Write Across Victoria – Year 8 Female Winners 0 Comments

Write Across Victoria – Year 8 Female Winners

FIRST PLACE

Insalubrious, by Elizabeth Hoysted

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.’

Hat buzzed with excitement and wished it could hurl insults at Cressida. Hat squinted at the diminutive mastermind through its sumptuous, velvet, purple eyelids. She was no more than two inches tall. Hat ignored its cramps. It had been perched on Lucius’s head for too long.

Lucius felt Hat stirring and silently prayed that it settled. All his plotting and preparation had led to this confrontation with minuscule Cressida. He’d always dreamed that the finale of this saga would take place in a gleaming castle. But what did he get? A hole. A putrid, pungent, pestiferous hole.

On top of that, he’d needed to invent an entirely new vehicle to reach her, just because she refused to apologise for her insult.

Cressida had seen Lucius walking along a busy London street. She’d exclaimed, ‘Your B.O. is so bad you’re classified as a biological weapon.’ Hat had been irate, not understanding that hats generally don’t smell of anything at all. No one insulted Lucius’s or Hat’s aroma with impunity.

‘I was surprised you led me here,’ he began sarcastically, ‘I expected a castle, but you thought a pit would be more appropriate.’

‘Earthy colours are fashionable this year,’ Cressida smirked.

‘Last I checked you don’t need to be twenty kilometres underground to see them.’

Something stirred behind Cressida, but he was unable to make out what it was in the murk. It was taller than her (not an achievement) and seemed rectangular in appearance.

Hat suspected what it was and leapt off Lucius just as the monster revealed itself. As Hat feared, it was a Toaster, capable of holding eight slices, featuring nine settings, a stainless steel finish and removable crumb tray.

The Toaster stretched and padded towards them, its cord swinging back and forth. It slinked closer. Hat was sure Lucius hadn’t noticed. Hat had no desire for the ‘discussion’ to continue, so it opened its eyes, smiled and prepared for action. Its small, white, gloved hands turned into fists and it punched the toaster, which yowled and slashed in response.

Lucius took the opportunity and threw a pungent grenade at Cressida. It attached itself to her arm and began to emit a vile stench so powerful that worms and bugs died instantly.

Hat saw the dying insects, ran towards Lucius, leapt on his head and kneeled. Lucius sprinted for the Subterranean Tunneller and fired the engine. Even from this distance he could feel the approaching cloud of putridity rising from Cressida and approaching his machine.

As it pulled away, Cressida screamed, ‘I’ll get you for this!’

‘Well, we’ll know you’re coming. Your stench will be warning enough.’

SECOND PLACE

The Key, by Kira Hughes

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.’

With a flick of her wrist she summoned a ball of flickering, golden flame in each palm and thrust them both at Lucius. He pushed at the ground and leapt up, dodging the attack. He quickly countered by sending a powerful current of air at his foe, knocking her back. He did this once more, throwing Cressida around like a ragdoll until she fell hard to the ground. Filled with rage, she got up and bombarded Lucius with fireballs. He pulled out a silver cane from his long overcoat and twirled it around, creating a barrier in front of him that deflected the attack in the opposite direction. The flames flew back and engulfed Cressida but she didn’t seem to feel pain, only anger towards Lucius. She closed her eyes and the fire absorbed into her body.

‘You know, surrendering is still an option,’ he said. ‘I can make your stay in prison more enjoyable if you hand yourself over. I’m not a patient man, Miss Mandeville.’

‘Give me the key, Lucius!’ Cressida yelled. ‘I’m not leaving without it!’

‘What is with everyone today?’ he asked suspiciously. ‘I haven’t got a key. Unless you mean my house and car which of course I’m not handing over.’

‘No, Lucius,’ she said. ‘It’s no ordinary key. Remember that stone you found while battling the undead army in Eastwick? The one that glowed white with strange patterns carved into it? Well, I need it.’

‘If it’s so important, what does this key actually do?’

‘That’s for me to know,’ Cressida replied with an evil smirk, ‘and for you to find out.’

In a blink of an eye, she burst into flames. Lucius held his arms up to shield his eyes from the blinding light. When he stopped to look, she was gone.

Lucius decided to retire to his apartment, only to find the door unlocked. He entered with caution, resting his hand on his pistol. He was halfway across the room when the lights were turned on.

‘It’s good to see you, Lucius.’

He recognised the voice immediately. ‘You know you could have knocked, Eldridge,’ he said, ‘or waited until I arrived.’

A elderly man walked in. His long beard brushed constantly against the black suit he wore. In his gloved hand he carried a small parcel.

‘I’m sorry for barging in like this,’ Eldridge apologized, ‘but this is a very urgent matter.’

‘I’m guessing it’s about the stone. It’s some sort of key but what does it open? Not a simple door obviously.’

Eldridge carefully unfolded the parcel, revealing the stone.

‘This key releases every single demon from the apocalypse.’

THIRD PLACE

The Tricky Twist, by Sinead Goodfellow

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.’

Her hair was blond now instead of the hideous brown mess it had been in the last time Lucius had seen her and it fell perfectly around her shoulders. Her hazel eyes stared him down, with an expression of something that had never changed. ‘What are you wearing? You look ridiculous.’

Lucius raised an eyebrow and gave her a pointed look. ‘That’s odd. I was just about to say the same thing to you.’ He mimicked her high, feminine voice that bounced off the walls of the dark, waterlogged, sewer that after years of not being in use, had recently become their battleground.

She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. ‘Boys are so immature. No-one talks like that.’

‘If you say som’ Lucius said doubtfully. ‘So, you’re…um…here for the scenery,’ he proclaimed sarcastically, gesturing around at the disgusting meeting place. ‘The uh… water lilies should be flourishing soon,’ he said, picking up with his fingertips what probably used to be a sock, from the sickly green liquid that called it-self sewer water, and examining it as it dripped waste back into the undisturbed pool that sat in the middle of the room. A quick glance at Cressida told him she was utterly horrified that Lucius would touch that sad excuse for a sock at all.

Dropping it back in the hideous muck, he turned to her with a smug look on his face, but Cressida only mirrored it, because she knew something he did not.

‘Now,’ he said, his face turning serious for the first time that night. ‘Why did you want me here?’

Cressida only smiled and looked him in the eye. ‘I have something for you.’ She watched as a black figure in the corner behind Lucius came forward silently, heading straight for the Subterranean Tunneller Lucius had left open. Just as Cressida predicted he would.

‘No you don’t,’ Lucius said flatly. Clearly unconvinced.

‘No, you’re right I don’t,’ she admitted. ‘But you have something for me. Don’t you,’ she added mischievously as behind him the figure climbed into the top of the Tunneller.

‘What do you…?’ he started, confused, but before he could finish the Tunneller behind him roared to life. He spun around, bewildered.  Glancing back, he saw that Cressida had taken the moment of his distraction and fled to the walls of the chamber. The tunneller sped toward him, with no intention of stopping. Despite his racing heart, he sighed.

Of all the people in the world he could have been twins with, he was the one to be stuck with the devious Cressida as his sister. Lucky him.

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