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Issue 8 Dec 2015

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Title Write On! Magazine Name Welcome to Write On! Magazine There is a bit of showing off about Write On! Magazine. It is always here to bring you the best of young writing in the West Midlands so when it has a set of the standard you’re about to read, we’re proud. This is what our region can do, this is what the finest young writers are creating right now. One supremely important thing, though, is that Write On! is built to get these writers experience of how writing works in the real world. We have constraints, we have requirements, we have deadlines and we also have editors who neither care nor even notice how old the writers are: they are solely focused on the material and whether it’s good enough to bring to you. What everyone involved in the magazine will always tell the contributors is that Write On! is for the reader. All writing is for its audience. Writers have to stretch and grow but they also have to work, they have to write their own pieces and understand how those will or won’t fit into a magazine. They learn about rejection as a key part of this job. Writing is an art but writing for an audience is a skill too. What writers learn from writing for Write On! Magazine will of course help them develop as writers but it’s an open secret here that what they learn will help them whatever their careers are. Writing, communicating, working: this is what it’s like. I just have to tell you now that I didn’t realise how much I would learn from being the editor or how much I would miss it when I’m not. The last two issues were run by Rosanne Rivers and I read them closely, avidly, jealously. She did a smart job as editor, she did things I’m learning from, and it was a joy to read what “my” writers had done for her. You just can’t beat being the editor, though. I wish you could have this experience, although we’d armwrestle if you tried to take it away from me. For as well as the final collection of work, as editor you get to see the entire range of submissions, you get to discuss and work with the writers. It is the most invigorating, energising and – yes – inspiring job. Take a look for yourself. Look at what the best young writers in the West Midlands can do. William Gallagher - Write On! Magazine Editor

Write On! Magazine is a publication of Writing West Midlands. We support creative writers and creative writing across the region. More information about us can be found on our website: www.writingwestmidlands.org This magazine features writing from children and young people aged 8 - 20 who live in the West Midlands. It is also available to read online at www.writeonmagazine.org. Copyright of all pieces featured in this magazine remains with the contributors. Writing West Midlands - Company Registration Number: 6264124. We are a Charity - Registered Charity Number: 1147710.

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Contents 20

Shooters of the Woods Lila Melnykevicova

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Tornado! Luke Hall

10 Reasons Why I Don’t Tidy My Room Willow Gregory

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Me Mikey Walsh

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Ice Dragon Amy Saunders

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The Puffin and the Magic Ring James Calloway-Brady

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Human or Dolphin Kiera Webb

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Seasons Nayantika Chaudary

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Autumn Glory Claire Howland

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The Parcel Queta Taylor

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Destiny of a Ghost Erica Bassford

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Silent Beauty Rebecca Spruce

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Because I Can! James Calloway-Brady

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The Seasons Rhiannon Baxter

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A Sweet Moment in Time Amelia Arnold

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Snow Jessica Bridge

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Nightmares Jessica Bridge

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This is What She Wanted Xenia Brettell

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What Is a Childhood? Jude Parker

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Twinkle Zoe Belgian

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The Respective Pros and Cons of Using Your Imagination - A Study Emilie Eisenberg

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Ode to No-Man’s Land Maryam Alatmane

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From Up in the Clouds Katie Gayton

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The Noisy Art Gallery Khadeeja Irfan

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Late for School Kitty Smithies

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For Stealing a Loaf of Bread Katie Gayton

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Guantanamo Daisy Charles

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Internal Monologue Embarrassment Kacie Clifton

The Rocking Chair Lauren Thompson

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The Respective Pros and Cons of Using Your Imagination - A Study Emilie Eisenberg

Good morning, class! Please sit down. Today I’d like to talk about the pros and cons, and some uses for, having a bold and occasionally scary imagination. Okay, I’m only an aspiring writer, so you’re not a class – actually you’re just a couple of battered cuddly toys stained with lipstick and ramen. But I can dream. The first pro of having a great imagination is, of course, using it in situations where you might be nervous about something that’s about to happen. Just kidding, there’s no “might” about it – you’re so nervous that you think you’re either going to pass out or bite your own tongue off, both of which are unnecessary. When you walk into a room filled with people, simply redress them in your mind. Here’s an example: the old lady in the corner of the coffee shop in which I am writing this would look SO much better in a tube top and a miniskirt, finished off with some neon-green eyeshadow. Or, the acne-riddled teenager at the counter needs to get rid of his old, mangy sweats and replace them with a pinstriped suit and a tie printed with pictures of Homer Simpson. Remember, while it is rather fun to redress people – and here’s a con of having an awesome imagination - give the speech you were supposed to give or sing the song you were supposed to sing, or you’ll be left at the front of the room, everyone silently staring at you while you squint at a member of the audience and laugh to yourself. If you would like to record anything particularly vivid that you imagined, you can use one of two methods: the first being sitting down in front of a notebook or computer and calmly typing or writing everything you remember imagining. The second, of course, is scribbling on the back of a Waterstones receipt with a dying pen as your train slows down at your stop. Under these circumstances, someone else’s briefcase is banging into your leg and one of your contact lenses has popped out, rendering you half-blind. I prefer to use the first method, but the second method has become a way of life. One of the bigger issues of having a huge, extravagant imagination is being a writer, which is both a pro and a con. It’s a pro when you sit at your desk and write something that makes you feel like the late William Shakespeare (it’s also a pro if your name happens to be Joanne Kathleen Rowling). However, it’s also a con – when you look at your clock and see that it’s 3 a.m. and you spent the entire night jotting random words on pieces of paper and then seeing if your throwing technique has improve by trying to get it in the bin, this becomes apparent very quickly. It’s also a con when you realise that the lifestyle of a writer can be summed up in three easy words – Tesco, rain and expectations. Ew.

