Congratulations to 16 year old Grace Thomas, who has come in First Place in the Write4fun Newsletter short story competition! Entries were allowed to be up to 800 words in length, and the theme was Life 100 Years From Now. Over 100 entries were received, and the competition was heated!
GRACE'S STORY MAY BE READ BELOW
Grace's story, 'Unwilling', told of one man's struggle against the invasive demand of an oppressive government, and the result. She has won a $30 iTunes gift card as her prize.
Second Place went to 10 year old Aryan Puri, for his story 'A Day In The Future.' The story shows that an average day for a boy named Steve, and his best mate Mitch, isn't all that different from what boys experience today. Except for aliens, amazing technology, and annoying personal robots.
ARYAN'S STORY MAY BE READ BELOW
Third Place went to 9 year old Reaghan Singleton, for her story '100 Years From Now...Reaghan Cures Cancer!' Our adventerous heroine travels to a colourful planet in search of the cure for cancer, and comes back to earth with miraculous medicine and a thirst for more adventures.
REAGHAN'S STORY MAY BE READ BELOW
Congratulations to Grace, Aryan, and Reaghan for their placement in the competition. And thank you to each of the students who submitted works for consideration.
'Unwilling' - Grace Thomas
The Donation Center buzzed with a hundred voices at once, a collective sound similar to radio static. It gave Wilber a headache. Ever so slowly the line he was in shuffled towards the download banks, as psyche after psyche was processed. Posters covering every wall of the harshly lit center thanked citizens for their co-operation in protecting their country, and thwarting crime. Endless slogans encouraged them to donate again soon, even though everyone was aware of the consequences of omitting donation. Since the federal election five years ago even heftier fines had been enforced to ensure thoughts were donated on a regular basis, for the safety of the people.
Eventually, it was Wilber’s turn to approach the stationary metal seat of the download bank, pull the thick headphones over his ears, and place his fingertips onto the scanners. A smooth computerised voice came through the headset, “Wilber Grimly," it stated. “Eight days since last download.” Wilber could almost hear the machine’s disapproval. He wasn’t supposed to leave more than seven days between downloads; now a fine or a warning would most likely result. He sighed audibly, and the woman next to him glanced sharply at him.
“Commencing download to the National Thought Database, please remain seated,” the computerised voice told him. The machine conducted a symphony of whirring and clicking before telling him to have a good day, and return again soon. Wilber all but wrenched himself from the equipment and hurried towards the large glass doors of the Donation Center exit. He was rarely in a good mood after a download, as if the optimism was sucked out of him along with his thoughts. He considered the downloading to be a breach of privacy, and the backwash of other’s thoughts you received during donation was horribly unpleasant. Lost in what were, for the time being, his own thoughts, Wilber didn’t notice the well-built and black suited man until he collided with him.
Apologizing as he righted himself, Wilber glimpsed a Donation Official ID card, half-hidden in the man’s coat pocket. “Wilber Grimly,” the man said in such a way that Wilber couldn’t tell if it was a question or a scorn. He became aware of two more men in black suits shadowing the one he had walked into; one tall and slim, and one with a bizarrely shaped head. “May we have a word, Mr. Grimly?” the slim one asked. Wilber opened his mouth to give an excuse before he thought better of it and clamped it shut. “It’s been eight days since your last thought donation Mr. Grimly. Do you not care about the safety of your country sir? Because frankly, your behaviour is rather unpatriotic", the burly man spoke in hushed tones. “Very unpatriotic,” the slim one echoed. Wilber failed to disguise his annoyance when he replied. “I apologize gentlemen. I assure you lack of patriotism is not the cause, but I suppose another fine is in order for my...” Wilber searched for a word they might approve of, “neglectful behaviour.” He hoped his tone was polite enough to hide his insincerity. The burly man continued in a measured voice, “Not this time I’m afraid. 13 fines for late donations in the past nine months Mr. Grimly, and as for the tenor of your thoughts,” he sighed deeply, “Well. We’ve decided something more severe than fines are necessary in your case.” As if responding to a silent signal, the two men behind him moved towards Wilber and grasped his shoulders.
