Senior winner's story - read it here

As part of our 20th anniversary celebrations we ran a new competition this year. Our Young Author challenge asked writers from the age of 5 – 14 to submit a story of no more then 500 words with the title of a ‘Summer Adventure’.

We had a fantastic amount of entries and choosing the winners proved to be a very hard task indeed. But after reading, re-reading and plenty of delibaration we choose 4 winners (a first and second place winner within the two age categories). Below is our 1st place winner in the 10-14 age group

Both stories can also be found within the print edition of our October Birthday, celebration issue of Four Shires Magazine which is available to purchase now! Second place winners for each catergory we will be publishing in print and online during November

FIRST PLACE WINNER 10 – 14 AGE GROUP                                                                                                                                                                                       BELLE SINGLETON, AGE 12 FROM OXFORD

A Summer Adventure – Mafia Mischief

Charles was in business in New York. I guess you could call him an ‘unofficial stockbroker’. He sorted things out with a deal here and there whilst taking a cut for himself. He was a handsome fellow with slick hair and a wicked smile. His methods were sometimes questionable but hey, everyone got what they wanted in the end. Or did they…

Charles was up against the Downtown Mob who lingered in the steamy dark streets of Brooklyn, which smelled of Chinese food mingled with Italian. The Downtown Mob often lurked under the Verrazano Bridge stretching over the murky Hudson River linking Manhattan with shady Brooklyn.

One night, Charles was hurrying back from Brooklyn over the bridge after bagging a deal. He looked good, his black hair shone in the moonlight. Then, behind him, he heard a threatening noise.

Before he knew it he felt a sharp grip. ‘Not so quick’ said the voice behind him ‘ I think it’s time we parted company – permanently. No-one does his business on my turf’. It was Mad Dog Mahone from The Mob. Before Charles knew it, he was hoisted over the bridge into the freezing water below, spiraling and twisting into the dark night, the lights of Manhattan a blur in the distance. Then, splash – he hit the water.

Scrambling to the surface, Charles began to swim frantically. He hated water and wasn’t a very good swimmer.

Finally, he found a piece of driftwood to cling on to. The water was icy cold, his coat dragging him down. His hair began to freeze in the crosswinds.

Then he heard the whirring of a motor. A night ferry was heading straight towards him. Charles scrambled to get out of the way but he was a dead weight in the water. The boat advanced quickly, its headlights blazing in to his face. Charles thought, ‘if I ever get out of this, I’ll become an honest citizen’.

He closed his eyes. The ferry passed within an inch. On the wake Charles was thrown downstream, off the driftwood. He felt himself slipping away.

A seagull awakened him. It was sitting on his chest. He had been washed ashore on Stanton Island just under The Statue of Liberty. ‘I’m not dead yet’ said Charles, very relieved.

He tried to stand, very uncertain of himself. The day was glorious. He felt every sense more than ever before – the sights, the smells, the sounds. A new dawn, a new day.

It was then that a tourist spotted him. He felt quite ashamed looking like this. He tried to put on a brave show by picking himself up, grinning and walking away, but then promptly collapsed.

‘Poor little darling’, she said, ‘You nearly drowned. You must come home with me and let me take care of you.’

Charles shot a bedraggled sly grin. No more Downtown Mob or Mad Dog Mahone. Scooped up he felt safe, even if he had lost another one of his 9 lives…


The team at Four Shires Magzazine picked Belle’s story because it was very imaginative and we particulalry liked the twist at the end, non of us saw it coming! Congratulations Belle and we hope that you continue to enjoy writing stories.