At all levels we aim to encourage students to express their ideas clearly and precisely, coherently and creatively, experimenting with a variety of styles and forms in both oral and written communication.
- Daily Routine by George Lambert, Grade 9*
- Just Another Margarita by Valerie Scholz, grade 10**
- Paranoia by katie young, grade 8*
- Planet Rescuers by Aziz Fellague Grade 6*
Mr. Smith was a very ordinary man who lived in New York with his wife Julie and daughter Lucy. Mr. Smith lived the same day every day of every month of every year. His routine never changed. He woke up at 6am as usual and had a shower using the same shower gel and the same shampoo. He got changed into the clothes he wore yesterday and the day before that and the day before that etc. He slipped on his dark grey trousers buckling them to the 5th hole in his belt as he did every day. He buttoned up his white striped shirt and tied his red tie, tying it to exactly 41.5cm. He then polished his shoes for five minutes as he did every other day before slipping them on and tying a double knot in each. Walking down the stairs he got the same shock as he did every day tripping over the torn up piece of carpet, which was there every day.
Mr. Smith sat down in his chair and ate Frosties out of his bowl and started up a conversation with his daughter just as he did every day. And, as always, he asked her what she had been doing at school. She told him about a project she had been set by her teacher. The task was to record a diary of one week of your father or guardian’s day-to- day life. That was when Lucy started crying. She explained that her teacher had told her off because she had put too little effort into her work and she hadn’t worked hard enough on her project. After Mr. Smith had finished calming Lucy down, he went out to check the mail before going to work. Unsurprisingly he found one addressed to him from school. He opened it up and started to read. The letter said how disappointed they were with Lucy, and explained that she had written exactly the same description, word for word, for each day of the week. Then they added that she would be having detention for arguing that she had written exactly what her father had done on those days, which they said was obviously a lie because who in the world was like that? Mr. Smith told Lucy that he would be phoning the school as soon as he got back from work but then Lucy interrupted and asked, “Why do you do the same thing every day and have no change in your life?”
He started to explain to Lucy that he lived each day the way he did because he knew that he would get up in time, be dressed smartly for work and would be able to see his daughter before he left. He knew that he would enjoy his day as much as the next. He would be on time for work and bring home money for his family and food. Having a fixed routine prepared you for the day ahead because you knew what was going to happen and when; it was assurance that nothing could go wrong. Most of all it kept him safe so he could get through the day and come home to his wife and daughter.
Mr. Smith kissed his daughter goodbye and left the house at the usual time of 8:00. Lucy was now hoping that he would keep his routine so she could see him come home again. Mr. Smith strolled down the road waving at his friendly neighbours, which he had done for the past 6years. He then arrived at the 247 bus stop which he had caught since he had started work. Mr Smith showed his bus pass to the same old grumpy bus driver who grunted at him to indicate that he could get on. Sticking to his routine, Mr. Smith went
and sat in the same seat, same position and gazed out the window at the exact same things he always did on the bus. Then he started to think about what he had read that morning in the letter and whether he was really living his life the way he should.
He got off the bus at his usual stop and just stood there in the street smelling the freshly- brewed coffee from Starbucks, and then had a feeling that he should change his life and that the school was right. Why would anybody live this way? But Mr. Smith wasn’t a confident man. He didn’t want to do anything drastic, maybe just a little change in his daily routine today, he decided. He came to the conclusion that he would, just today, go for a coffee in Starbucks.
Mr Smith went and sat in a seat he’d never sat in before, he smelt a smell he had never smelled before and he looked through a window he’d never ever looked through. When he saw the menu, Mr Smith was dazzled at the selection of coffee and had no idea what to order. Finally Mr Smith got his coffee, and with the first sip he could feel the change: he tasted something he had never tasted before, had a feeling he felt never felt before. Mr Smith was off schedule and felt good about it.
At 8:52 on September 11th 2001, Mr Smith was not opening his office door up on the 79th floor, hanging up his jacket and turning on his computer as he did every day. Today at 8:52 Mr Smith was drinking coffee whilst a plane crashed into his office on the 79th floor.
