Winning Stories - Henrietta Branford Writing Competition 2017


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The Branford Boase Award for

Rick's time

by Isaac Tiomkin, aged 9 years, London


"Always,” he gently and hypnotisingly whispered, "history has repeated itself, a never-ending paradox in time..." His eyes glinted in the dim light, a strange dark yellow, like a snake, and then -- poof! In a puff of smoke, he disappeared, leaving Rick coughing in confusion, not knowing what had happened. Suddenly, an eerie voice sounded softly: "We shall meet again in the next order world, and then we shall see what knowledge you have gained… if any." Rick's lip began to tremble and his knees gradually gave way. He was slowly melting, his emotions indescribable. Absolutely the worst time for an interdimensional space and time portal to appear. But…. it did. Rick was being tugged and pulled into the portal, growing weaker and more tired as soft, mesmerising and melodic voices were gently and convincingly calming him, telling him not to struggle. Rick tried to scream, but his voice was drowned in the portal. He had to accept his fate. After all, he could not dream of changing history.

Wait… history! What did that glinty-eyed guy say? That history has made pita itself in a never-ending Goldilocks in time? Rick could not think right now. His head was swirling and throbbing. After all, only half of him was in the portal. For a second, Rick thought he saw the same man with a smug smirk on his face. Rick swore under his breath, now flying through the portal with renewed hate. Then just darkness. Stiff as a cane, Rick stretched his limbs, observing his queer surroundings. A large cave with damp warm air. He got up only to find a tiny roll of parchment lying on him, so he slowly opened it. Yawning, he read: and this paradox, if used too much can cause severe pain and decay in time…. All these weird sayings were really getting to Rick’s head. Where was he? What was he doing here? Had the man and the portal been behind this?

“What am a doing here?!” he cried, clenching the parchment. In return, he heard a huge roar that could have made your heart stop. Rick cautiously crept towards the mouth of the cave, edging his way along the wall. Absolutely nothing could have prepared him for this sight: a paradise jungle with great beasts that he had never seen. Strange. Wait, he had seen them before, but how could they be here? How could DINOSAURS be here?

Rick’s mouth dropped open in awe as he saw a giant Brachiosaurus lumber towards him and then begin to speak.

“Hello, youngling!” it bellowed cheerily, lifting Rick into the sky. “I’m Brachy, the only good dinosaur here.”

“H-h-hi, I am R-r-rick.”

“Nice to meet you, Rick!”

Rick was becoming more accustomed to being way too high up, but he didn’t think he was ever going to get used to talking to a dinosaur. So, apparently dinosaurs can speak English, but most of them are bad. This was very strange indeed.

“We have a problem, Rick. We need part of the story to heal the wounds the serpent made,” gulped Brachy.

“What is this ‘story’, and who is this ‘serpent’?”

“The serpent just came to us and said the story is the answer,” said Brachy.

Suddenly, Rick had a theory!

“I know where this serpent is, and I have the part of the story!” exclaimed Rick, happily dancing on Brachy’s neck. Now, Rick cared about Brachy’s people, and the story would make dinosaurs good again. He summoned up all his courage and told Brachy to march ahead! As they neared the evil dinosaur camp, a huge Pterodactyl swooped overhead and laughed at the dinosaur and human with brave faces on.

“You won’t be laughing for long!” Rick yelled as he tried to remember what the now not-so-hated man had said. “Got it!” he cried thankfully. Always, history has repeated itself, a never-ending paradox in time, and this paradox, if used too much can cause severe pain and decay in time…. And with that sentence, all the dinosaurs were cured of their evil, but Rick was sucked into another point in time.

* * *

Rick had solved many problems in time, had gathered more parts of the story, but every time he went through the portal, he noticed more of the portal was darkness. Rick knew, this was decay that in time would eventually swallow everything

Rick’s main goal was, from the very beginning, to finally get back to his time. Finally, he did, happy at last. Two things still troubled him. The serpent (whom he now had extended knowledge on) had said that they would meet in the next world, and the story didn’t sound complete at all. Maybe with historic knowledge and destructive decaying powers, he could open a completely decayed portal, which would bring him to the afterlife, the next world. Rick concentrated, his veins bulging and mind racing across everything he had learnt. A small ball of energy appeared and crackled as it grew. Rick felt a surge of energy as he suddenly created a portal in the wall. Not deadly decay, but it would have to do. He threw himself into the portal and remembered when his mind was so feeble and weak.

Rick flew into the future and saw something horrible, but what he needed. Pure decay. It was growing rapidly, threatening to swallow everything in existence. Rick gulped as he jumped into certain death. Suddenly, everything became very peaceful and light, Rick’s spirit slowly drifting away, and a couple of tears rolling down his cheeks. Rick knew he would never return. He hastily turned to face his enemy, as he called on history.

“Come, Brachy the dinosaur, Gilbert the Knight and Queen Victoria!” he yelled as he charged at the serpent, defeating him once and for all. By defeating the serpent, he also destroyed himself. What a bitter-sweet day. The universe was saved, yet all history in human form lost.

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Orla Borsey  |  Brianna Cain  |  Hadeel Elwilid  |  Jemima Gleeson  |  Zoe Latchford |  Isaac Tiomkin