Finish Our Story Winners ANNOUNCED!

After weeks of deliberating Beatrix, the Head of Fairy School, has finally chosen her Finish our Story winner! We were so happy to see that Beatrix picked
not one winner but TWO! We just had to share our two young writer’s stories and we think you are going to love them. Reports have reached us in Fairy
HQ that fairies in Fairy School are really enjoying reading these pieces and they’re really helping them understand humans a lot better! It looks like
the Fairy School curriculum has just gotten even more interesting for our fairy friends!

Thank you to all of our believers who entered our Finish Our Story competition! We were absolutely blown away by all of your amazing, imaginative and creative
stories and we cannot wait to see what you all write next year too! Let’s read our winning stories…

Our first winning piece is by Lydia Bowe Sealey:

Halloween was fast approaching, and all the decorations were ready except for the most important item of all…. the pumpkin! I had just finished
webbing the cotton cobwebs around the Lavender bushes. “Mam! Can we go and get the Pumpkins?!” I called as I walked into the kitchen – a rich wave
of coffee beans infused the air as I noticed my father’s frothy coffee mug lay discarded atop the Morning News. ‘RECORD BREAKING SHORTAGE OF IRELANDS
PUMPKINS SWEEPS THE NATION’ was stamped across the headline. I bit my lip – “A pumpkin shortage, that’s all we need” I muttered. Pumpkins were
probably the most iconic image of Halloween – they completed it! The carving of Pumpkins had originated in Ireland centuries ago, based on the
legend of ‘Stingy Jack’. The legend goes that Jack had invited the Devil to have a drink with him – but had no money to buy their drinks, so he
asked the Devil to turn into a coin to pay for them – but Jack had tricked him, instead he had slipped the coin into his pocket beside a cross
so that the Devil could not turn back to his original form. He made the Devil promise that he would not bother Jack for one year precisely and,
if he should die, would not claim his soul. Jack confronted the Devil, yet again and told him to climb up a tree to pick a dozen ripe fruits –
but little did the Devil know that Jack had scratched a cross into the tree and made the Devil swear not to bother him for ten years. Not long
after, Jack died, and true to his word, the Devil did not claim his Soul, yet God would not let such a cruel and sly trickster into the gates of
heaven. The Devil, who was upset and furious with Jack’s nasty tricks, sent him off into the night with a single burning coal to light his way.
Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and began to roam the earth alone. In Ireland and Scotland people began to carve frightening faces onto
hollowed out turnips and potatoes (as there were no pumpkins at the time), to ward off Jack and his evil spirits. In England, large beets were
even used! It was only when the Americans westernized it, they discovered that pumpkins were even better to use! They say that even today, Jacks
spirit still wanders the world, especially at Halloween! “Lydia, are you alright?” my Mother asked me. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost” she
laughed grabbing her car keys with a jangle. “Yes, I’m fine” I said breathlessly.

We soon arrived at the Supermarket. “Excuse me, but do you know where the pumpkins are?” I asked politely to the sales assistant – somehow already knowing
the answer. Dread bubbled in the pit of my stomach fizzing and spitting like a simmering cauldron. “I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there’s been
a pumpkin shortage – bad harvest” the assistant sighed, gesturing to the other customers who had only just heard the bad news. They were gazing, forlorn,
at the empty crate labelled – ‘Pumpkins for Sale!’ in exciting colourful bubble writing which somehow looked sad and droopy plastered across the desolate
crate. “Oh…well, Thank you anyway” I say letting my hair slip over my face as I begin to move away. “But can I interest you in a squash – or
a turnip?” he added quickly. “Okay…” I said reluctantly as he guided me towards a basket of turnips and squashes. “Thanks” I say and begin to rummage
through the veg. The sales assistant moves on to the group of pumpkin mourners and suggests that they too, look at the squashes and turnips that they
had to offer and the ghoulish decorations on sale near the potatoes. Meanwhile I had spotted a blaze of orange peaking out from behind a butternut
squash! My fingertips brushed across the gash of orange before I realised, in vain, that it was only a wart speckled carnival squash. I groaned and
regained my composure while the pumpkin party glared continued suspiciously at me. “Any luck?” I hear Mams voice behind me. “Nothing, there’s been
a Pumpkin shortage – bad harvest” I echo. “Oh no! How about we carve one of these butternut squashes – I think everyone is going to copy us, we’re
all in the same boat” She said placing a hand on my shoulder. I nod, braving a smile and pick out the glossiest butternut and turnip of the lot!