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10 Reasons Why I Don’t Tidy My Room Willow Gregory Chapter 1 – TV Chapter 2 – Tablet Chapter 3 – Money Chapter 4 – Food Chapter 5 – Reading Chapter 6 – Bedtime Chapter 7 – School Chapter 8 – RE Chapter 9 – Boring Stuff Chapter 10 – Better things Chapter 1 - TV I don’t know about you but I have never met a person without a TV or one who hates to watch it. This is why chapter one is called TV. I love to watch TV. TV, TV, TV, TV. I’m so mad about TV that I have one in my bedroom because my Mum hogs the TV downstairs sometimes. Chapter 2 – Tablet My tablet is great. It’s got lots of apps on it. My favourite is called Minecraft. I love to build stuff on it. At the moment I am building a skyscraper. It is as tall as the clouds. Chapter 3 - Money We tidy our bedroom for what? …..For some guests who don’t even care about us or friends who just wreck the place anyway. We should get money for tidying our rooms, then at least it would be worth it. Chapter 4 - Food Food, food, food, food. I love food. How can I tidy my bedroom when all I can think about is FOOD. Chapter 5 - Reading Most people hate to read but personally I like it. If I had to choose between reading a book and tidying my room, I would read. At least it gives you an excuse for when your Mum shouts at you. Chapter 6 - Bedtime Bedtime. I hate it. Sleeping, doing nothing for 10 to 12 hours. Then in the morning you have to go to school. I hate it but at least you don’t have to look around and think “I’ve got to clean this up”. Chapter 7 - School Talking about school, it is dreadful. I hate it, but on the upside… No mother shouting at you to tidy up your room. You can relax in school in a nice clean tidy room.

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Chapter 8 - RE Personally I love RE, but I am not religious so don’t get any ideas. I have heard a ton of people moaning about RE. Well, listen to me, it’s better than tidying your bedroom. Chapter 9 – Boring Stuff Boring Stuff:

1. Tidying Your Bedroom 2. Walking the dog 3. Sleeping 4. Shopping 5. Footie

These 5 things are really boring and tidying your bedroom is at number 1. Chapter 10 – Better Things To be honest if someone asked me to give them a reason why I have not tided my bedroom I would say that I have better stuff to do than tidy my bedroom.

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Ice Dragon Amy Saunders Ice Dragon Made from razor-sharp icicles shimmering ice cubes, all night he follows the moonlight across the sky. Eating sweet catfish When he roars, ice lurks on his fearsome breath Snaggle-toothed, fearsome and brutal, chainmail armour vicious talons He Is as big as an island Jade-winged and blue-eyed With a tail as big as the Mediterranean Ice Dragon Stares Into the terrified eyes of darkness and mirrors of misery.

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Human or Dolphin Kiera Webb Am I a human? Or am I a dolphin?... nobody knew!!! I was an ordinary girl who lived with my mum a few miles away from the sea. As I was walking into town to buy some food I met an evil wizard, he was one of those people who thought others should obey whatever he said. He ordered me to go with him and from there I would get two choices as to what I did next. I had no choice but to follow him as he dragged me some of the way then put an enchantment on me so I could not run away. I followed him glumly to a forest where we found an old abandoned mansion full of people dressed in rags with disheartened expressions. He took me to the top floor and there he gave me my choices: they were to watch my mum suffer for no reason or be turned into a sea creature. I chose the sea creature of course, there was a catch though, I had to answer a question nobody else had answered correctly. I HAD TO GET THIS RIGHT. “What is 75,080-16,235? Do this without a calculator just use your brain.” After a few minutes I got an answer of 58,845 would it be right? “The answer is 58,846.” “Nnnnoooooooo!” “Sorry 58,845, you are correct, what sea creature would you like to be?” “A dolphin please.” “A dolphin it is then.” He gave me a special necklace that could turn me from dolphin to human so that when he wanted to talk to me he could. The thing is though, he brain washed me so I couldn’t run away to my mum when I was turned back to my human self. This is my life, sometimes human, sometimes dolphin and I never have a choice what I am. So am I human or am I dolphin? or.... is this all a dream.... nobody knew.

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Autumn Glory Claire Howland I stand on the pine needle rug As leaves blanket the ground Trees’ orange-tipped fingers Gliding gently to earth; Above in the drifting clouds Swallows leave in flocks Heading south for warmer days As winter’s icy breath approaches; The wind is fresh and clean With the scent of vegetation Sun glows low on the horizon Shining orange through undergrowth; As I look around in awe I see nature’s elaborate palette An artwork of red and gold Painted over the forest canvas; Evergreens stand tall with pride Emerald as their companions blend From yellow to orange to copper And leaf litter crunches under my feet; Squirrels gather their winter stock Bury it deep beneath the ground As fungi begin to show their faces Shedding spores into the cool air; I cannot see but I can guess That underneath the leaf piles Hedgehogs close their sleepy eyes And fall into slumber ‘till spring.

