Write Across Victoria – Year 7 Male Winners 0 Comments

Write Across Victoria – Year 7 Male Winners

FIRST PLACE

The Star of Hope, by Niran Kvansakul

Young genius Lucius Dalworthy climbed from his Subterranean Tunneller, straightened his top hat, and strode into the underground chamber. ‘Surrender!’ he cried. ‘There is no escape for you now!’

Standing amid the steam and dust, Cressida Mandeville – his equally young and equally brilliant arch-enemy – raised an eyebrow. ‘That’s odd. I was just about to say the same thing to you.’

Cressida popped the golden bubble encapsulating her as if it was formed from soap and water rather than the full strength of Lucius’s magic. A shimmering ruby mist appeared around Lucius and he stopped moving. The time-freezing spell was good, but Lucius knew a simple counter. The mist evaporated, and Lucius could move again. He cast his thoughts around for a spell, and settled on one that would shrink her. The rules were clear, and neither of them wanted to actually hurt the other. ‘I deserve to take the Star of Hope back. I was always better at transformations than you!’

A golden cube materialised around Cressida and started contracting rapidly. As the surfaces surrounding her diminished, she started to get smaller. ‘But I was best at everything else. We’ll see who gets to become First Magician.’ Cressida strained valiantly, but when she was the size of a mouse, she turned and ran through a cloud of steam. Lucius cursed and hurried to follow her. The chamber was enormous with various items littering the floor. It looked to be an unused workshop with some of the machinery still belching steam. There were many doors around the edge of the chamber and Lucius looked around impatiently. Finally, lowering his gaze to the floor, he noticed footprints leading to the right-hand door.

Using a magic mirror, he peered into the room. He saw a tiny store-cupboard with bare walls and no way out. In a corner Cressida was covered in ruby mist, desperately trying to get bigger. Lucius swiftly closed the door, sending a burst of gold-coloured magic to seal it. With that done, he strode to the door opposite, opening it with a complex incantation. Inside, on a table, was the Star. Pocketing it, Lucius ran from the room, through the chamber, and back into his Subterranean Tunneller.

The Tunneller made short work of the trip to the surface, and he was soon aboveground. Lucius judged he still had some time until Cressida escaped, but it never hurt to hurry. Approaching the city, Lucius double-checked the Star in his pocket. He took it and cradled it in his arm. When he arrived, the High-Magician was there. Lucius bowed, and was handing over the Star when it started humming and a vision appeared. ‘You didn’t think it would be that easy, did you?’ asked a smiling image of Cressida. Lucius got a sinking feeling.

Cressida was now her full size. She had felt Lucius take the decoy, and purposely let him seal her in here. She had determined that the Star was here somewhere, but where? Her gaze settled on a battered-looking box in the corner of the room. She sent her mist out across the room, checking that the box really did contain the Star before lifting the lid. The sapphire jewel glowed with its own internal energy. With the Star in hand Cressida opened a portal to the surface and stepped through, knowing that she would be the next First Magician.

SECOND PLACE

Trail of Treachery, by Stephen Poulter

Young genius Lucius Dalworthy climbed from his Subterranean Tunneller, straightened his top hat, and strode into the underground chamber. ‘Surrender!’ he cried. ‘There is no escape for you now!’

Standing amid the steam and dust, Cressida Mandeville – his equally young and equally brilliant arch-enemy – raised an eyebrow. ‘That’s odd. I was just about to say the same thing to you.’

Cressida’s long and dirty trench coat fluttered in the chamber, it even frightened Lucius. They stared at each other, wondering how this confrontation would turn out. Lucius took two small steps towards Cressida but stopped when she pulled out a shiny object; a revolver. ‘If you take another step, it shall be your last,’ she laughed and fired two shots near Lucius’ feet.

‘That gold does not belong to you!’ Lucius yelled confidently. His words seemed to aggravate Cressida; she fired two more shots near his feet.

‘I beg to differ. That gold was mine, and your father had no claim upon it!’ Her voice was rising in anger as she briskly walked towards Lucius.

‘That gold is mine and mine alone!’

Lucius then walked towards Cressida. She fired another shot near Lucius’s feet and then pointed her gun at his forehead, ready to fire.