“Have you got the carving knife?” Mam asked me, flustered as she hastily tied on her apron with hands dripping with watery suds. “Yep!” I smile placing
our squash on the worktop. There was a sudden knock on the thick oak door. “Who on earth could that be!” said Mam shaking her head and wiping her hands
on a tea towel as she went to open the door. “Oh – Dad what a surprise! Please come in, come in” I hear a low murmur of voices drifting in from the
hallway.” “I just wanted to ask if you have a trowel I could use and maybe a spare pair of gardening gloves?” That had to be Grandad, I knew that warm,
rough voice anywhere. “Grandad!” I say embracing him with a quick hug. “Your just in time to see us make the face on our squash” I said grinning. I
expected him to ask why we were carving a squash and not a pumpkin, but he didn’t say anything apart from offering a wry smile. “I’ll just go and see
if I can find a spare pair of gloves and that trowel your after” My mother said putting on her boots. “Ah, I don’t want you to go out of your way,
you carve your…em…squash…” he said with a note finality in his voice. He slipped past us and into the garden. “He’s acting very strange,
lately isn’t he?” I said to Mam, once he was out of earshot. “I’m starting to worry about him” Mam adds then realising what she said her eyes darted
to me and she hurriedly made an excuse to grab something from upstairs. I watched her go and my eyes settled on Grandad, he was sifting through our
shed and seemed to be ‘borrowing’ a lot more than he’d asked for. “What is he up to…” I whispered.

The pumpkin juice trickles down my fingertips creating rivers that meander around my knuckles. I try and stick to the outline that I drew in black marker.
I can feel Mam’s eyes bore into me as she watches me carefully, making sure I don’t cut myself. I release the pressure on the knife, I finally finish
and pop the oval out of the squash (Pumpkin carving kits are popular and commonly used to carve out pumpkins every Halloween, the most common kits
usually consist of a hard -plastic saw or knife – enough to cut the pumpkin and not your hand! And a scooper to scoop out the seeds and pumpkin marrow).
I wipe my hand across my forehead. I’m quite proud of my scary squash, he has a long wide mouth open in a scream or shriek and long, droopy eyes. “What
do you think?” I ask Mam – proud of my creation. “You did a very good job” she replied nodding in approval.
It was now barely a week until Halloween and the morning was crisp and fresh. Ghostbusters was blaring through the speakers as I ate my breakfast. Dad
entered the room gulping down burning coffee – his nose chilli red. “Can I go to Grandads this Saturday?” I asked, swirling my spoon around the milky
contents of my bowl. “Ok, but why the sudden interest?” he inquires, quirking an eyebrow at me. “I promised I would help him out with planting his
Chrysanthemums” I lied. “They’re in season you know” I chirp, leaving my bowl by the sink and running up the stairs. As I finished smearing our gel
bloody hand onto the bathroom door. I heard a faint knock. “Hello Arthur, come in for a cup of tea” said Dad. “Sorry, but I can’t stop, could I borrow
your saw?” he asked. I slowly craned my head around the bathroom door to see what was going on. “Are you sure?” Dad asked surprised. “Quite sure” Grandad
said impatiently rocking on his heels. A few minutes later Dad returned with a saw in tow. “Here you are, are you sure you don’t want to come in or
I could help you carry the saw back?” Dad suggested. “I’ll take it from here” said Grandad collecting the saw. “Alright then – see you soon” Dad called
after him as Grandad trudged down the road with his saw. This was my chance. I pulled on my boots and slipped out the front door. I stealthily followed
him from a distance through the village market all the way to his house. I watched him from a hole in his fence he dropped the saw and pulled on the
borrowed gardening gloves. I continued to watch him for a few moments longer before checking my watch. I had already been gone to long. I heaved myself
away from the house and the old wooden fence and back onto the cobble path leading home. Tomorrow, tomorrow I will know I thought defiantly.