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Destiny of a Ghost Erica Bassford I am a ghost, Afraid that people will see me, I hide away, Although no-one holds the key. Nobody has found it yet, And I hope they never will, For I will die again when they do, And my destiny will fulfil. Once again, I’m terrified, That they’ll charge like they did when they last came, Again, I hope they won’t do it, I hope they won’t do it the same. I know my destiny cannot be stopped, For the second time, they will charge uphill, My spirit and ghost will die, Before I even have time to write my will. Unfortunately my story is tragic, Right to the end, it’s sad, I wish I had some way to stop them, And take back the life I never had. I am a ghost, Now the key has been found, I must go now, Before they surround.

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Because I Can! James Calloway-Brady I’m the King of Kazakhstan. I live in a palace of gold. In a silver lift to the roof I ride, And come back down on a diamond slide, Just for fun, because I can. I’m the King of Kazakhstan. My garden’s as big as Japan. With ice-cream fountains and candy trees, That I can lick anytime I please, Just for fun, because I can. I’m the King of Kazakhstan. I swim in the Caspian Sea. With sunfish, whales, and snakes and rays. I ride white sharks over rainbow waves, Just for fun, because I can. I’m the King of Kazakhstan. My rocket is called ‘’James 1’’. Far above the stars with my friends I fly, Playing zero gravity games up high, Just for fun, because I can. I’m the King of Kazakhstan. My pets are exquisite and rare. A lion, a tiger, a kiwi, a panda; I cuddle them all out on my veranda, Just for fun, because I can. I’m the King of Kazakhstan. My treasures beyond compare: Crystals and pearls, amber and jade; A golden statue of me I had made, Just for fun, because I can. I’m the King of Kazakhstan. And nobody knows who I am. A fire-breathing dragon protects my home, So I do what I like and I’m free to roam, Just for fun, because I can.

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A Sweet Moment in Time Amelia Arnold “Ye Olde Sweet Shoppe” Beth whispered in Eliza’s ear. They saw an old, plump woman sitting behind the counter. Primrose owned the shop and now and then, gave them a freebie. Primrose cried, “Most days you’re my only customers, one day, I’m afraid, this shop will have to go!” Beth bought two Freddos, one sour snake and one chocolate eggs. Eliza bought the same but two extra of everything as she liked chocolate more than anyone on Earth. They went their separate ways home and unwrapped their treats. Beth, a careful girl, unwrapped hers peeking inside, hoping for a surprise.... she got one..... Out popped two frantically flipping frogs, one sly snake and two cheeky chicks. Their names were Freddy and Freda the frogs, Sally the snake and Charlotte and Chester the chicks. Beth was tempted to eat them whole as they were a mischievous bunch but got pecked by Chester for even trying. Beth blinked twice, pinched herself and asked if this was all a dream? She realised her friends couldn’t stay and get found out. So at night, she slipped out of bed, silently opened her bedside drawer and woke the sleeping chocolate. As soon as she had a plan, the most amazing thing happened. The creatures glowed like a sparkly rainbow and wherever Beth desired to go – they went. France was their first destination, Paris to be precise and they appeared right in front of the Trifle Tower. They left soon after as they didn’t have anywhere to sleep. Beth whispered to the others, “I’d like to go to London to see the Big City as I’m a country girl!” “Well I suppose we could see what’s there?” Charlotte agreed. “Come on then!” Sally spat “Let’s go now!” Without further delay, the magical creatures transported her to London. Once there, they wandered around the capital finding themselves staring up at the Houses of Polo Mints. They made up a game called ‘What I would do if I ran the country’. Chester said “What about more holidays? Talking of which, where to next?” Sally had an idea: “India! What about seeing the Mars Bar-Hal? I’ve heard it’s out of this world!” “Great idea!” Beth exclaimed “Let’s go!” In a flash they were there, staring at the wonderful building, wondering how it could stand up in all that heat. “Let’s go to the other side of the world” Freda and Freddy pondered “We’ve always fancied Australia!” They stopped off outside the Sydney Chocolate Mouse. The opera from inside sounded like Beth’s mum singing and made her homesick..... Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, with a flash of colour, Beth appeared back in her bedroom to find Eliza staring in amazement. Eliza broke the silence with her stomach rumbling. Pouncing on the sweets, Beth was horrified as her friend gobbled all the sweets up greedily. So Beth said, as casually as she possibly could, “So.... what’ve you been up to then?!” THE END

