The mission: to write a 500 word creative piece on the theme of ‘Isolation’. During this lockdown, Mrs Milner set Fyling Hall’s Book Club a cheeky challenge, which turned into this competition. Well done to everyone who entered. Mrs Milner was so impressed by how talented and creative the entries were she found it difficult to decide on a winner. After much consideration, below are the winning entries by Tomas Richardson, Toby Richardson and Olivia Grace Hall. Enjoy each creative piece on the theme of ‘Isolation’.
In the meantime, we are busy reading our next book, the classic Harper Lee novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird‘. “It’s brill!” says Olivia. “My favourite character is Scout because she is courageous and a tomboy, a bit like me!” Tomas, on the other hand, loves Tim Johnson, the dog. So long for now from the Fyling Hall Book Club ?
Tomas Richardson’s creative piece on the theme of ‘Isolation’
But it didn’t come back
As the boy sprinted down the parched, dirt road, he could hardly contain his excitement. He was finally going to see his oldest friend again. The sun was beating down on his back, but he was used to the harsh climate in Africa. He moved his head from side to side, his eyes sweeping the barren landscape for any movement. Suddenly, he caught a glimpse of grey behind a tree, betraying the presence of the animal he had grown to love. He approached slowly, not wanting to scare his friend.
Leisurely, the young rhino turned around, and as soon as he caught sight of the boy he bellowed in delight and galloped up to him. The boy laughed and started scratching the rhino behind the ear. The rhino stared up at him, their eyes meeting, and then he started nuzzling the boy’s pocket, feeling for the one thing that would make the day perfect. The boy reached into his pocket. “Ok, ok,” he chuckled, producing a worn and well-loved, red rubber ball. The rhino instantly took the ball in his mouth, eyes sparkling. He dropped it in front of the boy, hoping to play the game that they had grown up playing together. The boy picked it up, a wide smile lighting up his face as they played a game of catch, the rhino plucking it perfectly out of the air every time. Eventually, they stopped, worn out, and the boy sat down on the sandy floor, putting the ball back in his pocket, as they watched the sun set, quietly enjoying each other’s company. The boy smiled and scratched the rhino’s ear, his eyes slowly closing.
A shot rang across the sun scorched plain, startling the boy awake. He looked around, dazed and confused, searching for his companion. He started breathing harder, panic welling up inside him as he hurriedly scanned the plain for anything to show the rhino was there. Anything, any kind of movement or sound. As he scoured the ground, tears streaming down his small face, he spotted the one thing that he had hoped never to see again. No, not after last time. The boy started running in the direction of hoof marks, large footprints imprinted in the dirt beside them. He felt the panic knotting up his insides, making him feel sick.
Suddenly, he saw it, a grey mound, lying in the dust.
“No,” the boy shouted as he approached, his voice catching in his throat.
“No, please no,” he whispered, sinking down onto his knees, tears rushing down his face and dropping onto the lifeless body of his one true friend. Time seemed to slow down as he reached out to touch the hacked stump where his horn used to be. As the last of the life drained out of the rhino, the boy scratched him behind the ear, slowly rolling the ball towards him in a last gesture of friendship.
But this time it didn’t come back.
By Tomas Richardson
Toby Richardson’s creative piece on the theme of ‘Isolation’
Like Moths to a Flame
It powers on, closer and closer, dwarfing everything in the solar system. The brightness…. it’s seared into my brain like a red-hot poker, worming its way into my head every time I blink. And then the explosion as the sun breaches Earth’s atmosphere, the shockwave rocking our shuttle. Next to me, Tom whimpers, hiding his face in his hands. “Oh God, please, please no.” And then Earth’s gone. Completely engulfed by the Sun’s body. 4.6 billion years’ worth of fiery hydrogen smashing against a crusty ball of spent rock. There was never any competition.
I sit on the exposed, dusty plains of Pluto, watching the sunset through the visor of my spacesuit, trying to recall some of my favourite memories from home. My real home. Not this desolate hell hole. My suit picks up movement behind me, and I turn to see Tom waiting inside the airlock of our hastily constructed base. “C’mon,” he shouts, “It’s nearly dark out.” I sullenly follow him as he retreats back in, scouring the arid landscape for movement. Paranoia I suppose.
