Here is the story I wrote which won the Henrieta Branford competition (Click the link to go to the website). I didn’t write the bit up to, “and it’s addressed to you”, because we were all given that and had to carry it on.
I am going to London on Thursday 11th July to meet famous children’s author Jacqueline Wilson as well as publishers.
Where did my idea come from? Well, it took me a while to work out what I was going to write about, but once I’d decided that, it didn’t take me long at all. When I gave it to various people to read, I was told that it was extremely funny, although that hadn’t been intentional.
Alpha and Omega
A scratch at my door! A frustrated yelp! The sound of paws on wood! And then a great bark of joy as Buster forced his way in, his black tail wagging so hard that even his long ears seemed to shake as he half-wiggled, half-charged across my cold bedroom. My freezing cold bedroom.
“It’s chilly in here,” I murmured to no one in particular, snuggling down beneath my duvet, my eyes still closed. It was Saturday, which meant I had nowhere to be and I could enjoy a few more minutes of wonderful… “ARGH!” I cried, as Buster flew through the air to land in a heap by my head; on my head, actually, his fat paw squashing my cheek. His tongue slurped my ear, his whiskers tickling my skin. “Alright, alright! I’ll get up!”
“He just did that to me,” said a voice, and I opened one eye to see my younger sister, Daisy, leaning against my doorframe. “Annoying, isn’t it?”
“Very,” I muttered, wiping dog saliva off my face with my pyjama sleeve as I shivered. I looked down at my arm. Goosebumps. “Are the radiators broken or something? It’s so cold in here.”
Daisy let out her best grown-up sigh, shaking her head as if I were the youngest, not her.
“Well, it will be cold, won’t it?”
“Because you’ve opened all your windows, stupid.”
As if on cue, my curtains billowed in a strong gust of wind to reveal that Daisy was telling the truth. Buster shivered then slipped beneath my duvet.
“I didn’t do it,” I said.
“You mst’ve done,” Daisy replied, wandering into my bedroom. The mattress squeaked as she sat down at my feet. “Mum wouldn’t have opened them, would she? You know how she feels about keeping the warmth in the house. It mst’ve been—was
“I didn’t do it,” I said again, louder this time. “It wasn’t me.”
Daisy was about to argue, when something caught her eye: a piece of paper pinned to my wooden windowsill, the edges fluttering as the curtain flapped in the breeze. Daisy grabbed my arm, and for a few seconds, we did nothing but stare. Finally, my sister climbed to her feet then tiptoed forwards, slowly, slowly, as if the piece of paper was something dangerous. Holding her breath, she moved the curtain to one side then leaned forward to get a better look.
“I don’t mean to alarm you,” she whispered as Buster suddenly appeared, his head cocked to one side as if he were listening, too. “But this piece of paper is a note.” She turned to look at me. “And it’s addressed to you.”
“Well, last time I checked, I could read. Come and see.” So I joined Daisy by the window, after having closed them all.
The note was in a strange, italic script, very small, written in black ink. It read:
Alpha, the beginning, has already occurred. Now, omega, the end, will strike.
But you and your sister can help keep the human race alive. And you can bring your dog to keep the race of dogs alive also. Your parents will not die, we promise that.
Come to the local park with your sister and dog at eleven o’clock. We will be there at eleven thirty.
You must not mention this to anyone except your dog and sister. Repeat, do NOT mention this to ANYONE except your dog and sister.
Goodbye, Gabriela. Until eleven thirty.”
“What does it say, Gaga?” Daisy demanded, the moment my eyes had reached the end of the last line. I was completely dumbstruck.
“You won’t believe me,” I said.
“Read it.” I moved out of the way so that she could read. When she looked up, her face was deathly pale.
“OH, Gaga, what are we going to do? These are strangers!”
“We’ll have to go,” I said grimly.
“But it might not be safe!”
“Well, I’d rather take a risk with strangers than be burnt to a crisp. If this end-of-the-world story is true, that is. Besides,” I said, trying my best to sound cheerful, “haven’t we always wanted an adventure?”
“Oh, alright. I agree. I s’pose. Now, let’s get dressed and go for some breakfast. I’m starving!”
“You’re ALWAYS “starving”, Daze!” We both laughed at that. Daisy was, quite literally, ALWAYS hungry.
Until ten to eleven, my brain was completely glazed over. What were we going to do? Who were these people? How did they know the world was going to end? WAS it going to end?
I teased Daisy before we had our breakfast so our parents wouldn’t hear. I had always joked that I wanted to get rid of her. All thirteen-year-olds say they want to get rid of their younger siblings. I said that it was too bad that I had to bring her with me to be saved on the day the world was going to end. I told our mother at ten to eleven that me and Daisy were going out to take Buster for a walk to the park.