I set off to Grandads at around midday. Looking around at the spookified homes as I walked. Many of the neighbours had used potatoes as make-shift pumpkins,
others had used marrows and squashes. Dad had arrived home last night with two mini carnival squashes that I had carved later that day. Only a few
homes had had the idea of using the stripy squashes as they really did look like small striped pumpkins. I noticed Grandad’s garden gate was ajar and
took my chances stepping inside I saw Grandad consulting something hidden in mountains of leaves and vines twice the size of him. “What are you up
too” I said firmly, crossing my arms. Grandad spun around. “What are you doing here!” he said wiping away a bead of sweat on his forehead, his eyes
alarmed. “Why have you been acting so strange recently?” I question. “I’ve…. It was…You see…” He assessed me for a moment. “I’m
not going to lie to you” he sighed and stepped away. Across his allotment were giant, juicy…Pumpkins!!!! “How…” is all I could muster,
dropping down to slide a hand down the pumpkin Grandad was attending to. “I’ve been caring for them and covering them with special sheets to prevent
them from getting damp, I’ve also used heaters I got cheap online” he continued. Dropping down next to me and continued trailing a finger down the
cascading vines. “I’ve cared for them every day, since they were mere seedlings” he said smiling. “How many do you have?” I asked, still awestruck.
“Around sixty” he said standing and gazing at the amber orbs scattered across the allotment. “I only thought half would survive so I could make pumpkin
soup and pie but… look at them all now…” he said breathing deeply with pride. An idea sprouted in my head. “The whole village is without pumpkins….”
I said more to myself than to anyone. The idea blossomed. “Do you have a wheelbarrow?”

“Are you sure about this?” Grandad asked nervously as he loaded the last of the pumpkins into the wheelbarrow. I nod. We set off down the backstreets I
hastily tie a bow around a giant pumpkin and leave it on the doorstep of a rickety white -washed house. “Happy Halloween” I murmur and ring the doorbell.
We quickly move on to the next couple of houses, adults and children alike wave excitedly from their doorsteps shouting “Thankyous” and “Good lucks”.
We make it back to my house and I take out a round plump pumpkin “Surprise!” I exclaim as Mam opens the door. The village rejoiced, and everyone had
pumpkins with faces sure to scare. I breathed in the soft Autumnal air, it smelt magical, mystical and sparked with excitement. I looked into Grandads
face, “It’s like something out of a fairy tale” I whispered. “That’s the magic of Halloween” he simply replied.


Our second winning piece by Kai Kathawala: 


A pumpkin sat on a wooden table, surrounded by knives, long metal objects used for cutting things, and a bowl. A girl with long brown hair entered the
room “Oh, the pumpkin!” she said happily. She called to her parents, “Mum! Dad! Can I start on the pumpkin? “Sure,” they called back. The girl picked
up a sharp knife and held it to the pumpkin’s top…..“Wait! Before you start on the pumpkin, you need to clean your room,” called her mother.
The girl groaned, but set down the knife, and with reluctance, left the pumpkin.

The girl went into her brightly colored room and began picking stuffed animals, which are soft cushions designed to look like animals, off the floor. She
made her bed and put her tennis racket, which is a handle with a large oval on top, covered in hard netting, in her basket. Finally, she was done.

She walked out of her room, and into the family room. Her dad was sitting on the couch, watching tennis on the television. The television is a large box,
able to project moving pictures, called “movies” and show recorded videos, which are like trapping a moment in a box and being able to replay the moment
whenever you like. Her father was watching tennis, a sport where you use the tennis rackets* to hit a ball back and forth over a net. The girl was
intrigued by the game; one of her favorite tennis players was playing. She watched for half an hour, until a commercial, which is a video in which
people advertise their businesses, and hope that people will watch the commercials and shop from their store.“……And a happy halloween,” said the
person on the commercial.

The girl jumped up. She’d forgotten about her pumpkin! She ran to the kitchen to find her beautiful golden circle waiting for her. But instead, there,
laying on the newspaper (a stack of papers everybody gets in the morning recalling recent events) the girl had carefully spread over the table, was
a mangled mess of pumpkin. “Oh, no!” cried the girl. “What happened?” She ran to the pumpkin, and was examining it when she heard a small sound. She
looked behind the table, and there, peeking out at her, was her small-ish, furry, large-eyed pet, a thing called a cat. Her cat was named Lily, and
was the girl’s best friend. But the girl had never been so shocked at her cat, and Lily had a smear of orange on her paws to prove it.

“Bad cat!” cried the girl “Very, very bad cat!” She picked Lily up and cleaned the pumpkin off her paws. Then, she cleaned the pumpkin mess in the kitchen.
Just then her mum came in. The girl explained the story, and her mum promised they could go to the store, a big building full of things people might
need, like food and household supplies and clothing, and get a new pumpkin the next day.

So, the next day, the girl zipped up her jacket and gathered her cat into her arms. At the store, she and Lily chose a new pumpkin together. She got it
ready in the kitchen and went to wash her hands. But when she got back, she took one look at the pumpkin and her cat and let out an exasperated and
horrified cry…….Lily had mangled the pumpkin again! The girl looked from Lily to the pumpkin; the pumpkin to Lily; her anger passed through
her face; and she burst into gales of laughter that the entire earth could hear.