Birmingham Heritage Week Creative Writing Competition

Aspiring authors were asked to write a fictional short story, up to 500 words, inspired by a photograph from our Archives collection for Birmingham Heritage Week, September 2017.

Image showing escapologist in 1890The photograph we chose depicts an escapologist performing a rope tying trick with a group of boys in Corporation Street in 1890.

We had a huge response from schools and library users and there were plenty of fantastic, truly imaginative stories. We thoroughly enjoyed reading them all, they were very entertaining!

Here are the winners in the 5 to 9 years and 10 to 13 years categories:

Winner!! - Kayleigh - 10 to 13 age category

I didn’t know that I would be here, standing in an angry crowd. I didn’t know that I would be tied in these ropes for the crime I did. I didn’t know this would be the end of me. I can see all those people that I had tried to murder. I can see all their faces. All I feel like is that I am a disappointment to family, friends and people that never have seen the face of a murderer. All I hear is the booing of people as they look at me. The place I am standing on right now is like a place for the shame and disappointment. I only wish to leave, I only wish to freeze time to live the rest of my few seconds in life. The more booing there is the more I feel anger, disappointment in myself and how the law has beaten me.

I can feel the ropes getting tighter and tighter around me. I know soon it’s the end for me, I know that my family and friends would want to forget me as they watch me die. The tighter the ropes get the more pain and shame I feel. I want to fix everything but it’s too late, the past is the past and time is irreversible. I’ve made too many mistakes and fixed them but this one can never be fixed. Now I’m against the law.

A man comes up to me slowly with a face I have never seen before when there is that much disappointment. I feel a rope in his hand, I feel more frightened than ever in these past twenty-five years of my life. As I feel the rope go round my neck I struggle to get a last breath of air in my lungs. I wish I could say “I love you” to the ones I love as I go higher in the air. I see the end, I know I will die this last second.

Winner!! Abena - 5 to 9 age category

A Search for Darkness!

Many lethal years ago, when mobile phones and electricity wasn’t created, there was many people who were mentally insane. There was lots of insane asylum centres, but there was just one insane asylum centre which nobody dared to visit- it had the craziest people ever. Despite most of them being young, there was dark magic inside of them. Back in 1885, there was darkness, it was like the gloom of doom, it never had sunshine, it rained (it wasn’t a happy place to be). Even though they was young there was just one child called Ivan the terrible (I know he’s from Russia but stick with the flow).

He is one of the worst patients to ever have crossed the insane asylum centre (by the way it is called rehabilitation centre; trying to get people back to normal). Ivan was known for killing people (200) in his lifetime, at a young age (5). He had two friends Bloody Mary and Vlad the Impaler (top three crazy people ever!). Mary killed anyone who stammered “Nnno!” (1000). Vlad killed anyone who didn’t do what he told them (2000). Altogether (3200). Out of the blue, they planned an escape. Here are the instructions:

  1. Get a hammer and make a hole big enough.
  2. Crawl through the hole to the edge.
  3. Get the rope, climb down, be free and get searched.

So that’s exactly what they did; they crawled through; climbed down and ran free. They killed altogether 6400 people who was sadly children (3 to 6 years old). Then the search began, there was police parties, security and amazing royal army. Unexpectedly it took them days, week, months, even years. Happily walked the friends into the dark, murderous night. Who knows if they would strike again…

Article posted on 16 October 2017

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