The Hourglass – Winner for the StoryBaaz Kids Story Writing Contest

It was the middle of a typical, London evening, with an incessant, monotonous, drizzle. The river Thames seemed quiet as ever, the weightless but unusually evocative drizzle pattering upon its calm waters. Yet, something in the cold mist aroused suspicions. There was something invisibly filthy and disgraceful in the air, and Matthew Johnson could sense it. It was not unexpected when Cornelia came up to say something to Matthew, who was staring out of the huge arched window with sinister looking, yet seemingly nonchalant eyes.

“He’s dead.” Those were the dreaded yet expected words that came out of Cornelia’s mouth, her face also looking expectant. Matthew did not need any further explanation. He knew who the dead man was. A very respectable noble in their neighbourhood, Andrew Rivers was capable of espionage and had returned unscathed from The First World War, while bringing tonnes of war prisoners to Scotland Yard.

The Triple Alliance were thirsty for revenge, and they had caused trouble in the area hereafter, causing unexpected attacks for over a month on totally innocent citizens. The ones who had fought in the War faced a dangerous threat, and thus they were advised to stay back home, with their houses being guarded by police personnel. After Matthew’s father was shot dead in a bloody battle, yet another death was too much for the neighbourhood. This time, though, it was a case that brought shock and uncertainty all over the city. It was a murder. Andrew Rivers had been shot.

“I knew it,” said Matthew with an all-knowing air in his voice. He looked at his sister, Cornelia, and sighed.

“Should we, Matt?” she asked anxiously. Matthew realised that she was talking about the hourglass.

“Why not?” replied Matthew. They had a plan: They would change the past and would save Andrew Rivers.

Cornelia went to the attic to fetch the hourglass. She opened the safe and carefully picked up the hourglass and brought it downstairs to Matthew. Together they held it up high in the air and saw the grains of iron fillings going upwards, causing a tremendous, gravity-defying force. They felt the glass shake in their hands and their surrounding became so turbulent that the Johnsons were pushed to the ground. They had landed at the Rivers’ cellar. Silence had fallen. A shadow moved above them. They followed it. Upon reaching the top, the shadow turned into a man and a gun took shape in his hand. Before they could stop him, a shot came whizzing past Matthew and hit Cornelia in the chest, and she fell into a lifeless heap on the ground. Outraged, Matthew went for his own shot. The battle of bullets had begun and would only end when one had fallen.

The next time Cornelia opened her eyelids, she was in a hospital. She recalled the agonising shot that had struck her. She thought she was useless. She was on the verge of losing hope, but Matthew’s smile stopped her.

 

About the Writer: Aranya Tanvir G, aged 10 and a half, was born in Bombay and absolutely loves trains because for him they are extremely majestic. He would rather hitch a train ride than play football. His mother is Bengali and father, Marwari, but most of the time, he considers himself a Hyderabadi, because he has lived the longest in Hyderabad. Books are his all-time favourite and he digs Agatha Christie and  JK Rowling. He also plays guitar, keyboard and is often tempted to explore Minecraft.

 

 

Image by Sarah Richter from Pixabay

Land of Fairies – 1st Runner-Up for the StoryBaaz Kids Story Writing Contest

Once there was a girl called Amber. She was clever, smart, and brave. She believed in fairies and always dreamt of meeting one, until that’s exactly what happened! She was asleep and dreaming that a fairy came to live with her when she got the feeling that someone was watching her. She woke up. When she turned to see who it was, she saw a blue-green mist. Then the mist took shape and became a fairy. The fairy said, “Hello, my name is Misty, and I have come to fetch help”. Amber couldn’t believe that she was meeting a real fairy.

“Hi, my name is Amber”, she said. Misty said, “my friend Long-hair stole my magic wand, which has all my powers. Now I will take you to my land with little of the powers that I have left; and when you get there, you must go to a wizard and get a spell which can help me get my wand back”. Amber was confused. She asked Misty, “but why have you come to me for help?”


Misty replied, “because, you are clever, smart and brave! And, you believe in fairies.” 

“Ok”, said Amber, “take me to your land and I’ll help you.” Suddenly Amber felt a tingling sensation, and the next moment, she was in the Land of Fairies. Amber followed Misty, as she led her to the wizard’s house. Amber went in. The place was a mess. Spells were scattered everywhere. The wizard sat on an armchair, with a black cat next to him. Amber spoke, “Wizard, I need a spell to help a friend get something back”. The wizard said, “Ok, but first answer a question – what is my name?” Amber thought hard, and she saw the black cat flex its arms back and forth. Amber looked at the cat and said, “Is it, Wizard Strong?”

“No”, said the wizard.
“Wizard Mighty?” Amber asked again.
“Correct!” said the wizard. “I’ll give you the spell”, exclaimed the wizard.

“Here it is!” He handed Amber a box.


She took it, thanked the wizard, winked at the black cat, and left. Misty was waiting outside the wizard’s house. Misty and Amber went to Long-hair’s house. When they got there, Long-hair was playing with Misty’s magic wand. Misty handed over the box with the spell.


Long-hair was so happy to see the spell that she apologized to Misty and returned her magic wand.

Misty said, “Thank you, Amber, this is a present for you”. Misty put a blue-green mist in Amber’s hand, which turned into a shell with a picture of Misty on it.

“Thank you”, said Amber, “…now, can you take me back home?”

“Yes, close your eyes and you’ll be back home”, said Misty. Amber closed her eyes, and the next moment she was back in her bed. She never saw Misty again, but every time she saw the shell with Misty’s picture on it, she happily remembered her adventure in the Land of Fairies.

 

About the Writer: Mira Sharat, aged 8 years, studies in Class 3 and lives in Bangalore. She likes to read books and listen to jokes. Her favourite authors are Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. When she is not reading, she loves to cycle and to do hula hoops. 

Cover Image by Sarah Richter from Pixabay