Write on Norfolk: Winners of the age 11 to 13 category

Three of the winners of the Write On Norfolk competition, with judge, author, Louis de Bernieres. Fr

Three of the winners of the Write On Norfolk competition, with judge, author, Louis de Bernieres. From left, Eve Cameron, silver; Eve Derisley, gold; and Amber Airey, bronze. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Here are the three prize winners in the age 11 to 13 category of the Write on Norfolk creative writing competition.

Gold, Eve Derisley, 12, Thorpe St Andrew School

I see swallows soaring high in clouds that wisp above farmers corn that glows golden in the spring sun.

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I see towering windmills in their glory, sails cutting steadily through the air like knives through butter.

I see stretches of fields and greenery, buzzing with wildlife below the depths of harvested soil.

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I see poppies swaying innocently in the wind, the hay bales that children long to climb.

I smell that fresh scent of Norfolk, that carries through the landscapes.

I smell that waft of fish and chips, tickling your taste buds and forcing me to splash out on a seaside delicacy.

I smell the salt on my lips, with images of happy days on the beach.

I smell the rain, as it dances on the country lanes.

I taste the mud that splatters my face when my wheels race down the road.

I taste the lavender fields, when I gallop my horse across the purple meadow.

I taste the metallic gunfire, that reaches the plump pigeon so early in the morning,

following several more shots skywards that send out frightened squawking.

I touch the warm udders of a cow that takes in grass and descends milk into a tin bucket.

I touch the milk that is transported up to the farmers wife, and fed to the baby lambs playing innocently.

I touch the fresh eggs that nestle beneath the chickens soft, ruffled feathers.

I touch the Norfolk way of life and it touches me.

I hear the Norfolk accent that is as rough as sandpaper, yet familar and warming.

I hear the whistle of wind, that scales my eardrums, as my legs pump my bike around back country roads.

I hear the swallows swooping, as they call the first signs of Spring.

I hear nature calling at midnight, hoots of owls and barks of foxes, comforting in the nights silence.

Silver, Eve Cameron, 13, Wymondham High Academy

Norfolk is only for the pure. The county of goodness, that's what they say. But I can't change my neurological makeup. I try to hold back my evil like Poseidon holding back the tide. Evil is in the eye of the beholder, right? What one person finds good another may find evil. But evil is inside me, unfolding like dye onto water.

Tomorrow I will have to take a pill that alters my DNA after some tests. January 1st, 2356. If I'm good, then my eyes will turn gold. My skin will be baptised in buttery luminosity. If I'm evil, my eyes will flush carmine. I'll have an injection which makes you mindless and have to do labour. Out founder Katrina Kilane made the injection and pills. She also made the forcefield that encloses Norfolk, separating it from the corrupt. I see pictures of her sometimes. Her eyelashes scatter light, her smile the ragged edges of clouds. Her eyes like a forest pool soaked in summer sunlight.

The tests are difficult the next day. There are tricky statements that you have to circle yes or no for.

It's ok to steal if it's to help someone else, I read.

Stealing is evil, helping is not. Yes.

Power should only be given to those who earn it. Easy enough, yes.

Killing in the name of good is ok. No.

I chew my pencil and clutch the paper and ponder until the time is up.

Next are the character tests. Would you save one relative or six strangers? And the interviews. I know I've failed. My belligerent tone, my glare...

Norfolk is Pure, I tell myself. That's why the forcefield separates it from the rest of Britain.

As I wait for my pill, I watch the sunlight, apricot and charcoal, like summer's skin, stream through the window.

'Alexis Greenwood?' A woman asks.

I follow her to a room; there is a single pill and mirror.

The system is good if you're good. Wonderful if you're wonderful. But I'm not. I swallow my pill, and feel an itchiness in my eyes. I rub them, then look into the mirror.

Red eyes. Evil. Impure. I calm my shaky breaths and look desperately for an escape. I'm being monitored. Any minute now they'll come for me. I grab my chair and smash the window and begin to climb out when I hear shouting.

'Get her!'

I run, but my crimson eyes will make me stand out anywhere. The city I live used to be a flat countryside. Wymondham. You can still find water pump ruins. Now it's skyscrapers-and-robots technology. The people in the street surround me. Something about the voiceless formation frightens me.

Like they're being controlled too...

Unless they are. Their pill alters but doesn't destroy their minds unlike the pill.

Strong hands grab me, and I'm dragged to a white room and strapped down. I scream when I see the needle.

'It's just business sweetheart,' the doctor says, and silences me forever.

Bronze, Amber Airey, 11, Thorpe St Andrew School

Fire and smoke filled the Winter air as the people of Cresswell Street gathered. Hazel, who had just popped to the shop to fetch her mother some bread, pushed through the crowd to see what had happened. There she saw a weird sight - her mother and father were lying on the ground. 'Oh Mum, Dad, get up, what are you doing?' She stopped. The couple weren't moving, breathing or blinking, their eyes filled with dust. It struck her, the pain tearing her heart in two. Her knees buckled and Hazel fell to the ground clutching her heart and hot, wet tears ran down her pale white cheeks. Then a warm hand wrapped around Hazel's shoulder. She turned and her eyes met a plump friendly face, though it was blurred by her tears. 'Is this your Mother and Father?' the Policeman asked. Hazel slowly nodded her head. 'I think you should come with me, poor thing.' Hazel didn't want to go but she was too weak to resist. The last thing she remembered was looking at a bright white wall.

She was woken by a pair of long nails that dug into her back making her jump in fright. Hazel twisted her head and saw an old pointed face. The lady was dressed in a bottle green pleated skirt with a matching jacket and hat. She opened her thin pursed lips and started speaking very quickly 'I'm your Great Aunt and you will be living with me for the next eight years by which time you will be nineteen and leaving. You shall call me Miss Scriven.'

The following day, Hazel walked up to some towering, green, wooden doors. At which moment she knew life was going to change beyond her imagination.

Hazel sat quietly in the kitchen, straining to hear the hushed voices from the next room. Although she couldn't catch every word, she could tell by her aunt's voice that she was angry and knew that her current plight was the result of a Zeppelin attack on her home town of Kings Lynn. When her aunt came out there was an awkward silence, she sat down and sipped her sweet tea slowly. The silence was broken with a loud knock at the door 'Go get it.' Miss Scriven said, Hazel went to open the door but no one was there. She was just about to close the door when something caught her eye. There, on the doorstep was an old shoebox. Quietly, she picked up the box and took it inside. Closing the door gently behind her, she paused in the hallway to peek inside the box. To her amazement, she found herself staring at some items of jewellery that she knew belonged to her mother. She tiptoed upstairs to her room, knowing that her Great Aunt would soon be looking for her. The shoebox was hidden carefully under her bed. The next few years may be hard but she now had treasured keepsakes to help her through...

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