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Nightmares Jessica Bridge My name is Julia. Last night I had a nightmare. It was about a witch. OK, that probably sounds really stupid and babyish, but I’d watched a film I wasn’t supposed to. You see, my brother, Luke, had his friend George round for the day. They are 16. George always brings 18-rated films but they hardly ever get to watch them because Mum and Dad are here and they are very strict about what we watch. But today Luke had this massive grin on his face and said, “Mum and Dad are at the shopping centre. They won’t be back for ages.” He looked almost as ghastly as the witches in my nightmare. So we watched it. It was called Lovely Ladies, which they were not. It was about these socalled women, but at midnight, they turn into hideous witches, with black crumbly skin and long pointy finger nails. Every night the witches went round their chosen town’s houses Then, with super- human strength, they hauled themselves up drainpipes or old sticky- out bricks and climbed into any open windows they could find and used those alarmingly pointy nails of theirs and sliced peoples’ heads clean off. They would take all the blood and pour it neatly into a jar, take it home and have a mega- feast. Unfortunately, last night the witches came into my room, waiting for the right moment to pounce. When the right time came, they used those ultra -sharp nails and my head went plop! on the pillow. There was blood absolutely everywhere, all over the sheets, all over me! I tried to move, but the sheets were all tangled around me. The witches glared at me, obviously a signal for me to shut up. But how was I making a noise, because when I tried to scream no sound came out, apart from a strangled gasp. I could hardly even breathe! The witches cleared up the blood and put it into a purple jar. They were just about to zoom off, when someone started shaking me and telling me to calm down. Then there was another voice, less calm, bellowing at me to shut up. I opened my eyes and then shut them quickly for there was a bright light on. I opened them again slowly and could just make out two fuzzy figures. One of them was Mum, wearing her orange tulip nightie and hair curlers. The other one was unmistakably Luke, still yelling his head off. Mum whispered “you can come into our bed, but I’m not getting an ideal, peaceful sleep either. I think your father has been replaced by an old hairy warthog.” I spluttered, imagining a great big pinky brown warthog wearing my Dad’s football pyjamas. Mum chuckled too. When I settled back down to sleep again, I began to dream of happy things. It was like the witches had super glued my head back on, and whizzed off to their hideous, cobwebby castle.

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What is a Childhood? Jude Parker What is a childhood? A series of events preparing you for the wider and much more frightful world of an adult? A way for parents to fill your mind with life lessons which they have been taught previously by their Mother and Father, so that you turn out as well as them? Or is it something to treasure so that when you look back at your childhood you remember when you could run and jump and play and had no responsibilities whatsoever? Surely you need to know what’s ahead of you, what’s round the corner as adulthood approaches and to learn valuable lessons on the way. But really: are childhoods meant to be enjoyed or used for preparation? Everyone only has one childhood. It flies by in a second, a blink of a really big eye. And as soon as it’s over, only then do you realise how much of a blast it was. Only when you’re sitting at an office desk or behind a counter do you suddenly feel restricted. Then you start to think back to the times when you were running along the beach with the wind in your hair, absolutely weightless, doing all the things you could do when you were a child that are deemed unthinkable for an adult. As a child, you did as you wished, no bills to pay, no boundaries or restrictions. The world’s your oyster, or something like that. Childhoods should be enjoyed and treasured! But then again, perhaps that only gives you grief later when you think how you used to be free, and now you’re sat behind a desk writing methodologies for some boring bank. So wouldn’t it be a lot less pain and grief later on, when you’re not skimming stones or running along beaches, if instead your parents spent most of your childhood sharing their wisdom about becoming an adult and offering life lessons starting and finishing with, ‘when I was your age’ and giving you ‘Man Training’. Wouldn’t that be more useful later on when you’re looking for a job and going through other life experiences? Hmm, that sounds useful but a bit dull. I think childhood should mainly be for enjoying…with maybe the occasional life lesson thrown in!

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Ode to No-Man’s Land Maryam Alatmane Shattered dreams litter the pavement Freedom imprisoned in the deepest abysses A lone gun lies on the dirt road. Twisted metal ruins of wire. Intertwined between shoots of grass. Eerie silence hangs; broken. As a single bullet whizzes across. No-man’s land.

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From Up in the Clouds Katie Gayton I’m lost in a movie, dead to the world, No one really cares as I get old. They say “turn a page”, I’ve turned many more, But nothing has changed, my mind is still raw. I plead at your feet, as you turn to the crowd, Wishing that one day, you will come round. I say “I’ve come here, what shall I do? I’m waiting for guidance, I want it from you!” As light starts to fade, you come to me now, A drift in the breeze, I know that somehow, You say “I am here, from up in the clouds, When times do get tough, I will look down!”

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The Noisy Art Gallery Khadeeja Irfan What do you think he can hear, Ba, Ba Ya, Ya, Ear, We should look at the map, And the statue of the cat. I insist, Why don’t you, Look at the picture, And here is our beloved scripture. Look at the customers chat, chat, chatting, And then at us blab, blab,blabbing, Hattie why don’t you draw the statue, Or the cat might just scratch you . The feeling of the Birmingham Art Gallery, All the vivid colours looked so lovely, As all the vibrant colours burst, I was the one who saw them first.

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Late for School Kitty Smithies Gnash, gnash, gnaw, gnaw, Where’s my toast, I need more A thick layer of creamy butter, like rain drizzling down the gutter, POP! Goes the toaster CRASH! Goes the plate NIBBLE, NIBBLE goes the mouse, and it’s almost half past eight! School’s going to start and I will still be here, With the toaster, the mouse, the plate and the clock that’s ticking half past eight! I won’t be there, I’ll be here Late for school, tick-tock in my ear! The bell will RING! And I’ll be late, They’ll do the register at half past eight! I won’t be present, I’ll be here, The bell will RING! Right in my ear!

