Our English department ran a competition for our First Form students, following the Bishop’s Stortford literature competition in relation to a book The Girl who became a Tree by Joseph Coelho, in which they had to bring one of the characters to life.
Congratulations to our winners:
First place – Sophia Parkin
Second place – Charlie Agnew
The vibrant colours raced around her as Daphne twirled around in bemusement of the sudden change of scenery from the wood heavy and old paper smelling library to the lush mix of smells and plants she had never seen before.
This made Daphne curious, what else may she find in there? She wandered through the elaborate maze of nature paradise. Eventually, she came to a passageway filled with greenery and roses, there was a door at the end with vines hanging off from the top and doorknob. As soon as her hand touched the door’s handle chills ran down her spine, but despite this, she carried on through.
Daphne’s surroundings had completely changed. Old trees with their branches tangled up with one another, a smell of decay and a small feeling of loneliness. She pivoted on her heel wishing to go back to the holy land of paradise when a creature the size of a very large dog sprang out from a nearby dying bush.
The creature had dark brown hair, two green, glistening eyes, a noxious nose and small serrated teeth.
“Who are you?”, the girl said.
“I- I am Hoc, yes, Hoc”, replied the creature with a slight stutter.
The creature moved closer, its skin tight, his bones visibly moving with each crawl.
“Would you like to follow m-me?” Hoc made a faint gesture with its skinny nail spiked fingers. “There are plenty of ga-games, no I mean video games, board games, out-outdoor games. I have any, yes, yes any games you want.”
As the creature went on about all the amazing things in store for her if she followed it, she looked at Hoc more closely and realized how its face lit up or how its face changed to a different emotion at sudden intervals, as if it was talking to itself.
She wondered if Hoc itself was Hoc’s only friend and if it was suffering just like everyone else in lockdown – loneliness – even slight madness. Her thoughts had taken her away though and she seemed to be in a tiny opening from a tree line that had all that the creature had promised.
In her mind, those last emotional thoughts decayed inside her as greed began to sink in. As it all became a blur, she saw Hoc’s deformed, shrivelled face disappear into the darkness of the woods.
Third place – Zachary Hennell