Saturday, February 12, 2011

"The Spectator"

Golden Sponge Stick 2010
Short Story Competition Results
Theodora from Berkhamsted School won second prize in the age 9 - 11 category
with this brutal twist-at-the-end story about murder & divine retribution

An excerpt from "The Spectator"

Although I cannot move or talk, I can do many, many things without those uses. People do not notice me while they talk, but I'm not invisible, whether it's everyday chit chat or top secret conversations, that could change Pompeii as we know it. Still don't know who I am? Well, keep guessing. I'm as big as the sky is wide, but stay in Pompeii averagely sized, a bit bigger than a human, but I'm not one. I have eternal life, and am very well known throughout Italy and Pompeii. This is the story of many little mistakes, causing one big one.

It was 79 AD, May 2nd to be precise and I was outside the forum (as always) just watching the Pompeiani go abut their daily lives. Caecilius was setting up his stall, farmers selling their produce and venalicius showing off his slaves to rich-looking citizens. Caecilius was a good man, a very articulate, kind and humble man. He always had his banking stall just by me every weekday. And, although he was a rich, busy man, he always had time to be a good pater to his son. It seemed like a fairly average day, just looking out for suspicious actions. I saw a sly shopkeeper called Cato spitting in a customer's drink. He got a bit of a shock when he fell down a well, being humiliated in front of every person in the forum. 'Curse the gods', he mumbled. At least he knew who had punished him. But, that was just the kind of thing that happened everyday. I hadn't really guessed what was coming next...

by Theodora Manson (12)

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