Chase the words work f.., p.1
Chase the Words - Work from the Swansea Young People's Writing Squad, p.1Cynan Jones
For a writer, time is the great commodity. There’s no shortcut to putting words on a page, and even for those who write for a living, securing uninterrupted work time can be difficult. To provide a group of young writers, then, with the opportunity to get stuck in to stories can only be a good thing.
Over two sessions of a couple of hours, a group ranging in age from 10 to 18 had the chance to work on their writing without the pressure of assessment, and with – for what it was worth – a little input from myself.
The Squad was a pleasure to work with. Those who chose to do so sent in some work and we’ve gathered it here. We’ve not edited it, other than to smooth a few typos. Enjoy.
Note from Cynan Jones
WHAT’S THE ANSWER? – Caitlin Llewelyn
GEORGE'S DIARY– Carys Lear
Three Stories – Casey Glover
DROP– Jack Howard
THE MAGIC ANIMAL CLUB– Bethan Shirley
Joe’s Joke Shop – Aoife-Mae Maddock
More information on Young Writing Squads
WHAT’S THE ANSWER?
Caitlin Llewelyn, age 10
She swam across the murky lake, fish crowding her. Suddenly something started pulling her down. She was going down and down, no air to breath. She stopped struggling then she could breathe. She was in the lake but she could breathe… What was going on?
She got out of the lake still catching her breath and started walking home but her mind was juggling all the things that had just happened and she took a wrong turn. Instead of turning to her town, she was heading for the forbidden village. The village with the name that was never to be mentioned out loud.
"I know, I'm dreaming," she said to herself. "I will just go home and…” Her voice faded. "Hang on," she said again to herself, "where am I?”
Then she remembered something, (well more like she didn't). " I don't remember anything,” she thought. "How did I get in that lake, I don't even remember getting up this morning." Then she stopped. All her thoughts faded away as she saw a person in a black cloak hiding behind a tree. And she got the creepy feeling someone was following her. She had one last thought before she started to run: who was that person and why were they stalking her?
She ran and ran and ran and ran until her legs could carry her no more but yet again another question fogged up her mind: was she closer or further away from home ? After that final thought she fell into a deep sleep.
When she woke up her head was throbbing. Where was she? She didn't know. All she knew was that she was getting wrapped up in something she didn't want to be in…
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Carys Lear, age 11
She ran, building up speed every second. Mud pushed side to side as she started to struggle, her shoes ripping at the ground. She didn’t dare look back; she could hear footsteps behind her. They seemed to be getting louder, as if they were closer, but she kept on sprinting, her bones aching as she kicked through the thick, black, tar-like mud.
Now the mud was creeping up her body. Just then she saw a light, an opening at the end of the passage. Although she knew her follower could still find her wherever she turned, she thought there could be a solution to the worst problem she would ever experience.
She thought of a time when she didn’t have to run, and made a promise that if she was ever free again she would make much, much more of her life.
She felt a hand on her shoulder pulling her back just as she was about to step through the passage, into the light. She felt her heart beating in her chest and, panicking, she shouted as loud as she could, “Help!” And with that, the hand let go. She turned, and sprinted out of sight.
Why won’t she just love me again? I caught her when I was running after her but I saw the fear in her face and just couldn’t hold on to her any longer. I’m going to find her again and tell her I love her.
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Three Stories by Casey Glover, age 11
Story One – THE EVIL DEAD
The house was surrounded by trees and bushes with the bench at the front of it. The stone wall behind the bench which continued around the house was older than she was. In fact the whole house was older than her.
She was going more insane every day. Talking to the cats as she sat on the bench and inviting them to tea. She was definitely going mad. I knew it. I couldn't help laughing watching from my bedroom window as she opened the door for the cats to come in, but they just walked away.
Mum told me not to laugh at her because she couldn't help it and the doctors couldn't either. Her neighbours said she kept wild beasts in her basement because there was always a racket coming from her house in the night.
I don't really believe that, but I wouldn't be surprised if she did. Some of my friends say she is a witch but others just say she's plain mad.
I didn't used to be scared of her or anything like that... until that terrible night.
It was the night after I turned thirteen. I was then allowed to stay out until 9:30pm and I was out with my two best friends Carl and Martin. It was 8:00pm when Carl thought of the idea.
He asked if we wanted to explore Mad Maria's house, see if there really were wild beasts in her basement as she had gone wandering in the woods again. Martin wanted to but I wasn't too sure. I eventually agreed though.
The door was open when we pushed and walked in. Everything was dusty in there and when we tried the lights nothing happened. So, we were left searching the house in the dark.
We didn't find anything and were about to leave but Carl wanted to check the basement. It was 10:00pm and I knew Mum would be worried sick about me. But I said yes.
That was the worst mistake I made in my life.