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The Rocking Chair Lauren Thompson The four plain walls were staring at me. My heart was beating, beating faster than a lion hunting for its prey. The old worn rickety rocking chair was moving like her spirit was still in the room. Haunting me, her revenge had come upon me, I gave a scream. But nobody could hear me. I was trapped.

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Shooters of the Woods Lila Melnykevicova It was early in the morning and I have been here for hours and hours just watching them shoot bird, it must really fascinate me. One of the shooters pulls out a golden pocket watch to look at the time, I stare at it day-dreamily as it glimmers and shines brightly in the sun, it reminds me of my great grandfathers’ pocket watch. I get startled and awoken from my daydream by the birds screeching with terror and fright. Nearby I can see a wild wolf hungry and desperate for meat, chasing a deer. Deep blood smells fill the air as more birds and deer’s die. It is absolutely amazing here but I wish I could take part in it and not just hide and watch everything behind a tree all the time. But that’s all I can do since I don’t belong here. Now going deeper into the forest there is a pure and clean flowing stream. I get rather surprised by my own reflection, dirty and muddy skin, ragged and filthy clothes, black as night and holey, dirty socks, old hard boots as if two sizes too small, I can feel the terrible, constant pain going up and down me. As I clench tight in my hands my mattered, old, stitched up, missing-eyed teddy. And this is all I have, all I can cope with, as I stand in this forest which I don’t even know.

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Tornado! Luke Hall As the wind picked up, the sky turned an ominous black, Aaron knew it was now or never. Standing inside a deserted house, were two families. Aaron could hear the wild wind growing friskier and out of control. Salty dust flew into his mouth and eyes, making his eyes water and also cough. GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE! Aaron’s belly groaned with the petrifying fright of watching a house being demolished by a massive tornado! “Now or never, now or never,” Aaron got more aggressive and louder as he spoke; “Now!” he shouted. Leaving the families behind, Aaron jumped at and through the window, and toppled into a full skip. “Now!” he shouted once more time, he took one step back, then ran and jumped off the skip, like an arrow being shot into the air. “Left or right, left or right, left!” He screamed, sprinting to his left, was his death. Suddenly the tornado broke out from a house.

“Right, right!” he shouted. Did another danger lie there?

SQUEAK! SCREECH! SQUEAK! Falling down from the sky, was a pylon, it was as if the devil had sent it down to crush Aaron. “Carry on, carry on, I know it’s a risk, but carry on,” he whispered to himself making his body tremble even more. BANG! BOOSH! BANG! The pylon came toppling over, trapping Aaron between its electrical metal bars. Sizzle, Sizzle! “Help, help!” he screamed, “help!” In the corner of his eye, he spotted a switch and rolled over to push it! Buzz! The wires sucked up all the electricity, like a thirsty child slurping up his juice from a straw. Finally he was out, But still on the run. Where could he go? “The river boat leaves at half ten in the morning, I may be able to make it in time,” he muttered to himself. Pant, pant, pant! He was so close to the dock, when the engine started. Aaron shook his head. “Oh n... “I’ve got an idea”, Aaron interrupted himself. He ran until he came face to face with the river, he knew what to do. Splash! For the first time, he could swim with the fish, but not for long. As the boat drove past, Aaron grabbed onto the side of it as tight as he possibly could. He was up, free, alive. “By, by home town,” he screamed with joy. As Aaron jumped with joy several times, the boat drove away, heading for the horizon.

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Me Mikey Walsh I am a Busy Library bustling every day and bursting with books. I am a great rocky boulder chasing an idea, But I am also the smallest tree in the forest overcrowded by others. I’m a fizzing Champagne bottle bursting with ideas. I am also a useful dictionary ready to help; you can always count on me to check your spelling. I’m clever-clogs Velma from Scooby-Doo, shrewd and quick thinking. But I am also scared Scooby running as fast as my legs will take me. I am a fully charged iPad ready and willing to play. I am a tired tractor slowly driving down the road to excitement waiting for something to happen. I am an interested class always ready to learn something new. I am an unnoticed folder organising everything neatly and making sure everything is in its place and tidy. I am a kind, gentle kitten always there to be loving and caring. I am glad to be who I am.

