The Carrick Gazette sponsored the Creative Writing Competition as part of this year’s Ballantrae Smugglers’ Festival.
The judges identified winning stories in the 12-18 year old and Adult categories.
Two weeks ago we carried the story by Karen Barbour who was awarded “Highly Commended” in the Adult category.
This week the story is by Abby Gray winner of the 12-18 year old category seen here receiving her prize from Ann Burnett of the Ayr Writers’ Club who assisted with the judging process.
Invisible by Abby Gray
I’m not an average smuggler. I’m the smuggler. I eat other smugglers for breakfast. Not even the Famous Five can catch me! It’s practically impossible. Do you know why? It’s because I’m invisible.
It all started when I was a couple of years old. I was on my lead, like every other two year old was, and we were walking to the shop. As you do. My mother was lecturing me and my dad was picking his nose. Not very sophisticated, but he was. My dad wasn’t very sophisticated, unlike everyone else in this world of nerds and geeks and posh people. But nobody calls smart people that anymore. They call them ‘Sir’ and ‘Ma’am’ and bow to them in the street. Smart people run the world now. Technology is not available to us average people. We’re allowed lights and we are allowed TV, but that’s about it. No 4D printers or hover cars. No self-driving motorbikes. We aren’t even allowed books!
Anyway, we were walking along the street and one of the nerds comes up to us and goes, “Hi, I’m Theodore. But you can call me Sir. I notice that you have a young child in your acquaintance. I’m looking for a small child to help prove the results of my latest experiment. Invisible spray!”
Well, my mum didn’t know what half of those words meant and, seeing her dazed expression, Theodore dumbed it down for her. “I would like to buy your child, for lots of money.” He said this really slowly, like we were idiots or something. I suppose we were. Now, I was outraged at this. But I knew my mum would never sell me. She narrowed her eyes. “For how much?” She said. I wailed in despair.
My mum sold me for £100 and a car. That’s not much for her son. Her only son. I lived with the scientist for three years. He did many experiments on me but he didn’t try out his Invisible spray on me until I turned five. And it worked. Oh, it worked alright. It worked so well that it was impossible to wash off. This made it easy to slip away. And I did.
You see, I only smuggle because average people aren’t allowed books. I read plenty of books while I was staying with the scientist. That was my wages. I loved them. I loved Enid Blyton, JRR Tolkien and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I read Robert Louis Stevenson and JK Rowling. I grabbed every book that I could find and devoured it. I use my invisibility to steal books from warehouses and give them to average people. I teach young children how to read, I give old ladies knitting patterns from the warehouse. They can’t see me but they can hear me and they can appreciate me. I love the look on a person’s face when they read the first chapter of Harry Potter or Oliver Twist.
I smuggle for good, not for money.