As part of this year’s Young Story Writer competition, children’s author, Jeremy Strong, has penned his very own short story to encourage kids to get creative and write their own. Why not try your hand at story telling to be in with the chance of winning a family holiday of a lifetime!

Read Jeremy’s exclusive story here!

Joe’s Unusual Journey.
Mr Juddery found the sofa in a junk shop. It was cheap but comfortable and he thought it would be perfect for the Staff Room at school. At first the teachers agreed with Mr Juddery. The sofa was very comfortable. Unfortunately the sofa had a bad habit. If people sat on it, the sofa ate them – GOLLOPP! It was a man-eating sofa. GOLLOPP! It was a woman-eating sofa. GOLLOPP! It ate children. (Even Nelly Macwelly, who was terribly smelly.)
Soon nobody would go near the Staff Room. It was too dangerous. So the sofa came out and wandered up and down the corridors of the school, hunting. Quite soon there weren’t many teachers left, or cooks, or caretakers, or children.

Joe was a bit cross about all this. For a start sofas were not meant to eat people. And secondly Joe liked his teacher, Miss Morgan, and the sofa had eaten her. And thirdly the sofa had eaten Joe’s best friend, Midge. That wasn’t her real name, which was Nadia, but she was quite tall, so her friends called her Midge, which is short for ‘midget’. They thought it was funny. Midge thought they were idiots. Perhaps Nadia was right. But then maybe it was funny, too – you decide.

The sofa had also eaten several other friends of Joe so he decided that he’d had enough. He would have to do something about it. Joe was clever and he had noticed that the sofa didn’t have any teeth and it never got fat. All those people inside it, but it was still the same size as the day Mr Juddery had bought it. (Oh, by the way, he’d been gobbled too.) So Joe reasoned that all those people must have gone somewhere – but where? There was only one way to find out. He would have to get eaten too.

The very next morning, he made himself a packed lunch (just in case he got hungry) and went off to school. Along came the sofa and Joe barely had time to say ‘Good Morning’ (because he was a polite child) before the sofa gulped him down. GOLLOPP!

Immediately Joe felt as if he was on some strange kind of slide, but the slide was flinging him about and he was bouncing around. He was bounced from one soft cushiony thing to another. In fact they were cushions – giant cushions, and he was tumbling down all the time until, at last, PERLLOPP! He landed.

Joe got up and dusted himself off. He had often wondered what falling down a worm hole and landing on another planet would feel like. Now he knew. Looking round, Joe noticed that all about him were people he knew. There were teachers, cooks, children, Mr Juddery – all of them. They were racing about desperately trying to avoid being eaten by wardrobes, chests of drawers, sofas and folding beds that snapped at their heels. Midge came hurtling past, yelling at him. ‘Joe! Watch out!’

He turned just in time to see a large wardrobe racing towards him, flapping it’s double doors like a giant mouth. Joe began running for his life too. Everyone was dreadfully scared of course, but Joe was beginning to think that maybe these carnivorous cupboards were not all that dangerous. After all, he’d been eaten by a sofa, but here he was, running about. What would happen if a wardrobe caught him? There was only way to find out. Joe stood still, closed his eyes and gritted his teeth.

SNAPPP! BANGGG! CLATTER CLATTER CLATTER! Everything went dark and Joe realised he was inside a wardrobe! He knew it was a wardrobe because that awful clattering was made by all the metal coathangers banging about. There was just enough light inside to see. And then Joe noticed something else. Wing nuts.
Do you know what wing nuts are? They are a special kind of nut and bolt. The nut bit has two small wings on it which means you can tighten it by hand. It also means you can UNTIGHTEN it. Joe sat down, ate his packed lunch, had a good think and then he had a brilliant idea. He began to undo all the wing nuts he could find. Guess what? The wardrobe got slower, more wobbly and creaky and then it simply fell to bits.

Joe stood there grinning at his friends, who were still shrieking past him at high speed. ‘Let them catch you!’ he yelled. ‘Undo their wing nuts!’

It was not long before every single wardrobe, cupboard, folding bed, and chest of drawers lay in pieces all over the place. The children and teachers crowded round Joe, cheering. They hoisted him on to their shoulders and carried him round.

‘You are the champion!’ they sang. ‘ You are amazing! Now then, how do we get back to school?’
Joe gulped, like this – GOLLOPP! He hadn’t thought that far ahead. He was clever all right, but not that clever.
Maybe you can rescue them.

© Jeremy Strong, 2013

(View details on how to enter the Young Story Writer competition here)

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