George Lambert, Grade 9*
Just Another Margarita
It was early, or rather very late. The dance floor was slowly clearing. Ella didn’t dance. Who with? Claire had left at 11p.m. shyly whispering a word sounding like “curfew”.
Her breath had smelled of roses, fragile and innocent. Orange juice was all she had had. Ella didn’t want her to leave again. Alone. Again. 5 a.m. Again. Would dad call when the plane landed in Prague? Or momma, would she call to say goodnight all the way from Japan? Unlikely. Dad would already be spending every thought on his deal with the banker and momma, she would be going to bed early after a day of treatments of foot massages, manicures and oil treatments. Her beauty sleep was essential to her career, she always said. Ella hated all those slim women with the fancy clothes in the catalogs next to her momma.
Ella gazed down, her delicate feet in high, silver sparkling stiletto heels. She remembered the first time she had worn them. She had walked crookedly and awkwardly. Now she had certainly had enough practice. Her slim hips were charmed by the body tight shimmering white Chanel dress. Swiftly she remembered the day this dress was sold to her. A nice old lady had commented on her choice of dress with the words, “Maybe you should search for some dresses better suited to you age, my dear”. Ella wondered right now what the old lady had meant by this...
On nights like this one, the hours pass almost as quickly as the drinks. The dance floor was blurred now. It was almost as if she was seeing through a film of water. It stung her eyes. Her head was on fire, a thumping sound filling her ears. The bitter scent of cheap male perfume constantly stung her nose, it forced her eyes to water, causing her already blurred sight to become even vaguer. She assumed the man in the muscle shirt sitting to her right was the source of the bitter smell. She would have switched seats long ago to escape this chocking perfume smell but: this man was nice. He had just bought her a drink. She faintly remembered Claire’s words: “Never trust a stranger, never accept a free drink.” But that was typical of Claire- she was just like her mom, careful, too careful. Besides, who could resist a strong Margarita? It was Ella’s favourite drink. So she stayed and drank with him and they even exchanged a few words. He spoke with a strong Russian accent, which fitted well with his harsh facial features. When her limbs became stiff, she left her observer’s spot at the bar. As she pushed her chair back, she whipped her empty glass off the bar table. Someone shouted at her, but she wasn’t sure in which direction the voice had come from. She tried to look for the voice. She turned and her turn became a pirouette- for a short moment she was a dancer, and then she fell. Closing her mind, her eyes and the little sense she still had left, she waited for her head to hit the ground. Maybe one sharp stab of pain would drown all the little ones. Blackness hit her before the pain could wash over her.
When consciousness returned, it was like emerging from a deep, black sea. Her mind was clearer now, but this made enough room for the feeling of loneliness to spread over her once again. Before she opened her eyes, she knew something was wrong. She didn’t seem to be lying on the ground. She felt soft velvet under her. It was quiet but as she listened harder, she did hear something. She knew even before her ears had made sense
of the noise that there was someone next to her, very close next to her. She couldn’t only hear the heartbeat and the breathing noise, she could also feel the breath and now even smell it. Old tobacco and alcohol, and a familiar scent of cheap male perfume. Suddenly, images entered her mind. Images she felt she had seen on television or had read about. Images which she had never dreamt of happening to her...
She opened her eyes. He was next to her, sleeping. Silent cries of pain escaped her mouth. As she got dressed, more and more images crept into her mind. Terror, pain and loneliness, mixed with his words, his constant soothing and his moaning. “Everything will be fine, sugar.”
Her memories were drowning her, she tried to push them away, but it was impossible. She had missed a lot while she was drugged. She escaped from the building and ran until her lungs couldn’t supply her with air anymore.
Ella passed the threshold of her momma’s room, a sweet scent of oils and candle smoke washed over her. Soothing, exotic music was playing quietly from the large stereo. Momma was stretched out on her favorite blood-red Italian sofa in the furthest corner of the large room, a cup of tea and two biscuits on the small glass top table next to her. Ella coughed shyly.
“Ella my darling, you were out for a while. I hope you didn’t catch a cold! You know I have that Prada photo shoot tomorrow. I cannot get sick now!”
