The oppressive grey walls of the apocalyptic shelter bear down on me. The big falling rock is coming… I know it. We all do.
I feel granddad’s warm, wrinkly hand in mine and squeeze it, breathing in his familiar, comforting scent.
“Tell me a story, granddad, just one more… tell me about Earth.”
Earth wasn’t always like this. Broken, dead, finished. Earth was alive, once.
She was beautiful, a wonder – that’s something else that granddad always says. The ground, it wasn’t made of hard, cold metal. It was made up of warmth, of soft stuff called dirt. There were other things that made the ground, but dirt is my favourite. You could pick it up, and sprinkle it back onto the ground and watch it fall through your fingers. Giant plants would grow everywhere, he says, just appear out of the dirt; they would tower over everything, and had hard stems thicker than a man. They were covered with thousands of tiny green flags called leaves.
Granddad says Earth was ruled by seasons, invisible people who would come and paint the leaves red and orange and yellow. The seasons would pull the leaves down from the giant plants and steal their colours, to keep the ground warm with a crunchy carpet. The seasons brought warmth; they brought dryness; they threw water down from the sky. They even brought more invisible people called wind.
I don’t quite understand what wind is. Granddad says that wind goes everywhere, and you can’t find her unless she find’s you. I think if I could visit Earth, wind would be my best friend. Closing my eyes, I imagine myself laughing as she plays with my hair, rushing past my ears and dancing all around me. Grandad says you can’t see wind, but you can hear her. He says she lives in the sky… I think she’s magic.
I’m not sure what sky looks like, but I know it’s blue. Granddad says that sky is very big, so big that it never ends. He says you can’t touch it, but you can see it and people have been there. I think perhaps that Granddad sometimes gets confused and says things that don’t make sense, and I suppose his memory isn’t good enough to explain how it works – but he keeps insisting it’s the truth. I think I believe him. If it’s true, if Earth gets better and I can go visit her, if sky is still there, I will go and see sky.
The big falling rock is near, I know it. Everywhere there are flashing red lights and alarms and crying. I begin to cry. I think even granddad begins to cry. “Granddad,” I whisper. Everyone is screaming. The big falling rock is about to hit Earth, and there’s no one there to save her. We’ve already made her sick, now she’s going to die. It isn’t fair. “Granddad,” I say again, louder. “Say hello to sky for me. Tell her-”


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.


Stay informed about the latest competitions, competition winners and latest news!