'These darkly comic tales place the author snugly between Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. Be sure: Chris Fielden is one funny feller.' Allen Ashley, British Fantasy Award winner.
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Amazing Young Writers Challenge 201 to 300

On this page, you will find the third 100 pieces of creative writing (numbers 201 to 300) submitted to the amazing young writers challenge.

If you'd like to submit to the challenge and see your work published on this website, please visit the Amazing Young Writers page.

Stories 201 to 300

Here are the third 100 stories, poems and other pieces of creative writing submitted to the Amazing Young Writers Challenge.

Story 201

Fire on Fire

by Morgan Turner

Prologue:

Dark, thick blood dripped in front of his eyes. His heart pounded intensely, his claws clutching onto the rough, dry dirt beneath his paws. For once, he felt fear. His emotions seemed to find a way past the walls of the bravery everyone else saw in him. He could hear diminutive noises from his pack mates.

A deafening, threatening bang pierced through the air. He had heard it before. A gunshot.
The fur stood up on his back in pure fear. He turned to see something – someone – in the distance behind him. His vision was impaired and he felt delicate and weak.

*

Morgan is 11 and lives in the UK.

Story 202

Send Me Away

by Ainemukama Prosper

Let me off like a scape goat,

Though under my inequities I gloat,

Sands of time in my step will float,

Thirst will watch my weight like an oat,

Across the wilderness I will roam,

Mirage leaning cities my lot,

Send me away,

Faraway in fact,

Since my ways to you are misdeeds,

And when vultures conduct my burial,

In reanimation I will behold.

*

Ainemukama is 22 and lives in Uganda.

Story 203

Papa's Killer

by Johanna Ataman

I storm into my bedroom and shut the door angrily. Then, I hear a loud thud on the door, and a groan follows. He calls out my name, afraid to come in, and keeps begging, but I ignore him.

I can't believe the message I saw on his phone. How could he have done it? All these years, I thought papa had died a natural death, only to find out now that he was poisoned by Ebuka, my blood brother just for some stupid position in his university cult group!

*

Johanna is 14 and lives in Nigeria.

Story 204

Cowardly Man, Cowardly Dog

by Elvis

I used to never care. 

Living, for me, was a constant state of existing, by choice or by force, with the status quo. But I think my cowardly dog saw things differently. It was always assertive about its love or territory, cowardly as it was.

One day, my dog fell sick and when I could have gotten it treated. I waited a day, and then another day. My dog died in my arms and, as I watched all its will and cowardice slowly seep away, I vowed to be more intentional about loving and living.

*

Elvis is 22 and lives in Nigeria.

Story 205

These Baneful Days

by Nwakpa Gilbert Arinze

These baneful days!

I have so pained

By the fatigues of unfaded fiends

Inside my vain soul they scatter

Griefful nights of unwashable memories

And their pangs, the altar of anthropians

Cluster and mingle my being on morning up

Our usurped days if I ever live

Shall bear a boneful hard like the Iroko

A tough mind if natives ever breathe like fowls

For nkeji of time I shall ever live

Shall reveal the creational beauty of my making 

*

Nwakpa is 25 and lives in Nigeria.

Story 206

Nineteen

by Emily

The Autumn sky was dark and vengeful. Sonya’s silhouette was barely visible.

Spineless tentacles of fog enrobed her, churning grimly. Bruised and stabbed by the wind's merciless attacks, she stood with blood on her hands. She was stained with the blood of eighteen.

A flightless bird, she stepped off the crumbling edge of the cliff. The sea slapped her. Her body was pushed beneath the water. The bitter sting of salt choked her lungs.

Spluttering helplessly, her body curled in on itself. As she gave into the darkness, a single word reached out to her mind.

Nineteen.

*

Emily is 16 and lives in England.

Story 207

We Hope for Better Things

by Elayna Sherwood

Venturing to the city’s stretch,

Past the rapport of dead-eyed coffee shops,

And Motor-City, Motown blues,

I came across an angel-hair alleyway.

Dreams of distant lives,

Singeing through ice-brick walls.

 

The twin peak of a tin-tattered roof,

Caught my eye through the fray.

In front,

A sleepless widow perched,

And beckoned me forward.

A bone-thin twig retracting from the wind.

 

As I drew near, her hand unfolded.

A flower welcoming a bee.

And through her creaking smoker's cough,

She uttered the primordial phrase,

 

Time is a fly,

Centered on the palm of my hand,

And I have yet to grasp it.

*

Elayna is 22 and lives in the USA.

Story 208

The Personas

by Alissa Doustout

The personas

Yes they are all versions of me

But I hate every single one

Each meticulously crafted to fit the needs of others around me

Each one made for someone in my life

The fact that I have made so many and never forgotten how to be each one is cunning

I know just what to say, or how to look at them.

 

Do they not know?

Could they be doing the same crafting as I?

Each personality I've created is me, they are all me

But are they really?

*

Alissa is 16 and lives in the USA.

Story 209

The Lost Boy

by Joel Lesley

Screaming wind raced, as heavy tears of rain soaked into the towering trees. Trees that stood like bodyguards at the entrance of the intimidating forest aggressively howled my name.

The sinister figure enticed me into his captivating lair. I was nervous and shaking with fear. Adrenaline pumped through my veins as one petrified figure apprehensively crept closer and closer... Footsteps slowly approached my fragile and frightened self. Curtained by darkness engulfed with fear, bloodshot eyes brightened. Sharp and fatal claws scraped. Deafening silence approached me.

My pain blocked my voice. My chapter had been closed. Will I ever return?

*

Joel is 12 and lives in the UK.

