Under The Lake

under the lake photo

Every day is just about the same for me. Wake up, brush my teeth, wash my face, grab an apple and walk straight into that 300-foot deep lake outside.

I work under the surface – well, when I say under, I mean on the other side. There’s plenty of other people that come too, it’s part of life for us. We work for Death, writing reports on certain people that are assigned to us, then calculating their life expectancy. Death has less on his plate because of us, so all he needs to do is fix his schedule.

Everything we do, think and feel is written on our bodies as soon as we pass through the portal. When we resurface, the writing disappears. Death pays us quite a fair salary each week, so life is sweet. There’s just one catch: whenever I start work, my skin is empty.

Death doesn’t favour me as much as the others, even though my wages are the same. There was another one like me, but she died sometime before I started. They call us Outsiders, which is pretty rude, but I don’t care.

I was always empty-skinned until that one day when my life seemed to change forever. I went through the same morning routine: brush teeth, wash face, eat apple, walk into lake. I just didn’t know that under the lake, it would be different.

The first few steps in are through the water barrier, then we should arrive on the other side. This time around, though, the journey seemed longer, and as I delved deeper and deeper, I could make out the distinctive shape of a person in the distance, a man, tall and skinny. He gradually came closer and closer, until I could see his face. It was Death himself, and he had grabbed hold of my hand. Before he pushed me up to the surface, he uttered four words: “You, master of me.”

And suddenly I was floating back up, and I flew out of the lake, landing on my feet. I wasn’t the slightest bit wet, as always. There was a piece of paper in my hand, reading:

Take my place under the lake.

Yours,

D.

And on my hand was a single word, as if written in black ink. ‘No need to ask for wages anymore.’ I thought to myself as I walked back to my cosy little home, smiling at my own hand, reading over and over again ‘Death’.

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You Cannot Tell

you cannot tell ph2

I first saw him in the window of my living room. He was wearing a worn out, black bowler hat and a brown leather coat. His eyes were illuminated on his dark, shadowy face. He was carrying what seemed to be a blade. Other people would have been terrified but I just stood there, sort of transfixed by his appearance. He came the next night, this time looking into the kitchen. A red rose replaced the knife in his hand. I wondered why he was coming to my house. Perhaps he was homeless. It was 7 days later when I started to become worried, though. He had been coming to my house and looking through the windows for a whole week and on Monday he had come with a knife again – it had blood stains on the tip. I thought about calling the police, but would that make me his next victim? I shuddered. I decided to stay put in my bedroom, lock all the doors and shut all the curtains. I soon dozed off.

you cannot tell ph3

The next morning, I was no longer in my bedroom. I was on the floor of my living room. A chalk outline surrounded me. Nobody else was there. I was very confused. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something come out of the wall. It was shadowy, scruffy, a tall figure looming like a tower. I turned around and saw that it was the man that I had seen in the window, pale-faced and untidy. He was holding the same blood-stained knife; it glinted faintly in the dim light. He gave me an icy stare, then leapt at me. His knife jutted out and he cried out in rage. I screamed and rolled over to dodge him, the knife swishing past and narrowly missing my head. He dived through the floor, like it was some kind of eerie wooden swimming pool. I crawled backwards to the sofa, bewildered as to where he was. Suddenly, he sprang out, shouting in anger. His face was nearly scarlet, his scruffy eyebrows highly slanted. I flinched as he flew through the air towards me. His coat was splattered with flecks of blood. I wanted to move but it seemed like I was glued to where I was. He brushed my shoulder, but as soon as he laid his hand on me, a bright white light lit up the room. The man howled as his hand glowed red. It must have burned, seared, split his palm open. Slowly, he started to disappear, like smoke wafting away from its chimney. Oh, how he shrieked! The sound echoed around the room. It rang inside my ears, it slowly mauled my brain. I closed my eyes tightly, nearly gluing them shut. When I reopened them, I was alone in the room. Everything was silent. No blood. No knife. No hat. No man. Just me, in the room of the house. I could hear police sirens wailing outside. They reminded me of banshees, sobbing in mourning. Apparently, my neighbour had heard the screaming and shouting.

you cannot tell ph4

From then on, I was alone in my house. No one came to visit, no one stood outside the windows. But one day, the doorbell rang, and outside was a black bowler hat, a rose, a knife and a note:

‘You cannot tell.’

you cannot tell ph1

Create A Story – 11 Reasons Why I Love It

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As a writer, I’m always looking for ways to improve, however I need to. Then I came across Create A Story, a children’s creative writing book in the making, and guess what? They asked me to review their early preview of the book! It was an honour to be offered something such as this! I agreed and tried it out, and let me tell you this: it was PAWSOME! Create A Story is definitely the go-to book for children between 7-11 who are new to the world of writing, but even kids who have been writing stories for a long time will benefit from it! I must admit, even I did! And, as promised, I am sharing my thoughts on the early preview book. Below are the 11 reasons why I love Create A Story!