Wilber felt no impulse to share his thoughts on the turn of events as he was led away from the busy crowd, down a wide and empty hallway, and into a small, windowless, box of a room that was painted a disturbing shade of yellow, and smelled of bleach. Nor did he protest when the slim man jabbed a needle into the crease of his elbow, making a cold liquid spread slowly up his arm. “I did nothing wrong,” Wilber slurred as his world faded to black, the harsh scent of the room disappearing, “Just wanted to keep my thoughts to myself.”
'A Day In The Future' - Aryan Puri
“Beep, Beep, Beep, time to wake up Steve!” clicked Steve’s robot. “It’s the 7th of October 2111.”
“Oh, for goodness sake, how many times have I told you not to wake me up? You’re not the only one who needs your beauty sleep!” yelled Steve.
“But it’s time for breakfast,” said Steve’s robot.
“Whatever!” said Steve, pressing the coco-smash machine. This cool machine could give you cereal by pressing a button, and different machines give you different cereals.
After breakfast Steve had a shower in his autowash, which was a machine that gave you a shower of your own choice by pressing certain buttons. This morning, Steve had a bubble shower, which meant that you had a shower with bubbles popping out everywhere.
“See ya later,” said Steve, after having a shower.
Every day, Steve went to school with his best friend Mitch. They rode mini-jets to school, which had popcorn machines in them.
Steve jumped into his jet and drove along slowly until he reached a small park where a medium sized boy with black hair, and brown eyes was waiting.
“Late again Stevo,” said the boy.
“Let’s race to school and see who really is late, Mitch,” challenged Steve.
“Bring it on!” replied Mitch.
The two boys sped off in their jets. They were both even until the last curve. Suddenly, Steve’s jet went spinning into the bushes.
Mitch’s beaten me again, thought Steve.
“Your turn’s bloody good,” complimented Steve, to a laughing Mitch.
Steve brushed of all the leaves on his body, got out of the jet and entered the class with Mitch.
“Today we’ll be learning about sky signals, what it means is that whenever the sky turns a different colour, then it means a different signal,” explained the teacher, who had some funny device attached to her ear. “Oh, some of you might be wondering what this is,” went on the teacher, pointing to her ear. “This is a BrainPhone. It identifies what your brain is thinking and when you want to call someone it automatically rings. Anyway, back to the topic, how many of you have seen the colour suddenly change?”
The majority of the boys raised up their hands.
“Even though most of you have seen the colour of the sky change, it is usually only on rare occasions that it changes colour other than day and night such as if the sky turns brown, it means that the gods from the universe are angry, and it will start pouring with rain or if it turns green, we are going to be attacked by aliens,” continued the teacher. “Now, the task for you is to write what colour you’ve seen the sky change and guess or tell us what happened.”
At lunchtime, the boys had to put a machine on their heads and think of something they wanted to eat, and it would appear on a plate next to them. Most of the kids took advantage of this and always wished for junk food, but good ones just stayed healthy.
After lunch, most of the boys played Control Soccer, where you had to wish where you wanted the ball to go and kick it. Goalkeepers had extra strong gloves and if your boot hits a sensor pad, it travels towards you.
After school, Steve generally went to Mitch’s house, but just as they started talking they noticed that the sky turned dark brown.
“We better speed up. Mrs. Science told us that we might get drenched with rain or hail if the sky turns brown!” yelled Steve, jabbing at the keys on his jet.
They reached Mitch's house just in time before it started raining cats and dogs.
“That was a close call,” said Mitch, walking upstairs to his room with Steve. “Look, the trees have finally lit up. We we would have never found our way in that fog, unless we used our X-ray glasses, which can see through everything.”
Within an hour, the fog had cleared.
"Hey, let’s look through the telescopes and see Planet Aliworld. We can find a new alien,” suggested Steve.
"Yeah, cool,” agreed Mitch.
For the next hour the boys looked through the telescopes which could see 100 times further than our telescopes. They stopped when a cloud of smoke blocked the view.
