The jumping river of golden kernels rushes down the track. Squirming and wriggling, they all descend into a rapid stream, faster, faster, go, go, go. They bounce rhythmically through the air like tiny waves. The smaller, inferior seeds drift to the sides. They become separated, swallowed through thin cracks in the edges of the slippery path, disappearing into a mouth of silver. They are the unlucky ones. The remaining thousands of superior kernels try to clutch on to each other or claw their way back up, petrified, but they are powerless against the tide.

There is a sudden drop. They are winded by a heavy landing onto another impenetrable passage that leads to the unknown. In bitter silence, the convoy of kernels travels smoothly at a dawdling pace. Then, they are stopped with a jolt. A large white bag waits like a predator stalking its prey. A soft humming fills the air.

The cold metallic floor falls away and the bag fills up with fearful kernels, stacking on top of each other like water pouring into a glass. Shadows cast across the bag’s opening, then the company of kernels is plunged into complete darkness. Trapped. Imprisoned.

The kernels are woken from their eternal slumber by a whoosh! A heaped scoop of them is carried to a huge red machine that is standing there silent, waiting. At the flick of a switch the beast roars to life, fiery smoke rising from its mouth. Intense screams fill the air before the blistering hot air overwhelms them.

The last golden kernels spend their final few minutes stressing about what it is going to be like when they are forced into the hellish red monster. Craving to be free, they make a valiant attempt to escape the evil prison where they are being stored. But they are removed from the bag. They realise the end is near. The popcorn machine, only metres away, is getting closer. The pinging and explosions are getting louder. The screams of their old friends, brothers and sisters are barely audible as the heatwave consumes them. The aghast kernels are only seconds away from receiving the same fate! The giant brute, a furious, boisterous fireplace, inhales them.

BANG, BANG, BANG! The kernels explode into light, fluffy, unique balls of popcorn. Reborn into heavenly, butterfly-shaped versions of themselves. They feel enchanted, like they possess magical powers. It is amazing, exhilarating. To their pleasant surprise, they are then scooped upwards and are cascaded down like a waterfall. As they joyfully tumble they lose their sense of direction. They plunge in, and are bathed in delightfully warm, sugary, molten deliciousness. Steam gently drifts up as the popcorn and caramel are mixed together to form an irresistible concoction. The mouth-watering aroma is divine. Once cooled, feeling perfected, they want to remain like this forever. This is their destiny.

However, soon after this miraculous transformation, crunch! They are feasted upon by crazed devils called ‘humans’, who hungrily emerged from the fiery depths of hell for a midnight snack.

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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