QUEST: Short Story Openings (Millfield School, FreeSpace 1)

11 Mar



Year 9 quest openings for ArtiPeeps!


Noor, Zoe, Ahmed, Gabi, Henry, Tilly, Ellie, Lauren, Claudia, Laura and Oscar


At Millfield, Year 9 is the start of our pupils’ great adventure! They come to us from numerous prep schools, drawn by the promise of an all-round education in a dynamic, international learning community based on diligence, mutual respect and understanding.

Our current Year 9 pupils have written openings to quest narratives, to express the sense of adventure, creativity and excitement they experience here.

I hope you enjoy this selection.

James Baddock
Head of English, Drama & Media
Millfield, Somerset, UK



by Noor

Once every year the city of Athens would experience terrible trembles and shudders; the sky would turn black as coal and hail would fall, knocking people to the ground and leaving them unconscious. Everybody feared going out and the city was like a ghost town. This terrible happening was believed to be Coranithus, the ancient half-crow and half-snake, demanding an innocent girl’s life in return for a safe city.

So every year the people of Athens sacrificed a young girl in a bid to save their city. However, this did not seem to work as still Coranithus disrupted city life once a year. Desperate, the people of Athens begged King Stradivari to sacrifice his daughter, Princess Athena, to Coranithus. They had come to the conclusion that Coranithus was after a special girl in particular. And who was more special than the King’s daughter?

Every year the people begged, but every year the King refused, until one year when the princess was the only girl still alive. King Stradivari was not pleased; he loved his daughter dearly and did not want to lose her to the deadly Coranithus, so he came up with a plan. He decided to send his daughter to fight Coranithus. This way there was still a sliver of a chance that he would see her again.


Madeline shuddered, as she awoke to a cold blast of air from her open window. She scrunched her eyes closed, wishing for sleep to return. Her eyes fluttered open; it was no use. Madeline let out a small gasp of a yawn. She could now see the flutter of images from her dream. It had been most peculiar. There had been a cat with a huge grin that stretched from ear to ear but there had been something odd about it but she couldn’t quite remember. Someone had been calling her name; it was a small voice but there had been a huge amount of desperation in it. It had said “Madeline? Madeline Hatter?”

That is all she could recall but there was a sense of danger and belonging from that place. But she said, wearily rubbing her eyes, ‘Maybe when I sleep again I may know what it was all about.’ For now she had the day to be excited about. ‘Let the day begin,’ she said, throwing back her curtains to let the warm summer sun fill her room.



Once upon a time there was a long underground tunnel filled with people. But not just ordinary people, they were banished from the village of Randoof, for either being disfigured or for crimes unspeakable. But down the tunnel was an item which held dark magic. It could do anything you asked it to, good or evil. No one knew it was down there except a witch who no one dared go near. The journey to the tunnel was extremely dangerous. Only a true hero could even try to endeavour the journey. The forest was filled with monsters; if they found you they would rip you apart and have you for dinner. No one had ever got near the tunnel; it was extremely closely guarded, so no one could get their hands on the dark magic. Until one evil man called Damien made a decision to try.



The day of the feast was upon us. This was what we had been preparing for. What I was about to witness next was something I had never seen before and I was determined to find out what it was. As I walked back to my house I heard a piercing shriek from my fellow dwarfs. I ran as hard as my little legs could take me before I came to an abrupt stop to find my friend Cesar in a cloud of smoke and the town burning down. Questions were buzzing through my head. Who had done this? Why had they done this? What had we done to deserve this? As I looked at him I knew he wanted the same thing as me. REVENGE! We gathered the supplies we could and headed off in the direction of the foul stench.

My name is Dorian and we are ready for our quest.




by Henry

The tepid fire gently gasping for its last breaths. The soothing tick, tock, tick, tock entrancing a swell, the darkness of night so peaceful and isolated with the secluded owl watching over with a twit, twoo, twit, twoo. The rose between the weeds shone like a star in the sky, the warmth and tenderness with as prodigious a bite as a snake coiled in the depth of eternal iniquity.


