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 Latest FABO Story Competition Now!

Are you ready for a new FABO Story Competition? Author Helen Vivienne Fletcher 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.

(Michele Powles has judged the last competition and you can find her report here).

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 July 6.

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 Five

Ratty darted in and out between the orb-headed students’ feet. They skittered away from him, jumping this way and that as they tried not to step on him.

Ratty raced across the grass, disappearing into one of the strange-looking school buildings on the other side of the sports field.

“Ratty!” David yelled, and started after him.

Ella tried to run after them as well, but she stumbled, feeling dizzy. “David, wait! I don’t feel so good.” Ella sat down with a thump, the dizziness overwhelming her.

“What are you doing?” David ran back to Ella and tried to help her up. “We have to go after Ratty!”

But now David wasn’t feeling good either. He’d thought it was just the trip through the time portal into the future that had made him vomit earlier, but now he wasn’t so sure. He lay down on the ground next to Ella, clutching his stomach.

“Stranger alert! Stranger alert!”

The weird, silver-orb-headed students weren’t running away from Ratty anymore, they were heading straight for David and Ella.

“What do we do?” Ella tried to get up, but she couldn’t.

“I don’t know!” David couldn’t get up either.

The blob-headed people surrounded them. David and Ella cowered, as one of them leaned down.

Swwooosh! Pop!

Suddenly an opening appeared in the front of the silver orb. A normal girl’s face peered out.

“What are you doing?” she said. “You can’t be out here without an atmosphere helmet!”

She grabbed the sides of her helmet, pulling off two small silver blobs.

“Breathe through these, quickly.” She pressed the blobs to Ella and David’s faces.

Instantly the sick feeling eased. David touched his face. The blob was all gooey and squishy It was like breathing through a bowl of silver jelly.

The girl pulled Ella to her feet.

“Who are you?” Ella asked.

“Ballecia Bendenet,” the girl said. “Head girl.” Ballecia gave a little curtesy, which was copied by all of the other students. “Now we’ve got to get inside. Those filters won’t last for long!”

Two of the other students picked Ella up, and started running towards the school building.

Ballecia grabbed David’s hand and pulled him along too.

“But our rat!” David’s voice came out muffled through the goo.

Ballecia shook her head. “No time. You’ll drown out here if your filter runs out!”

David pulled away from her. “But Ratty had this bracelet. It said it was going to explode if we didn’t get it back to Aramaya Abalonia.”

The girl’s face went pale. “Not a Sissy 7.3? How long did it say until detonation?”

“Eighteen minutes,” Ella yelled. “But I’m not sure how long ago that–”

From inside the school building, they heard an explosion…

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…

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

A New FABO Story Competition has begun!

Enter the new FABO Story Competition now! Suzanne Main, the author of How Not To Stop A Kidnap Plot and How I Alienated My Grandma, has written a 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.

(Melinda Szymanik is judging the previous competition entries and winners will be announced soon).

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 8.

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 Three

“No way!” David walked beside Ella across the playground. “I refuse to go time travelling again.” The pair had found an old cane hoop in the P.E. shed. Twice before they’d stepped into it and been transported back in time. Now Ella wouldn’t stop bugging David to go again.

“Don’t be a wuss.” Ella turned to face him. “We had a great adventure last time.”

“We only just escaped! What if we get trapped in a different time?”

Ella groaned.

“If you think it’s safe, go by yourself,” replied David.

Ella scowled. “It’s no fun by myself.”

“Then take Ratty.” David wrenched open the shed door. A loud rustling erupted from one corner but neither he nor Ella flinched. They’d grown accustomed to the large rat who lived inside the shed. “There he is.” David pointed toward a shadowy shape lurking in the gloom.

“Hi, Ratty.” Ella stepped closer and her forehead creased into a surprised frown. She crouched and let out a cry. “There’s something in his mouth.” Ella stretched her arm forward. The rat squealed. Ella tugged. Ratty tugged back. Ella gave a mighty yank and stumbled backwards.

When Ella righted herself, a strange bracelet dangled from her fingers. The band was woven from thousands of fine silvery threads. At its centre a large red stone glowed.

“Where did Ratty get that?” As David watched, Ella rubbed her thumb across the stone. A translucent cloud of light bloomed between them as though projected by the stone. At its centre, the shimmering figure of a girl appeared. She looked to be about the same age as David and Ella.

“Wow,” said David, “a hologram.”

‘What’s that?” asked Ella.

