“In great literature, I become a thousand different men but still remain myself." – C.S. Lewis
This academic year marked the second Oratory Short Story Competition, where pupils were invited to write a creative piece in the style of any genre over the Christmas holidays. It was fantastic to see pupils from 1st Form all the way through to Upper 6th getting involved and the English Department received over 50 entries. There were a huge variety of stories submitted, from chilling accounts of World War I soldiers to dystopian tales and contemplative musings. It proved very difficult to choose the winners but after much deliberation, J Duncan took 1st place in the Junior Category (1st to 4th Form) and A Shirazi won the Senior Category (5th to Upper 6th). The Head Master presented them with their prize of Amazon Gift cards in School Assembly and their winning stories will be printed in this year’s edition of The Oratorian School Magazine. Huge congratulations to both boys.
Extracts from the winning entries:
Monochrome – J Duncan
Another day in this tundra would make me lose what was left of my sanity. I only stay because it’s my last option. Putting on my gear I went out in the frosted silver snow. The Tundra was as cold as space but the temperature was merciless. As I battled the winds I found myself opposing a powerful foe and with one swift blow it strikes me down. As I recovered myself the winds only blew stronger but I stayed strong throughout the battle. Only for my foe to retreat, only to strike later. My first battle was fought, a battle of strength and will. As the day dragged me along, I found my prey unaware of my presence. Even with the conditions of the raging Tundra I still took my chance. Suddenly the prey had dashed away into the darkness, even with all my skills I cannot chase a deer. Only to find myself in a trap created by unyielding winds. The way home was covered in a thick carpet of frost. Even the trees became ivory towers in a bleached land. As the winds blew I couldn’t continue any more. So I retreated to a cave only just in view. Then I decided to wait and stay away from the raging blizzard. As hours passed that felt like days, the blizzard changed the land that I had travelled into more and more of an unknown terrain as the landscape became more of an albescent void rather than ivory covered forest.
The Forbidden Fields – A Shirazi
As I strolled through the fields, the rays of sunshine gently caressed my face, and the wind orchestrated the flickering flowers that swayed in the wind. The aromatic fragrance produced was intoxicating and seemed to weaken my senses. These fields were known as The Forbidden Fields, and my mother’s voice resonated in the depths of my mind the deeper I ventured, her words echoing “Under no circumstances should you enter The Forbidden Fields”. I was struck with confusion; why were these fields forbidden? The alluring scene left me without choice – I had to explore further. The deer frolicked and roamed in the endless blades of grass, and the blooming daisies basked in the sunshine. I began to feel lightheaded but thought nothing of it. I ventured deeper and was greeted by the flowing whispers of the rivers and the chattering of the trees, which seemingly beckoned me to continue further. The autumn leaves departed from their shelter and fell in hypnotising harmony. An uneasiness overcame my being, as the nature seemed to possess a sort of sentience, only seen in fables. Suddenly, my vision became blurry, and I blacked out.