House In The Hill

Finalist in the 'Play On Words 2021' competition

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” - Leo Tolstoy
Ella May Greengrass is a privileged girl who lives in a futuristic, ultra-modern house with her father, Maximilian Greengrass. This house I have mentioned is actually built inside a hill. Ella is inside her house in the hill on this sunny springtime day. She asks, "Daddy, how is it that we live in a hill? IN a HILL?!” The girl was born, to her benefit or detriment, with extremely naive curiosity. Her father replies, “I’m not the one to tell you that, my sunshine.” Maximillian is very immersed in his new engineering project. “Please just give me a HINT!” Ella May begs, putting on her puppy eyes. The gullible man can’t help but fall into the depths of her gaze. He then says, “Come up onto the roof and I’ll tell you a story.”
Max walked past the glossy kitchen, up a hundred stairs to the attic, through the skylight and back into time; his puzzled daughter trailing behind him.
And so Max begins:
“Long ago, when reptiles as large as the town hall trekked the planet, this hill was nothing but a pile of gravel.”
“But it’s huge now!”
“Then man came along, hunting exotic animals and burying them in the ground.”
“So, you’re saying that we live on a pile of monster bones?!”
“Soon enough, civilisation came to be. Over thousands of years, buildings were built, parks were planted; laws were born. Our hill was located in a small park to the south of the globe.”
“Umm... this is taking a while...”
“Everything was peaceful, until people grew restless, wanted more. More parks, more buildings and more law.”
“I’m bored!! Can I-”
“War broke out. In a far off, southern land, society was scared to be hurt. They boarded up doors and windows. They closed shops and abandoned houses.”
“But WHY? Why do we live in a HILL?!”
“Your great-great-great-great-great Uncle Drygrass and his wife, Mrs. Green, were scared too. They built a bunker in this very hill, as a hiding place.”
“A hiding place, not a house!!”
“In October 3006, armed robots travelled south, ready to attack. This hill was split in half. Your ancestors disappeared. This land stood still for a century.”
“And THEN?”
“Then your mother and I built this house. We wanted it to have everything. But to have everything takes time. The war took a very long time to end, and it took us a very long time to build our home. Soon it had almost everything. It was missing you.”
“Eight years ago, you came into the picture. Everything was complete.” The wise man nods, reminiscing. The sun was setting low over the glowing horizon. Ella May hugs Maximillian close.
“That took a while.”
“What did?”
“Sorry, sweetheart.”
“It’s ok. Some things just take time.”


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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