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The Puffin and the Magic Ring James Calloway-Brady Peter the Puffin lived on an island. So many Puffins lived on the island, that people called it ‘Puffin Island.’ Although Peter looked just like the millions of other Puffins all around him, unlike them, he could not fly. When he was very young, a great skua called ‘Bonxie’ had attacked him, injuring his wing. Peter’s family went to see the Chief. He was the oldest, wisest Puffin on the island. For more than 20 years he had led the birds to their fishing grounds and back to the island for the breeding season. ‘Peter’s wing is no better.’ Peter’s mother told the Chief. The Chief shook his head, sadly. ‘Soon it will be time for us all to leave the island’. The old Chief watched the skuas bombing the Puffins as they came in to land with their catch. ‘Murdering pirates’ he mumbled. “Peter won’t have a chance against them”. “I have an idea!” he said suddenly. He lifted his left leg, showing a green ring wrapped around it. ‘No time to lose,’ he said, ‘Help me to get the ring off.” He started to peck at the ring. Peter’s parents did the same. Although it was quite loose, the ring just wouldn’t come off. ‘Get it wet’ said Peter suddenly. He picked up a bit of sticky seaweed and rubbed it on the ring. Like magic, it came unstuck. The Chief quickly put the ring on Peter’s leg. ‘Now go to the water’s edge’ he said. ‘When the boat comes, the people will see Peter and care for him, because of the magic ring.’ Sure enough, later that day, a boat came and a group of people got off. They saw Peter wearing the ring. They talked amongst themselves, and then they took him away in their boat. A few weeks later, in the dark of the night, millions and millions of Puffins gathered on the cliff tops. Soon they were all flying out over the water, until only two were left. Peter’s parents were waiting for him, until they could wait no longer. Then, suddenly, they saw him flying high above them. His wings were strong. He still wore the magic ring. Soon all three were flying away from the island. The next day, there were no Puffins on Puffin Island. The skuas were forced to catch their own food. Only Bonxie was still looking for the Puffins. He swooped low over the cliffs. He did not notice the giant shadow above him. Silently, an eagle flew out of the sky like a rocket. Bonxie gave a piercing shriek. He was swiftly carried off to the Eagle’s waiting chicks. The returning Puffins would not need to worry about him ever again.

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Seasons Nayantika Chaudary I inhale the fresh crisp breeze as I sink my grubby trainers into the lush emerald grass. The blazing summer sun in the azure picturesque sky spreads a blanket of joy in every nook and corner. The flamboyant flowers dance to the wind’s whistle, the gentle sound of splashing water makes a cool rippling noise, children run around, too excited, like bumbling bees over a flower bursting with nectar. Birds rest upon the deep chestnut trees singing a sweet melody. But these cacophony of noises only mange to pinch and poke the tranquillity of the place. Beating rhythmic footsteps pass by as joggers run by in a blur, their footsteps crunching the leaves, leaving behind a blizzard of scarlet yellow and amber. A chilling breeze runs through the park, as the creaking swings, swing back and forth. A bijou squirrel scampers across the concrete path and delves into a hollow tree. People bundled in blankets curl up in front of a roaring fire, as if beginning to hibernate. The sugar powdered grass shimmers, like jewels creating picturesque scenery with the pale winter sky. The pond is glazed with ice, the entire park is empty, desolate and frost bitten. Yet still it manages to twinkle like the night sky. The world rests in a blanket of warmth, but as it awakens, life begins once more. As the sun begins to set, the park is a different place as together. The pure white snow becomes messy sludge. Muddy trails of footprints left behind as the seasons change once more‌ The park is damp, soggy and wet. The constant downpour is miserable and the weather seems bland. Yet as the rain comes to a halt, and daffodils and daisies bloom the park is alive again. Rabbits hop from place to place, the grass is lush and green and the sky has regained its azure colour.

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The Parcel Queta Taylor This morning, as day was dawning, The parcel was delivered. I was excited, I was delighted, My whole body quivered. I was amazed, I was dazed, I was shocked inside. I’d been waiting, anticipating, But a little petrified. Anxious and worried, agitated and flurried, Would it be all I desire? I tore it apart, and it broke my heart – This wasn’t anything to admire!

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Silent Beauty Rebecca Spruce The gentle sound of flapping wings A humming buzz that softly sings Into the ears of all who listen And are silent. She sits alone upon her flower But hibernating is her power She strikes fear into the hearts of all Simply by her presence. The vibrant stripes that paint her back Bright and bold, yellow and black Accentuate her silent beauty That goes unseen. She knows not love, but only hate And deep inside, she knows her fate Unloved, forgotten, and alone She’s a wasp. And she hangs her head in shame.

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The Seasons Rhiannon Baxter When the leaves fall into a heap on the ground, And the birds call to each other, The farmers say “goodness me it’s autumn time again!” They think oh no I have got to pick the apples and plough the fields ready for the harvest, They think oh no I have to sort out my dairy. Soon the rush is all over, Now the trees are bare, And it starts to snow, The people say “yey it is winter time again!” They think ‘time to wrap up warm and build balls of snow,’ Parents think oh no I’ve got to spend money on presents! Then the Christmas hurry is at an end, Now when the fields have been sown, And newborn lambs graze, Little children squeal “yey time to go to the farm!” They think time to put on my wellies and splash in muddy puddles And they ask “why do I need to wear a coat?’’ Soon the rain stops pouring and the sun is shining, When the heat builds up, And school ends for the term, Everyone takes a deep breath and says, “I’m glad I’m home!” All too soon it’s autumn time again.

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Snow Jessica Bridge Snow is a glittering blanket, A fluffy carpet on the streets, The reason you wear boots in winter, Is because the snow gets on your feet. It’s icing sugar on your worktop, Or feathers falling from the sky, Sheets of paper on the ground, As snowflakes flutter by. A sparkling white rug, Glowing under street lights, Twinkling as much as the stars do, On a dark winters night. A white overcoat for a tree, As soft as a pillow, The snow floats gently over our heads, Like hundreds of white marshmallows. Tiny specks of glitter, Falling everywhere, And on the odd occasion, Robins flutter here and there. The whitest sheet of paper, The softest blanket in the world, A massive pot of fairy dust, A game for boys and girls. Everyone is chattering, Inside their safe warm home, But outside snow is falling, Gently, all alone.

