Rylands author puts together winning recipe for short story

Zeta Sookdev, 10, from Rylands, is one of the three category winners of Rylands library’s short story writing competition.

Aspiring writers in three categories – the 10 to 12 years, 13 to 17 years and adult groups, were invited to submit their stories – each category with its own theme.

The younger group had to write something based on a picture, depicting two girls standing at a tree, while the teenagers’ theme was “If only I hadn’t”, and the adult category’s theme was “The harder you fall, the higher you bounce”.

Athlone News reporter Hazel Allies-Husselman helped judge the entries.

Zeta’s winning story is as follows:

Looking out of the window, Candice admired the maple tree. It wore a suit of the richest green leaves. The aroma coming from the kitchen was tempting. “Blueberry muffins, your favourite,” said her mom. “How is your book coming along?”

“Slowly, very slowly,” replied Candice, taking another bite of the muffin. She ate the last crumb of the muffin and drank the last bit of orange juice. She got her pen and book and stepped out. Sitting under the maple tree with the pen in her hand, and the book on her lap, she began to write.

Jade ran into her mother’s room screaming, “Happy birthday, mom. What did you wish for?” Her mother moaned sleepily, “pancakes and a glass of milk” and she pulled the covers over her head. Jade picked up her knapsack to go to the store, but decided to wait for the milkman under the maple tree. A force pulled her into the tree trunk. Jade could not understand what happened.

A girl came running down the slope. “Hello, who are you?”

“I am Jade”.

“I am Belinda”.

“What strange clothes you wear,” said Jane.

“You call this strange? You are dressed like a boy,” replied Belinda. “How did you get here?”

“I don’t know,” replied Jane. Belinda introduced Jade to her parents. Everyone was dressed in old fashioned clothes. They look like people from her history book.

Jade was fascinated by this strange world. She must have travelled back in time. Belinda tried on Jade’s clothes from her knapsack. Seconds turned into minutes and minutes turned into hours. Jade needed to get back. She remembered the maple tree. They ran towards the tree. Belinda whispered in Jade’s ear: “Stand close against the trunk. I will never forget you.” The maple tree pulled Jade in. Jade was finally in her own world on the other side of the maple tree. The milkman came just in time. Jade carried the milk and pancakes to her mom. She told her mother about the world on the other side of the maple tree. Her mom gave her a hug and called her crazy.

Candice gave a satisfying smile. She finally finished her book.