Ella waited for her mother to look up, to look into her dirt crusted face, her tear-stained mascara, her smeared makeup. She wanted momma to see her dull, watery eyes, her knotted curls and her ragged, ripped Chanel dress. Ella wanted to scream out all the pain that crushed her mind into little shattered pieces. She wanted to cry out in agony and run to her mother, bury her face in momma’s perfect curls, hide in her mother’s arms just as she used to do when she was young. She wanted to share the pain before it burned her out. But she did not.
“So, did you have fun these past days, my love?” Momma said stretching out further on the couch.
“Yes”. Ella whispered and turned to leave.
Valerie Scholz, Grade 10**
I was under attack.
I sat concealed behind a marble statue at the foot of my staircase ready to pounce, like a cat waiting for a mouse.
Men, shielded from sight with the night as their cloaks, drifted towards my house with the howling wind carrying them further forward. I gripped my weapon firmly and was prepared to take action against the green-eyed monsters that were trying to steal my prosperity from underneath me. How dare they try something like that again! Those French!
As they entered my home I could only barely hear the careful footsteps of a few people treading on my floor. Suddenly there was silence. I waited, wiped the sweat off my brow and glanced at a large mirror hanging on the wall. It wasn’t at the right angle. All I could see was my own reflection, a wrinkled proud face. I focused back on the main problem. I probably should have listened to my grandchildren about modern technology, but who needs all of that Lurglyflurgo anyway? I’ve got instinct on my side.
I burst out of my hiding place, instantly firing my rifle. I missed. The bullets ricocheted off target. Actually there was no target. They’ve escaped! Sneaky Brits! Ever since the revolution they’ve been trying to steal my fortune! I will get them later!
I straightened up, fixed my dishevelled clothing and paced around the room. I guess it was a tad in disarray. That could be fixed though, all I needed to do was call the maid. I walked through one of my many extravagantly adorned hallways, muttering curses to myself, and went into my kitchen. The cook was as always, ready for my commands. I remembered when he used to come rushing into my room every time I shot my rifle. Once he had even come in during a battle between me and the Vikings! Oh how he has changed. A once inexperienced child, I his teacher, have helped him learn proper skill, and now he has now changed like an ugly duckling into a swan, a strapping young lad (and quite the ladies man if I do say so myself). I grabbed my freshly cooked filet mignon, a glass of red wine and sat down at my mahogany dining table.
Then I heard something, almost inaudible, but there. I stood up immediately, knocking over my salt shaker as I rose from my chair. I jumped to my lockbox, where I always kept the gun. I twisted the number on my combination lock, not as quick as I used to be, but
finally, I got it out. The noise had stopped now, but I still had some idea of where it had come from - upstairs.
I hobbled as quickly as my tired legs could take me and, for an old man, I moved pretty quickly. I soon made it up the stairs to where the first noise was. At first I saw nothing.
My hands were now shaking out of anticipation, but I just kept jumping at shadows. I needed to think.
I decided to check all of the rooms upstairs to check if they were clear. First, clear! I ran to the next, clear, next, clear, one after another.
Almost all of the rooms were checked now and I went to check the next room, less enthusiastically now. It wasn’t empty, I could smell it. A daunting mix of dandelion and Dolce and Gabbana awakened my senses. I jumped into the room -nobody. I scanned the room once, twice and then decided I would not be able to beat those Trojans today. I walked out and closed the door. Boom! A shot was fired and this time it wasn’t I who did it. There was a sharp pain in my back and I fell to the ground. It was over as quick as it came. As I lay there on the ground the cook stood in my kitchen and prepared my next meal, not thinking that anything was out of the normal.
Katie Young, Grade 8*
In a tiny, tiny world there was a tiny, tiny continent. And in that tiny, tiny continent was a tiny, tiny country. And in that tiny, tiny county there was a tiny, tiny city called Hamburg. And in that tiny, tiny city there was a tiny, tiny suburb called Othmarschen. Finally, in that tiny, tiny suburb there was a tiny, tiny house. In the house was a family of four former superheroes. There was an anxious, middle-aged man who was called Brad Hero (aka Super Stretchy), an enthusiastic lady called Samantha Hero (aka Muscle Woman), a clever boy called Howard Hero (aka Brainiac) and a shy girl called Ashley Hero (aka Spike Girl). They were one of the only families left who had super powers. Little did they know they would need to use their powers once again...