Story 210

The True Calling

by Othniel Bentil

It was like any other day, until a member of the office came and said I needed to go to the head teacher's office. The colour from my face drained. I slowly stood up, with what seemed like a thousand little eyes from my classmates staring at me, wondering what I had done.

Although the walk took two minutes, it felt like two hours. As I plodded my way down the corridor of no return, detention students glared at me, some even laughing hysterically because soon I might be one of them.

Gradually, I mustered up the courage to turn that doorknob leading into the office of nightmares.

*

Othniel is 11 and lives in the UK.

Story 211

All in White

by Farah Karim

I saw you in a pearl-white dress,

No stains, or in a colossal mess.

Walls were milky just like snow,

All in blank-white is all I know.

 

Aren't so vivid, just cool and plain,

You are a colour on a candy-cane.

You're so rich in any type of place,

You're not often seen in outer space.

 

Show the way, guide the light,

I know you are all in pearl-white.

Speak only to me, I'll hear you out,

I know your soft and don't shout.

 

Blank like paper, elegant as a dove,

I'll see you in heaven in clouds above.

*

Farah is 9 and lives in the UK.

Story 212

The End: A New Beginning

by Smrithi Senthilnathan

I type 'The End' on my 200-page fantasy novel.

I release the breath I've been holding for a year.

"I did it," I whisper.

There's no dramatic fanfare. Nobody congratulates me.

My own fault. Nobody knows you write, nobody applauds you. 

How do I say, though, when everyone judges?

I sigh.

This book is nowhere near finished. Weeks of editing await me, revising tales I created in a coffee-fueled delirium.

Not to discredit my achievement. I wrote a book!

And eventually I’ll release my masterpiece into the world.

Just need to persevere.

"I did it," I repeat. "And imma do it again."

*

Smrithi is 17 and lives in India.

Story 213

The Ward

by Katie England

Don’t worry, we’re here to help you.

The girl next door is screaming again.

She just does that.

I wait, and wait, staring into the white abyss that surrounds me. I wait for my turn. For my injection.

This will clear your depression in no time.

The door opens, and the white-coats stride in, needle raised high.

Just making sure you’re willing!

No, but what choice do I have?

The needle enters my arm. I refuse to scream. I refuse to give them the pleasure.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help you.

The white coats look on, as I black out.

*

Katie is 14 and lives in the UK.

Story 214

Horrid Haunted House

by Athena K

A bone-chilling silence was all around me. I crept into the dark, gloomy cave, looking at bats hanging and spell books scattered all around.

I sneezed. I stopped in my tracks. Had anyone heard me?

The disgusting aroma of dust and rotten leather wafted up my nostrils. I shivered from the cold and fear. My brain was a beehive with all the things that might happen next.

Rough walls and peeling paint surrounded me. I could taste the fear and I felt like somebody was watching me…

*

Athena is 7 and lives in the UK.

Story 215

The Enchanted Crystal and the Boy Who Never Stopped Exploring!

by Ella

Once upon a time there was a young boy who loved exploring the outdoors. He spent his days trekking through forests, climbing mountains and swimming in lakes.

One sunny afternoon, he stumbled upon a mysterious cave hidden deep in the woods. With excitement pumping through his veins, he bravely stepped inside.

As he explored the dark and twisting passages, he discovered a glowing crystal that pulsed with a magical energy. With a rush of wonder, he knew that his life would never be the same again.

From that day on, he vowed to always follow his curiosity and explore the unknown.

*

Ella is 14 and lives in Ireland.

Story 216

Four Diamonds

by CJ The Tall Poet

As I hold the pickaxe

Sweat drips from my cheek

And lands on some diamonds

There were four in total

Apparently I was extremely lucky

No one else found any

My manager was completely surprised

But he was also kindhearted

"Those beautiful things are yours"

I wasn't expecting those words

I know what to do

After I finish my work

I'll use the first one

For a small lovely necklace

Then I'll use another one

And just bury it underground

Next I'll give the third

To some museum close by

And finally for the fourth

Will sit near a bonsai

*

CJ is 20 and lives in the USA.

Story 217

Pareidolia

by Dylan Furbay

It surged through me, that long shielded sensation

from among the clutter,

for faces to divulge themselves to me,

 

a man sand-covered on a crater in spotted blurs

of black and white who watches the Earth spin;

he who we say that we see,

 

a power roots splayed under trees,

a word the professionals call 'pareidolia',

and one I'd define by the cluster of countrymen

herding their sheep which I spot in clouds now and then,

 

or the concept of figuring faces in frenzy,

the feeling to find eyes back on the walls again,

and have them stare right back.

*

Dylan is 16 and lives in the USA.

Story 218

Oh Lighthouse

by Ariv Mistry

Lighthouse, Lighthouse

Shining in the atmosphere

It shines like a diamond

so there's no fear

Oh Lighthouse, Lighthouse

What a pity not to see you in reality

Oh Lighthouse, Lighthouse

Oh I wish I could see,

Oh I wish I could see.

Oh Lighthouse by Ariv Mistry

*

Ariv is 6 and lives in the UK.

Story 219

The Smugglers Tunnel

by Laurie Waddingham

1715, and light appeared behind the wall. Suddenly, large rocks began to collapse. Men loaded crates onto boats and sailed away for mainland Europe.

Billy awoke and so did his sister, Tara. They went to the table where their grandmother had prepared breakfast. There had been a storm last night so Billy and Tara went out to check on the sheep and, to their surprise, the wall had collapsed, revealing a dark passageway. Billy and Tara went in and saw… old crates full of foreign notes. 

Later that day, Billy and Tara went to see Professor Morling, a historian down the road, who confirmed it was a Smugglers Tunnel.

