Read the winning story - Superheroes creative writing competition - Evie & Isabel (10)

Author: Sophia Aker, programme coordinator

This year we proudly presented six new characters who each represent a different aspect of Computing and careers (we call them digital Superheroes!). The Superheroes creative writing competition was launched as a fun exercise for children to put their creative minds to the task of helping us build the superhero profiles so our six friends. 

We're happy to announce the winner of the competition - Evie and Isabel

A special thank you to guest judges Andy Hall and Gabrielle Kent who were incredibly impressed by the imagination and work put into their story (especially the dramatic bits!). Now we want to share it with you too! Thank you Evie and Isabel! 

Meet The DSH Defenders! (from left) Elliot the team player, Hannah the problem solver, David the storyteller, Leslie the explorer, Con the leader and Lina the creator!
Meet The DSH Defenders! (from left) Elliot the team player, Hannah the problem solver, David the storyteller, Leslie the explorer, Con the leader and Lina the creator!

Adventure in the Digital Schoolhouse Hotel

Story by Evie and Isabel (age 10)

“Well,” sighed Lina in a disappointed tone, “this is it.”

“Hmmm,” pondered Hanna, “it’s not too-”

At that moment, a boy came rocketing past.

“Sorry,” he exclaimed, “the name’s Elliot; and you?”

“Hanna,” said Hanna in a smooth voice.

“Lina,” said Lina maliciously.

“Elliot! I’ve been looking for you! Let’s go and find David and Leslie! Oh, I’m Con,” said a tall girl who didn’t like the look of Hanna or Lina. “Let’s go,” drawled Hanna to Lina, disliking Con as much as she despised them.

The hotel they’d entered was all done in white and gold, with stewards and passengers scurrying around in a whirlwind of cases and uniforms. There was a big lift in on corner, with golden statues leading the way. Dazzling marble floors and pillars had the same desired effect.

“Nice,” whispered Hanna.

“Very nice,” agreed Lina.

“David!” exclaimed a new arrival.

“Hi, how are you Leslie?” David replied.

“Been anywhere?” answered adventurous Leslie.

“You!” yelled Con once they were in the lift. Then, on sight of Hanna and Lina, whispered, “No, not those two!”

“Hi Con, Hi Elliot! I say, how are you?” commented David. “I’m David Storyteller.”

“Oh, they’re Hanna and Lina,” Elliot answered quickly.

“Yes, hi!” chimed in Hanna, “Lina, GET IN!”

“Con?” questioned Lina.

“Yes?” she answered shortly.

“You’ve got changed!” stated Lina.

“Yes,” answered Con as the lift went up, the marble lion staring at Hanna in the most peculiar way.

“Bye!” yelled everyone around. David, Leslie, Con and Elliot left.

The hotel was stunning, with it’s intricate fountains and helpful staff.

“Miss Hanna Problem-Solver and Miss Lina Creator,” droned the ancient receptionist, and as they left, they heard, “Miss Con Leader, Mr. Ellis Team-Player, Mr. David Storyteller and Mr. Leslie Explorer?”

“Yes,” replied a sharp voice that sounded like Con’s.

“Hi!” exclaimed David, catching up with the other two, “it’s you!”

“Hi!” yelled Hanna and Lina.

“Hello,” said a shifty looking Con.

“Hi,” repeated Hanna, “we’re only here for three days, but it’s lovely, right?”

“Yes,” bellowed Lina, “I recommended it!”

And indeed, it was lovely, even the curtain rails were detailed, and the pictures were beautiful.

“Hey?” exclaimed Lina as they stumbled to their room on the second night, “nothing’s gone wrong yet!”

“Hmmm,” agreed Hanna thoughtfully because, indeed they did often get into trouble, like the time they got trapped in a zoo, and countless other occasions.

“I heard that there’s a spy and a rich man here,” she casually dropped into the conversation.

Oh no, trouble!” groaned Lina, then changed it to a bright, “oh hello! Who are you two?” as a pair of rather important-looking people strode past.

“I’m Gordy Jon,” said a tall man in gold.

“Catha Orchard,” answered a pretty girl of about twenty.

After only very little conversation, the two had wandered off. Apparently, Catha had something very important to do.

“I say, Catha and Gordy seem like such lovely people!” commented David with much enthusiasm. He’d been charmed by the pair’s polite tone and complimentary remarks towards the group.

“Hmm… I wouldn’t seem so sure,” it was Hanna’s turn to speak now. “I mean, what was so urgent that they had to rush off that quickly? They were constantly saying how little they had to do, and how grateful they were for our company.”

Everyone fell quiet. Hanna was right. They suddenly realised how much of what Catha and Gordy said had seemed suspicious, or even untrue.

“Gosh Hanna, you’re right!” Lina stuttered at last, breaking the era of silence, “oh, I really hope we don’t see any more of them, I'm sick of adventures!”

“but this is a hotel!” declared a shocked Elliot, who hadn’t spoken for some time, “nothing ever goes wrong in hotels!”

