05/03/14 Eleanor Updale

This is a very special story starter - Manon is the name of a real life girl who loves Eleanor Updale's books. Her mum donated money to the Authors for the Philippines appeal so that her daughter could be featured in a Write Path story! Let's make this an exceptionally good one for her!


Why did I ever listen to you?' said Tom, twisting the door handle and pulling.  'It's locked. We're trapped. If we'd run through the woods, we might have got away.'  

   Paul snapped back. 'How was I to know there was anyone here?  This place has been empty for years.'

   'For goodness sake, stop fighting, you two,' said Sam. 'We're here now, and we've got to find a way out.'

   'I can smell burning,' said Paul.

   Tom's voice lurched from anger to panic. 'We're going to die, aren't we? There's no way out of here.'

   'Calm down,' said Sam. 'I can try something.'

   'What? Said Tom. 'there are no windows.  The door won't budge.'  He gave the handle another tug, and it came off in his hand.

   Paul started to sob,  Sam put an arm round him and spoke softly. 'It will be all right, I'll call Manon.'

   'Man on what?' Tom sneered.  'Man on wheels? Man on wings? Man on a fire engine?' You just happen to know a superhero?'

   'Not a superhero, a superheroine.  Manon's a girl.'

    'Oh yes?' said Tom.  'And how are you going to call her? That guy took away our phones before he locked the door.'

    'Trust me,'' said Sam, tapping rhythmically on the wall.  'I know the code.  I can use it only once in my life.  This is the time.'

   'Oh grow up!' said Tom.  'We're in real trouble.  This is no time for believing in magic!'

   Paul gasped, pointing to the bottom of the door. Smoke was curling into the room.  'Look at that,' he squealed. 'We're going to burn to death - if we don't suffocate first.'

   The three of them watched in despair as the smoke grew thicker, clouding the light from the single bulb in the ceiling.  But then it began to take a more solid form, settling into a human shape.

   'Hello,' said a female voice.  I'm Manon. I'm here to help. Tell me who we're up against, and then do exactly what I say.'

Views: 88

Comment by Charlotte de Gruchy on March 5, 2014 at 9:07

"Wait! Before you say anything, can you tell us exactly where you came from?"

“I’ll tell you later, but hurry up and tell me who we're up against!"

“We were walking down the path in the forest when Sam tripped and twisted her ankle on something - we weren't quite sure what it was at the time, but the sound we heard next was one that made us stop dead in our tracks...” Tom was carried away with the memory of the fearful experience.

"We heard a crack and all of a sudden we were all lifted up into the air – UPSIDE DOWN!!!!" Sam shouted, desperate to be heard.

“Unfortunately, we couldn't get down and we passed out as all of the blood rushed to our heads! And then, when we woke up, we were in a little house, our legs were numb and we couldn't stand at all. I smelled smoke, and I knew immediately that the house was on fire...” Paul began to sob softly.

“I want to go home!” Sam, who had become affected by his friend’s crying, felt the panic too.


But the female voice soothed their spirits. “Don’t worry, we can get through this together… So tell me what happened from the very start.”

And so the boys told her. 

International School of Cape Town

Comment by WP Central on March 5, 2014 at 10:18

“We were stuck at home, trying to think of something to do-” Sam started, her voice trembling with fear.

“Can’t we just tell you later!?” Paul interrupted, coughing and spluttering.

“No,” said Manon “you have to tell me exactly what happened so that I can determine the best course of action.”

“So, as I was saying; we were stuck at home trying to think of something to do. We had gotten bored of TV and video games, so we decided to go for a walk, maybe do a little exploring. Half way through the woods I tripped up on what I can only reason was a tree’s root. But when I looked back there was nothing there…” Sam struggled to continue.

“Then there was this noise, like bones breaking and trees falling. Next thing we knew we were in the air, just hanging upside down.” Tom stepped forward. “…Was it magic?”

“Magic…?” Manon paused. “You idiots actually believe in magic?”

The three friends looked at each other.

Sam shed a tear and looked at her superheroine. “Manon, what are you talking about?”

Suddenly the door burst open and the man who had been chasing them stood confidently in the doorway. The smoke cleared as he stepped forward.

“You really are just a bunch of stupid little morons!” He smiled, amused by their childish beliefs. “There ain’t no superheroes, no magic. Just tricks.” 

“Then how do you hold us upside down!?” Paul interjected.

“Huntin’ snares that you kids were dumb enough to walk into.”

“…And Manon?” Sam wept.