Laurie Waddingham The Smugglers Tunnel

*

Laurie is 9 and lives in the UK.

Story 220

Spring Is Here

by Zachariah Plomer

There are flowers blooming,

There are more goldfinches,

More cherry blossoms,

New leaves grow.

 

People in Wales plant more trees,

There's less rain,

More people going on holiday,

Spring is here.

 

Birds are chittering more,

There's less shadow,

The sun is back!

*

Zachariah is 7 and lives in the UK.

Story 221

Little Sunbeams

by Claire Kroening

Close your eyes and clasp on tight

Little sunbeams bursting

Just believe in who you are

Alone among a sea splattered of stars

Trust in how your feelings weave

Free without sleepless nights

With you, I can never tell

 

Meet me in aster seas

Mend me in, reveal what’s real

Tracing the palm of my hands

A secure place to stand

Watch the stardust in your eyes

Technicolor shades citrus bright

*

Claire is 18 and lives in the USA.

Story 222

Planetarium

by Blanka Pillár

The world went quieter than three thousand lonely nights. Above me, beside me, beneath me and behind me, the hum of nothingness pulsed. I could not see with my eyes, or feel with my heart. I was a speck of dust in the scratchy breeze of cool air, unable to speak or think.

Just when I was about to embrace the suffocating web of the bitter taste of helplessness, something happened. I couldn't tell if it was a release or a curse, but I knew my heart was beating, my body was breathing, and somehow it was enough.

*

Blanka is 16 and lives in Hungary.

Story 223

Timeless Speakers

by Selene Vina

Golden blue wires wrapped around a silver moon

The very moon entwined with my heart

My heart's little solitaire deck

With each castle reflecting off lakes and seas

Only to channel me

To encompass me

To hold me

My winter chariot that I rode through those saltwater nights where my pillows remained frozen and my memories locked away from my unconscious

And my crafty pigeons playfully cooing near my windowsill as I sleep that fateful night

Free of my christenings as a child

The riddles of adulthood do not surprise me

The laughter of children faraway seem perturbed

My quill glides across the parchment

A new sketch is underway

One only my seventeen-year-old self can answer

*

Selene is 17 and lives in the United Arab Emirates.

Story 224

Penelope

by Sarah

I lie on the grass – the viridescent grass, in which the butterflies dance like a lustrous myriad. The velvet blades glide across my exposed back, and I laugh. Thrushes swoon across the blush Empyrean above, their soft trilling ricocheting through the dense sycamores, and she giggles with me. Her honey eyes crease slightly, and her transient dimples show on her bronzed cheeks. Gracefully, she grasps my hand in hers, and soon we are gazing in awe at the marshmallow clouds, although I am mainly marvelling at her. Marvelling at the girl I have created in my strange and lonely mind.

*

Sarah is 14 and lives in the UK.

Story 225

Living

by Tabitha Sikora

Living

Dancing in the rain

without a care

Running into the ocean

fully clothed

Reciting poetry

to an empty theatre

Eating bread

in front of pigeons

Leaning over the edge

of the Statue of Liberty

Rolling down

a grassy hill

Laughing so hard

I lose my breath

Crying so hard

my eyes get puffy

Screaming

in the middle of nowhere

Fully living

in the moment

*

Tabitha is 15 and lives in the USA.

Story 226

Short Rhythm

by Azmain Sarwar

Hi, I'm Azmain,

Doing my homework in maths, English and science.

Exploring some promises of giants just like planets and animals.

I created a picture of my work and placed it there.

Finding most difficult to find easily as well.

I can feel very smooth and cold.

What I can hear mumbling.

Where I can see lots of jiggly jelly beans on the plate.

How I can taste very sweet, buttery and tasteless.

Finally the end of the rhythm.

The End!

*

Azmain is 13 and lives in England.

Story 227

The Say I Saved the World

by Charlotte Griffiths

One day in my town, the ground shook violently making my phone vibrate and cracks appear on the tarmac beneath me. The lush vines on the tropical trees were hanging limply. I couldn't just leave the ground to be split open! I knew I had to do something, but what?

It suddenly hit me. I could sprint to my house and get my transformer ring to keep the ground together and save my town! I did that and basked in words of praise all day long and celebrated with a massive feast afterwards.

*

Charlotte lives in Scotland.

Story 228

Rain

by Dark Lynx

Cold, dark rain, pouring from the night sky. Pouring like the tears down my cheek and onto the hard pavement, hard like my heart. The thunder, roaring like my cries of grief. When people say that they’re feeling the weather, who knew that it could feel… so real? The lightning, blinding, just like my judgement. I sat with my anger long enough, until I realised it’s real name was grief.

People will never understand something until it happens to them.

*

Dark Lynx is 16 and lives in England.

Story 229

Life Without Plastic

by Aariya Tirahan

Life without plastic,

Just wouldn't it be fantastic?

 

Colourful coral swaying from side to side,

Curious clownfish playing in low tide.

 

Seeing turtles, whales and jellyfish too,

Swimming without any worries, if only that was true.

 

If our oceans finally became clean,

This poem would no longer be a dream.

*

Aariya is 9 and lives in the UK.

Story 230

Never Made My Mark in Life

by Carina Araujo

My name was Mark. Maybe from this story, you will learn not to make the same mistakes that I made.

When I started school, I couldn’t answer any questions. People would laugh at me. I was afraid of asking for help.

As I grew older, I couldn’t find any jobs. I had no friends, no home, no family. I had no self-confidence. I felt depressed.

As time went by, I became a lonely old man. On my deathbed, the last words I uttered were, "Mark never made a mark in life."

