FOUR SHIRES YOUNG AUTHOR CHALLENGE

Senior runner up

FOUR SHIRES YOUNG AUTHOR CHALLENGE

Senior runner up, Pearl Cumming, 11 from Cropredy

A Summer Adventure

Patterns swirled. Shapes dived, back flipping though a warm July haze. Summer had come. The sun had fnally overcome the imprisonment of the dirty grey clouds. The trees welcomed it back with the air of a mother greeting a long lost child. Everything was happy. Above. Down below in the murk of the unforgivable underworld however, all the summery elation had seeped away though the uncertain number of dirt layers between the two separate settings. Let us go down. Deeeeeeep down. Past the undiscovered dinosaur skeletons and further. Until we enter the centre of the earth. Location: the Underworld. For in the Underworld it was the day of The Summer Draw.

Hades, ruler, king and all round boss of the Underworld, whose preferred name was thus, yawned widely. The Summer Draw rather bored him now. When he was younger he had taken great pleasure in watching as of one of the resident’s names was pulled from the lava signalling who was going to be publicly evaporated. It only happened once a year but by now Hades – being immortal-found it rather trying. He was even considering not showing up this year but alas, he had to give his speech didn’t he? The idea of the Summer Draw was, of course, another one by Razor. He was Hades’ main idea thinker . He came up with the idea because in summer Hades was so bored without Persephone. He was growing bored of Razor too.

A Mexican wave of fear. Panic. Down right scared-ness slid over the crowd waiting in the dilapidated town square. Each one of these humanoid inhabitants had a sinister element of infliction upon them; deep scars. Also, each had committed an evil deed. Razor smirked in a self-satisfed way. This gesture was partly from the presence of petrifed people, but mainly because he and the council had made a deal that no one knew about except themselves. The deal that Mason Hooper was sure to get chosen for evaporation. What Hades doesn’t know won’t hurt him. Thought Razor.

Mason Hooper was handsome, dashing, an all round a good guy. But not too good. He had played his part well. Secretly, he didn’t belong in the Underworld. He was a spy from Above. The council and Razor had suspected this, but they couldn’t have him disposed of. Hades was rather fond of Mason and it would be idiotic to try anything right under his nose. The Summer Draw was the perfect way to get rid of him.

Hades stepped up onto the podium. There was a collective intake of breath. He slowly lowered his hand into the basin of lava and pulled out a charred slip of parchment. Another collective intake. “ This years evaporation victim is…Razor Despair.” Pause. Inside Hades was leaping for joy. This is my chance to lose him he thought. The evaporation cannon was wheeled in. Razor fzzed. He was gone. Mason Hooper smiled. Up though the earth layers Above, the birds sang.

Many Congratulations to Pearl on your 2nd place winning entry!