So, I should probably start by saying…

I’m a cat. Love it!

A C-A-T, a cat.

And I’m going to tell you a story.

In fact, I’m doing it right now.

Right now you are probably thinking things like “What good is a story told by a cat?”

and “I don’t want a cat story, I want an action packed adventure!”

BUT…

Right now, I’m the storyteller, so you should stop whining and accept what you have got.

Even now you are still reading which proves you think is a good enough story to read anyway.

Writing: Joel Davidoff 8U

‘You had just left school when you perished. It was a skidding car, nothing particularly extraordinarily unique, yet fatal nonetheless. You had a painless death. Doctors tried to save you but your body was so utterly shattered; no one could help you. You were better off, trust me. And that’s when you met me.’

Writing: Jonathan Breed 8U

He was running through the undergrowth, branches tearing his clothes and scratching his skin, searching for his trap. All he could hear was his heart in his chest like a hammer on a sword. The rain whipped past his face like little shards of ice. His breathing was ragged and laboured, the bile in his mouth was unpleasant, he was beginning to tire. “Come on. You're nearly there. Just a bit longer” he said aloud, hoping this would give him energy. He had lost the sound of his pursuer but that didn't stop him, he still ran on, desperate to find the trap he had laid. Suddenly, his feet were whipped from beneath him, his world turned upside down. Thump, his head hit the ground as he was flipped. Faintly, he heard an ear-splitting roar from beneath him and then his world went dark.

Writing: Oliver Serkis 8U

Morgan Flower. Winner of the Nobel Prize and knighted by Queen Elizabeth herself. Sir Morgan Flower. All these complicated names! To me, he was Dad, just Dad. However, I didn’t see him much; he was either at his lab, or in the pub downtown. He always told me of his ‘Garage project’ for a bedtime story, and each time he told me, I realised he said a bit more.

It could have been in a few different places, but they chose a place called Flowerbook Park in Harfield which was in the county of Oxfordshire but north of Oxford. They selected this place for their experiment because They had to choose somewhere so this was it. It was a dreary place with old vines hanging from the trees and the paths had grown over a long time before. The trees were all oak and they were decorated with their logo. They weren’t worried about who would find Them but They were suspicious of anyone who did find Them. If they did find Them, they would have to be excellent at mapping and would realise that it wasn’t on the maps. It was the most secret place They could find. No-one had found them yet.

Writing: Lalith Pasuparthi 8U

The grey mist was creeping through the tall buildings of London, when Tony Grimald came staggering, exhausted, into his modern property in the Barbican. He was on the run. That was the only term for it. He had made a dash for the first plane back to England from Italy, and had been fairly convinced that he had outrun them. It was ten past eleven by the time the plane had landed, he had collected his luggage and caught a taxi to go home. He was exhausted and he looked it. He couldn’t go to sleep, however. There was a very important call he was waiting for, one which would determine the rest of his life. Suddenly, he felt his phone buzzing. Immediately, he picked it up, and listened, before snatching a small scrap of paper, and scribbling on it before laying it among the many invoices and accounting work from the bank he worked in. He was walking out of his study, with the intention of going to his bedroom for a well deserved night of sleep, and was about to leave, when he felt something pierce the side of the neck. He touched the area where he had been hit, and found some sort of dart. He barely had time to process what had happened before he collapsed. He convulsed, then lay still. He lived alone. There was no-one to hear him. In fact, if he had turned around just before he died, he would have seen a most curious sight. A black clad figure seemingly suspended in mid-air.

Most crimes have an explanation. Most crimes can be solved. Most criminals can be found.

Not this one.

Writing: Ayan Konkader 8W

The ball flew high into the air, swirling in the blustery wind. The crowd and players all raised their heads to follow its direction. Everyone except for one person. Oliver Frail jumped up and down on the spot standing on the sidelines trying to keep calm as he waited to come on as a substitute. He was nervous enough to be sick, but he hoped that no-one else would realise how scared he was. He had been thinking about this moment for two weeks - his school's long-awaited home match against their title rivals North Street. Wearing the school's all-white kit, Oliver looked around as his teacher Mr Dickens signalled to the referee that Blackfriars wanted to make a change. Ignoring his shaking hands and hiding them deep inside his long shirt sleeves, Oliver gulped in the air as he felt the first drops of rain begin to fall. It looked as if the whole school had turned out to watch on the playing field. Oliver knew his mum and dad were out there somewhere too watching his big moment.

