National Stationery Week is a celebration of the written word and all things stationery. We want to get more people putting pen to paper and writing by hand more often, and spelling stationery correctly with an ‘e’!
The truth is, technology has merely distracted us from the joy and importance of writing, it hasn’t replaced it. There is still something special about stationery and receiving a handwritten letter or card.
To celebrate National Stationery Week, The Pen Shop invited people of all ages to indulge their creative streak by writing a short story. We are pleased to announce the winner and runners up of the age 13 – 18 category.
Winner of the Age 13 – 18 Category
There was a sudden knock at the door, as Mother and I both looked at one another, “Jake” we said in gleeful unison. My face beamed as the thought of seeing my brother once again became a near reality. He’d been away for a year at war and we were expecting him back today. I’d missed him so much I didn’t feel whole anymore. I felt hope well up inside me, and the feelings of worry and fear seemed to slowly ebb away as I rose from my seat. For the past year I’d thought of him every day; we all had. We thought about him, worried about him, wondered about him, and most of all we did not speak of what might happen to him. We did our best to push the feelings to the back of our mind and pretend that everything was always going to be okay, that he would be fine. Now all of that weight and all those burdens were finally lifted. Now I knew everything was going to be okay.
I got up from the couch, leaving my Mother in her wheel chair to greet Jake as he walked in. As I proceeded towards the door, a sharp gust of wind whipped around the house and caused one of the windows to slam shut. The sudden noise made me jump and left the air feeling ominous. I steadied myself, and with a deep breath and a shaky hand I opened the door…
Upon my doorstep, two army officers stood; a man and a woman. In that moment, I knew what they were going to say, I knew exactly what they were here for. All of a sudden, life seemed to play out in slow motion. I felt like an outsider looking in, watching a sad movie in my sitting room, this didn’t feel real.
“Miss Monday?” the man asked.
“Miss Monday, can we come in, we need to talk to you.” He said. I held the door open for them, and they came in and introduced themselves as Mark and Sally. Mark then went through to the sitting room as Sally went into the kitchen to put the kettle on. I went and sat by my mother.
“I am so sorry to have to tell you both that Jake was shot on enemy soil last Friday. He was such a courageous soldier, He was a hero, and he died to save his fellow comrades…” Mark continued to explain about the details and about how heroic my brother was, but I couldn’t concentrate to listen. I couldn’t believe what was happening. Sally went and hugged my mother as she cried uncontrollably into her hands.
“Is there anything we can do for you right now?” Sally added, giving me a sympathetic smile.
“No, that’s all right. I think we just need to be alone now.” I replied.
“Of course.” She said. I showed them to the door and said goodbye.
I still couldn’t believe it. ‘Jake was shot. Jake was shot. Jake was shot.’ The words echoed through my mind as I closed the door and fell to the ground in a dizzy haze. After a few moments passed my mind went blank and then it hit me. The reality of what just happened shot through my heart just as a real bullet would have; with unimaginable pain and extraordinary speed. So many emotions welled up inside me, grief, sorrow, heartbreak, pain, misery, agony and so much anger, I screamed out in a vain attempt to release it. I stood up knowing that I had to show strength and courage. I walked back into the sitting room and found her in the exact same position, with her head in her hands crying. I leaned down and hugged her as I began sobbing in unmanageable pain. It was in that moment that I knew I would never be the same.
A year on and I am still as broken as I was that day. They say that time can heal anything, but it can’t. It won’t. We have accepted what happened, but we are not healed. I can still feel the bullet in my heart and the hole in all of our lives. For the past year I’ve thought of him every day; we all have. We’ve thought about him, wondered about him, and most of all, we’ve missed him.
Runner Up Entry:
The Mysterious School-
There was a sudden knock at the door,Morag awoke at around 3am,she looked at the clock in her small little room and gasped it read 9am.I’ve slept in she moaned,but of course Morag hadn’t slept in at all her Aunt had merely set the clock ahead 6 hours to ‘scare’ Morag.
Morag groaned then proceeded to get up whilst repeatedly yelling ‘oh no,I slept in’
When Morag had finally stirred and forced herself to walk downstairs her Aunt yelled at her ‘HOW DARE YOU !,you know you should never sleep in.’