“It’s like a 3D film,” said David. “I’ve only ever seen them in sci-fi movies.”

“Ex-cuse me!” The figure in the cloud put her hands on her hips. “I am not a hologram. I am Sissy Version 7.3.”

“What’s Sissy Version 7.3?” demanded Ella.

“No idea,” said David, “But I’m beginning to think Ratty has been solo time travelling and stolen it from the future.”

Ella grinned. “Good work, Ratty. I bags we keep it.”

“That will not be possible.” Sissy 7.3 turned her tiny head and waggled her forefinger at Ella. “This device is registered to Aramaya Abalonia. If you fail to return it, I will deploy the failsafe detonator.”

Ella gulped. “Detonator? When?”

“Twenty-three minutes and six seconds.” Sissy 7.3’s bland face showed no sign that she’d just threatened to blow them all up.

Ella eyed the bracelet in horror. “I don’t know exactly what Sissy means, but I’ve changed my mind. This… thing needs to go back before it…”

“Detonates?” offered David.

“Yeah. I’m taking it back right now and you have to help me.”

David nodded reluctantly. Feeling the familiar thrill of fear, he stepped into the cane hoop. Ella’s hand grabbed his. Sissy 7.3 floated nearby. Ratty clung by his teeth to David’s shoelace.

Then they were off, whizzing across time.

Now You Finish The Story…

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

Enter the new FABO Story Competition Now!

The second FABO Story Competition for 2018 is here. Award-winning children’s author Melinda Szymanik has written a story starter and she wants you to finish the story.

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 May 25.

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 Two

“Whew!” David exclaimed. “That was a lucky escape.”

They’d made it back to the shed. David held a squirming ratty firmly in his left hand.

“All we need to do is step back through the hoop,” Ella said, chewing at her bottom lip nervously. “Folk dancing is the worst. I thought I was going to die of boredom. And …. that person you were partnering with for the Hokey Pokey…”

“You mean Karen? She seemed really nice. And it’s the Hokey Tokey,” David corrected.

“That person you danced with, is my mum,” and Ella burst in to tears.

“Eww!” David twisted his mouth in a grimace. “Gross!”

“Don’t say that! Let’s not talk about it,” Ella sniffed. “I just want to go home.” And she grabbed David’s right hand because the thought of going alone frightened her more than the thought of holding his hand, and stepped into the circle of the hoop.

ZHOOP!

“We’re still here,” David said.

“No we’re not,” Ella said, pointing at the black gym smock now hanging from the hook on the back of the shed door, her eyes wide.

David swallowed. He looked around at the uncoloured, leather rugby and netballs done up with laces like a boot, at the metres and metres of thick ropes in snaking coils, and the pile of hoops just like theirs, but made out of bamboo cane, stacked in a tangle in the corner.

Ella stepped towards the door and opened it an inch peering out onto the court. David joined her and they goggled at the two rows of children standing out on the asphalt, the girls in gym smocks and the boys in grey buttoned down shirts and black shorts.

“What are they doing?” David asked. “Is … is that Mrs Satterworth?”

“It can’t be, can it?” Ella breathed.

They both strained to hear what the lady in charge was bellowing at the students.

“Our brave boys are fighting for our freedom in Gallipoli and across Europe, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing for us to do here. First, some marching to warm us up. Then boys, you will be filling sand bags and girls, you will be knitting socks.”

“It must be World War 1,” David said. “Hey!” he exclaimed. Ratty had bitten his hand and David let go, the animal popping out onto the floor and scurrying out the door. “Hey,” he said again. “What are you doing?”

Ella was pulling the gym smock on over her head. “I’m blending in. We have to save ratty. Maybe he’s the key to all this.” And she stepped through the doorway.

Now You Finish The Story…

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

Jane’s FABO Story Starter: The Polar Bear in The Bookshop

✯✯✯ This will be the final FABO competition for the year. Enter now! ✯✯✯

Instructions

Children’s author Jane Bloomfield has posted the start of a story. She’d like you to finish the story in 500 words or less and submit it using the online form. Entries close 8pm Friday September 22nd. No late entries will be accepted.

Jane’s Story Starter: The Polar Bear In The Bookshop

It was a dreary grey day in June, the day I saw the polar bear in the bookshop. The bookshop owner, Daisy, was busy at the till and the rest of the shop was empty. Well, apart from me and the polar bear.

Of course, I wondered if I was seeing things. A huge white bear standing in the children’s corner, holding an open book in his spiky black claws!

