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The Magic Pencil by Merryn Redman, age 10, UK – HIGHLY COMMENDED

HIGHLY COMMENDED IN THE 10-14 AGE GROUP

Grace and Theo were best friends. Their parents were friends as well.

One day they had all gone out to dinner at a fancy restaurant called ‘Restaurant Le Fancy’ or ‘The Fancy Restaurant’.

Everyone had ordered their drinks and meals, so all that was left do to was wait.

The adults were talking about dull adult stuff, and Grace and Theo were bored.

Grace asked her Mum if she had brought anything to do. Her Mum waved her away with a, “not now darling.”

Theo asked his Mum, with the same result.

They sat in silence for a while, and then suddenly, Theo had a brainwave.

He snatched up some napkins and said, “We can do doodles.”

“Great idea,” said Grace sarcastically, “what are we going to draw with?”

“Oh,” was all Theo replied.

They sat in silence for a while more before Theo noticed that something was pressing against his foot. It was a sparkly, rainbow-wrapped, silver pencil.

He gave it to Grace and said, “this!”

Grace took it and drew a picture of a cat on her napkin.

At the very moment that she finished the last whisker, strange things started to happen.

Cracks appeared in the floor, tables collapsed and lights flickered.

Everything fell silent, apart from a distant rumbling, which appeared to be getting closer.

In the blink of an eye, a small kitten emerged from under the table where Theo and Grace’s families had been sitting only mere seconds before.

It looked strangely like the cat Grace had drawn, except in colour.

It had bright green eyes, and was all black apart from its feet and a patch on its forehead, which were white.

Grace looked at the napkin that she was clutching in her hand, but the drawing was gone!

Realisation dawned on her.

She looked for Theo and saw him, among screaming people.

“It’s the drawing!” she shouted, “the kitten, it’s the drawing!”

She hoped he had heard. He seemed to be mouthing something at her.

It looked like, “behind you!”

She span around and saw the kitten just behind her.

Then it began to grow.

Sharp claws protruded from its paws, fangs now poked out of its mouth, and its eyes became bloodshot.

The kitten’s stare penetrated through the room, instilling fear in every person that looked it in the eye.

It bent down, its tail swinging from side to side, getting ready to pounce.

It was still growing!

It was the size of a car… an elephant… a house!

The roof went flying off, unable to withstand the kitten’s back pressing against it.

The kitten pounced, people ran, getting out of the way just in time.

Scratch!

The curtains were shredded, rags dangling forlornly.

Crash!

The kitten slammed through the wall, dust rose into the air. Nevertheless, the kitten landed on its feet, as cats always do.

Coming back in, it aimed a swipe at Grace.

She ducked and the paw that was meant to knock her head off reduced a couple of tables to scraps.

The kitten hissed loudly and went over to Theo, clamping its teeth down around his head!

The roof, that had gone miles high into the air, came crashing down, landing on the tail of the ferocious beast.

The evil feline let out a yowl, releasing its grip long enough for Theo to wriggle free.

The children rushed for the exit. Above the din Grace yelled, “how are we going to stop it?”

“Rubbers!” Theo replied, and, seeing her confused expression:

“It’s your drawing; you did it in pencil, so we can rub it out!”

“Great idea!” she exclaimed, and they sprinted off down the road, until they came to a newsagents.

A sign said: ‘Rubbers – 2 for £1’.

Theo chucked a pound coin down on the counter and they grabbed a rubber each, racing back to the restaurant.

They dodged falling rubble, and, whilst the kitten was focussed on tearing up a table cloth, they rubbed on its back.

Immediately, the cruel, wreckage-creating creature disappeared.

Grace passed Theo the napkin, on which the drawing had reappeared, and he rubbed it out, and rubbed it out again, just to be on the safe side.

As for the pencil, it was retrieved from the rubble and sharpened and sharpened and sharpened again…

…until all that was left were some shavings, and no drawings ever came to life again.

(Although Restaurant Le Fancy had to go to extreme measures to get back to being fancy.)

Name: Merryn Redman
Age: 10
Country: United Kingdom

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