Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: The Building Challenge!

The Building Challenge by Christopher L, 10, VIC

I am hammering away and staring at John at the same time. He is way ahead of me and I don’t think I can do this.

I am Robert Trevor, I am 18 and today is the day of the Melbourne Building Competition. The warehouse is boiling, and because it is so big one fan doesn’t make much difference.

I had always hated John; we have had a huge rivalry ever since we’d met in primary school. We have been in about 10 building competitions against each other. I had won most of them, except for the time where I had accidentally clonked myself on the head with a hammer. I had to be admitted to hospital for a brain scan, which left John in the winning position. John’s family were very supportive of him so were very happy with his win. His family showed atrocious sportsmanship, they didn’t even say sorry to my family for cheering when I hit myself on the head. John’s family had always been very loud cheerers and they always boasted about that incident.

This time I am going to win no matter what. I am going to take this opportunity and use it well.

My heart is pumping and I wish they would just press the buzzer to start the competition.

The buzzer vibrates and everyone sprints to their benches to see what they have to do. Today we have to build an outside veranda. When I go to get my planks of wood I trip over and am in excruciating pain, I have dislocated my pinky finger. I am in agony now and feel as if I am about to faint. Some of the nurses come over and see if I’m alright, one of the doctors comes over and pops it back into place. That gives me a searing pain worse than dislocating it did. At least I can continue working now. I haven’t got off to a good start. When I go back to my veranda I see John smiling and his parents laughing.

There are 10 minutes to go and I have already had four accidents (not including all the cuts and bruises I have). I can’t believe there are only 10 minutes to go and I am still putting in the last few planks of wood.

“10 seconds to go” should out the judges. I start to freak out. I quickly run and grab the last few pot plants.

“5, 4, 3, 2, 1, that’s it, time’s up, step away from your verandas.”

It’s judging time and as the judges come up to the veranda I am almost choking I am so nervous. They say they like my idea of a simple veranda but that maybe it is too simple. It’s time to find out who has won, they’re up to second and first place and there is only me and John left.

“In second place we have … Robert Trevor” I’ve been beaten again and then they call out, “and in first place we have … John Anderson.”

I tried, I tired my hardest. I have cuts and bruises all over my body. As I watch my nemesis John step up and take the winner’s prize I feel woeful. For the second time John has beaten me by one position.

I force a smile onto my face. It is part of the competition. I have to be pleased for the winner. I hobble over to congratulate him. I shake his hand vigorously and slap him on the back in a friendly way with the other hand. Then I go to have a look at his veranda. I run my hand over the rail, it is smooth. I look at the joins in the corners, they are outstandingly perfect. John’s work is good, better than mine. He deserves to win.

“This work is unbeatable,” I say to John.

“Thanks he says, and smiles at me.

Perhaps one day we might work together instead of against each other.

This is one of a selection of stories we are featuring from Carey Baptist Grammar School in Victoria over the next week. Tune in tomorrow for another great tale!

Author:

Rebecca Newman is a children's writer and poet, and the editor of the Australian children's literary blog, Alphabet Soup. rebeccanewman.net.au.

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