I forgot about the newspaper I had gone in to buy. I glanced at my step-dad sitting outside in the car, then I tiptoed over to take a closer look.

The bear smelt terrible. Sort of fish-breath mixed with muddy seaweed. I shoved my hand over my mouth to stifle my gag. Up close his fur was stiff and yellowing behind the ears. He looked like he hadn’t gone for a swim around an iceberg for a while. Or had a fish dinner. He had that kind of sad face polar bears do. His rubbery black nose was almost touching the pages now. The bear was either very short sighted or he was trying to get into that book.

The doorbell chimed. I looked around.

My step-dad said, ‘Hurry up, James. Your mum’s got a fish pie in the oven.’

The bear now had the book on the ground opened to a photograph of an icy landscape surrounded by blue ocean. Next thing, he placed one massive foot on each page, growled softly, winked at me and then, pfft, he was gone.

From where I was standing, I had two options.
Option One: Fish pie (gag) at home with my ancient Nana and Pop.
Option Two: A trip to the North Pole.

I zipped up my puffa coat and walked towards the …

You can finish the story on the Fabo Website now!

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

Maureen Crisp’s FABO Story Starter!

Children’s author Maureen Crisp has posted the start of a new FABO story. She’d like you to finish the story in 500 words or less and submit it using the online form. Entries close 8pm Friday September 8th. No late entries will be accepted.

NOTE: This is the final FABO competition for this term. Whether there will be more competitions in 2017 is currently being determined (our author volunteers are checking their schedules). Please keep an eye on the website for updates.

Maureen’s Story Starter

“Hey, Yoghurt Brains, are you coming to play footy? Hurry up will ya!”

The rest of my team laughed at Frazer’s sad joke. When would he give it a rest?

I sat down on the classroom steps to lace up my shoes. Just once I’d like to be known for something really cool.

Inventing a new dance move… Saving the life of someone….

But no, everybody knows me because of that stupid time I got detention with the principal and ended up in the school garden with a yoghurt pot on my head.

It wasn’t even my fault!

My mum says that if I write the story down I might win a prize. It’s got everything… Action… humour… sad bits… and total fiction. Nobody believes me.

“Come on,” yelled Frazer. “Yoghurt is faster than you!”

I jogged down to the field with my team. We passed the Harris triplets who were all eating yoghurt. That stuff should be banned, I thought. I could see Frazer turning to say something more… and then the whole story happened again right in front of me….

Finish the story on the FABO website now!

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

Finish Kathy’s Story And Enter The FABO Competition Now!

Children’s author Kathy White has come up with the start of a story – it’s called No Guarantees. She’d like you to finish the story in 500 words or less and submit it using the online form. Entries close 8pm Friday August 18th. No late entries will be accepted.

NO GUARANTEES

“I’m not doing it. You can’t make me.” Tyler gripped his placard tightly and stood his ground. Behind him, the other kids in Room 5 fell silent. Even the cockroaches in the jar on Mr Lewis’s desk stopped moving. A chair scraped on the lino, as Frankie stood up and crossed the classroom to stand behind Tyler. Brendan reluctantly followed her.

“Well, well. What have we here? The Three Musketeers?” Mr Lewis leaned forward to read Tyler’s sign.

NO ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS AT WOODLAND SCHOOL. BUGS ARE ANIMALS TOO.

Mr Lewis slurped on his tankard of coffee. “Is that right?”

Brendan started to answer, but Frankie nudged him sharply with her elbow.

Mr Lewis picked up the jar and shook it. The cockroaches bounced off the sides of the glass. “Don’t you want to make their legs twitch?”

Tyler swallowed. His mouth had gone dry.

Mr Lewis stared at them through the jar, one eye magnifying and shrinking in turn.

“No problem,” he said suddenly, placing the jar back on his desk. “We have lots of chewing gum that needs scraping off seats. Or maybe you can help Mr Lancaster with the rubbish for the next two weeks. Hmmm? Would you like that?”

Frankie screwed up her nose as if she could smell the bins already.

“There’s one other option, but the equipment hasn’t been used much lately.” Mr Lewis’s lips curled into a little smirk. He rubbed his hands together. “No guarantees.”

He tilted his head towards the door to the back room. “Shall we look?”

The fluorescent light in the back room flickered, revealing a jumble of jars and cabinets in a room with a long corridor. Cobwebs draped across piles of papers strewn with scribbled sketches. In the middle of the room was some kind of machine that looked like a telescope but with an eclectic mixture of switches and gauges and a huge dial with labels in another language.