I squint as I enter the base, my eyes adjusting to the artificial light. Commander Alice types furiously on the generator keypad, cursing and swearing to herself “Blast this damned machine.”
“What’s wrong?” I ask.
“The power generator, it keeps cutting out,” she says, the frustration showing in her voice. “It’s pretty serious, it’ll need looking at right away.”
“Who’s gonna’ fix it?” I ask, knowing full well it would be me.
“You, obviously. You’re the tech guy ain’t you,” she replies.
“Yeah, well…. there was always a chance you might have a Plan B,” I grumble, suiting up and stepping towards the airlock.
I exit the base, shivering from the cold, despite the suit. It’s pitch black outside and I can’t even see where I’m going without turning on my helmet torch. I pinpoint the location of the generator on my wrist computer and the dust billows up as I start to walk. I reach the side of a crater and scramble down to the generator, panting with exhaustion. I get to work.
All systems are back in check. I swing my torch to the side of the crater and start my ascent. I curse as the batteries in my torch flicker and then fail. I climb blindly, panic building. I reach the edge and clamber out, making my way towards the lights of our base.
I radio Alice, “I’m back. Open the airlock.”
“You’re nowhere near us,” comes the reply.
The light goes out. “Quit messing around,” I snap, the panic returning.
“We didn’t…. something’s wrong…. come back.”
I hear a scuffling noise behind me. The light turns on.
I back away in terror as I take in the slimy grey skin, the gnashing, rotten teeth, the groping hands bulging with veins, reaching out for me. But worst of all is the bulb hanging from its head.
And the light, shining out of it……
By Toby Richardson
Olivia Hall’s creative piece on the theme of ‘Isolation’
Dear Polly Diary
No shops open apart from supermarkets.
Lines separating people in supermarkets.
Only a few people allowed in at once.
No theatres, clubs or pubs open.
Whole sports seasons cancelled.
Concerts, performances cancelled.
No wearing school uniform.
No getting on the bus every morning and seeing my friends.
Weddings, family gatherings and occasions cancelled.
Funerals only for intermediate family, no other family or friends.
Death tolls rising each day.
The prime minister giving conferences every day.
Work done from home.
Only key workers going to work.
Today my life has changed along with the rest of the worlds.
Monday 23rd March 2020
Dear Polly, On Friday we broke up from school. Normally I would break up from school on the 26th of March but we have broken up early because of Corona Virus (Covid-19). At the moment the amount of people with it is about 342,410 but there has been 99,041 people recovered. It is affecting 192 countries and territories around the world. I am a big fan of books so I can pass time with reading and school work. Unfortunately I am stuck at home with my brother and sister (which I hate).
Tuesday 24th March 2020
Dear Polly, Yesterday we started school work at home. On the news last night the Prime Minister announced that we (the whole country) would go into lockdown today. So that means we can’t go anywhere, but because of where we live we have a big garden to play in unlike many children our age.
Tuesday 31st March 2020
Dear Polly, I’m very bored. Yesterday I had a long chat with my cousins, which was nice. Gemma told me, Reece and Layarna about a tree house her dad (Danny) had built. We all agreed it looked very ace. I think everyone will be glad to see each other when all this is over.
Friday 3rd April 2020
Dear Polly, Mummy went shopping last night; she got me a Hello magazine to read. Daddy and I clapped for the NHS last night; they deserve more than clapping though because they are doing an excellent job. 4 people have died in Scarborough now and that makes me very worried. Today and tomorrow would have been the ballet show performances, it’s quite sad were not doing it. Mrs Milner has asked book club to write a short story to keep us busy. I hope when I am older that I will look back through this and see how bad Covid-19 was.
Monday 6th April 2020
Dear Polly, We are now in the Easter holidays which means no school work. The Queen gave a speech last night and her majesty never gives speeches other then on Christmas day. The last time the country went into lockdown was the Blitz and that was from 7th September 1940 – 11th May 1941. I made an orange cake on Friday and we ate it over the weekend.
By Olivia Grace Hall