“Just what in the Hell is wrong with you kids? In a time of sheer desperation, all you can think of is a make-believe, fairytale superhero!? I came up with the idea of Manon to give you idiots a little false hope in these situations. Ain’t no one comin’ to help you now.” He laughed.

Elsewhere in the woods, two brothers out hunting deer heard a bloodcurdling scream, causing them to miss their shot.

“Did you hear that?” One brother asked the other.

“How could I not hear it, Gabe?”

“Wow, that was some awesome sarcasm, Cas.” Gabe smiled patronizingly.

“Shut up. Lets go.” The two followed the screaming to a tiny decaying cabin. Inside, only terror awaited them. Trails of blood lead out of the cabin and deep into the woods, and in the darkest corner of the cabin lay Paul, bleeding heavily and gasping for air. The brothers hurried to pick Paul up, but it was too late. Paul was on the verge of death. He could only muster enough strength to tell the brothers that the man took his friends.

Dazeie – West Kirby Residential School

Comment by Karen King - Oakbank School on March 5, 2014 at 12:27

They had to leave him behind, although it hurt them so much to see him lying there in a pool of blood, dying a slow and painful death. They wanted to bury him but they knew that they didn’t have much time left.

The trail of thick red blood, glowing silver in the moonlight, led them to a freshly dug grave.

“If only we’d had time we could have brought that poor little boy and buried him” whispered Gabe out of respect for Paul. However, still they carried on up the gruesome trail, but what they didn’t know was that this ‘path to hell’ may lead them to the same fate as Paul, death.

The trail suddenly stopped! They looked up, only to see the one thing they really did not want to see...      


Samantha & Kiran, Oakbank School, Keighley

Comment by R Buckland on March 5, 2014 at 12:43

 Jacob Wilson and Jack Waters.  Ripley St Thomas C E Academy

Meanwhile, the man had Sam and Tom, dangling in a cage from the top of a tower. “Do what I say, and you can go”, said the mysterious man. “What do you want with us?” pleaded Sam.

Tom was silent as if he was up to something. “I’ll be back in one hour, when the cage will release.”Sam looked down to see a hundred foot drop to the ground. Sam was so terrified that he did not know what to do?”Tom...?”

Whilst all of this was happening, Gabe and Cas were stranded in the woods, lost because of their venture to Paul’s scream. “Since we are lost, we should find out who did this, “said Gabe. “Yeah, hopefully we can find Paul’s friends, “said Cas.  Gabe and Cas carried on running, in search for Sam and Tom.

“ I’ve figured out a way to get out of here, “said Tom. Sam replied “How will we get out then.” Tom explained that while Sam was talking to the mysterious man, he had been scraping away at the metal cage with his pen knife, weakening it.”Brilliant idea!” Praised Sam. Sam and Tom then pushed the weakened part of the cage as hard as they could until there was a big enough gap for them to escape through.  As Sam and Tom were escaping, the mysterious man returned holding a knife to drop the cage. When the man looked in the cage, he noticed that the boys were not in the cage anymore.

Comment by Annalise Taylor on March 5, 2014 at 15:02

Sam and Tom run as fast as they could, which wasn’t very fast as Sam had a twisted ankle but they still caught the man in surprise. Just after they were reaching the exit door a trap door opened under them and they fell. The fall wasn’t very high so they didn’t hurt badly. In the room there was the man, looking at them, like he was planning something. Just after that Sam started shouting, Tom didn’t understand what was going on, why was she shouting! It didn’t take him long to realize why she was shouting, he started hearing voices in his head, words that didn’t have a meaning but he couldn’t take them out of his head. He tried hard and he was starting to get scared just after somehow he fell asleep. When he woke up he was I a dark room, luckily Sam was there but she was still sleeping. Tom started thinking and realized that the voices were magic thou the man had said they were stupid of thinking that magic was true, maybe he was trying to hide something from them, maybe Manon did exist after all. He heard some crumbling on the roof. After that he heard a strong noise and the roof started falling, with its two boys. Tom asked them who they were and they said they were Gabe and Cas but they preferred to be called Manon. Tom did not understand anything but the boys had a rope and told Tom and Sam to climb it. After that Tom was in his room, sleeping in his bed. Was it all a dream? He wondered. He woke up and went to the kitchen to have breakfast. His father was reading the newspaper and told Tom to sit but his side, he had something to tell him. He said that he was very sorry to communicate him his friend Peter had died. Tom didn’t understand anything, was it real or not? His father told tom that Peter’s mum was coming and he heard knocking coming from the door, it was Peter’s mum. She came in with two boys, Peter’s brothers. They were Gabe and Cas! Was Tom really there or was it an unlucky coincidence? We will never know.



International Community School

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