“Wow, you’re into astronomy, Mr Lewis. I didn’t know.” Frankie leaned in closer and read the labels aloud. “Pusillus and ingens.”

“Pus sounds gross but I like engines,” Brendan grinned.

“It’s ingens,” Frankie repeated. “I think it’s Latin. Like in Harry Potter.”

“As long as it doesn’t have anything to do with those giant spiders, I don’t care,” Brendan said. “They freaked me out. I couldn’t even go on holiday to Australia after I saw that movie.”
“So what exactly do you want us to do?” Tyler asked.

The teacher pushed Tyler to a red circle that had been drawn under the skylight. He positioned him carefully and then beckoned to the others. “I just need to calibrate the machine. Can you three stand over here so I can adjust the focal range. It’ll only take a minute.”

The three friends huddled together while Mr Lewis made his calculations and adjusted his gauges.

Frankie nudged Tyler and whispered. “Doesn’t pusillus mean small?”

Tyler suddenly got the chills. “What is this machine, Mr Lewis?”

Mr Lewis closed one eye and squinted through the viewfinder one last time. They were perfectly in focus. Just perfect. He pushed the uppermost red button and smiled.

Finish the story on the FABO website now!

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

Enter The New FABOstory Competition Now!

Children’s author Sue Copsey (author of The Ghosts of Young Nick’s Head, and The Ghosts Of Tarawera) is judging the next FABO competition. She’d like you to finish the story in 500 words or less and submit it using the online form. Entries close 8pm Friday August 4th. No late entries will be accepted.

Sue’s Story Starter

I wasn’t in the slightest bit happy when Mum said I was going to stay with Aunt Jules for the Easter holidays. Aunt Jules lives in a town Mum calls ‘quirky’ and I call weird. It’s not even a town, really. It’s just a place on the way to somewhere else. There’s a petrol station and a couple of cafes that Mum says are just like the ones she grew up with (which means only pies), and … nope. Can’t think of anything else.

So here I am, sitting on Aunt Jules’ sofa, coming to terms with dial-up internet. One good thing, though. Aunt Jules says there’s a toy shop, and she’ll give me money. She says the shop’s ‘curious’.

The bell dings as I open the toy shop door. It’s dark in here, so I get a bit of a fright when a little old lady pops up from behind the counter. She’s got frizzy grey hair and round glasses that twinkle.

“I bet you think this town is boring, eh?” she says. “You’d rather be somewhere else?”

I think this is a strange way to greet your customers. I told you this town’s weird. But before I can answer, she takes out something from under the counter. It’s a globe – an old-fashioned one with brownish land and sea, and scary looking sea serpents in the oceans.

“Spin it!” she says. So I do.

You can finish the story on the FABO website now!

Posted in Enter Now, fabo story

Enter The New FABO Competition!

Judging the next competition is author Michele Powles. To enter the competition, just finish her story in 500 words or less and submit it using the online form. Good luck!

Instructions

Read Michele’s story starter and then finish the story any way you like. Your entry must be submitted by 8pm Friday 23rd June. No late entries will be accepted.

Michele’s Story Starter

Ivan and I had planned to make a net after school. We hadn’t been able to agree what it would be for, but we had agreed that making a net was the best use of the ten balls of orange and red yarn that we’d found in the cupboard under the stairs.

“You asked your mum if we could use it?” Ivan asked me for the tenth time. His mum keeps everything, like Every. Thing. They even have a pile of stuff in the corner of their lounge that they all call the Invention Potential Pile. It’s cool, even if it’s a bit weird. I mean, I don’t know what you would be able to turn broken dolls and an old fan into, but that’s what’s at the top of the pile at the moment.

“She said it was fine,” I said to Ivan. Actually, she said, “knock yourself out.” But I didn’t say that to Ivan. He takes things literally and I didn’t want to answer endless questions about how we were supposed to knock ourselves out and still make a net.

“Cool,” said Ivan. “So, a fishing net, or a ninja net?”

“Definitely a ninja net. There aren’t any fish in the river at the moment.”

“There aren’t any ninjas either,” said Ivan. It was true. We had been hunting ninjas for the last term and hadn’t found any. But I was sure there were some in our neighbourhood. Who else would be leaving muddy footprints on Mrs. Gilinsky’s door step every Thursday night? Or taking all the black socks from Mum’s washing line each week?

“We’re making a ninja net,” I said with a sharp nod of my head. “Fishing nets are too easy.”

Finish the story here!