  1. A writing topic is given and clearly explained so you have a better image in your head of what you are going to be writing about.
  2. The story is split into sections, making it easier for you to plan each part.
  3. Examples of main characters, villains and optional pets are shown so you have more ideas about your own characters.
  4. Once you choose a main character, you analyse them step by step, from their personality to the items that they are carrying. Very helpful so you know what your character is going to do in the story.
  5. Powerful vocabulary is used in the explanations to enrich knowledge and tricky words are underlined with meanings given beside them.
  6. To prompt setting descriptions, small spaces for the five senses are used so you can note down what you see, smell, taste, feel and hear.
  7. A space for drawing the setting can be used so that you have a clearer image of it in your head.
  8. The book gives examples of high-level grammar features that could be used in the story. These features are practised in short learning activities.
  9. At the end of the planning, a tick list is shown for you to be able to check that you have everything for your story.
  10. Before beginning writing, fun facts about the writing topic are given so that they can be used in the story, bringing it more to life.
  11. And most importantly, it makes writing fun!

Once again, I would like to say that I definitely recommend Create A Story to children writer wannabes and those who want to improve their writing! Parents can buy this book for their children as its features are hugely beneficial , and I have enjoyed writing with it! Keep an eye out for its launch very soon!

p/s: Special thanks to Andrew Massingham for honouring me with the early preview of the book!

Create A Story

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11 Things To Do in a Tech-free World…

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Technology is a wonderful thing and is probably the vital core of today’s society. It has many great features and has helped innovate scientific progress; Thomas Alva Edison couldn’t have invented the light bulb without a little (or maybe a lot) of knowledge in this great scientific study! But tonight, Mrs Mom asked me an unexpected question:

“What would you do if you woke up one day and technology was gone?”

Now this was a very interesting question, and I replied, “For this, I will give you not one, but 11 answers!”, and so here they are!

  1. Convince my friends that they are not living in a nightmare
  2. Run for Prime Minister
  3.  If I do become Prime Minister, create a new law that states:     “Subjects are required to partake in a daily writing session of 5 minutes (or, in some cases, less) in length. If the subject is unable to write, they may read as another option, or vice versa.” ———–Gov. Law Act No. 105
  4. Interview Raymond Briggs
  5. Vote for free Harry Potter books
  6. Cross-breed an apple with a peach
  7. Adopt a pet panda and name him Noodles
  8. Sleep with a book in my bed
  9. Mail my friends a book each month
  10. Add an extra September to the calendar
  11. Devote a room to stationery

These are the 11 things I would do if there was no technology in this world. What about you? Share your 11 things and don’t forget to use the hashtag #my11things .

National Writing Day – This Is My Story…

Writing. A wonderful form of art. I discovered it when I was very young and I have loved it ever since. I used to enjoy reading fiction books and tried my hand at writing one myself. That’s when I discovered that there was more behind writing. In fact, there was a whole world of writing! I could turn anything, absolutely anything, into a story written down on paper! Cockroach-shark cross breeds and magical pixies could be real, with a little help of pen and paper. Writing was a way of expressing my thoughts and feelings. I kept on writing and writing whenever I found the time, during break times, at home, on the way to school and made great improvement. I enjoyed the writing time thoroughly. Many years passed and I grew up. And here I am now, writing this story. I’m going to tell it to you.

It all started on the 12th of September, a fine autumn day. The leaves on the trees were a brilliant shade of orangey-red, swaying in the gentle breeze like flames in a fireplace. I was at school for afternoon lessons when I asked to be excused. I stepped out into the empty corridor and closed the door behind me. That’s when I looked to my left and saw Mr Thorpington, the school caretaker, coming towards me. Instead of his usual grey jumper and black trousers, he was wearing some sort of dark purple cloak and oddly shaped brown leather boots.

“Oh, hello, Mr Thorpington. What are you doing here?” I asked him.

“Mr What? My name’s Morpmagagus!” he replied, a surprised look on his face.

“Mor..Morph…Mop..Mo…What?”

“Morpmagagus. But do stop being silly. We must get going!”

“Going where?” I questioned him.

“You’ll find out soon enough, Jack Dillion. Come on!”

