached out for her. ‘’Stay calm. Your mother is here.’’ the mermaid said, as a beautiful woman swam into the chamber. Chessie recognized her face. It was the same face she saw every time she looked in the mirror. ‘’Mum!’’ she cried………

‘’So, you’re the queen of Merland and the girl that rescued me was my cousin, Coral and you think Dad was kidnapped by one of his modelling rivals and you are going to organise a rescue? You were also a human when you had me and then you had to come and rule here, and you are okay with Dad marrying Miranda?’’ Chessie summarised. Her mother nodded. ‘’I’ll tell your father that you are going to be a mermaid now, but that you can visit him in the school holidays. If that’s okay with you?’’ ‘’Of course, it’s okay!’’ Chessie exclaimed. ‘’I can’t wait!’’ she did a backflip and landed on her mother’s, sea moss bed. ‘’Woohoo!’’

Chessie was sitting on the clamshell throne, waiting for the Grand Ball to celebrate her new role as a princess to begin, when she suddenly found herself in her tangled sheets. The morning before the flight. She couldn’t believe it. Had it been a correct prediction of the future? Or just a dream? ‘’Dad!’’ Chessie called out. ‘’Was Mum a mermaid by any chance?’’

Congratulations, Indigo. I’d love to read more of your underwater mermaid stories in the future!

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

A New FABO Story Starter by Elena De Roo!

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!

Instructions

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 …?”

Now You Finish The Story…

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

Enter The New FABO Story Competition!

Are you ready for a new FABO Story? Author Kathy White has written the start of a story – now it’s up to you to finish it.

For this competition, your story should not end in a cliff hanger. Please write the story’s ending.

(Kyle Mewburn has chosen a winner for the last competition – click here to read Kyle’s report).

Instructions

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 August 17.

Survival Class 101

The door slammed and Room 14 shook like a magnitude 7 earthquake. A stench of slimy fish filled Monty’s nostrils, and then suddenly a pair of bulbous eyes bored into his, making him topple from his headstand into the papier mache volcano next to him.

“Where’s Miss Limone?” he squeaked, slithering the right way up onto the nearest chair. He snuck a quick peak at the new Survival 101 teacher’s long slimy grey face, and stunted frilly arms. She didn’t look like an agent or a teacher.

“The eels in the moat got her ….” Marianne whispered across the aisle. “I heard they ate her gall bladder.”

That’s gross!” Michael said, clutching at his stomach.

Sandy Galbraith started his funny nervous snorting that always made everyone laugh, but this time he barely had time to inhale. The teacher’s enormous bottom flattened his head against the desktop. “Miss Limone was ssssssetting up this evening’s parent-teacher evening. She was attacked from behind.” Her voice was familiar but Monty couldn’t think where from.

The teacher eyeballed each of them in turn as Sandy’s face slowly turned purple. “My name is Missssss Peel. You need to obey me if you want to stay alive at this school, do you understand? Miss Limone was not careful.” Everyone’s head bobbed up and down.

She slid off the desk and Sandy took a giant breath.

“We’re supposed to talk about Project Predator today,” Sue said, trying not to let her voice shake. “Miss Limone left instructions.”

Miss Peel picked up the instruction sheet with one frilly fin and dropped it into the rubbish bin. “We are not talking about meso-predators today. The possum isssss the only animal that is capable of spreading the seed of large-seeded native plants. Do you understand? We need it. It isssss no longer the target.” Everyone started to talk at once. The teacher made tutting noises with her mouth.
“Our mission is much bigger than a marsupial or a rodent. We have identified a REAL predator in our midsssst– a megalo-predator, one that could cause extinctions in New Zealand.” She pointed her remote at the laptop and an image appeared on the screen that made everyone gasp. “I need you to remain calm.”

Now You Finish The Story…

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

Enter The New FABO Competition Judged By Kyle Mewburn!

Are you ready for a new FABO Story Competition? Author Kyle Mewburn has written a new story starter. Finishing the story is up to you!

This year, the Fabosters are having fun with Time Travel. A reluctant duo travels through time and space.

Instructions

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 3rd.

5. Every fortnight a children’s author will post a new story starter for you. The stories will follow on with the same two characters.

6. The winner of the previous competition will be announced on this website a few days after that competition closes.


Illustration by Ronja Schipper

Lost in the PE Shed Vortex: Episode Six

Swarms of whispering drones filled the sky like wasps with laryngitis. Bright shafts of light sliced wildly through the plumes of black smoke gushing from the main school building.

“Battle stations!” a voice boomed through the loudspeakers. The orb-headed students carrying Ella halted as if frozen.

“Battle stations!” the voice boomed again.

“What’s wrong?” Ella asked.

Without warning, the students let go, sending Ella sprawling.

“Hey!” Ella huffed at their retreating backs. “That… wasn’t… very… nice…” Every word was an effort. She struggled to her feet, puffing and panting. The filter wasn’t working anymore. She was running out of oxygen.

“Sorry,” Ballecia said as she swept past. “You’re on your own.”

Ella spun around. David was bent over double, wheezing loudly. His face was flushed. He looked like he’d run a marathon.

