Winter Writing Competition 2016 by Ameka Sykes



“Mum, I’m going to go to the otherworld now that I’ve got the chance.”

“Okay sweetie, but be back for dinner!”

As I plunge though the portal into the otherworld, I thought about my family history. For generations my family has protected the mirror that enables us to travel between the two worlds. I’m Ivy, by the way. The otherworld is called Vintro. It is an amazing place with almost every mythical creature you can think of, including griffins, pegasi, centaurs and much more!


Mum, Dad, Willem (my baby brother) and I regularly visit Vintro. In fact, my dad was born there but came here to marry my mum. There are just two rules: 1, you must never take anything from the otherworld into this world, and 2, the portal into the otherworld only works when there is a full moon.


As I exited the portal excitement rushed through my body like lighting sprinting towards the ground. I was finally here!

After a month of waiting I could see my family and friends from Vintro again! I went into the snowy terrain to where a thrilling sight awaited me. Kids dressed in gloves, coats, scarves and beanies were throwing snowballs at each other. But this was no ordinary snowball fight. Coloured snow fell like a waterfall from the sky, winged horses dived and swooped, and snowballs exploded like fireworks.

“Lizzy, Bett, hi!” I called to my friends. They turned to look at me and straight away massive grins appeared on their faces.

“Ivy!”, they screamed and they ran over to greet me. After we had hugged, kissed and caught up, I jumped on the back of my favourite Pegasus, and joined in the fun!


It was a few hours later when I looked at my watch and realised that I should have been home by now. “Drat!” I thought and started to leave. When I was almost at the portal, a particularly lovely snowflake fell on my nose. It was pale blue, and looked like the lace embroidery my grandmother does. The snowflake shimmered and sparkled in the setting sun. I wanted to take it home but remembered the rule. “Still,” I thought to myself, “how much damage can one snowflake do?” I gently curled my fingers around it and jumped through the portal.


When I came out of the portal I slowly opened my eyes, hoping and praying that there were no consequences from bringing the snowflake back from Vintro. I looked around, and everything seemed normal, and just as it should be. As I went to sleep that night, I put the snowflake in a jar and hid it under my bed. Even though nothing bad had happened, I still did not want mum and dad to know that I had broken the rule.


As I woke up the next morning I felt freezing cold and my toes were numb. I looked out of the window and got a huge shock! Rather than a bright yellow sun, I was horrified to see a sphere of ice in the sky. I was astounded, I was distressed, I could not work out why the sun had disappeared! Then suddenly looking under my bed I knew – it was because I had taken the snowflake from the other world. Even worse, the snowflake had melted in the jar. Maybe if I took it back to Vintro at the next full moon, everything would go back to normal?


I turned on the radio – some people thought it had something to do with global warming, but no one mentioned anything about magic. School was cancelled until the cold was sorted out.


The first week passed. Nothing eventful happened except me getting grounded by my mum – she had worked out what I had done. Since I can’t go outside the grounding consists of me only being allowed to go between my bedroom, bathroom and the dining room.


The second week passed. Mum is home schooling us all to make up for not going to school. I have been made to do the dishes for two months (two!!) as part of the grounding. I am not sleeping much. Each night as the hours tick by I watch the moon, waiting for it to wax bit by bit.


The third week passed. I am getting so bored of being inside all day. I miss Bett and Lizzy like crazy. On Monday night I was allowed out into the garden to have a play since it is slightly less cold because the sphere of ice isn’t in the sky at night.


The fourth week passed. There are reports of animals dying from the cold. It made me feel guilty and horrible reading this news. Mum has started to make us do seven hours of home schooling instead of six to keep us busy.


At last! Only three days before I can take the melted snowflake back to Vintro. Mum has spent two hours after dinner each night giving me a lecture on the importance of never taking anything from Vintro into this world (as if I don’t already know!) so I’m going to bed at eight o’clock each night. We home schooled on Saturday and Sunday this week and I’ll be very glad to be going back to school.


May 31st. Tonight I looked into the clear night sky and finally saw a perfect full circle shining bright. At last I can take the melted snowflake back to Vintro, and hopefully get the world and myself out of this mess. I step through the portal with the snowflake jar in my hand to put it back where it belongs…




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