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This is What She Wanted Xenia Brettell I was alone in my room. An eerie silence filled the room, followed by a slam of a door. I heard a laugh from the outside of my closed door. I shut my eyes tight hoping this was all just a nightmare but I knew it was real. There’s no escape. The shadows close in. I finally drift off to sleep. I dreamt of a girl being burnt alive only till after I woke up did I realise that that girl was me. Sweat trickled down my head. I whipped it off. It was silent again. So silent you could hear a pin drop. My head hurt. Not long after, I was in torture. The room was turning black. I felt as if my blood vessels were going to pop. A little ghost girl appeared as I rolled in my bed in agony. She whispered “Hush, child.” I tried to scream but something was clogging my throat. She put her hand into my throat and pulled out a lump of hair. I gasped for breathe, I closed my eyes to focus. When I opened them again she was gone. Gone like yesterday. Was she there to help me or to make sure I still live to be ever tortured till death? I lay there in my bed till out of breath. I get up. I go to the bathroom to get a glass of water. I looked in the mirror and to my surprise my face was scratched with blood pouring out of each scratch. I turned around to see one of my bathroom walls and there scribbled in blood spelled out “Hush, child.” I collapsed to the ground with fear. I clenched my knees and rocked myself for comfort. But it occurs to me that no matter what this torture will not stop… unless… I see a knife appear in front of me and I know what to do I get up and stab the knife into my flesh 5 times the sudden burst of blood gushes out of my arm. I’m numb. The last vision I see is that ghost girl laughing. That’s what she wanted… Me… Dead.

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Twinkle Zoe Belgian Twinkle had just came back from fairy school realising she had tons of homework to do. There was a particular piece of homework that she was looking forward to, “YES!” Twinkle shouted as she happily fluttered around her room. “Finally a fun school project!” She had to build a fully functional robotic bird, this work may sound hard but for Twinkle this was easy. “I know I can do this, but I am going to need help,” Twinkle said confidently. Twinkle’s wings glistened in the hot sun as she flew over to her fairy friend Pip. “Hello Twinkle, what brings you here?” “I need some help with my school project”, Twinkle said. “What is it?” Pip asked. “I have to make a robotic bird,” Twinkle said. Pip scratched her head and finally made a decision, “Of course I will help you but I’m warning you, I am not that great at designing things”. Pip and Twinkle fluttered back home to start the project. Pip went out to collect metal whilst Twinkle heated the welder, Pip and Twinkle were a perfect team. “Twinkle this doesn’t look like a bird, it looks like a PLANE!” complained Pip. “You’re right Pip,” replied Twinkle “We’ll just have to dismantle it”. “Twinkle it`s been 5 days and you have to hand this project in tomorrow!” panicked Pip. “Oh no, how will we make this bird in time?” said Twinkle “I know, we can get a real baby bird and paint it in metallic colours!” Pip said confidently. “Perfect, let’s do that!” said Twinkle. So Twinkle and Pip set off in the night to get some paint at the Fairy Mart. “Welcome fairies to the Fairy Mart,” said an old lady at the cash desk “we have fifty percent off on all paints.” ”Sweet, let’s go get our paint” said Pip. Pip and Twinkle went down the paint isle for some metallic paint. “Pip look what I found!” said Twinkle “great, now let’s pay.” Twinkle and Pip walked up to the cash desk: “Leaf or cobweb?” the old lady said. “Leaf,” Twinkle replied. Then Twinkle and Pip flew out of the shop and into the bird farm. Twinkle and Pip sneaked into a baby bird’s cage and took it. Pip quickly wrote on the cage with some coal “I’ll be back”. “High-five Pip,” Twinkle shouted. The fairies flew back home to paint the bird. It took four hours for Pip and Twinkle to paint the bird but what was important was that they had finished. The next day, Twinkle and Pip went to school to hand in Twinkles homework. “Well done Twinkle! I am impressed,” said the teacher, “well done Twinkle you won first prize!” Twinkle could not believe what she was hearing “Really?” she said as she hugged the teacher. Mr. Salmon, Twinkle’s teacher handed her a tall golden trophy with sweets inside of it. “Congratulations Twinkle, you earned it!” Mr. Salmon said. After school Twinkle went to Pip’s house to share the sweets.

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For Stealing a Loaf of Bread Katie Gayton Constant calling dims the ferocious Thudding in my chest, Diverting the pain to the back of my mind, As I listen to the shouting of people, More desperate than I. Adults rattling at the locks with children, Pulling the chains at their side, Whilst I sit in the darkness, Watching their failing attempts to, Change what has to be. The thudding travels up to my hearts, My hands becoming clammy, And the pleading of frantic families, Is muted by the halt of the foreign vehicle, We find ourselves trapped within. Ushered out by arrogant animals, Grabbing our necks like dirt from the ground, We are dumped in a cage, Unknown to us and left in a prison, They call Australia.