Meanwhile, the mayor of Hamburg was moaning to some of his loyal companions. “I don’t know what to do! A meteorite will be landing on our city killing everybody on this planet!”
“Well, why don’t you try to save the planet with your special powers?” asked a man.
“I can’t!” said the mayor. “I don’t want to wear a silly costume that’s pink and purple!”
“Listen you stubborn little man, you know you’re the only hero left, so if we die it’ll be all your darned fault!” snapped the man.
But the man was wrong. The Hero family were watching the 6:00 p.m. news. Suddenly “Breaking News” flashed onto the screen. “Astronomers report that a 100,000kg meteoroid is heading towards the earth at 5,000 miles an hour. It will hit earth in two days,” said a reporter.
“Doh!” said Brad.
“I’m going to try and stop this meteoroid!” said Samantha.
“Amazing!” whooped Howard. “I have to get more information!”
When Howard wants to get more information he usually whizzes off. That’s what he did right now. Howard came back swiftly in less than four minutes.
“I have more news!” he said. “The meteoroid is heading towards 54 latitude and 10 longitude! It will pulverize us all!”
“What?” asked Ashley, Brad, and Samantha.
“In simple words, it’s heading towards Hamburg and it will kill us all,” Howard addressed them as if they were stupid.
“Let’s go save the earth!” said Samantha.
“Are you nuts?” shouted Brad. “Ever since the new mayor was elected, super powers were banned or taken away from people! We’ll get arrested!”
“Dad, sometimes we have to take risks and not follow the crowd,” Ashley said in a hushed voice.
The family gasped. Ashley had never debated or spoken her opinion before. “Well who’s in for saving the planet?” Ashley asked.
“We are!” said the whole family together.
The next day the Heroes did not go to work or school. Instead the family worked on how to save the planet. Howard wasn’t very happy about it because he had a huge math test. They planned and discussed tactics and how they would use their powers. Then Brad remembered something vital.
“We don’t have our costumes anymore!” he said. “Well, why don’t we go to Peter’s?” asked Howard. “Good idea son!” said Brad. “Let’s get going!”
Peter’s Tailoring and Repairs was a small shanty building near the shopping area of Altona. Posters of old rock concerts and circuses were plastered on the windows, while graffiti covered the rest of the building. When the family stepped inside it smelt like cigarettes and sausages. “Was kann ich für Sie tun, Typi?” asked a gruff overweight man.
“Remember me, Peter?” grinned Brad.
“Ach, it’s Brad Hero! What can I do for you mate?” Peter said.
“Listen, I need two adult and two children superhero costumes urgently,” Brad said.
“Sorry mate, no can do because the mayor’s been watching over this place. He knows I produce superhero costumes,” Peter said sadly. “Now have a cigarette.”
“I don’t smoke, Peter,” said Brad, “but I’ll give you all the sausages you want if you help us.”
“Lekker, ich liebe Bratwurst. Come back in five hours! Just write all the things you need on a list and I’ll make it!”
Five hours later Peter had made the costumes and said goodbye to them. For the rest of the day Howard researched more information on his laptop.
“More news,” he said. “The meteoroid will land between the Rathaus and the Hauptbahnhof. It will land at 11:44 a.m.”
“Great, now everything is prepared and we’re raring to go!” Brad said.
