Building Trystal by Angus Morice, Holy Spirit College
Pink trees with blood red cherries and crystal lakes. Purple robed fairies and green suited elves. The fiery breath from the scarlet dragons above me combines with the pixie dust in the air filling my nostrils with a cinnamon scent. The sound of happy voices floats up to me, a celebration underway. There are dancing imps, elves raising pints of butterbeer in joy and the sounds of the singing merfolk can be heard over the salty waves crashing down calmly. I look around at my beautiful creation. Trystal, I will call this place.
“Hey!” a voice says. I open my eyes. “Has the 3:15 been yet?” he asks impatiently. I am no longer in Trystal but awaiting the bus home.
Together Again by Liv Evans, Brisbane Girls Grammar
We said goodbye in the garden; we were perched on an unpainted fence. You held me tight and you started to cry and with the memories of our friendship, you vanished into the night.
I remembered your sunshine smile, and the way your hair fell on your face. We’d speak in silent tongues; no one ever understood us like us. We were each other’s lights in the darkness, bright stars in the infinite sky.
You were sitting on a red painted bench. I was just wandering by. When I came over, you smiled again, as the wind blew your hair out of place. You held me tight and you dried my tears and we were together again, in the end.
Levitating Literature Lovers by Jessica Stone, St Rita's College
Raising readers is no easy feat. A feather? No problem, merely a simple swish and flick. Raising a person isn’t usually complicated either, if an enchanted implement is at hand. Unfortunately, at this readers’ convention, there will not be a bewitched broomstick in sight. Nor a magic wand! I will have to levitate a crowd with nothing but a chant and my bare, probably clammy, hands. (Chanting, unlike spell-casting, doesn’t come naturally to an introvert like me, what with my crippling stage fright). Bear in mind, most attendees will be holding at least one book, contributing to the kilograms I will endure. You honestly have no idea how challenging wizarding is in the 22nd century.
How to Survive an Apocalypse: The Definitive Guide by Max Klitscher, Ormiston College
Step One: Don’t die! This bit is very important – if you’re unsure about your survival, make sure you’ve got this one nailed and the rest will come naturally.
Step Two: Shoot stuff! If you can find an old game console, this should help you practise good life skills. Everyone knows that in an apocalypse, banding together for the greater good of all is never as effective as emptying a few rounds into your next-door neighbour. Obviously.
Step Three: Don’t bother writing memoirs – you’ll likely get shot putting pen to page. Nobody else is worth your time, anyhow - don’t make life easier for your enemies! Channel your inner callousness. After all-
Carpentaria by Kayleigh Laine, Moreton Bay College
there is in
and there is out;
the gulf is in
the world is out.
there is within the gulf
and without the gulf;
within the gulf is the shallows
without the gulf is the deep.
there is behind the gulf
and ahead of the gulf;
behind the gulf is the flat shore
ahead of the gulf
is an untold horizon.
there is below the gulf
and above the gulf;
below the gulf are marauding wrecks
above the gulf is promise.
there is the gulf and there is the engulfed;
the gulf is
the in and the out,
the within and the without,
the behind and the ahead of,
the above and the below and the engulfed
Stage Story by Kaiya Braam, Mansfield State School
Paint swirls around my eyes, a mask on my skin. Light catches the glitter in my scalp and the fake gems sewn into my ballgown. My chest rises and falls with light, fluttery breaths as the artist redesigns me into the perfect Juliet. Hazelnut hair rests in an intricate bun on top of my head and piercing blue eyes study me from the mirror, yellow lightbulbs illuminating the backstage area behind me.
Applause abruptly echoes from the audience, followed by thundering footsteps approaching the makeup room. A slow, sad piano chord plays, my cue to enter for the final song. I reach the west wing, taking deep, calming breaths, then raise my slippered foot and step on to the stage.
Ben, My Friend by Jenna Cooper
‘Ben’s a nice friend. He’s agreeable, and quiet, likes what I like, and is undemanding. I can talk to him for hours. Sometimes it’s sad he can’t respond. I would like his opinion, he is intelligent. I didn't like when he went away, he never came back. He left on a Saturday, I remember the day. He never came to school on Monday. I visit our peach tree each day, we always liked the tree that was as old as us, it’s now seven. I wish Ben were here, but mum told me he’s everywhere I go. I never see him, but I like to play hide and seek. Ben is really good at hiding.’
Google: My Body Insecurity Confidant by Lucy Liu, Mansfield State High School
How to lose weight fast? Delicious. How to become skinny overnight? Exquisite. These Google searches are my meals, flavourful, fast and fat-free. Instead of indulging in skipping ropes and healthy diets, I immerse myself within these fads. Doctors detest this tummy-flattening pill? Sign me up! Scattered over my search history are these titles along with increasingly ambiguous ones, such as ‘Perfect weight?' and ‘Am I pretty?' The people online – even if they are strangers – must be saints. If they say I'm ugly, I must be ugly, right? Even as I type this, four tabs are open on Chrome containing scandalous questions. Should I change? I question myself. "Hmm…," the anorectic teenager inside of me hesitates. "How about I ask Google?"
House of death by Kelly Huang, MacGregor State School
Midnight ticked. The sky transitioned ebony. Subconsciously biting her lip, Alice reluctantly entered tugging her chartreuse trench coat. Scouting the vestibule, Alice ignited an oil lamp, studied a lopsided sign attached carelessly to an antique chest. An odour contaminated the atmosphere, blunt fingers lightly brushing along the chest. Latching the timber lid, Alice discovered a chest of pictures and letters about a petite damsel. Memories unfolded the breaking news, Forlorn expressions and crime investigation. Gathered the pile of evidence a sudden movement caught her attention, Alice's head maneuvered sharply, her body shivering. Staggering towards the wooden sign, Alice's face discoloured her mouth wide in shock and regret. Engraved onto the sign the phrase ''DO NOT OPEN''.
Read the winning entry by Tarni McCosker.
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