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Short Stories School Years 6 to 7 Winner Isla Snape with ‘The Story of A Year’

Golden rays shone through moody fog. Swimming costumes dripped their last drops, flip-flops and sunscreen dragged with them, all hid behind boxes, as she packed away once again.

Waves attacked the shore, currents like a washing machine; bubbles rose as creatures were dragged along. Struggled and fought free of rough surf. She felt their pain, as she herself had fought her own new battles the season brought.

Hibernation for bears, bats, hedgehogs, had restful nights’ sleep, aquatic life, hardly such.

Her favourite hobby; sun bathing, became replaced by huddling around fires, sunglasses by gloves, and sweat by chills. September rolled into October while once healthy leaves fell miserably to the ground, collected by dustbins and brushes.

Puddles splashed, toddlers' tear-stricken faces reflected by the waters’ debris. Lips, chameleon, completely blue. Her hands, coated by pink fluffy gloves.

The red and green holly spirit came and went, wrapping paper bought, just to be torn apart. Festive lights, and over the top trees all put away. Her mind, filled with happy memories. One year ticked into another, and before you know it, back to school.

Snowmen after snowmen she made, and icicles slowly melted away, their drooped faces wouldn’t be forgotten. Cooling showers leaked from the sky, not to be minded as much as storms. Christmas sales had run out fast, as summer lurked around the corner.

New life shone like little golden eggs, hidden extremely well,
As she searched all around her garden. Chocolate spread around her mouth. “Welcome to the world, little ones,” each and every mother cooed. She moved the boxes, dust galore, swimming costumes one size too small, sunglasses scratched much more than she remembered.
Huddles of families including her own, sprinted to the beach, towels, goggles, sunscreen all inside a bag. Snacks, plastic shovels and hats, balanced against those frolicked arms. Secured their spot on the sand.
Minutes then hours rolled away with the sea.

Golden rays once again, as the moody fog moved in once again…
Next thing you know, it's all happening again.

Adjudicators Comments:
We were impressed by this short story, especially within this age bracket. The form is experimental, the figurative language is effective, and it personifies a year navigating the change brought about by the four seasons alongside our protagonist. The story is timeless and has no anchor in any particular place; perhaps this is part of the appeal - the universal challenge brought about by change.

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