I cried, then closed my eyes.

*

Carina is 10 and lives in the USA.

Story 231

The Brave Warriors

by Charlotte Yeuk Hei Siu

Once upon a time, in the ocean lived two brave warriors: Chrissy and her dog Puckey!

One day, they both explored the ocean and found a dark path. They went inside to explore but Puckey got taken away by Mia, the daughter of the evil Scarlett Witch!

Chrissy heard the bark, so she went after them but found Puckey trapped in a rundown house! Then Chrissy took out her sword and fought Scarlett and Mia. She took the release button away and had Puckey released! Puckey was happy to see Chrissy and together they lived happily ever after!

*

Charlotte is 7 and lives in Hong Kong.

Story 232

Beauty

by Seren Hurd

Wherever I step,

Wherever I tread,

Beauty is always in my head.

 

Wherever I go,

Whatever I see,

Beauty is always surrounding me.

 

Wherever I go,

Wherever I stare,

Beauty is always waiting there.

*

Seren is 6 and lives in Britain.

Story 233

Eternal Influence

by Brandon Na

From the first breath we take to the steps we tread,

our environments shape us, where we're bred.

Rooted in landscapes of love or pain,

they mold our perspectives, shaping our brain.

Inheritors of traditions, customs, and lore,

yet, we possess the power to seek something more.

Our growth knows no bounds,

for we all hold our own crowns.

For in this grand day, unique and filled with computers,

we're products of our past, but inputs for the future.

*

Brandon is 17 and lives in the USA.

Story 234

apology fruit

by Robina Nguyen

her pruned hands tremble,

milky, salt tears curdling and

dampening the crushed

blood oranges

beneath her stained fingertips

with calloused,

weathered fingers

she offers

me cold-cut

plums from

the cracked, plastic

cooler

they're her

apologies i think, as

i squeeze the

plump, purpled flesh

until juice slicks

my pink palms

and

when the refrigerator lights

flicker on, i taste

the dampness of her

regret

it's my mother's

language,

the clean slice of

her kitchen knife

filling the

silent spaces within

my ribcage

but the ripe

fruits of remorse do

not fill the sweet void of

"i'm sorry" (xin lôi, con)

*

Robina is 15 and lives in Canada.

Story 235

The Warrior's Heart

by Evie Ansell-Rodgers

A warrior fearless, with a sword in hand,

fought bravely for his land.

But when he met the villain’s gaze,

he was lost in a love-filled haze.

 

Her eyes were dim, her smile sly,

but he couldn’t help but sigh.

He knew he should fight, should resist,

but the villain’s love he couldn’t dismiss.

 

So he laid down his sword and took her hand,

and together they ruled the land.

For love had vanquished all, you see,

and the warrior and villain were meant to be.

*

Evie is 14 and lives in the UK.

Story 236

The Unbelievable Rescue

by Ella

I was lost, wandering around a forest. Had I been gone for hours? Days? I couldn't tell.

I had been hiking with my mother when I got lost. My leg was trapped under a rock and I couldn't move it. Then, as I was sitting there giving up hope, something unexpected happened. A bear roared, approaching me.

I was sure I was done for now, but no. It moved the rock off my leg before throwing me on its back. Then, it ran towards the cabin my mother and I had, to safety. I had been saved by a bear.

*

Ella is 12 and lives in the USA.

Story 237

Not Again

by Grace Seto

It’s that time again. Stone-cold bleakness invades the once warmly-lit empyrean. Unsatiated, your orbs wander. Desperate for refuge in something warm– anything warm. 

Crimson creeps into your peripheral.

You spin around, appreciative of the cherry-coloured chevron that should placate your soul temporarily, but delight soon turns into consternation when it dawns on you what those crimson stripes entail.

Red scribbles on your calendar scream BLOODY MURDER. 

You see red. You despondently bury your face into the curvature of your palms, attempting to fathom the ferocious chanting in your head.

Over and over again. "Not again. Not again. Not again…"

*

Grace is 15 and lives in Hong Kong, China.

Story 238

A Day at the Beach

by Tanara Curran

Oh, the sun-kissed shores and sandy bliss,

A day the beach, what pure joy it is!

With seagulls soaring high above,

And waves that beckon with a gentle shove.

 

Bearfoot adventures along the shore,

As laughter and happiness forever pour.

Building castles with dreams and sand,

Creating memories, hand in hand.

 

The salty breeze caresses your face,

As you soak up the warmth in this magical place.

Splashing in sapphire waters, so clear,

A symphony of laughter fills the atmosphere.

 

Collecting seashells, treasures to find,

Leaving footprints behind, a memory to bind.

With every wave that kisses the shore,

You feel alive, forever wanting more.

 

As day turns to dusk, the sky painted gold,

You’ll cherish these moments when you grow old.

For a day at the beach is a timeless retreat,

Where happiness and serenity always meet.

*

Tanara is 12 and lives in the UK.

Story 239

In My Mind

by Victoria

I am blind, yet I can see. I am a criminal, but I have a family. I make mistakes, as do you, but do I deserve a second chance?

As I waited for my verdict, the memory of blood, daggers and one sinful mind overwhelmed me. I know they'll question me, and as much as I want to know what's happening to me, I can't. When I feel love, it's hatred. When I see tears, a smile enlivens my face. When I receive compliments, I see them as criticism.

In a cell, shall I be, waiting for my lifetime penalty.

*

Victoria is 12 and lives in China.

Story 240

.

by Keshika

The ideas were rushing in like a gushing rainbow of a waterfall, 

Everything around me is an inspiration,

Thoughts, colours, images start flooding my brain,

I sit down,

My pen meets the paper,

And all I'm left with is a single dot at the top of the page.

