Jocelyn and Val have been running on roads for most of their life. The Road has shaped the way they live, leading them far, and close to the endless possibilities that await beyond their bleeding country.

Val, Jocelyn’s ever so faithful little sister, follows her without question; to Val, The Road is home. The Road and Jocelyn have just about been the only constant things in Val’s life. But to Jocelyn, all she can feel and dream is-


She dreams of roads.

Of dry pavements and scorching heat, the endless stretch of the land - of routes that lead to new places, new beginnings.

Or at least, that’s what she tells herself.

On The Road, she sees her little sister Val - all curly hair and pink lips. Val should not be on The Road. She deserves to see soft green grass and purple flowers, not drydrydry heat and hard calloused feet. She deserves so much, so much more…

Jocelyn can see her laughing, chasing shadows and asking, 'what's beyond The Road, Jo?' She sees her wandering, but never going off the track; Val knows that they never turn back the other way because then Jocelyn can remember the bright nights and warm blankets and sickly sweet jams and fresh grass and-

Her heart beats.

Val is suddenly in front of her, and it is all too familiar.

Jocelyn stills.

'Where are you, Jo?'


Where did you go?'

When Jocelyn looks at Val, so small and naive and 'whatever are we going to do with you?' All she sees is empty plains and twisted promises and thinks, 'I didn't save you.'


The Road was supposed to be their road to new life.

It was never meant to lead them to death.

'But perhaps,' Jocelyn wonders, delirious and painting skin over bloodstains and clenching fists, 'perhaps that’s the greatest irony of it.'


In two days, they run out of time.

Jocelyn knows. She can feel eyes watching, hungry and lurking.

Jocelyn and Val never stay in one place too long. Val knows something is wrong, because even though she is 'seven, seven she's too young why' she understands the stiffness in her sister's body, the calculating eyes and hard set jaw.

'Dear little Valerie, can't you see the wisdom in her eyes Jocie? I know it. She's going to be so smart, so very-




And you, Jocelyn-

You’ll protect her,

won't you?'


'I will.'

Val’s death is so quick and sharp, that it is only after when Jocelyn wakes in a quiet panic that she is able to remember these words.


They ask her 'why, why did you run? What were you running from?'

A gunshot rings.

'What were you running from, Jocelyn?'

A bullet bites her back.

'Why were you running?'


'I don’t know.'


It was a secret. A lie. And a truth.

It was her sister's death.

Maybe she'd known all along.

And maybe,

as she collapses to blinding lights and piercing tongues,

Jocelyn runs again.


25 was established in 1997, and since then we have successfully completed numerous short story and poetry competitions and publications.
We receive an overwhelming positive feedback each year from the teachers, parents and students who have involvement in these competitions and publications, and we will continue to strive to attain this level of excellence with each competition we hold.


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