We walked in to find a girl in a long tattered brown jacket which hung down to her knees and a grey skirt which was ripped in some parts.
She was facing away from us and appeared to be weeping. Martin asked her why she was crying. No answer. He took a few steps forward and reached out to touch her... she turned around revealing a horrible disfigured face with the most sinister red eyes ever. She bit his wrist and gnawed at it until it completely dropped off.
During this time Carl and I had run from the basement and I glanced back to Martin who stared back at me with pleading tearful eyes. Then I slammed the door shut. Next came an ear-piercing scream from the basement which made me shudder.
Carl and I tried the door but it was locked, which was strange as I couldn't remember any of us locking it. Then we tried to smash a window but we saw Mad Maria wandering thoughtlessly back towards the house so we started up the stairs to find an upstairs window into the back garden.
Suddenly a hand shot through the wooden planks on the stairs and got an instant grip on my foot. I pulled and tugged and eventually the hand let go. I looked through the hole to see who the hand belonged to. It was the girl and she gave me a haunting grin. Carl wasn't as lucky as I when she grabbed him. He slipped and knocked himself unconscious and she dragged him down.
So now I was left alone, with my best friends probably dead in this dark, evil house of horrors.
I carried on up the stairs and saw a window directly in front of me. I smashed the window with a candle on the shelf next to it and leaped out of it. The last thing I remembered was hitting the cold hard ground.
They look confused when I said about Carl. They tell me Maria only found me lying on the ground and there was nobody else with me but Carl and Martin have been reported missing and are being searched for.
I want to tell them that they're dead and that there is an evil girl living in Maria's basement but they would just think I'm twice as insane as Maria so I keep quiet.
Two months after the event we moved house because mum no longer liked the place. Just before I got into the car I took a glance at the tiny basement window and saw the girl. The girl who had killed my two best friends. The evil girl in the basement.
Story 2 – GHOSTBUSTERS: THE OTHER SIDE
The phone rang. Becky pulled it up to her ear.
"Ghostbusters Incorporated, how may I help you? A ghost is eating all the food in your hotel? No, no it’s not that... yes sir, I believe you. Ok, sir, they'll be there right away. Thank You."
She slammed the phone down "WE GOT ONE!" she cried.
Peter put his coffee down and looked at Ray who nodded towards him. He pulled the alarm switch and the sirens blared and the lights gleamed. Peter ran to Becky and asked, "What is it?"
"We got a Slimer eating all the food at Sedgewick Hotel again,” she replied.
Then, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler, Winston Zeddemore and Peter Venkman slid down the fire pole and got into their jumpsuits. They put their proton packs on and grabbed their proton wands and connected them to their proton packs.
They get into Ecto-1b. They had made a few adjustments after the last time they used it. They had added a super-charged nitro engine, portable containment unit and a hatch in the roof where one of them could use a proton wand to capture a ghost if they were ever being chased.
Ray takes the wheel and Peter sits next to him. Egon and Winston sit in the back.
"Where to, Pete?" Ray asks.
"Sedgewick Hotel," Peter replies.
Ray puts the siren on and they speed out of the HQ.
The new manager of the hotel is waiting at the steps for them. He looks quite anxious in case anyone notices they're coming in. When they reach him he whispers to them, "Please be as quick as possible. I don't want to make a show out of it.”
"Don't worry sir, we won't be long. It will be just a simple in and out routine," Peter replies.
The manager gives Peter an unsure look and Peter returns him a reassuring look back.
“We deal with this stuff all the time," Peter says to the manager as they enter the posh hotel.
"How many ghosts have you caught before then, Mr...?"
"Venkman, Peter Venkman," Peter replies. "About one thousand five hundred, and we have caught a Slimer from this hotel before. Actually, I think the Slimer we caught here was the first ghost we ever caught.”
The manager stops and looks at Peter with a horrified face, "Y...y...you mean there's been a ghost here before?"
Peter looks towards him, "Yep.”
The manager faces forward and starts walking again, still pretty shocked.
They reach the huge ballroom where they originally caught a Slimer. "Customers have reported sightings of a green ghost eating all the food in here," says the manager.
"That's a Slimer alright," says Egon.
The manager turns to Egon. "So, there really is a ghost here?"
Egon faces him looking pretty impatient "Yes sir, you have a ghost in your hotel.”
The Ghostbusters go into the ballroom and can see the Slimer straight away devouring food from a tray of leftovers.
"Right, let's do this guys, just like good old times," Ray says, and they all turn to him and nod.
They charge the proton wands up but, just before they shoot, around twenty other Slimers come in through the walls.
"RUN!" Winston screams, and they let go of the triggers on their proton wands and run through the doors. They can hear the manager asking what happened in the distance as they run through the entrance to the hotel and then him being cut short by the sound of Slimers wailing.
