Challenge 1: Doorways
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Lucy, Suffolk, 15 years old
Lucy's writing was selected for her powerful use of vocabulary. She has used such wonderful imagery which was inviting for me as a reader.
I was only ten when I first came across the door. My sister, Violet, and I were exploring the forest that backed onto the garden of our new house in the country.
“Let’s play hide and seek!” she cried as we reached the opening. “I’ll count, and you hide.” With the autumn leaves crackling as I ran through, I finally came to a large oak tree. Perfect, I thought, she’ll never find me here. I crouched down, waiting to be found.
“Ready or not, here I come!”
And that was the very moment my eyes laid upon the door for the first time. Carved into that very oak tree I was hiding behind, there was a defined arched shape – no taller than 4 feet. Around halfway up, there was a small brown doorknob, shaped as a love heart. The rest was covered in overgrown leaves and moss; it was as if it had camouflaged itself for protection against the real world. It was like finding a pearl in a pile of stones: a door in a forest was so out of place, yet at the same time it blended right in. I could barely believe my eyes.
“Found you, Daisy!” The sound of Violet’s voice nearly made me jump out of my skin. “Now it’s your turn to count.”
“Violet, wait! Come look at this.”
She knelt down beside me and traced her finger along the edge of the mysterious door. I could tell by the glint in her eyes that she felt that same excitement that was bubbling inside me. All I could think of was what could lay behind. Maybe there was a pixie village filled with toadstool houses. Or could be the headquarters for the tooth fairies around the world. The more I wondered, the greater my excitement grew.
“Aren’t you going to open it?” Violet whispered. I clasped my hand around the doorknob and twisted it open. The two of us exchange a quick smile of hope and delight. I pulled back the door.
“Oh, my!” A sense of enchantment filled the air. The sight was so beautiful, but I knew I must close the door: the secret couldn’t be let out. Hand in hand, we ran back to the house with a magical feeling rushing through our bones.
Since that day, the what lays behind the door remains our secret. A beauty too fragile to share.
Samuel, Dorset, 10 years old
Samuel's writing was selected for his wonderful use of colour. It makes his images really powerful. I also loved the use of action, the fight with the mummy is superb!
One day, I woke up only to go downstairs to see my family. I was in the state of shock because it looked like I had leapt dimensions! It all happened when I fell out of bed and woke up. I opened the door and it cast an illusion to make it look like it lead to outside my room, but it transported me and my friends to another dimension!
So, how did my friends get here? Well, they came round mine for a sleepover, and we walked out of my room only to find ourselves floating in space. It was awkward, and we held our breath, but realised we could breathe! If you are wondering what friends were round, they were Archie, Oscar, and Nicole. We floated around, but we felt a thing dragging us back!
Archie suddenly shouted, ‘’Black hole! Run! Um, I mean float!’’ So we floated as far as we could, but it sucked us in. But, as we got up, Nicole realised we were in another dimension!
We wandered around and found ourselves in the middle of a desert! ‘’Something’s up,’’ I said. Then Oscar tripped and fell over. We laughed our heads off, but as soon as Oscar got up we were in yet another dimension! ‘’Ok, something is definitely up.’’ Said Archie, ‘’Hey, that’s my line!’’ said Nicole angrily. ‘’Guys! Stop arguing! We’re stranded in the sea!’’ Archie and Nicole were so busy arguing that a huge wave came and dragged them under the waves. Me and Oscar swam after them. But, I saw a shadow lingering in the distance, swimming towards us, moving its tail side to side.
I screamed, ‘’SHARK!!! GO GO GO!’’ me and Oscar swam as fast as we could, but I remembered that my dad gave me a dagger, and luckily it was in my pocket! I reached out for it and dragged it out of my pocket. As the shark was right next to us, it put its back into a humpback shape. I knew it was about to strike. It lashed out and I sliced one of its teeth out with my dagger. I grabbed the tooth and shoved it in my pocket, ‘Might come in handy later.’ I thought. I grabbed Archie and Oscar grabbed Nicole, and we broke the surface of the cerulean blue sea.