*

Keshika is 12 and lives in the UK.

Story 241

My Seaside Resort in Winter

by Ebunoluwa Adeosun

"Oh, how horrid it is being in this grotesque, deserted place…"

The deafening screech of the mighty seagulls woke me abruptly. I found myself in an old-fashioned room with dangling Earl Grey chandelier and burgundy, velvet carpets – as soft as a pillow, ornate with the most majestic, magenta roses with an outline of the darkest shade of blue.

It didn't take me a long time to realise where I was – a seaside resort!

I looked out of the clear, pristine window and could see the high rocky cliffs! Metres beneath, was the fine, white sand, gently colliding with the glimmering emerald sea.

*

Ebun is 9 and lives in the UK.

Story 242

Gasping for Air

by Olivia Buvanova

You seem determined

to drown me, so I will survive you.

The way I learned to

from playing in the water as a child,

holding contests to see

who could last longer under the surface.

I will draw life into my lungs,

letting your waves

crash over me,

holding my breath.

*

Oliva is 15 and lives in the USA.

Story 243

Ultragood

by Aiden Cornwall

Hovering past the bodies of his fallen allies – Misty, Hijinx and Granite Man – Ultragood used his super vision to locate his nemesis and former friend, D-koy.

Spied cowering behind the mass of shredded armour previously worn by the Robotic Ronin was the one whose inventions had disarmed and deceased most of the Power Troop.

'Ultragood, feeling an unusual wave of rage, lunged forward and punched through the chest of D-koy, stopping his heart while giving just moments before brain death.

"You made me do this, friend," he said and dropped the lifeless body down next to the body-swap device.

*

Aiden is 12 and lives in the UK.

Story 244

Grief of War

by Hiba Elasri

The smell of tagine and mint tea was replaced with the odour of metal, which lingered in my throat as I trekked deeper into the city. It was a wasteland filled with people and the ruins of what once were our homes.

I stood above all the other Amazigh bodies that lay on our indigenous land; the foggy sky cast a dark gloom over blood-stained battlefields. Clothes with crimson seeping through them formed an ocean of death.

I was alone in a field full of people. My land had been transformed into a French fantasy, leaving the remains of my people.

*

Hiba is 15 and lives in England.

Story 245

Her Majesty

by Pichu

She grabbed the sword's handle, her breath unsteady.

She fought her entire life to become a knight, and it couldn't

end, not like this!

She heard the enemy approaching.

 

Nobody had believed girls made fighters, but she never

listened. With fifteen, she cut her hair and enlisted anyway.

Nobody has seen through her facade, to this day.

She stepped outside, taking a last, deep breath before

storming into battle.

 

Amy Cooper was the first female knight, a true hero, yet

history would forget her, and her name would become

nothing more then whitered letters on an old gravestone,

long forgotten.

*

Pichu is 18 and lives in Germany.

Story 246

Stranger Danger

by Aishaanya

Little Miss Cute is a loving, caring member of the Little Miss Team.

One day, she goes to the beach with her family and asks if she can go to the slide by herself.

When she arrives, she meets a weird person. He wants her to follow him to his house. She realises it's a trick and says, "Can I have one turn on the slide?"

The man agrees.

Instead, she runs down a secret pathway she had discovered before and back to her family safely.

Message: Never talk to or follow anyone you don't know

*

Aishaanya is 9 and lives in Singapore.

Story 247

Duty of the Devil

by Gretta Adams

It was fitting that she was the one who had to watch them.

She had spent the longest in the dark, and yet never tried to escape. It was the job someone had to do. Watching. Looking over the souls of the dead, the wandering, human souls trying to find each other.

When they did, she couldn't look away. It was her job to watch these aimless, pointless beings find their loves. Even when it meant the longing to be one of them would never go away. It was all she held, that sadness she bore. The wish to die.

*

Gretta is 12 and lives in the USA.

Story 248

Overcoming My Worst Fear

by Jason Trakakis

I have an extreme fear of performing dance routines on stage. The bright lights blinded me, but the chanting and cheering confirmed the auditorium was packed full.

Weeks of intense rehearsals have helped me to perfect my routine despite exhausting school responsibilities. It took every gram of determination to overcome my fears, try to quell my nervousness, and still my beating heart. Speakers boomed into action, vibrating with sound and signaling that the show had commenced.

I honed into the song's beat, carefully navigating the stage as I found my stage fright eb away, and I became empowered.

*

Jason is 13 and lives in Singapore.

Story 249

It Fell

by Annemijn Koopmans

It fell

It's gone

The feeling

The joy

The touch

It fell down

It won't come back

It's gone

*

Annemijn is 17 and lives in the Netherlands.

Story 250

The Fallen Will

by Ema Kocúrová

Aphony, my beloved aphony, as I open the door of loudness,

I drown in deep hatred, for you are only pleased to live,

If I set fire on the most precious land, would you be able to understand me,

to forgive?

 

Amort wounds on your aquiline body, short poems full of mystery, arcane words,

I fell for you, my skin burns for your passion, your kindness, as you please,

I hear mellifluous singing of birds.

 

Oh, how this life is needless, endless, how many times I have been hurt before,

full of everything, yet nothing,

the only thing left nowadays is sore.

*

Ema is 18 and lives in Slovakia.

Story 251

Falling in Love

by Noémi Cseteová

She was like an itch he couldn’t scratch.

All his thoughts were occupied by her. By the way she laughed. By the faint scent of lavender lingering on her nape.

