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The Manglerphin by Tom Dunlop, age 9, UK – HIGHLY COMMENDED


In a parallel universe with a world identical to Earth, there is a boy named John McCarthy.

He is an ordinary boy, except for the fact that he has a superpower.


Despite his amazing secret, John (A.K.A. “The Manglerphin”) likes to keep his powers secret.

He does use his gills when swimming with his HUMAN friends, but he normally hides his gills using a swim vest.

One day he went to the beach on his own and became a manglerphin. He decided to swim to the depths of the ocean to see his deep sea friends like a family of octopus he met a few years ago.

They told him about a villain called Harry Jonson A.K.A. The Killer Of Sea life.

He was driving lots of marine animals to extinction by keeping them in an aquarium to get fat and making them do circus tricks.

Then, once they were too fat to perform, he would slaughter them and sell them in his seafood shops and restaurants for very hefty prices.

His excuse: he sold the best seafood you could get, despite the average review being 0/5 stars.

One “deluxe” squid tentacle would be £50.

John wanted to stop this.

He said, “This is animal abuse and scamming. He must stop this or we’ll have to force him,”

So he went and revealed his powers to his human friends.

They were obviously shocked, but wanted to stop Harry Jonson straight away.

One of John’s friends is a computer scientist, so he tracked Harry down.

Another of John’s is a smart plan maker, so he helped John make a plan.

They thought long and hard, and eventually came up with this plan.

So, John would bring a camera, find Harry, jump into the sea where Harry was, turn into a dolphin and swim into Harry’s net and sneak away.

From there, he would stay a dolphin but, using his power to grow his arms, he would discretely film these illegal actions to later show to the police so Harry would be arrested.

John’s computer friend tracked Harry down by Googling Harry’s phone number and Email to hack into his account to locate his iPhone at any given moment, and, judging by what he researched, Harry can’t go 30 seconds without it.

So John and his mates hopped in the car.

When they arrived at the beach Harry was at, they looked on Google one last time for his identity and brought the computer friend’s iPhone out of the car to find exactly where Harry was hiding out, and found him about 500 metres down, in a submarine, slaughtering some tiny octopus, and the odd miniature whale coming up to breathe.

So, John went into the exit room, and jumped out of the submarine hatch.

Then, he turned into a dolphin about the size of a human baby, but sneakily poked his arm out and started filming.

“What luck!” said Harry. “A dolphin down here?! I must be seeing things!”

(For those of you who don’t know, dolphins are usually found within 200 metres of the ocean surface).

So John hid his whole iPhone (except the camera) and filmed the crimes Harry was committing as video evidence for when Harry was arrested.

John hid in the corner of the submarine so as not to be seen, changed into a human and continued filming.

When Harry thought he’d slaughtered everything, he drove the submarine away.

Little did he know, John had saved all the animals, as Harry liked to give them a slow and painful death, and, since John could speak fish, he explained to them that they should play dead and showed them how to do it.

Harry arrived at one of his restaurants and John snuck out and pretended he’d had a very nice dinner, and snuck away with the fish tank.

His friends had remembered to keep track of Harry on their iPhones so they could come and pick John up.

So John put the mini octopus and whale tank in the boot and explained how he noticed the cage was fairly small so he decided to be a tiny dolphin and he managed to smuggle the cage away.

There was a police station nearby, so they reported Harry. He got a life sentence in a maximum security prison.

John now lives happily as a professional footballer.

Name: Tom Dunlop
Age: 9
Country: United Kingdom

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