THE DAY HAD COME- the day that everybody could die. Meanwhile the family packed into Brad’s yellow Lamborghini and revved off. People noticed the bright meteorite and stared at it. Scientists took notes about it, while religious people were praying for a miracle to happen. 11:20 it said on Brad’s wristwatch as they sped past Altona and whizzed through St. Pauli. Finally, they were in the city centre. Brad parked his car in a lonely alley and the family changed into their superhero costumes. They sprinted into the Rathaus square. They got into their positions and waited. The meteoroid was only five kilometres away from earth. Spike Girl reacted first. A thousand spikes shot up from her into the sky. They went higher than even the tallest building in Hamburg. Her spikes finally hit the meteorite, digging a hole in it. Super Stretchy stretched between two buildings and Spike Girl tilted sideways to release the meteorite. The people in the crowd looked on in amazement. Super Stretchy managed to catch the meteorite. He turned upside down and Muscle Woman caught it. When Super Stretchy moved, Muscle Woman threw the meteorite. In fact she threw it so hard it headed towards Uranus (no, the planet silly). People started to cheer. In fact the whole world started to cheer! Everyone was so happy that they were alive.
Then the mayor made a speech, “You have saved us all. We must reward you.” “You can reward us later,” grinned Brad. “To the sausage shop!”
Aziz Fellague Grade 6*
- a perfect wedding by Susanne Lory, Grade 11*
- Dyslexia by Megan Beddoe, Grade 9*
- Four Memories Sake by Alex Wigley Grade 8*
- Terracotta Watchmen by Heather Smith, Grade 10
A Perfect Wedding
A path of cream petals before the girl’s feet
A glint in her eye, a smile so sweet.
Her hair turned golden as the sunshine caught her, Her bright blue eyes shone like the water.
The boy stands alone on the dark, hard wood, He feels like running, if only he could.
His eyes are solemn, like pained black holes, And I see the sorrow pour out from his soul.
She starts to walk, her dress follows near, He’s screaming inside but she can not hear. And as she draws closer, she starts to smile He slowly fakes one after a while
She blushes with coyness and looks for his eyes, He looks to the floor and sinks in his lies.
She takes his hand, and she feels warm,
He feels cold, like a midnight storm.
She thinks her dreams are all coming true,
She speaks from the heart when she says “I do.” She flashes a smile of dazzling white
She is in love, she knows it feels right.
He’s hollow inside; he knows it’s too late, He feels he’s pursuing another man`s fate. He slips on the ring, not seeing her beauty He chants “I do” like an unfair duty.
The guests overjoyed, dab away tears Oblivious to all of his worries and fears
She kisses with passion, he kisses with none, She’s just a girl, but he is the one.
I sit alone in the shadow of a tree
And wonder if anyone else can see
It’s wrong, it’s fake, it’s not meant to be He doesn’t love her, he’s in love with me.
Susanne Lory, Grade 11*
I pinpoint my glance within a section of my page. The words blur and transfer places.
Night shade words on a white backdrop. Imaginary words fade into the night.
My sister ́s words; flowing, fluent, functional.
I mispronounce ́T.H. ́, my confidence shudders.
Concealing my face amongst my books, I attempt to shrink. Greatly noticed by the strict teacher, clearly aware of my situation
As I shrug my head in shame, I stare at the pavement. Proud and distinct, it oozes with self-belief.
A less complex book, my eyes yet again draw a blank.
Although the book remains at a standstill, the words swim as if fish in a complete ocean.
Megan Beddoe, Grade 9*
Four Memories Sake
As I stare into what seems like a frozen copy of myself,
Too perfect to be true but too realistic to be untrue,
I wonder “If only that picture were animated and I could tell her what is to come”
As I look into an untruthful mirror,
Not of this time and not representative of that time, I ask myself where I have been and where I am going.
As I gaze through a window separating past and present,
Too strong to be broken but too weak to contain all that lies on the other side, I wonder “Do I really have more courage now than then?”
As I observe an unfaithful portrait, As untruthful now as then
I can’t help but wonder,
“Would it be less faithful if the sky behind was coloured pink and my hair dyed straw blonde?”
Their strength resolute; an army of stone,
Silently cocooned in their serene state,
Their loyalty vowed; protecting the throne,
A lost dynasty, with an empty fate.
Although time has weakened death holds no bound. Guardians to an alternate empire,
An antique force; its legendry renowned, Whose being pained by the presence of fire. Accepting eternal imprisonment,
For the salvation of their emperor. Silhouettes in the dark standing dormant, Repelling time in a lifeless slumber.
While asleep their leader long since gone; but, Eight thousand strong, his legacy lives on.
Heather Smith, Grade 10