Recently, he came to a frightening realisation – his mind was no longer his. Not when it was this full of her. Yet it wasn’t just his mind that she usurped. His skin, his bones, his breath and even that rotten heart of his. She took it all selfishly and marked it with her greedy fingers.

Those traces couldn’t be washed out, they couldn’t fade over time. He was beyond repair.

*

Noémi is 18 and lives in Slovakia.

Story 252

Run

by Carlotta Marin Chiesa

Oh no, it was coming and there was nothing I could do but run.

It all started yesterday, at school. There was a new girl in class. She entered mid-term. I knew there was something wrong with her because she didn't communicate with anyone.

I knew I shouldn't but I looked her up and found out she was a murderer that had just gotten out of jail. This morning, I didn't see her. But when I got out I saw her at the gate, looking at me, with a knife on her hand.

And that's when I started to run.

*

Carlotta is 12 and lives in Spain.

Story 253

If You Looked Behind Your Walls

by Sergio Sánchez Braquehais

If you thought about what was behind your wall, you'd think of plaster and bricks, but what if I told you there is much more to it…? If you looked behind your walls you would freak out and scream – you would see things that aren't supposed to be seen.

One day, I decided to break my wall to see. I saw a dead girl and a dead copy of me. After that, I saw a man in a long black gown. He had a scythe, and then a white light came out of my body and entered my dead copy.

*

Sergio is 12 and lives in Spain.

Story 254

A Black Cat’s Nightmare

by Lara Pujadas

"Black cat, bad luck!"

Dreadful words. What is it with humans and black cats? Is it their dark fur? Or the way they smile? Is it the fact that they walk through the night as undetected as a needle in a haystack? I just don’t understand…

I personally believe black cats are the best type of kitty cat. Besides, it’s better having black fur than none, right? Well, I should know.Tell me, what’s wrong with a kitty like me?

*

Lara is 12 and lives in Spain.

Story 255

From Both Sides

by Olivia Trochet

Night-time. Sarah’s favourite moment. She can escape the dark basement where she lives. She runs out to the field, lies down on the grass and looks at the stars.

Maryam hates the day. It’s when fighting resumes. At dusk, she can stargaze, forget grownup nonsense. Aren’t those five bright stars beautiful? They are Maryam’s favourite, and remind Serah of her lost family. Wouldn’t it be nice to share these beautiful stars?

Maryam stood up, looked at her broken Gaza, how it had worsened drastically. Serah headed back to the basement, looking at the ripped Israel flag over her destroyed house.

*

Olivia is 12 and lives in Spain.

Story 256

The Whispers Behind the Walls

by Clara Siurana Barberán

She could hear whispers behind her, filling the entire room. At the end of the narrow corridor, an old door remained. She approached the door and carefully opened it.

A giant shadow emerged from the floor, and looked at her with rage in his eyes. She could feel his deadly look over her. His hate, pain and anger made her blood run cold. She looked straight into his eyes, but the only thing she could find was a void. A cold and shuddering void. Her blood froze.

"It's time you return to where you always belonged."

And then, darkness fell.

*

Clara is 12 and lives in Spain.

Story 257

First Night

by Chloe de Rooij

I couldn’t wait for the night to be over. I had never been exposed to the city like this. Water leaking from the pipeline made my cardboard mattress wet. My surroundings smelt like litter. I had always underestimated the homeless.

Only a few hours had gone by and I didn’t bother asking for help. The citizens’ looks spoke for themselves. I wished I hadn’t spent the little money that remained in my bank account on cigarettes and video games, I really wish I didn’t.

What is a man supposed to do on his first night after becoming homeless?

*

Chloe is 12 and lives in Spain.

Story 258

Winter

by Alexia de Rooij

Lily awaited winter with great anticipation. As she saw the first snowflakes, she broke into a wide smile.

Determined to make the most out of the day, she bundled up in infinite layers of clothing and raced outside. Snowflakes danced around her. Suddenly, she spotted white fluff behind a snow-ridden bush. She approached it warily, only to discover a stray puppy.

Fifteen years later, as Lily stood in front of the dug-up grave, tears rolled down her face. Snowflakes danced around her, a reminder that even in the coldest times, love had filled her heart with warmth and happiness.

*

Alexia is 12 and lives in Spain.

Story 259

Liquid Gold

by Kaylee Grace Budhram

Liquid Gold! I longed for a drop of that precious liquid. Day 3, not a drop in sight!

How do we do this? Covid19, crime, unrest, load shedding and now water shedding? 

I sat at my room window, scanning the distance with a hopeful heart – any minute now hope would arrive with water in the tanker. Anticipation ached within me.

The silence was deafening in my empty street. Everyone is conserving their energy. I dreamed of all the things I would do, things I took for granted in the 'olden days'. Bathing, washing dishes, drinking water!

*

Kaylee is 11 and lives in South Africa.

Story 260

The Things I Must Tell You

by Wania

To tell you about myself,

I must first tell you about my parents,

And to tell you about my parents,

I must first tell you about their religion,

And to tell you about their religion,

I must tell you about those who die for this religion,

And to tell you about those who die for this religion,

I must to tell you a list of names,

Long enough to wrap around the Earth.

*

Wania is 13 and lives in England.

Story 261

Carpe Diem Extremum – Seize the Final Day

by GG

I shall jump at the chance to relive this one final time

To stop the pain, to end the knowing realisation

I don't regret loving you

I regret loving the idea of you

The idea of you, beyond conceptualisation

The memory

And so, as I write this to thee

I recall memories, memories only now shared

Memories that belong, belonged, to me only

Thus, carpe diem, seize the final day

For you never know when that is

So, I finish this poem, and look around

All thoughts are shared, with nobody around to read them

They still belong to me.