– Two Days Ago  –

Lucius Dalworth lived at 44 Glenwire Avenue, a small and unrespectable neighbourhood for Victorian times. His family was poor and barely had enough money to keep food on the table. His father owned a chimney sweep organisation – he sold children to the rich as chimney sweeps. Lucius had always disliked his father’s company. Lucius had no brothers or sisters but he did have a very good friend. Cressida Mandeville. Cressida worked as one of his father’s chimney sweeps. The reason the family liked her so much was because she hadn’t died yet – most chimney sweeps die at an early age. However, Lucius’s reason for liking Cressida was very different to the others. Cressida was a young genius like him. They would spend hours designing machines that were way ahead of their time, like the Subterranean Tunneller. Only a few of their ideas had they actually built.

One grim morning, when Lucius was in his dark and dirty kitchen, his father told him that one of his chimney sweeps, Cressida, had discovered a large box of gold in one of the chimneys. He showed it to Lucius. They began to celebrate when Cressida burst into the room, demanding the box of gold. When Lucius’s father refused, Cressida pulled out a small revolver and shot him stone dead. She grabbed the box and sprinted out of the room, leaving Lucius with his dead father. Over the past two days, Lucius had been following Cressida’s trail of treachery.

– Two Days Later –

‘Before you kill me, I just want to say something, if I may?’ Lucius murmured.

Cressida smirked, shook her head and pulled the trigger. A loud metallic click filled the room. Lucius smiled and said, ‘I was going to say that you fired all six bullets just before – there’s not even one bullet left for me.’

Cressida yelled and cursed in fury at both Lucius and herself.

‘The police will be here in a few moments, will you come quietly, Cressida?’

At this, Cressida sat on the ground, curled up into a ball and began to cry.

THIRD PLACE

(untitled), by Patrick Gianni

Young genius Lucius Dalworthy climbed from his Subterranean Tunneller, straightened his top hat, and strode into the underground chamber. ‘Surrender!’ he cried. ‘There is no escape for you now!’

Standing amid the steam and dust, Cressida Mandeville – his equally young and equally brilliant arch-enemy – raised an eyebrow. ‘That’s odd. I was just about to say the same thing to you.’

‘You are lying; you were coming here to stash what you stole from the son of the Arch Duke of Albania. Cressida, you are heartless and immoral. How can you steal from a boy who is so disabled that he can’t even walk, and kill the protectors who care for him? I knew you were evil but not this heartless. You’re not getting away with this, Cressida. I will not let you leave this hideout.’

‘Oh, very cool, Lucius, pretending that I did this sick crime. We both know how all these jewels got down here and who the evil criminal was who killed that helpless boy’s protectors. I’ll kill you rather than let you go back up there and persecute that poor defenceless boy.’

In the semi-darkness Lucius saw the glint of a familiar blade – Cressida Mandeville’s – and just in time pulled out his own to block her. The clash of steel on steel rang out in the thick silence and the glints of the swords were the only guiding light. As Lucius swung he felt an immense pain in his sword arm as the ferocity of the block jarred his shoulder. He regained his balance and stance; with his sword out in front of him he blocked Cressida’s vicious stabs. He nicked her blade out of the way and to counter her stab slashed at her legs. He felt the drag of the blade across her flesh and saw the red tear in her thigh. She stumbled back in pain or surprise, but as he moved forward, Cressida launched herself at him and with unimaginable strength forced him backwards. Lucius, his shoulder throbbing, watched the cold sweat dripping off his nose and, bizarrely, heard a door bang. Clearing his head he pushed down on her, trying to press on the wound. He saw her leg trembling and shoved her backward into a pile of rubies.

As she fell, pushing the rubies backwards, a door creaked then swung open. A shadowy silhouette was outlined in the dark doorway, and disappeared. Lucius had Cressida in his power, but suddenly, on instinct, leapt for the door. He saw a huge cavern. He heard Cressida scrambling up. Suddenly he felt an overpowering weight pushing him back and as he fought with the heavy door he felt the help of a second pair of hands pushing alongside him. He and Cressida forced their way into the room. A figure was leaping nimbly from pile to pile of priceless jewels. It entered another dark doorway and they followed it into a small cramped chamber. The door banged and they were plunged into darkness. Lucius pulled his flare from his pocket as he heard the familiar sound of a blade withdrawing from a sheath. As the blinding flash threw the room into light they saw the figure turn and reveal bloodshot eyes, a twisted smile and the cruel curved dagger. From the young prince’s face came a wicked laugh.

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