In The Light Of Discovery

3rd in the 'Imagine That! 1999' competition

The light stung my eyes as I melted into a rock form. I was only just able to warn the other
Ciathians before the inter-linked nature of our social rock form took control of my thoughts.
Around me I felt the same thing happening to everyone else.

The brightly lit spaceship had landed unexpectedly, and such shocks did not allow a controlled transformation, leaving our nerves strained. I felt my young daughter's presence beside me, which was a comfort to my panic stricken mind.

Slowly the spaceship was anchored to the ground, and a robotic figure was rolled out onto the unfamiliar terrain of Mars. I laughed at their incompetent attempt to adapt to our planet. It was right next to me. Thoughts lead to my husband, Diantrose, who only years before had been sampled from our planet by a similar human craft. A drill protruded from its side and a scream of terror transferred across our web as I felt where it made contact.

As the drill bit into her fragile rocky surface, my daughter materialised herself into a microscopic organism so as not to be hurt. Her parting message was one of courage, she made me so proud. Although she was being rolled around by the drill, I knew she'd be safe.

Suddenly the drill's top opened and she was sucked right into the robot. I struggled towards winning back my daughter's freedom, but our leader held me with his willpower and I was only able to watch.

‘I hear that life has been discovered on Mars, what are your views on the subject?’ Another incompetent reporter seeking my opinion as an LIS (Life in Space) expert. I was bored with such interviews there had been a rush of them lately and this one had just begun.

‘I believe it to be an instrument malfunction, quite frankly,’ I replied non-commitantly, stifling a yawn.
‘But there was proof in the samples!’ he rebutted, his inexperience in reporting showed with every word.
‘An instrument malfunction, when the sample was re-tested no such sign was found.’ I explained slowly.
‘Isn't it possible that it died during the return trip to earth?’, he continued doggedly.

I swore quietly as I removed the drawing pin I had just embedded in my finger, ‘Don't you think that we'd have detected some trace of its remains if that were the case? I'm sorry but you've heard my view and I am terribly busy.’ Subtly hinting he should leave.

‘Thank you Mr Diantrose’, he murmured. I flinched at the mispronunciation of my name as he left the room.

I reflected on just how close we had come to discovery as I raised my injured finger to my mouth, ingesting the green neutraliser, which seeped from the wound.

I quickly removed the vile of soil, which I had swapped from the research lab. Reassuring my young daughter as she transformed into her human form, a smile twitching my lips.


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!