“We… have… to… get… inside,” Ella panted as she reached him. She grabbed his arm and tried to steer him towards the school building.

David jerked free and took a faltering step in the opposite direction.

Ella understood in a flash where he was heading. She hooked an arm around his shoulder.

Together they dragged themselves across the grass like zombie Siamese twins.

They stuttered inside the PE shed, breathless and red-faced, then toppled forward into the time travel hoop. A moment later they were sitting in a gasping, wheezing tangle of limbs on a reassuringly normal wooden floor.

Ella gulped enormous breaths of relief. That was close.

“Quickly!” David wheezed, dragging himself to his knees. He hovered over the hoop, hands outstretched.

“Are you going to tell me what you’re doing,” Ella asked, “or…”

“Shhhh!” David hissed. “Get ready!”

CRACKLE! HISS! WHOOOSH!!

As Ratty shot out of the hoop, David’s snatched him up by the tail.

“Squeak!” said Ratty, squirming wildly.

David held Ratty before his face. “So who are you? And why do you need us?”

“Ummmm, it’s a rat, David,” Ella suggested, peering over his shoulder.

“It’s not just a rat,” said David.

“What? Ratty’s some kind of evil genius?” Ella scoffed, rolling her eyes.

“Well, I wouldn’t quite say evil,” Ratty piped up.

Ella’s jaw dropped to her chin.
“I knew it!” said David. “OK, Ratty. Tell us what you’re planning or I’ll…”

“Or you’ll what, chowder-head?” sneered Ratty, folding his arms across his chest.

Ella’s brain was a whirr of disbelief and inklings. As her gaze bounced between Ratty and the hoop, disbelief grew into suspicion.

“Hey, look,” Ella said, twisting the hoop. The sunlight revealed tiny grooves carved into the frame. She peered closer. “They’re dates!”

“That must be how Ratty controls it,” said David.

“The dates on one side are before our time,” said Ella. “And the ones on the other side are in the future.”

C-L-I-C-K!

The hoop unfolded into two circles clasped by a hinge.

“Hey!” squealed Ratty. “Careful with that!”

“Are there dates inside?” asked David.

“No,” said Ella, laying the hoop open on the floor like a figure 8.

“Don’t do that!” said Ratty, sounding slightly scared.

“Wh…”

A swirling tornado of sound and light burst from the hoop and sucked them into the vortex.

Now You Finish The Story…

Posted in Enter Now

Ready for a new FABO Story Competition?

Are you ready for a new FABO Story Competition? Author Michele Powles has written a new story starter. Finishing the story is up to you!

This year, the Fabosters are having fun with Time Travel. A reluctant duo travels through time and space.

Instructions

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 June 22.

5. Every fortnight a children’s author will post a new story starter for you. The stories will follow on with the same two characters.

6. The winner of the previous competition will be announced on this website a few days after that competition closes.


Illustration by Ronja Schipper

Lost in the PE Shed Vortex: Episode Four

David had never spent much energy thinking what falling through time would feel like. He’d never considered the way it might steal the air from his lungs, the water from his eyes, the lunch from his stomach…

“That’s gross,” Ella said as David finished hurling in the bushes.

“That was the worst trip yet,” said David when he was finally able to talk. “I thought the first one was bad, and the second was worse, but coming to the future rather than the past is like…” he vomited again.

“Detonation will commence in nineteen minutes and four seconds.” David swung his glance to the hologram floating above the bushes he’d just vomited in. The Sissy version 7.3 looked normal enough: straight blonde hair, freckled skin, but there was an emptiness in her brown eyes that was creepy. She definitely looked like something that wouldn’t think twice about blowing them all up. “We’ve got to get that bracelet back.”

“Absolutely,” Ella replied. “I was thinking of asking those guys if they could take us to Aramaya Abalonia’s house to return the bracelet, but now I’m not sure I want to.”

David looked over to the edge of the sports field she was pointing at. Or rather what would have been a sports field if they weren’t in the future. There were no nets here, no trees, just the scrubby bushes like the ones they’d landed in, and beyond them, glistening buildings that looked like they might take off any minute. Ten boys stood in a semi-circle wearing a weird version of his usual school uniform. Same shorts, same shirt, but instead of shoes they had silver boots and instead of hats on their heads, well, they didn’t have heads. They had silver glinting orbs on their shoulders, no eyes, no mouths, nothing but a weird shifting shimmer that made David’s eyes water after looking at it for five seconds.

“Are they aliens?” he whispered to Ella.

“I guess so. This must be what school looks like in the future. Although I don’t see any teachers and those classrooms look all kinds of wrong.”

The boys started walking towards them and with every step they muttered Strangers alert, stranger alert.

“Detonation will commence in Eighteen minutes,” the hologram said.

“Gee thanks,” said Ella. “This place is full of great choices, stay put and get blown up, or chat with creepy alien blob-heads who don’t seem to want us here.”

David ignored her. “Where do we take the bracelet?”

The Sissy Hologram pointed directly at the boys. David gulped. But just then Ratty the rat jumped from where he’d been sitting on David’s shoe, snatched the bracelet from Ella’s hand and started sprinting towards the no-head-shimmer boys…

Now You Finish The Story…