You see Morag lived at her Aunts with her annoying cousin,Morag’s parent’s had died when she was little when she’d asked how her Aunt simply said ‘nobody knows,you just got dumped here by an old man,be thankful you weren’t sent to an orphanage !’ it was made rather plain that Morag’s Aunt didn’t particularly like Morag at all. Morag’s Aunt had become rather annoyed at Morag now and had been for about a month,you see Morag could do strange things whenever she got upset with her cousin. Just last week her cousin who happened to be called mala suerte,which unluckily for her meant bad luck.Had been badmouthing Morag’s parent’s when Morag went red and yelled ‘go jump in a river’ .Suprisingly mala suerte went and jumped in the river down the road.The follwing day her Aunt annoyed at what Morag had done to mala suerte & got a knife and sliced the words’I must behave’in small letters into her arm.During breakfast a strange looking animal flew in threw the window carryig an envelope in it’s beak.’What’s that?’, screeched Morag’s Aunt.’I..I…I don’t know’, stuttered Morag.
The animal was now perched on top of the window sill,it’s it’s an owl exclaimed Morag’s Aunt.’But what is it doing here?&i n daylight too’ said Morag.’Are you trying to tell me you do not know why this foul creature is here?’ Asked Morag’s Aunt ‘I don’t know,I swear it.’ ‘you come here now girl’ and she grabbed Morag’s arm and snapped it like a twig ‘crack’ went Morag’s arm.Morag squealed in pain.’ shut it girl’, yelled Morag’s Aunt.
Morag whimpered then sank into the kitchen corner, her Aunt rounded on her, ‘YOU WILL TELL ME WHY THAT OWL IS HERE OR YOU WILL SUFFER !!!’ Screamed Morag’s Aunt.
‘Do your worst,I can’t tell you and even if I could I shouldn’t breathe a word to you’said Morag in disgust.
Morag’s Aunt grabbed a rolling pin off the kitchen counter and began to hit Morag with the long wooden stick.Morag simpered every time the stick hit her but Morag didn’t move.Morag;s Aunt raised the stick to hit Morag again when the door fell down.’You dare hit that girl one more time and you’ll regret it’Said a booming voice,Morag’s Aunt dropped the rolling pin in suprise and it came down hard and clattered Morag hard on her head,she screamed then she fainted.’ What did you do that for? She’s innocent’ ,yelled the voice again. ‘She’s not innocent ‘said Morag’s Aunt.
‘Morag,Morag.Come here I’ll help you’It was Mala Suerte.Morag awoke to see 2 figures hovering over her,’is she dead?’,Said Morag’s Aunt.’Morag tried to get up but she couldn’t move,she tried to lift up her arm a look of pain on her face but nothing happened.Morag burst into tears saying again and again ‘I can’t move,I can’t move”What did you do to her?’,said the voice again’OUT OF THIS HOUSE NOW !’,declared Morag’s Aunt.’I’ll be taking Morag now,you clearly don’t like the poor girl.’,said the voice.And the man cradled Morag in his arms & said ‘I’ll take care of you and walked off clutching Morag in his arms.
‘Come here little lass’,said the man.’My name is Ricroar and I’m here on orders of proffesor Dragonsbane.Do you know who you are?Morag nodded her head then said ‘owwww!’ ‘we best get you to professor Dragonsbane he can help’ and they set off.
They arrived at a strange old house not long after, Morag still rather upset as she could still not move.
Proffesor Dragonsbane fixed Morag seemingly with a stick of Wood.
Then put her in the nearest bed to rest.
When Morag awoke she glared for a long time at the man standing above him ‘Hello there Morag, I’m proffesor Dragonsbane’ ,said the kind man,Morag attempted to sit up but was quickly stopped by Proffesor Dragosbane saying ‘No, you sit there!,Morag I have something to tell you.Your a witch Morag’. ‘I’m not!’,said Morag.
‘You are’,said both the men at once.It took a while for Morag to register the news but eventually it sunk in. Your to go to a new school as well it’s called ‘L’école de sorcellerie et de magie’.
‘what will my Aunt say’ ‘nought to do with your Aunt anymore’ said Ricroar
‘You’ll start school next week, so we need to get you a few robes,a wand and a few other things . The following day Arthur and Morag went shopping in London for her wand. The wand Morag picked was made of dragon heart string her robes were bright blue and went very well with her deep brown eyes. Once Morag had purchased everything of which she needed for school she was returned to her Aunts house. Morag awoke extremely early rather happy to be away from her aunt at last,she went to the strain station at about 7am. And she was off on her way to France…