02/10/2012 Robbie Gibbons

They appear like phantoms from the shimmering heat waves. Tribesmen on camels, riding through the dust clouds towards me. My muscles tighten. I was warned about mirages, how the sun and the desert can play tricks on your eyes. But somehow I know these men are real, and dangerous. My hand drops instinctively to the handle of my curved sword.

They ride around me in a tight, closing circle. The drum of hoof-beats eventually quietens, the fan of dust settles, and I get a better look at them: swords tied to their belts, black rags pulled over their faces. They have bows trained on me. The points of arrows glimmer in the sun. One of them – I assume he is their leader – dismounts and strides towards me, sword in hand.

‘What are you doing here?’ he demands.

I hesitate. What I carry is not for him. I have strict orders that no one is to see it but the King of Persia himself, but these men hold my life in their hands, and they need an explanation.

His eyes narrow into slits. There is anger in his voice as he repeats, ‘what are you doing here?’


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Comment by Stefany Anne on October 2, 2012 at 2:55

Garden International School (Kuala Lumpur)

By Katelyn Tan and Khor Min Li

I take a closer look at this man and realize that I recognize him.  I just cannot remember where…

 “What do you want?” I clutch the bag tightly. 

 “As if you don’t know. I will ask you one more time.” His voice raises to an extreme and he raises his sword. “What are you doing here?”

 “I... I am…” my voice drifts off nervously.

The man grins slyly and cackles. I immediately recognize that laugh.

Now that I know who this man is, what he is capable of, I know that he must not get his hands on what I have been entrusted with. 

Do what you must to survive¸ my master’s words ring through my mind, waking me up from my thoughts.  I look at this man, and his gleaming sword in hand know what I should do.

I break eye contact with him and say, “I am forever in your debt, my dear brother.”

Comment by Nicola Gowing on October 2, 2012 at 9:51

“I don’t want to talk little brother; I am simply passing through this desert, I mean no harm!” He chuckles.

“Well why don’t you lower your guard and let me pass?” I asked.

“I’ll let you pass, if you tell me what you’re doing and why you’re going towards a ghost town?”  He also asks.

“Well that is for me to know as it is classified information and anyway you said you didn’t want to talk!” I replied.

“Fine, but be warned that way holds danger that even your over imaginative brain won’t understand!” he says coolly.

“Your stupid little joke doesn’t scare me, brother, not your jokes, army, weapons, nothing!” I call to him as I’m riding away from him.

“Be careful!” I hear him call, his warning so quiet it sounds like a whisper.

So I started going towards the ghost town on my journey to deliver the sliver and diamond necklace the Duke of Mujabi ordered for his daughter.

By Kirsty Dodd, Odette Sejko, Rhiannon Smith and Melissa Stretton. Great Yarmouth High School , England.

Comment by Tricia Oyston on October 2, 2012 at 11:01

I rode for weeks, through the desolate wasteland that they call a desert.  But for me it was just another land, another place that I didn’t want to be. I didn’t really have a choice, so I didn’t put too much energy into that thought; it wasn’t worth wasting the life force I so desperately needed to survive in this retched place. I checked in the hand woven bag for what seemed the thousands time, checking that the necklace was there. My life was bound to this necklace, I shuddered to think what they would do to me if this thing this worthless trinket, to me at least, was lost to the bandits and ruffians that were as constant as the sand dunes around me.


On the horizon I saw the black silhouette of the ghost town, shimmering through the heat wave. At first I thought it was mirage, a trick of my weary mind, but as I came closer, the town I had been warned to stay away from ever since I could remember took shape in front of me. The squat buildings of deserted houses once happy family homes, now falling into ruin.

As I entered the town, riding through the unwelcoming streets, a chill ran down my spine, almost as though I was being watched, the stares piercing my very soul. But when I turned, there was nobody in site. I heard a noise from behind me, again I turned with the same result. Something was wrong, very wrong.  Something hit me from behind. Then there was just black, the endless darkness. One thought passed through my head. The necklace…

                     By Farzana Y  9V,Eleanor  B  9V  and Eleanor S  9X  Sheffield High School

Comment by Paula Ward on October 2, 2012 at 11:59

At first I felt true delight, like being at home. However it only lasted a few relieved seconds; almost as soon as it started, it ended. I heard the pain and desperate screams. I woke up suddenly, realising that those terrified screams belonged to me. I felt searing pains across my back. I screamed again. Why am I here? I thought, rapidly trying to think of an answer. And then it dawned upon me. The mission. The necklace.