“I want – Wait a second. How do you know my full name?” I said.

“Oh, I know more than that, Jack.” he told me, an air of mystery wafting around in his voice. Then he walked down the corridor. I followed.

At last we stopped in front of a large wooden door I had never seen before. It had a copper-coloured handle and shiny hinges.

“What’s this?” I asked the so-called Morpmagagus.

“The door to the space between the past, the present and the future.” he informed me. “Beyond that is a strange alternate universe where spirits roam free and creatures you would not have even imagined to have existed reside. These beings are kind, but I must warn that there is also evil and danger there. So long as you listen to me, no harm will come to you.”

He opened the door to reveal a swirl of bright colours shining in my face.

“Wait, you don’t mean-wha-?”

I didn’t have time to finish speaking as I was pushed through the doorway. After that, there was black.

When I came to, I was lying on the ground facing a bright blue sky. Slowly, I rose up and examined my surroundings. Morpmagagus was standing beside me.

“Well, don’t just stand there!” he cried. “There’s no time to mess about!” And he hurried off, with me trying to catch up behind him.

“Mr…um…Mr Morpy. May I just ask, where are we?” I asked him.

“Arator” he replied calmly. “The alternate universe.”

“Looks the same as Earth to me.” I said.

Morpmagagus (or rather Mr Morpy now) sighed and said “My dear Jack, just because this is an alternate universe doesn’t mean that the grass has to be blue and the sun has to be made of purple spinach! In Arator, only the animals are strange.”

This statement was soon proved true. Later on in the walk, we encountered shark-headed humans, a singing dog, a tweeting crocodile and at one point, I think I even spotted a two-hoofed camel riding on a screaming beetle who appeared to be wearing a party hat. After what seemed like 1 and a half hours (which, in actual fact, was only 20 minutes – evidence that time does not fly, unless you are referring to the clock-winged birds that I also sighted), I asked Mr Morpy something.

“Mr Morpy, why are we even here?”

“We are here because of you and the evil of Horatio Thymebundle.”

“Who’s he?”

“Horatio is a man that lives on the edge of Arator, residing in the shadows. There used to be good in him but now he’s turned evil. He plans to extract the happiness from Earth.”

“But why?” I said.

“Well, you see, Horatio had his happiness drained out of him from a very young age. His parents died and he had no one else to look after him. From then on, he spent a life of misery and sadness. But then he found Arator and was given great power that only the first human in Arator could possess. He wants to use this power to get revenge on the humans. He thinks it wasn’t fair that he couldn’t be happy. Only you can stop him.”

“How?”

“By using this.” Mr Morpy pulled out a dazzling diamond from under his cloak. “This,” he announced, “is the Jewel of Latos. The jewel of peace! If you restore it to it’s rightful place, Horatio will be defeated. But you must be the one that does this, because of your magnificent mind, your imagination, your creativity and most importantly, your pure heart.”

“Right,” I said, after a brief silence. “But if I’m going to do it, then don’t put so much pressure on me!”

“OK.” said Mr Morpy.

After a few more minutes walking, we reached a large patch of open grass. It was much darker here.

“We have arrived.” whispered Mr Morpy. “Now, when I tell you to go, run towards the tree stump in the middle of the field and put the jewel in there. Understood?”

I nodded. Suddenly, there was a snap behind us.

“Horatio knows we are here. Get ready!” said Mr Morpy. I could sense a hint of panic in his voice. CRASH! A huge tree fell down behind us.

“Go!” Mr Morpy shouted at me. I ran and ran as fast as I could towards the tree stump. Everything was a blur after that. I remember being grabbed by what seemed like the air and I dropped the jewel and fell down. I could hardly breathe as I tried to find the jewel. Finally, my hands touched the smooth surface of the diamond. I picked it up and touched the stump with it. There was the sound of wood cracking and then I saw black.

I opened my eyes and found myself standing in the school corridor. I was right outside my classroom. Automatically, I turned left and saw Mr Thorpington walking down the corridor with Mr Swithinbanks, the headteacher. He was babbling about important repairs for the school to Mr Thorpington.

“Oh, hello there, Jack!” he said when he passed me.

“Hello, Mr Swithinbanks!” I said back to him.

They both disappeared round the corner. And, in that split-second of passing me, I could have sworn that Mr Thorpington winked at me.

Pretty crazy story, huh? Well, it’s still a story. It’s my story. All 1222 words of it. And it’s real. What about yours?

Written by Omar Mukhtar, The Pawsome Lion

10 years old blogger from Birmingham, UK

To support National Writing Day, 21st June 2017

#TellYourStory