Students from internationanl schools in the south of Spain were invited to send in a short story of no more than 300 words on the theme of Home.
Best primary short story
It was 9pm at the end of a busy day. The sun was falling under the mountains and the moon shone bright like a flashlight with the stars. Inside a barn horses were chewing on the hay, pigs were snorting and snoozing on the hay barrels in their pens, and there were spider webs and dirty old cloths for cleaning. The bees and mosquitoes were buzzing and the cows were moosing as the crickets chirped.
Then, something strange happened... the pigs started floating! The hay barrels beneath them started rising and rising! Pig after pig went out the barn door! Ten pigs, twenty pigs... they all eventually left! When they made it outside, they started becoming more nervous by the second! They zoomed off and thought, “Are we dreaming?”
They could see the city in the distance with lights twinkling. They glided into it and swooshed and wooshed until they made it to the ground where they splashed into a muddy puddle. It felt amazing as they all got dirty and gross ike a football on a rainy day. The big, pink shooting stars were flying and looking around at where to go. There were so many options: Bakery, football stadium, schools! They finally made up their mind and picked the cinema! They sneaked inside and fet mischeivous! They went into a room and saw a lot of chairs lined up with people sitting on them, a huge screen with a movie playing. The pigs had never seen anything like this before! They thought they should start heading out before everyone stood up. Right before they left, they heard crunching and laughing. “What could be so funny?” they thought.
As morning broke, something happened... the pigs fell out of the sky!!! “AHHHH!!!” They landed on a bouncy castle, one landed on a child! They were at a birthday party! Before the parents could turn them into bacon, they ran as fast as they could! The pigs made their way back to the farm and they were glad to be back. Although they had had quite a magical adventure, they had a feeling that there was nothing quite like home.
Emma Kirova, age 9Swans Primary School
English Literature undergraduate Lily Farrant said:“This story is very well developed with a cyclical structure; it begins and ends in the tranquil home environment of the farm, with a creative adventure in between. There are great descriptions throughout the story to accompany the action, with clever use of metaphors such as “shooting pink stars” to describe the pigs.
The portrayal of the pigs’ characters, such as their surprise to be floating (’Are we dreaming?’) and their mischief in the city makes them amusingly relatable. A gentle sense of humour runs throughout the story, such as with the line ‘Before the parents could turn them into bacon’, which juxtaposes the pigs’ anthropomorphism (going to the cinema) with their existence as animals.
Runner-up primary short story
Today, when I came into my class, I saw an alien! The alien was small, purple and cute but she did not look happy.
So, I asked, “Are you ok?”
The alien sniffed, “I’m lost. I want to go home!”
“Where is your home? What is it like?” I asked her.
At that moment, she turned blue and began to sob. “I come from planet Jupiter and my house is all white. It looks like a cloud,” she explained.
Just then I saw her jump onto the shelf and turn pink as she hid behind a book and disappeared.
“Come, come!” I called. Shyly, the alien came out. “I’ll help you,” I said, “I found a spaceship! Can you drive it?” She nodded.
Feeling brave, I shouted, “Let’s go!”
Flying the spaceship was very exciting. After a while, I saw a huge, white cloud. “No, it’s not a cloud!” screamed the alien as she turned a happy yellow colour. “It’s my home!”
She jumped off the spaceship and ran across the area of ice and disappeared into the cloud. I waved. I was glad that I could help her.
Lyra Xiao, age 7Laude San Pedro International College
English Literature undergraduate Lily Farrant said: “I really liked this story for the way that the characters were created. In such a short story, we get a very clear insight into the narrator’s mind, with her initial excitement at meeting an alien, to her spontaneous moment of courage when she decides to go to space, to her kindness when she feels the joy of having helped. The changing colour of the alien according to her mood is an amusing and vivid portrayal of character, and also provides a sense of continuity throughout the action of the story."
Special mention primary short story
Well well, guess what a new house... New crazy things... New WEIRD things and new surprises. Well, first day suffering by helping my mom with boxes and my dad? Huh? My dad doesn’t help.
Well we finished the boxes and today is FRIDAY!! YAYY!! Finally, pizza day!!! And my brother fought with my mom as always, meanwhile I was exploring a little bit more! And what?!?! I find a basement. SINCE WHEN DO WE HAVE A BASEMENT? As always I kept it a secret... I went to buy cameras... TO SET UP CAMERAS!!
Ok, should I go in?? Uhh, I’m scared. FINE I’LL GO IN. As soon as I’m in I see the lights going on and off. I think I’m going to stay there? I’M NOT GOING. Well as I freaked out I still managed to set up the cameras, well I can’t check what’s going on because my phone is out of battery.
Before I charge it I hear dark noises, weird footsteps, as I blink I’m not in my room, I’m in the basement!! I see a creepy creature standing next to me, it was sticky, smelly and had no legs!!! I was so scared and thought, is this a dream? Might be, but I don’t think so, as I hear footsteps behind me. What is it? I don’t know, I can hear someone screaming help, am I scared? WELL YEAH, as I blink I’m in front of my mom... She wasn’t acting normally, she was acting like she lost her memory it was so, so much more weird and it was so unexpected, I was so confused, I asked my dad but he didn’t answer me... What is happening I ask myself again. I realise my brother wasn’t home. He didn’t go out so I am scared.
Ambra Milena Stanzani, age 9Novaschool Sunland International
Lily Farrant said: “The unique narrative voice really immerses the reader into the action, and adds a sense of familiarity and sometimes humour into this otherwise scary story. The story ends on a cliffhanger, and I would be intrigued to see what happens next.
Liz Parry said: “I liked the conversational style and humour of this story, and the opening line ‘Well well, guess what, a new house’. The scariness of the basement with its ‘dark noises’ and ‘weird footsteps’ is well described.”
Special mention primary short story
One night at my house I woke up to go to the toilet when suddenly I heard someone crying in the kitchen. I tipptoad to the kitchen and I saw a pea crying because he got out of the bag of peas that was in the fridge. So I said what’s the matter little pea? I got out of my house in the fridge he said. Then I said I’ll help you go back to your house in the fridge. So the pea used his powers to shrink me! Then I looked around and everything was enormous. I explained the plan to the pea that was, first we climbed to the oven then to the cup of water. Then I picked the pea up and throw him to the wardrobe from the wardrobe we went to a table and jumped to a bag of chips because we were hungry. After we had a sleep for 3 hours. When we woke up, we used a spatula to create a bridge. We jumped to the fridge and open it, and every single pea said thank you. So we did a feast but where was my friend? He just falled again so we had to do everything over again. The sun was shining more and more. Then my mum and dad woke up and saw the peas but they also became their friends and every single night we do a feast in the kitchen!
Pablo Godoy, age 8British International School Marbella
English Literature undergraduate Lily Farrant said: “The action-packed plan in this story is exciting, and the descriptions of an adventure within the kitchen for two pea sized figures is very wonderfully creative. There is a build-up of suspense with the line ‘The sun was shining more and more,‘ as the reader wonders what will happen when the day comes, but the ending and peaceful resolution celebrates the message of always being kind and helping others.”