 I suddenly took notice of what was around me. The low metal ceiling, threatening to collapse. The floor cold from the stone beneath my feet with sand scattered across the small, enclosed room. I noticed its colour had a tinge of redness. I looked at my wrist to find thick dark blood oozing out of them. I then saw the tight, rusty shackles closing around my now blue hands. I followed the line of chains connected to the shackles to see that they were connected to the grey stone wall. I tugged at the chain with all the energy I had left but it wouldn’t budge. I then heard a heavy door opening behind me, the sand moving with it. The clattering sound of footsteps coming towards me. I felt a warm puff of air, running down my neck. “I do love the present you gave me,” said a deep alluring feminine voice.  I turned my head to see a strikingly gorgeous lady.

 Wearing the necklace I knew so well…

By: Ellia Johnson 8W and Helen Jarman 8S Robert Mays School, England

Comment by Debbie Baird on October 2, 2012 at 12:59

I had to get that necklace back, but how? She was a beautiful woman. But I could see in her dark eyes that she had no compassion for anyone but herself.

She held a map in her hands, her gaze quickly flitting between it and me.  She then focused on me and said “Take me to where you came from.” It was a strange voice, not loud, but full of authority. I was chained to the wall, but that didn’t stop me from trying to annoy her, if only a bit.

“If you want me to take you to where I came from, you’ll have to take these chains off first.” I said, in a patronizing voice, almost like someone explaining that one and one equals two.

“Do you take me for a fool?” She was shouting now. “I know that as soon as you are free of those chains, you will try and get this necklace back.”

“Oh no, I would never do that. You only tied me up and stole my things, no trouble at all.” I said, still talking in the same patronizing voice. There was no small pleasure in knowing that, even with my life at risk, I could still be one of the most annoying people on the planet.

She lifted a gloved hand and hit me in the face with it. The glove dulled the sound, but it didn’t dampen the pain. I winced inwardly, determined not to show it hurt.
“Didn’t feel a thing,” I said, still smiling at her.

She scowled, and her already red face went a few shades deeper than I had ever seen anyone go before. She motioned off to the side.

“You two, get in here.”

Two large stocky men came in to the room, their skin bronzed by the desert sun.

“Tie him up and throw him in the cart. We’re taking him to the camp.”

She started to walk out the room. At the door she paused and looked back, “Oh, and knock him out, I don’t want him to know where it is.”

Two hands grabbed my arms, and I felt something hit me on the head. The last thing that I saw before blacking out was the dirt floor, and the bugs running across it.

Jack and Archie

West Kirby Residential School

Comment by Allison Painich on October 2, 2012 at 16:00
After I woke up and opened my eyes, I saw a girl standing over me. The girl said, "Obey the master or you will die of hunger. See... those two large stocky men will hurt you." The Queen has this neckless that you have to get to stop her from taking over the castle. But if the two large men catch you, you will be in lots of trouble. More trouble than you can handle." She warned me to be careful. We made a plan and hoped it woould work.

The girl began to make a fool of herself, screaming and throwing her body around. The men went into the room to calm her down. This was my escape. I sneaked out and closed the door, taking the keys with me. The timing was perfect. Just as I rounded the corner, two other men entered the room.

When the lady with the neckless went to sleep, I gently tried to take the necklace with me. The floor squeaked beneath me. Her eyes popped open and she said, "I can smell fear from anywhere." She took me to a train and put me in a car by myself. When darkness fell all around, I jumped from the car and tried to find my way home. As I walked into my house, my family was so relieved to see me. They were proud that I did the right thing.

Sydricker and Jazmin
Sci Tech Academy
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Comment by Stefany Anne on October 3, 2012 at 2:10

Garden International School (Kuala Lumpur)

 By: Harun Knight 6W - Muhammad Syed 6I -  Benjamin Watson 6K .


  I woke to the sound of my doorbell. It felt as if my house was deserted, and my parents weren’t anywhere to be seen. As I walked to the door, I heard something drop… Lying outside my doorstep was a blood stained parcel! What could it be? Curiously, I tore open the package preparing myself for any surprises. Suddenly, a necklace fell from the damp, crimson parcel. Could this be the necklace that I was supposed to deliver to the king? I had no time to think about it because at that moment I heard a bloodcurdling scream. I instinctively spun around to find a set of bloody footprints leading to the basement. What could have possibly happened? It definitely had something to do with my adventurous journey. I ran towards the basement door and desperately attempted to open it. To my surprise, the door swung off its hinges and the footprints that I had followed led to a mangled dead body. I crept over to the body and slowly turned it over. To my absolute horror, it was my brother! He held a note saying a single message, “ I warned you”.  

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