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Guantanamo Daisy Charles Come with me. Feel the blistering heat twist your mind. The contorting fear. Let your mind twist, let it turn, let them take you, alone, afraid, abandoned, innocent, just keeping saying that word, innocent. Why, why should this happen, to you, keep saying that word, innocent, innocent of atrocity, innocent of crime, just when you thought you were safe, well, happy. Innocent. And as they take you, lift you high into the warm air, you feel the kiss of home. Yet the mind morphs and nothing stays the same. Trying to keep those memories, like trying to catch smoke and the carpets are gone, concrete under blistered toes and everything is orange. The sofa, the walls, the ceiling. Ada sits in a little orange dress, no a little orange suit muttering, sobbing, pleading, I try to speak to her yet I cannot, my voice will not come and she has a strangers eyes. Mika is huddled in a corner, shaking, rocking, staring upwards, blind, unseeing. Little Reza has grown so big, lying motionless, asleep maybe, in his little orange suit, all wet and dripping. And now the stairs are orange too, I do not climb them, I float, no I am carried, hands lifting me, and the bathroom is orange, the sink and the bath, and Mana’ lies in its orange water, her hair that sickly corrosive orange, not the black I remember. She opens her mouth and screams, terrible, long, drawn out screams, the noise she made as I was dragged away, on our break, our holiday, the one we’d looked forward to, saved for, for years, me and Mana’ and Ada and Mika and Reza. The last time I saw them so long ago, my beautiful children my loving wife. And they force me into the bath, she is gone now, no water, nothing, and they take a flannel, and my body is possessed, overtaken by that dreadful fear, the fear I thought I had left behind so long ago, the fear of a little boy knowing daddy was about to come home that he had done wrong. “No, I’ll be good, please, it wasn’t me, I didn’t do it, I’m innocent, no please” and the darkness, and my last breaths, and their voices, and the shapes that morph between father coming to purge me and my terrible captors, and the pain I know shall come, immobilised, helpless, a drowning child, a sinking stone, and the voices keep changing. “You’ve been a very naught boy, tell us, and naughty boys have to be cleaned, tell us, and the only way to clean is to purge, tell us, tell us, tell us.” And I know they will do it, and I try plead, to tell them I know nothing, I am innocent, they have nothing against me, it was just a holiday, with my family, and for it I may die, and now I cannot breath, I cannot move, panic, fear, twisting, warping, pain, darkness, air, I need air.

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Internal Monologue - Embarrassment Kacie Clifton Oh god. Complete and utter humiliation. I can never go to school again. I’ll have to wear a bag over my head. Oh no, I’m blushing... Did anyone see? They all saw. That’s it; I’m never going out again. Why am I so awkward? Oh god, someone’s laughing. Well, of course they would. Oh god. I’m moving schools. I’m leaving the planet. Hello, Mars. This must be what death by embarrassment feels like. Never again. This is the worst thing I’ve ever done. Wow. Why is it always me? My face is flushing. Red, vermillion, scarlet, cherry, brick, blood, rose, ruby, scarlet. If I cover my face, they’ll know I’m blushing. If I don’t, they’ll see that I’m blushing. Why must you punish me, oh mighty god of embarrassment?! Is there even a god of embarrassment? I bet that guy is a total bully. Or maybe he’s mortified all the time. Either way, I bet he isn’t fun to be around. Now I’m spacing out! They’re all still looking at me. I bet I look really stupid. Has my hairband fallen out? I bet my trousers are ripped too. My tie’s probably unclipped itself and I haven’t noticed. Something else to make this situation worse. It’s always me. If there isn’t a god of embarrassment, they’ll start worshipping me as one. I might as well have grown wings for all they’re staring! Oh god. I bet I’ve grown wings. How cool would it be to have wings? I read somewhere that they’d have to have a wingspan of three times your height to be able to lift you. My wings would be 471 centimetres. That’d be awesome. Well, if I had those wings (which I don’t, because the universe clearly exists only to humiliate me) then I could fly away from this embarrassing situation (but I can’t) and never speak to these people again. I could leave civilisation. If I live on Mars, there’s no people to be embarrassed by. There’s no oxygen either, and right now that sounds ideal. Whyisitalwaysmeicanneverreturnhereihavetogohomeimmediatelyohgodhelpme. Knowing me, there would be someone on Mars to embarrass me. Some snooty astronaut would use up all of his fancy oxygen from watching me and laughing. Although I suppose, that’d be embarrassing for him, too. Why am I even debating going to Mars? I’ll never go to space. Even my own mind is embarrassing. Thank god there’s no telepathics around here. I would drop down dead if there were. Shouldn’t have said that. I bet there’s a telepath here, someone who’s laughing their socks off at me and my stupid thoughts. I’m so socially inept. I’m just inept. I swear, I need lessons on how to be normal. Lessons on how to not be so awkward and embarrassing. Do they even do those? I’d go. (Turns out, there is a god of embarrassment. Maybe if I burn an offering to Anuflac, he’ll spare me.) What did I do, you ask? Pfft. No way I’m telling you that. You’ll laugh.

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Title Name

Write On! Magazine Issue 8

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Profile for Writing West Midlands

Write on! Magazine - Issue 8  

The 8th edition of Write On! Magazine features 29 pieces of creative writing produced by children and young people from the West Midlands.

Write on! Magazine - Issue 8  

The 8th edition of Write On! Magazine features 29 pieces of creative writing produced by children and young people from the West Midlands.

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