*

GG is 16 and lives in England.

Story 262

My Hair Is My Whole Life

by Carlota

You know when people say 'my pet has all of my memories'?

Well in this case, my hair has all of my memories, whether they are bad or good. But it doesn’t mean my family doesn’t contain memories. It’s because I think that each day, in my head, a new hair grows and that hair will act like how I felt that day. So, I have to treat my hair well. I do, sometimes, but other times I don’t. Like today…

It’s time for bed, see you tomorrow, and don’t worry this is only the beginning of my story.

*

Carlota is 12 and lives in Spain.

Story 263

A Crisis

by Akanksha Ayantika

The throbbing in my head continues as I try to crawl towards the door. My head was banged against iron. I'm fracturing. The door. I'll make it. But who will be outside an inconspicuous shaft?

I am ruined. Or perhaps, I was ruined, born a broken thing.

He was everywhere, like a creeping disease. Afraid, I hid. But he found me. Vis-à-vis. His fingers encircled my neck, tightening and I knocked him down, banging his head. I fell, holding my head. It fractured, literally this time, as my soul had always been. A body with two lives. An identity crisis.

*

Akanksha is 16 and lives in India.

Story 264

Warmth

by Vanessa Ho

family is

a word of encouragement

that brightens up your day.

 

family is

a freshly-blended juice

to make your health stay.

 

family is

a bowl of hot congee

only boiled a mother's way.

 

family is

a hearty high-five

saying you tried your best, it's okay.

 

family is

a full bag of groceries

carried a 20-minute walk away.

 

family is

a newspaper for you

bought barely with sickness at bay.

 

family is

a home to go back to

i wouldn't have it any other way.

*

Vanessa is 17 and lives in Hong Kong.

Story 265

Lies

by Taura Leigh Henderson-Chambers

The flower dies,

Revealing all the lies,

It shouldn't be a surprise, I trusted you,

I let you kiss my wrists, down to my thighs,

I should have known,

I should have been more aware,

You are just like the rest of the guys out there,

The smile on your face,

The love you place, so gently in my hands,

It was all a disguise,

For you are ugly on the inside,

You no longer give me quick replies,

Tears streaming from my eyes,

As I realise, the love we had, was all just lies.

*

Taura is 15 and lives in the UK.

Story 266

Akuma

by Julia Cargill

In the remote village of Yūrei, a cursed doll named Akuma brought doom to anyone who possessed it.

One fateful day, a curious traveller stumbled upon the doll in an abandoned shrine. Unaware of its grisly history, he took it home as a souvenir.

That night, eerie occurrences plagued his house. Whispers echoed through the dark halls, disfigured shadows danced on the walls, and a chilling presence lurked in every corner.

Later that harrowing night, the unsettling crackling of bones could be heard from the house while the locals recognised the sinister screams of sorrow that filled the bitter air.

*

Julia is 16 and lives in Scotland.

Story 267

Kat's Glow Ball

by Sayara Senuri Munasinghe

Kat loves her ball.

Her ball she rolls and rolls.

She lost her glow ball in the hall.

Sad Kat tells her mum.

Kat and Mum look for the ball.

They saw the clown juggling her ball.

"Found it!" Kat yells.

*

Sayara is 4 and lives in the UK.

Story 268

Porcelain Heart

by Lip Leer

Your heart is porcelain

A dahlia-speckled dish

Me, a simple harlequin

And you, the dear empress

 

I shall sedate my spirits

Always and forever

If it means that the dearest

Heart will never ache

Until together we lay to rest

*

Lip is 18 and lives in Canada.

Story 269

What if

by Olivia Fox

What if nothing goes as planned

And everything falls apart

But

What if nothing goes as planned

And you end up better than before

 

What if you fall in love

Just to have your heart broken

But

What if you fall in love

And it lasts forever

 

What if you try

And you fall

But

What if you try

And you soar

 

There are so many what ifs

So

What if we quit what if-ing

And started living

*

Olivia is 13 and lives in the USA.

Story 270

Haibun

by Scarlett

I don't tell people about the rotting carcass under the floorboards. How it feels to grow up in a house with a body without a name. I think of who he could have been, his dormant thoughts that ooze out as the musk of decay. I walk the thin planks that stretch the years between us and wonder how life and death can be so close together.

faceless man

familiar body

with an unfamiliar soul

*

Scarlett is 17 and lives in England.

Story 271

My Pawpaw the Sailor

by Juliana Marinovic

My great-grandfather was a veteran. I called him 'Pawpaw'. He died when I was eight. He told me he fought with the U.S. Navy in the Vietnam War. He had a tattoo on his arm that he got with his buddies. It was of a sailboat with seagulls around it.

When I was born, my parents took me to our house on Lake Pontchartrain. Pawpaw lived a few houses down. My mom would put me in the shiny red wagon and walk me to his house. We would sit on the swing, feed the ducks, and just watch the water.

*

Juliana is 12 and lives in the USA.

Story 272

A Bargain with a Bleeding Heart

by Coco Song

A resigned, heavy voice spoke. "Let's try this another way." The chair let out a weak groan as the man leaned back. "You have a lover, right?"

A wide smile. "Yes. Yes, I do."

"Tell me about 'im."

"I'd love to. He has soulful eyes, and when he looks at you, it is as if he really sees you. He is beautiful in every way. He almost makes me want to stop it all and be a better person."

"If we bring him to you, will you tell us where you hid the bodies?"

*

Coco is 16 and lives in the USA.

Story 273

stardust

by Kameron Baker

the last thing I expected

tonight

was falling out of the sky

so it's a relief

when the knob turns

and the glow

from the kitchen

leads me to bed.