Nicole shouted, ‘’Land ahoy!’’ she wasn’t kidding. There was a small island that we swam onto, we crawled onto the sand and we all laughed and patted each other on the back for surviving. I got up and purposefully fell over. As I expected, we were in a dimension full of sand.
‘’Am I on holiday to Egypt already?’’ I asked, looking around and seeing many pyramids in the distance.
‘’Probably not.’’ Said Nicole while rolling her eyes. We ventured into the horizon and encountered a few dangers. I had a close encounter with a King Cobra, Nicole came face to face with an Emperor Scorpion, Archie met a Goliath Bird-Eating Spider, while Oscar spotted a Puff Adder slithering towards us.
It was so sandy that when we stopped to take a break because of the intense heat the vermilion red sun was providing, when we emptied our shoes, it was like a miniature Sahara Desert was in there!
We were so loud, the ground started to rumble. All of a sudden, a mummy rose dramatically out of the ground. ‘’Wow. Do you think that was dramatic?’’ I laughed at the mummy, it let out a terrifying roar. I whipped out my dagger and spun it around in my hand. I was ready. I flipped through the air and sliced a swarm of bandages in half. They simply regenerated. Archie spinning kicked it and knocked the mummy’s nose in, but It popped back out. I tossed Oscar my shark tooth and he ran behind the mummy, plunging the tooth into its back. It roared in agony, but the bandages popped back together like two magnets. ‘’You dummies, this is how beat a mummy.’’ Nicole said, she ran behind the mummy and grabbed a loose bandage. Then she unravelled it. The mummy screamed in horror, then the body inside it dissolved.
All of a sudden, a black hole appeared. It sucked us in and we were back at my house, just like that. We looked around to check that we weren’t in a different dimension, but we were actually back in my room. ‘’Well, that was an awkward, (and awesome) adventure... I guess.’’ I said, then we went back to bed because we were jumping dimensions all day.
‘’And that is what happened when I went through my doorway. Fingers crossed it won’t happen again! Bye!’’ I said.
Catherine, North East, 15 years old
Catherine's writing was selected for her thoughtful consideration of the importance of choice (and her sinister/humorous use of 'teachers' as the removers of choice!). Equally, she uses fragment sentences beautifully.
I saw it clearly. It was golden and engravings filled the door. Looking at it made my heart flutter because I knew that once it was opened it would change my life forever.
It was a normal day. For me anyway. The time drew closer before my life altering event. In our society people are told what to do; no choice, no ifs, no buts. The people that enforce it are called the Society Living Teachers or ‘SLT’ as I like to call them. They fill our lives with doubt. Doubt that nothing we choose is good enough and this is why our society doesn't have much choice as we all live in fear. Unfortunately, the SLT are still here to enforce the rules. Meaning no skipping a meal because I didn't feel like it.
When I was younger I thought that choice wasn't a big deal but now that I've grown, I know it does. However, the benefit of living in this society is the small amount of choice they allow us. A choice can only be made when come of age. 18 is the first age we get to choose the course of our lives. It's the first choice I look forward to. Then 21 and 30. My coming of age choice is tonight. Apparently, according to my mum, the process starts with 3 doors. Each with a choice specifically designed for me as an individual that will maximise my life satisfaction. It's only because of our society's history that we get to do this. We never had a choice until protests started causing disruption in the society. They only decided to give us a small choice to keep us quiet as they didn't like the confrontation.
The time has come and after I step through that door my life changes. Forever. I stepped through the rugged entry door and saw three doors, stood in front of me. It wasn't what I expected. There was a colossal, circular door that made me feel like a mouse. Next to it stood an average door that was painted in all the colours I could imagine. It was blinding. Finally, there was the gold door. It was covered in engravings head to toe with swirls and stripes and dots, making me think of the poem we studied in school. Each engraving flowed with the next just like each line of that poem rhymed. It made my chest flutter and my gut scream YES! I didn't even think about what it would have behind it. I didn't think of the possibilities I could’ve had behind the others. Instead I walked, confidently, to the shining door. I took a deep breath and pulled the door open with far too much force than was required. Music came on loudly, too loud. I could hardly think. That was my choice. The choice that has altered my life and it was that easy. The scroll sat on the pillar. It looked down upon me. I wondered what was written inside...