“Thanks, girls, that’s really helpful of you.” She beamed at us. “Wrap up warm, won’t you. It’s cold out there.”
“Yeah, OK, Mum.” Would our parents really survive?
Of course, Buster had no idea what was going on. He ran in front of us, practically pulling my arm out of its socket.
We arrived at the park at exactly eleven o’clock, and I sat on the bench and let Buster run around. Daisy, not being able to stay still, as usual, bounced after him.
Whoever they were, the people who had written the note had been right. There was no one else in the park at all, except a few pigeons.
I sat there, hardly breathing at all for thirty minutes. The windows open in the middle of winter? Anonymous notes pinned to my windowsill sent by strange people who seemed to be able to predict the future? Or maybe even control it? It was the sort of thing I read about a lot, but never actually believed could happen. I didn’t talk, but Daisy chattered on, asking me all the questions that she was asking herself.
When the thing landed the church bell had just struck the half hour. It was very large and cone-shaped. It was the same colour as the pictures of outer space that we had seen on TV, which had always fascinated me, but bored Daisy completely. The only thing that was a different colour on it was a flag—a moon with green, blue and gold waves crashing over it. I didn’t recognise the flag myself, so I was not at all surprised when my very non-academic sister asked me what it was while staring wide-eyed at the thing. Then, a door opened in the bottom—and someone—or something—came out. It was also cone-shaped and had the flag or emblem on its chest. It stood on its wider end, and appeared to have no eyes.
“Come in,” it said. At least, it didn’t actually say “come in”, it said it in a strange language which me and Daisy seemed to understand instinctively.
I stood up and Daisy led Buster to the door in the thing, which had just dropped out of the sky, with me following.
The creature that had invited us in was emitting a strange, whistling sound as it wobbled into the vehicle. We were easily able to go through the door. When we entered, we had a bit of a shock. A BIG bit of a shock. The inside of the vehicle was as dark as the outside, so, at first, none of us could see anything. But as our eyes became accustomed to the dark, we saw that we were in a long coridor with just one door at the end.
“Follow me,” said the thing, as it continued whistling along the corridor. We arrived at the door, and the thing hooked its point around the handle to open it. Me, Daisy and Buster followed the thing into a large, circular room, still not lit. But now we could see in the dark quite well, so we could make out a whole group of things like the one that had brought us here, and, quite surprisingly we thought, eighteen other children, nine boys and nine girls.
“We have our two European girls,” said the thing to the other things. “Now we can tell them about ourselves and about Omega.”
“Oh, yes please!” us children chorussed.
“But we will launch first,” said the thing which had brought us, which by now we assumed to be the leader. And at once we were all told to sit with the eighteen other children.
“Lainwaing, take the dog to the ark,” the leader of the things said. So our dog was taken away, and when Lainwaing returned two minutes later, the vehicle lifted smoothly off the ground, seemingly automatically, as none of the things had made any move. I looked at my watch. The second hand was already zooming towards twelve. Five. Four. Three. Two. One. BOOM! Through a window in the floor, the only thing we could see through, we saw the whole world caught in a fist of flame, just one giant ball of fire erupting . . . Then there was nothing. Nothing left of what had been our home.
The things were quite indifferent.
“Right,” said the leader, “My name is Arghghar. Don’t ask any questions, I will answer them all now: Why did the Earth end? The sun exploded. Where are we taking you? A new planet where the human race can continue. Why you? There are two boys and two girls from each continent and you are all very intelligent or— he glanced at Daisy, “you all have great qualities. What is our race called? The Windwhistlers in your languages. Why do we whistle as we walk? We are blind. When we get close to an obstacle, the sound changes slightly. It is called Echolocation. What is the ark your dog has been taken to, European girls? Most of you will have heard of Noah’s ark. Well, we have taken two of each animal and put it in a room on this vehicle. Where are your parents? On another vehicle. You will see them when we arrive. We are nearly there now. Prepare to land.”
“Already?” Daisy asked in amazement.
“You are currently travelling at three times the speed of light, young lady. We will be landing in five minutes.”
We landed. The planet was exactly like Earth, except that it hadn’t been built on yet. We met up with our parents and were made to promise that we wouldn’t spoil this planet as we had Earth.
We remain excellent friends with the Windwhistlers, who helped us repopulate a new planet with humans and animals.
That’s why I wrote this. To thank them and, if there are any other humans out there, to convince them that aliens DO exist, contrary to what was thought on Earth, and that, without them, we would not be here.