I find myself

sick

as I think

that I am loved.

stardust stains the sheets

and

I sleep deeply.

I wake to her humming.

 

my mother is not perfect.

she has shouted, forgotten, ignored.

but she scoops up

glass made from the stars

catching me on my descent

without a second thought.

 

she hugs me

despite the way I leave a trail

of celestial leftovers

on her floors.

*

Kameron is 21 and lives in the USA.

Story 274

Never Have Before

by Josie Mae Mitchell

The waiter is too young for my grandmother. Telling her that would be rude.

"Isn't he attractive?" she fawns. Does no one find it creepy?

I don't find him attractive. Why does she always think I will when I never have before? I'm an honest person. I shake my head. Her shock is expected; it's still obnoxious. Every time, I'm relieved that it still annoys me.

She laughs. "What's wrong with you?"

I should tell her, but I don't. I'm silent. I want to ask her the same question. Nothing is wrong with me, but her… I'm not so sure.

*

Josie is 21 and lives in the USA.

Story 274

Never Have Before

by Josie Mae Mitchell

The waiter is too young for my grandmother. Telling her that would be rude.

"Isn't he attractive?" she fawns. Does no one find it creepy?

I don't find him attractive. Why does she always think I will when I never have before? I'm an honest person. I shake my head. Her shock is expected; it's still obnoxious. Every time, I'm relieved that it still annoys me.

She laughs. "What's wrong with you?"

I should tell her, but I don't. I'm silent. I want to ask her the same question. Nothing is wrong with me, but her… I'm not so sure.

*

Josie is 21 and lives in the USA.

Story 275

Silent Waters, Shattered Dreams

by Kaylee Da

I feel the sounds of children under the water.

Foils slash like glass shattering.

En garde!

Keep track of the road!

Prete!

Stay awake; don't close your eyes; it's not (your) time!

Allez!

There is no one to protect you now!

I parry my drowsiness and lunge.

The cool surface of the podium is now where the winter stands with pride, while I sink into the depths of the lake. Gravity drags me down, defeated. Pitch black darkness, ice on the pavement.

MIDDLE SCHOOL BUS CRASHES INTO THE LAKE, FOURTEEN DEAD.

I had lost my bout.

*

Kaylee is 13 and lives in the USA.

Story 276

Inner World

by Troy Diehl

I live in my own world

Cut off from the others

A kingdom eternally cursed

 

It's prone to invasion

Razed by foreign forces

The chaotic feeling's the worst

 

But with the destruction

Comes rejuvenation

A chance once again for a first

 

To broaden horizons

Of my sheltered bubble

Knowing it's destined to burst

*

Troy is 22 and lives in the USA.

Story 277

Perambulation

by Christian Stephens

Something about shoplifting at Dollar General:

Paxton and I chugging chocolate milk from half-gallon Red Bulls for later – the road.

 

Something to walking 7.8 miles that day:

stomach-ache

mosquitoes like plague

alternating asphalt and concrete, wherever felt.

 

Something with the shade of sodium vapor:

spotlight orange mid-enucleation

in the way we were pioneers

at home/cooped.

 

Something in the summer night:

an invisible coronal mass ejection

highway humming and hunched over blue

jean dribbled partly.

 

Something secret:

the winds and their flutter

figured out yesterday

Paxton quelling the clink of the waistband.

*

Christian is 20 and lives in the USA.

Story 278

Gone

by Oliver Kelly

As far as the eye could see, a long road stretched in front of me. A man approached me with his head facing the floor.

"This is your ticket to fortune, and you will be wealthy forevermore," he said, handing me a piece of parchment paper. His beard was white and tied into a knot. His waistcoat was brown and covered in dots.

"Hurrah!" said I and threw my cap up in the air.

I bent down to pick it up, and the man was no longer there. The long road was gone, and the ticket was gone too.

*

Oliver is 11 and lives in Northern Ireland.

Story 279

Two Sheets

by Lauren Goulette

Two Sheets by Lauren Goulette

*

Oliver is 19 and lives in the USA.

Story 280

The Phoenix

by Raphael Guerguis

The phoenix's talons, as sharp as a knife,

Can take away life by life.

The fiery crest,

Simply the best.

Its blinding beak,

Its tall, bold wing feathers are not to hide his physique.

It is stronger than a god's might,

Obviously ready to take flight.

Penetrating eyes as black as the night sky,

Staring at you with no mercy.

*

Raphael is 9 and lives in the UK.

Story 281

The Phoenix

by Maeve Michelle Mcgrandles

As I lay upon my deathbed, I stare upon my wife Joanne's beautiful face for the last time. Her eyes are like stones of jade and her hair is as long and flourishing as ever.

I can feel my body slowly but surely dying. As I take my last breaths, I wonder what I could've done differently. What if I didn't meet Joanne that night at the party? What if I chose a different career? What if I didn't frame Joanne's ex with poisoning her friend?

Well, I guess I'll never know. Goodbye world. If only I was different…

*

Maeve is 12 and lives in Scotland.

Story 282

The Escape

by Gabriella McKenzie

My heart pounded as the harsh wind blew into my face. My legs wavered as I continued to run. Further… and further… away, I ran, from what I had known all my life. The clouds rolled over the evening sky, dimming the light. The shouts behind me grew distant, as if from another dream. I stumbled on, my breath burning. I could hear the birds in the distance. I was free!

I woke up to the sound of banging on my door.

"Get up you horrible, lazy, little girl!"

I blinked my eyes. Oh no. Please, no! It was a dream…

*

Gabriella is 11 and lives in the UK.

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