‘This is the start of our story’ the memory of you played in my head over and over. I knew silence was quiet, but this is suffocating. I sat by the pond and looked at the perfectly reflective, smooth surface in all its beauty. Others say this is meant to be a place of magic but it isn’t, because I’m stuck here, playing the same day over and over like a broken record. Her voice echoed through my mind, the reminder that I still have duties to attend to. ‘Life isn’t a fantasy Zen, in this world you have to work. You don’t get true love, you don’t get to run around in a princess dress.’ But I wanted true love, a love I have never known before. “It must be nice.” I sighed and laid back on the cool grass, staring up at the night sky as stars shone brightly. I closed my eyes tight trying to forget that this is the world I’m stuck in and that it’s so cold. I shivered as the night chill began to set in. I opened my eyes and sat up. The castle was in sight. I started to stand, but a wash of dread came over me, so heavy it brought me down to my knees. I fell onto my hands and sobbed into the grass. I heard soft footsteps and sat up, wiping my eyes. “Zen?” I looked up, my 6-year-old sister holding her teddy was wandering through the grass, scared. “Xena, what are you doing up?!” She looked at me, “I’m sorry Zen, I couldn’t sleep and you weren’t in your room so I-” I stopped her. “Shh, its okay, come give me a hug.” I opened my arms, she collapsed into them and hugged me tight. “Are you tired?” She nodded and yawned sleepily. “Let’s get you back to bed.” I stood up and put her on my shoulders. I turned towards the castle and began walking, I looked behind me for a moment feeling someone or something’s eyes fall upon me. Xena looked back as well, “What is it Zen?” She asked, I shook my head. “Nothing, don’t worry.” I turned my head back around and continued walking. As I entered the hall, I looked up to see a photo of our family when I was young, about 10, Xena was only a little girl. Little did we know three years later we would lose half of our family. I’d lost everyone after I lost them, I lost the person dearest to me, other than Xena. Tears came to my eyes and Xena looked over my head. “I don’t think you’re okay.” She mumbled. “No - no I’m fine I promise.” At that moment I realised, life may not be a fantasy but I’ve tried to make the best out of it and I guess I ran out of pages for our story.

FOLLOW US 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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