The team get into Ecto-1b and Peter screams, "Step on it Ray!" as he goes through the hatch in the roof and grabs the proton wand and aims for the what seems like thousands of Slimers. Peter shoots around ten but too many are coming too quickly.
"Egon?" Peter asks.
"Yes?" Egon replies.
"What would happen if I crossed the stream of my proton wand stream and Ecto-1b's proton wand stream?"
Egon looks at Peter. "There is a 99.98% chance that you would open up a worm hole that would suck up the whole earth destroying everything and there is a 0.02% chance that you would survive and wipe out all paranormal entities in the area."
Peter looks down at Egon, "I'll take my chances.”
Peter pulls his proton wand up and crosses the stream with the one coming from Ecto-1b's and there is an immediate explosion sending a flash of white coming from where the streams crossed, catapulting Ecto-1b off the road with a blazing trail of sparks.
Peter wakes up to find himself lying in a hospital bed with Ray also in a hospital bed to his left, and Egon and Winston in hospital beds to his right. Ray is already awake and smirks at Peter.
"What just happened, Ray?" Peter asks with a grin on his face, "What the hell just happened?"
"Well, you didn't open up a worm hole and destroy the entire planet." It was Egon, who smiles at Peter wearily.
"Hey you guys, can anybody explain what on earth just happened to us?" asks Winston who is now awake.
Ray sits up on his bed. "I will tell you what just happened. Peter Venkman just destroyed our car and will be buying us a new one."
They all looked at Peter and he smiled sheepishly. "But, he also kicked some serious Slimer butt!"
They continued to stare at Peter but then all burst out laughing.
Story 3 – SLENDER UPRISING
The young girl awakens to find herself lying in the middle of a woods in the middle of the night. She cannot remember her name, her age or her address. She can only remember that she has to find the eight pages. They will grant her memory and her way out of the woods.
She wanders the woods and after a half hour she finds a page pinned onto a tree. It says First You, Then Your Loved Ones. She stares at it for a moment, deeply haunted by the message, but then rips it off the tree, folds it and puts it in her pocket.
She finds another in what seems to be a ruined, abandoned church. It reads He will Find You and has an illustration of a tall, faceless man in a suit. She puts it in her pocket and carries on through the woods.
She finds another three pinned up on trees, one in a crashed jeep and the last one on the side of a well. They all have equally disturbing messages as the first two.
After finding the seventh page she turns around from the well and standing behind her is the man in her second page. The Slender Man. She turns away instantly, her head fuzzy for an unknown reason, and dives for cover behind a tree.
She steps out slightly from the tree, her head having calmed down, and peeks out, hoping she'll find the eighth page. Nothing. She slumps back against the oak and slides down it, feeling warm tears trickle down her cheeks.
She wipes them away and stands back up, more confident than before and turns, but standing behind her yet again is the sinister Slender Man who is facing directly towards her. Her surroundings go blurry and she can only see the Slender Man and hear his horrible scream, like fingernails scraping down a blackboard. Then she drops to the floor... dead.
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Jack Howard, age 16
Forward towards the edge, mind over matter, brushing aside animal fear, into the isolation of the air.
People say that in peril, things slow down. They don’t. They
Training? He couldn’t spell training let alone remember it.
His guardian angel went taut, granted him the rest of his life and took the air in his lungs as payment. The claws shattered, dissipated, and warmth began to seep in.
He drew his shining, solemn security from his jacket, that small shard of metal, ran it gently along his angel. She fell with grace to earth. He impacted, his affair with the sky over. Sand. He stumbled forward and embraced it with unreserved love.
He would not leave again. A lover’s promise. “Terra firma,” he whispered.
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THE MAGIC ANIMAL CLUB
Bethan Shirley, age 10
It was a warm afternoon. I had just finished posting a video. It was another Minecraft ‘Hermione lee33 Masters Witchery’ and I had just found another big scary creature whose name was very difficult to pronounce. As I looked at the computer screen I read the comments section underneath the video. I found so many people arguing about how to pronounce it that I was obviously not the only one.
I heard a knock at the door and caught a glimpse of the clock. I stood up and walked down the stairs to the front door. “Delivery for Miss Amy?” I heard someone shout from behind the door.
I opened the door unsure of who I would find… I saw a young girl and the mailwoman behind her. The young girl seemed to be holding something, a remote control maybe, but before I saw the whole remote the girl slipped it into her back pocket. “Here is your package…”
The woman chucked the package into my hands, luckily I caught it just in time.
“This is my daughter she wants to talk to you…”
I noted no expression in the woman’s voice or in her movement.
Chase the Words - Work from the Swansea Young People's Writing Squad by Cynan Jones / Actions & Adventure have rating 3.6 out of 5 / Based on36 votes