All were comforted by Elliot’s words thought the peace didn’t last. They had yet to discover just how wrong he was…

It was the dead of night. Everything was still. Suddenly, Lina awoke. A quiet tapping noise could be very faintly heard. As Lina was such a fitful sleeper, she was the only one to have been woken up by the curious drumming. Just as she was dozing off again, it grew louder. So noisy, in fact, that it drained out even the frightful snores of Leslie, who slept on the other side of the room. They banging was now too loud to ignore. Lina arose from her bed, and quietly slipped out of the room.

On second thought, she crept back to wake Hanna. Hanna Problem-Solver hadn’t been called that for no reason. Together they slunk along the corridor, following the noise as a wolf might track its prey. It wasn’t long before they found the room that the sound was coming from, and when they did, they wished they’d never left bed at all. They gazed in horror at the badly-stuck sign on the door. It read:

Catha Orchard & Gordy Jon.

The trembling pair turned to gawp at one another, hoping desperately to be awoken from this ghastly dream. But it wasn’t a dream. It was as real as they’d been standing there. Hanna reached out a shaking hand, and cautiously turned the doorknob. Just as they were about to slink into the room, Lina felt a cold hand on her shoulder, causing her to cry out in fright. She stopped, dead in her tracks. The same icy, long fingers were now clamped tightly over her mouth, preventing her from screaming again. Turning around, she got full view of the people behind her, and instantly shoved the bony hand aside.

“C-c-con?” she sputtered, ashamed that she’d been so terrified, “Y-you scared me! Elliot? David? Leslie? What are you all doing here? I thought it was them!” exclaimed Lina, gesturing towards the door in front of her.

“Ugh! Don’t be such a baby!” said Con, disgusted, “anyway, David heard you two leave the room, so we came to find you, but we wouldn’t have bothered if we knew you were going to greet us like that.

“Oh Con, please don’t! Lina was just frightened. Besides, it was quite eerie to place a hand on her shoulder in that way. Thanks for coming, thought. We need all the backup we can get,” sighed a relieved Hanna. Feeling a little less terrified, she pushed open the door and the six crept inside. Straight into the path of Catha.

Catha was no longer as cheerful as she’d once been. She stood tall, glowering at the intruders. On her face, she wore a menacing grimace, like a tiger ready to eat its victim. But then, on seeing the group of pale faces, immediately softened and put on a false beam.

“Why, what a marvellous surprise! Please, do come in, I’d love some visitors!

Too terrified to refuse her offer, the six shuffled in, wishing they were all in their own room, wistfully dreaming.

“now, since you’re here, would you mind awfully going into that storeroom over there? It needs a drastic clean-up, and I’m much too tired,” pleaded Catha, expressing a fake yawn. Nobody moved. They weren’t about too obey this deceiving stranger again, not when they no idea what was lurking in that storeroom.

Without warning, she suddenly whipped out a knife from her pyjama pocket, her eyes sparkling in a silent rage.

“You will do as I say!” she whispered dangerously, clenching her teeth, “or I’ll make you!”

Not one person wanted to know what this meant. They quickly scurried into the room, praying that whatever was in there was better than facing Catha and her knife. A cunning grin spread across the woman’s evil face, this time not a sham. As Leslie finally scampered through the doorway, she rapidly slammed the heavy oak, cackling like an ancient witch. Elliot thumped furiously on the wood, but the door was locked. There was no escape.

As the group slumped down in defeat, they heard a muffled voice that made their blood turn to ice.

“Please, whoever you are, help me!”

Daring to turn around, they found themselves face to face with Gordy! He was tightly gagged and him arms were chained behind his back, undoubtedly Catha’s handiwork. Within a moment, David had picked the lock on the chains, then deftly unknotted the mouldy cloth tied around the man’s pale mouth.

“Many thanks to you all!” stammered Gordy, “but how can we get out?”

Luckily, everybody found a job to do. First, Hanna Problem-Solver furrowed her brows, then after a minute’s thought, explained her genius plan, the words tumbling out of her mouth. Lina creator was then set to work inventing a machine to open the door, using only the derelict cleaning utensils found on the shelves. Leslie Explorer discovered a map of the hotel, and studied it animatedly, working out the quickest route back to their room. David Storyteller told a marvellous tale to Gordy, helping to comfort and reassure him, Ellis Team-Player trotted around eagerly, lending anyone a hand that needed it, and Con simply stood, isolated from everyone, ordering the others around to her full extent.

Before long, everything was in place. Lina’s ingenious invention had made the door swing open with the ease of a well-oiled bicycle, and with Leslie leading the way (much to Con’s despair) they soon had tumbled into their beds, eyes aglow with delight. Gordy had explained everything, concluding that (with much luck) they shouldn’t see the immoral; Catha Orchard ever again

Years later, the six friends (and Gordy too!) had all found themselves working with the Digital Schoolhouse team, helping to solve digital problems instead of going on great and daring escapades. Gordy was right, they did never see Catha again. Well, that was until one night, when Lina was awoken by strange noises.

She and Hanna tracked the sound to a room they had never seen before. They turned to look at one another. This seemed familiar. Too familiar. Opening the door, they realised in dismay why that was. Blocking their view was the most terrifying sight they had ever come across. It was Catha Orchard.

The story process

Behind every story, there is a process! From creating characters personalities, dislikes and likes, and shortening down the list of potential names. 

Take a look at some of the development that went behind Evie and Isabel's their story... 

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