Here’s the winning story

Thank you for the lovely messages we received congratulating Holly on her winning Waterstones Terrifyingly Short Story Competition. She was delighted to hear them and I am sure will write something here in due course. In the meantime, we have pasted below her winning entry, entitled: Sophie in the Cellar!!


Sophie sat on her bed feeling bored. Her adopted family were downstairs doing boring stuff like home insurance. They were nice but were always keeping secrets from her, like how she wasn’t allowed in the cellar. Sophie had always wanted to go down there but she was told little girls shouldn’t mess around in places like that. How could they say that? She wasn’t a little girl; she was 13 and very mature for her age.

Sophie began thinking about the cellar and a voice from nowhere began saying, “Go to the cellar, Sophie, go to the cellar, Sophie,” over and over again. It became unbearable. Sophie jumped up and ran downstairs.

She carefully opened the creaky cellar door. Slipping through quietly, she tiptoed down the cobwebbed stairs.  Sophie was disappointed by what she saw: it was just a bare old cellar. As she peered round she saw an archway and another room off it. There was something there.

Before she could see anything else, she heard angry voices. Her father ran down the steps of the cellar.

“Sophie!” he shouted. “Get out of here this instant! I thought I’d told you not to go down here.”

Sophie looked at his trembling, red face through the darkness and solemnly walked up the stairs and was sent to her bedroom.

A week had gone by since she had visited the cellar and Sophie still kept hearing that voice from nowhere telling her to go down there. She could also hear other strange noises in the night like the sound of creaking floorboards when everyone was asleep. It was like the place was haunted. Despite the weird noises Sophie still wanted to explore that cellar more and see what was through that archway.

Sophie’s wish came true when her family decided to go to town. “Sophie, are you coming?” they asked. Sophie leapt at this chance to visit the cellar again.

“Actually I don’t feel so well,” she said.

“Well you better stay at home then,” her mother said.

When they had gone Sophie ran downstairs and opened the cellar door and peeked her freckled nose through. She ran down the cellar steps.

She hadn’t been there long when she decided to go back upstairs because she could hear scary noises. Before she could turn around, two bony hands grabbed her neck, puncturing her skin. The hands dragged her down a dark hole. At the bottom her capturer led her through a maze of deathly white ghosts. When they finally stopped, they were in a throne room and on a black throne sat a ghoulish fellow.

“Welcome, Sophie. You are one of us now,” the voice she’d heard in her room rang out.

“Wwhat do you mean?” Sophie whispered.

“You’re dead Sophie, you’re a ghost.” And with that all the ghosts engulfed her and their nails shredded her skin. Sophie screamed for help but nobody was there to hear her. And poor Sophie Williams was never seen again.

Holly's story 'Sophie in the Cellar' was handed out in specially printed and illustrated copies - an extra treat!
We loved the illustration commissioned for Holly’s story.


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