Challenge 2: Time and Space

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Archie Twitchett, Suffolk

We selected Archie's poem because we loved his imagery, and his internal rhyming which created such a lovely rhythm.

Tick, Tick, Tick

Tick tock on the clock as the rocket powers up

as the hours pass by, we say are goodbyes to

those who strive around thirty-five. The seconds

leave before we weave our way to the moon.

Slowly preparing the tune of the exhaust, we

all know what a new experience is like but not

this serious one in a lifetime tonight. Slowly, slowly

they climbed out of the rocket admiring the clouds swirling around on

earth above the ocean surfaces.

Maria Debbasey, Bristol, Year 7

We selected Maria's story for the powerful sense of ambition, as well as the thoughtgul relationship between two friends.

It's All About Time and Space


It all started with two best friends Justin and Angel though they were best friends they both wanted to be two different things. You see Angel wanted to be a time traveller and go places that she always wanted to go to. And Justin wanted to be an astronaut and see what space really looks like rather than what it looked like on the TV.

Justin went to go knock on for Angel so they could go to school but apparently, she had already left. Justin knew that Angel never leaves without him, so he knew exactly where she was as always in her garage. “Hey Angel, you still building your time machine? "said Justin. “Yes, I am its actually nearly done” said Angel excitedly.

The time machine was finally finished, and Angel wanted to see if it works and so did Justin, they went in the time machine. Deciding where they wanted to go, Justin said, "to space”. They got out of the time machine and you’ll never guess what - they were standing on the moon!!! They had both accomplished want they wanted, and Angel continued travelling in time and Justin studied astronomy.

Faraaz, Aged 16

We selected Faraaz's writing, based on the epic film Saving Private Ryan, because of the sophisticated vocabulary, powerful imagery and superbly controlled cyclical structure.

The caliginous sky formed abruptly, shadowing the violence beneath. Bullets pierced the sky into the sea transposing the royal azure into a deep, dark crimson. The metal spikes protruded the soft sand, providing shelter for the petrified soldiers. Ships were disintegrating as the soldiers hurtled themselves at the sea, in the attempt to salvage what life they had left. The view looked like the Titanic had sunk twenty times over, with boats plummeting beneath them. Fire blazed ahead as three soldiers incinerated, melting their flesh and creating deep, unimaginable wounds. The sand flew as soldiers dashed across the shore.

The view astonished me, creating a movie, I will never forget. An arm separated from its body; the owner in pure confusion picked it up and sprinted in blood, sweat and tears. The soldiers dived ahead one after another in their navy camo and bellowed ahead to fire at us, with no care in the world; carelessly they sprayed at our faces and we barrelled ourselves across the shore in order to get to safety. Grasping my friend John in an attempt to get us to shelter, I dragged him one step at a time, pulling his weight across with me. One single bullet perforated into his skin and destroyed his insides from within. His life left his soulless body in my arms. A tear trickled down my face and fell onto his cold skin and as I placed him down gently, saying my last goodbyes and getting myself ready to avenge his futile and undeserved death.

Bang in the middle, left, right and centre, I circulated my head, inspecting the misty air for bullets flying through the wind in every direction. I paused for a second and glanced at everyone around me in pure distress; every action was exemplified – moving in slow motion like a movie flashing in front of my eyes. So many hearts were yearning for a chance to see their family again (including me), knowing this may be their end. Boots clenched to the wet sand and every step felt impossible to accomplish. The Germans annihilated the front line and bodies were scattered across the whole shore with machine gun bullets in every single one. The sound of hollow shells was drilled into my head and I could not get it to stop. My skull vibrated in agony with my fists clenched to the side, pushing against my temple.


Dragging one leg at a time, I crawled along the crimson, stained sand. The wind sprinted at my face with immense pressure. Squinting, I kept my eyes open, placing a hand on top of them, keeping the scorching sun away. Ducking under each metal spike, I glanced at my fallen comrades fighting this futile fight. As I looked down, clenching my fist into a tight ball, I spur my hatred towards their leader in the foulest language.


Fire exploded in front of me … spreading out its wings, growing larger and devouring everything in sight. The water trembled in its presence as it grinned in pure maleficence. One could sense the oxygen being ripped from the air as it consumed more and more of the beach. The wind blew it towards the dead bodies, melting the flesh right off until there was nothing but bones; it began to tower above me – looking up I shivered in fear of what was to come. A salty tear trickled down my face as I prayed for another chance to live. 

A soldier bellowed, “fire!” In the distance, a canon pulsed a metal ball in my direction. I barreled across the soggy sand, creating a mini trench as I rolled.

“This bugger won’t die,” muttered the commanding officer. “Again!” wailed the sergeant in a loathsome tone.

“Ahhhhh,” I yelled in agony as a bullet scraped my arm. I tore a piece of my uniform and bandaged my wound, applying force.


Sighing, I fell to the ground on my knees, relieved. I had escaped from the plethora of German soldiers bombarding the shoreline in their robust metal boats with their smug grin lurking in the background. A brown ruffled feral dog approached steadily, placing one paw in front of the other. Its eyes stared morosely into mine. He growled at me with an intrepid roar - I fell back, quivering with fright as it pounced on top of me… Its rife fur encompassed me, as it began to lick me with a smile on its face (waiting for a friendly smile back). It looked like it had been waiting there hungry for weeks on end without a drop of clean water in sight. I gave him a slight chuckle and arose from the sand and wiped off the slimy saliva off my face which it had printed on me.


Bewildered, I glanced around for some shelter in all the chaos to find him some food, but food was as scarce as a famine in a desert. We wondered for hours on end always with one eye at the back of my head. The dog was my security guard, and it had a mean snarl behind its canine teeth which hung underneath its top jaw as long as a bat. He had a bittersweet personality to him and could often change within an instant, depending on its mood. There was a pungent aroma stemming from afar. Lurking in bushes behind a tree trunk, an animal snarled. Alarmed, I turn back terrified of a soldier appearing before me, but as I turned, I heard faint muttering. I sprinted as fast as I could, recognizing the voices chatting. It was the German sergeant with his commanding officer. I prayed as I pelted across the road, I had no weapon apart from the dog and even he was too weak to fight.


The officer got the slightest glance of my figure through all of the smoke and wailed at his men to attack. I saw a rapid amount of movement charging in my direction and gunshots surrounded me. Panicking, I jumped over a wooden fence behind a bar and leapt onto the stairs; with my leg still injured, I massaged it as I ran. My adrenaline got the better of me and it smartly chose flight over fight. My blood was pumping astonishingly fast. One soldier barricaded the door open, making a substantial hole in the wall. Pieces of wood flew across the bar and crashed into the glasses, making a huge ruckus of noise below. I fled down three flights of stairs and all that was left was the back of the building. I plunged open the door and it smashed against the wall. Dashing across the sandy, stony path, a few soldiers caught up to me. One bullet stood out from the other and penetrated my leg, causing me to plummet to the floor. As they were rushing, the stones rumbled, lifting from the floor trembling, as they charged in uniform almost like a stampede of bulls towards my wounded body.


The caliginous sky was still present shadowing the violence beneath. The soldiers grasped me, with four men hauling my body up high like I was some sort of trophy for them. Ships were smoking as the air settled. Soldiers were dead lying flat across the shoreline with no sand left in sight; camouflaged uniforms with bits of melted flesh were decomposing slowly. Fire was but a small candle lit flame as the water had mercilessly triumphed against it. It was the end of the line for me. I closed my eyes, resting for my soul to leave my body.

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