“Time for dinner Steve and Mitch!” shouted Mitch’s mum from the kitchen.
The boys went downstairs and with a click from Mitch’s mum, dinner was served.
After dinner, Steve rushed back home, and his robot was waiting for him in his bed.
“GOODNIGHT!” beeped the robot loudly.
But Steve just had a quick dip in his autowash, brushed his teeth and then ZZZ...
“BEEP, BEEP! TIME TO WAKE UP STEVE!” said the robot.
“Not again!” groaned Steve.
'100 Years From Now - Reaghan Cures Cancer!' - Reaghan Singleton
In 2111, eight-year-old Australian Space Explorer Reaghan Singleton strapped on her sparkly purple Rocket Boots and thought about her plan to travel to Space. She had heard from other scientists that there was a rare plant on the planet Cosy. That was not just any type of plant, it was the one and only plant that she hoped could cure cancer.
It was hard to believe that so many people still died from cancer in this day and age. There had been so many other amazing inventions. People traveled by Rocket Boots instead of cars and buses, lived in special home bubbles instead of houses and ate special tablets instead of having to grow vegetables and fruit.
Reaghan packed a bottle of air, so she could breathe on Cosy as there was no oxygen there. She went to her closet and got out her protective space suit that could change colours and help her blend into the environment. She also packed tablets that had a hundred different tastes and vitamins in it. Reaghan remembered to pack her mixing bowl and other equipment she may need.
Once she was ready, she activated her Rocket Boots and took off into Space. She passed the tallest trees and buildings, and was glad she was wearing her suit as she launched into outer space. She dodged meteors and space craft, waving to human people and friendly aliens that were out for a drive in their own space shuttles or going away to planet Oreo for their vacation.
She turned left at the Moon, and right at Mars, and was soon landing at the newly-discovered planet Cosy. When she landed, she activated her camouflage suit and started her search for the plant, looking up and down, around and about, and far and wide for the special plant.
Cosy was an amazing planet - the sky was purple and there were things that were orange and pink that she thought could be trees. Reaghan knew the plant she needed had black leaves with white stripes on it and enjoyed watching her suit change colour every time she came across a different area. It was certainly very different to Earth, which was becoming browner each day as pollution got worse. She knew she was very lucky that she had the opportunity to travel to other planets - in the olden days her ancestors could only sit in an aeroplane and travel to other countries, if they were very lucky! She couldn’t believe that some people never even left their home town - she had visited so many planets, she had lost count!
After a while, Reaghan ate one of her tablets - it tasted of fizzy chicken strawberries and gave her the energy to continue her search. Taking a sip of her air, she followed a bouncing red blob that had been playing hide and seek with her, and finally found the plant in the very centre of plant Cosy where the grass was bright yellow and the air hummed with blue radio waves.
She took out her equipment and laid it down by the plant. She couldn’t take the plant back to Earth as it would not survive as it didn’t use oxygen. She needed to make the special tablets on Cosy and take them back to Earth. This meant she would have to come to Cosy often to make the tablets and take them back to the people who had cancer.
Reaghan picked off some of the striped leaves and crushed them into a paste in the mixing bowl. She baked it in her portable mini microwave and cut it into tablets. She wrapped them carefully and then put an invisible protective barrier around the plant to stop people getting to the plant. They would need her secret code to get through.
Reaghan put her Rocket Boots back on and blasted off for Earth. She landed in her backyard and raced into her home bubble. She wrote down where she had found the plant and her secret code, and then hopped on her Rocket Skateboard that could glide through the air to cut through the traffic and reach the government quickly.
She couldn’t believe how brown and boring Earth was compared to Cosy. The humans and friendly aliens needed to work together to fix Earth. Maybe she could investigate ways to improve Earth when she next visited Cosy.
The Australian government awarded Reaghan with a new home, the latest in home bubbles with her own laboratory. They gave the tablet to all the hospitals and doctors, and now cancer wouldn’t kill millions of humans. Reaghan was very famous and happy that she’d helped so many people. She wondered what her next adventure would be.