Writing: Yuvva Raj Khantharuban 9Z

Mark’s skis sliced down the surface of the snow, carving a long thin line down slope. The bitter wind whipped against his face. The iconic skyline of the alps towered above him on the horizon. He gritted his teeth together, struggling to control his skis on the powdery sheet. Wondering whether he was going to make it to the end or not, he zig-zagged through the line of flags, narrowly missing them as he did so. Seeing that he was nearing the final jump, his stomach clenched at the thought of falling. But the crowd urged him on. Mark glanced to the side where the crowd stand was. Bright Flashes and cheering escaped the surge of people and tourists. Focusing more on the jump now, his hands gripped his ski poles and he leant down lower to speed up.

Suddenly, he hit the foot of the jump, jolting at the sudden incline. He left the edge of the jump, soaring through the air like a hawk. Only having split seconds, he tilted forward, making the trees and hills to whirl in a mix of colours. The crowd had gone silent. His knees braced for impact. THUD! His skis thumped against the ground, sending a jolt through his body. All he had to do now was ski faster and faster to the end of the time trial.

Writing: Rory Conner 8W

I remember the first time I met Jacob vividly. As I reminisce about that moment everything comes back to me. The smell of the cattle car and the hundreds of people crammed into its claustrophobic bulk. The dozens of cuts and aches that I had garnered on my harrowing path to where I was now. But most of all, the memory that dominates all others of that God-forsaken place were the screams. Sickening and visceral they were, and when there weren’t screams there was instead the constant moans of the ill and the weak, or people begging for food and water. I personally did not see the point. It was February 1944, and most had heard the nightmarish rumours of where we were being taken. As a 15 year old boy, I had a fairly blunt view of the world - I did not see the point in asking God to help us because surely he was long dead. I never did fully forgive God for what he allowed to happen, but Jacob gave me hope that perhaps there was a chance for us and our families to survive. That’s what got me through the times that were to come - blind hope.

I first met him as I was crawling across the floor, scouring for any remnants of food. Most did not expect it to be the five day journey that it was, and due to this hardly anyone rationed. I was no different. I was so foolish, so unconservative back then. Eventually, I dragged myself through the sea of legs empty handed, and propped myself up against the corner of the cart. It was at this point that we hit a stone on the tracks. The cart lurched like a hungry beast and thrust me into the cold metal wall, rendering me dizzy and powerless.

“You alright?” I heard a voice as I was propped up against the wall. He spoke in Yiddish, so I knew him to be a Jew.

“I’m fine,” I answered, but my croaky and pained voice clearly told him otherwise.

“I saw you crawling around - you’ll never get anything that way. Here, I’ve been saving this for a while..” He pulled from his pocket, for we had not been given our camp uniforms yet, a small flask of water and shook it. Almost empty, it would not sate my thirst but it could tame it. I am convinced to this day that not one other person on that cart could have given up such a boon. Not even my father, who was as generous as a man could get would have given that to me, let alone a complete stranger.

“I’m Jacob. We should stick together. If what I’ve heard about this place is true, then we’re gonna need as many friends as we can get.” He extended his hand to me. I did not hesitate to shake it.

“Ben. Good to meet you,” I croaked.

That handshake saved my life.

The day after our meeting, we survived by talking to each other. We were surprised to discover that we had grown up in the same town, a place called Bircza. It took a mass genocide for us to finally meet, and yet he was still cheery, and spurred me on as my mental health deteriorated. They say you discover what someone is really like during times of crisis. I only ever knew him in one of these times, and he remains the greatest person I have ever met.

Writing: Louis Jolin Yr 9