Fantasy Quest

by Tilly

Not today. It couldn’t be today. It was too soon. Not enough training. The competition was definitely too fierce.

His sword whined in its leather pouch around his belt. It was a deadly weapon, made for today and all of the gruesome days after. He would never be able to escape now.



by Ellie

This had been the 5th death in two weeks. People were getting more and more frightened every day. No one knew what to do. I felt like the town was depending on me, blaming me, judging me. I knew what they all thought about me. I heard when the children muttered “MURDERER” and felt the parents’ deathly stares and the shaming looks on their faces. They thought I was stupid, and useless, and all I cared about was attention. No one would even listen to me, I had no family and no friends. I was all alone, and it was just easier for the town to blame me for these mysterious deaths and just be done with me. Get me arrested. Get me away. Get me out.


Children’s Story

A Dragon’s Quest For Friendship

by Lauren

In a land far far away in the heart of the enchanted forest lived a family of dragons. The little dragon always asked his mum and dad why he never got to make any friends his own age. His parents would always reply saying that people would always run away before they got to know what they were like on the inside.

The dragon accepted this answer for years but one day he had an idea that he would try to find a friend to bring back to his house. The dragon smoothed his scales, brushed his teeth and quietly sneaked away from his parents in to the woods…


Fairy Tale

by Claudia

Once upon a time there lived a beautiful young princess called Henrietta. Henrietta loved riding her unicorn around town. One evening Henrietta’s unicorn got very sick so she took him to the unicorn doctors. They told Henrietta that the only way that her unicorn would get better was if it drank some magical glitter juice which was only found deep in the forest of elves. Henrietta knew what she had to do. She had to get the glitter juice.

She set off on her quest early one warm Sunday morning with her unicorn on his lead. But when she got to the gates of the forest….



by Lauren

For hundreds of years, a rumour has been going around the students of California State High School. It was said that 300 years ago a boy called Porter Devlin was burned alive at an old dentistry by the dentist himself. People say that you can see the dentist walking up and down the corridors of his dentistry, but only at night.

One night, a boy called Jeremy went alone. Only him and a flashlight. Palms sweaty and heart pounding, he crept towards the front door.



by Laura


She was up in the fields with the animals when the drums sounded. Keelie knew that something was wrong – something really bad. Maybe one of the family was in trouble.

She ran as fast as she possibly could to the main area of the tribal village. When she arrived, she was confused. She saw her father, the Chief, standing there looking worried from the news he had received from the old man’s visions in the smoke.

Her father was still talking to the old man when she burst into their convocation and heard the old man say
“They’re coming.”

“Who are, father?” asked Keelie.

“That’s nothing for you to worry about, my child” he replied.

She didn’t think much of it at first then but in a few weeks she began to realise what was really going on.

She had been for a walk with the animals but this time she went another way. She then saw something never seen before. There were strange men digging in her tribe’s territory. Keelie ran back to her father immediately but he didn’t seem too surprised when she told him.


I sat in his room. My chair creased with the contours of my shaking legs. My feet slowly melted into the creaking floor, nervously tapping, awaiting his stench to darken the room. The double doors opened, revealing the man studded with leather. His shadow painted a monster on the ground, a reflection of his true self. ‘You had to do one thing, one little thing.’ He inched toward me, sending a piercing scream through my veins. ‘And you couldn’t do it.’ I felt his breath creep down my neck, forcing my frame to shiver. I stared into his eyes, awaiting his command. ‘You will find him again. And kill him like you needed to in the first place. Or your sister is dead.’ He kicked over my chair, jerking me to the ground, leaving me helplessly whimpering on the cold floor. His hands clasped around my neck, vigorously shaking my body. ‘Go.’

I escaped from his shadowed figure, diving into the mouth of freedom, the elevator. I slammed onto the concrete outside, glad to feel the cool wind caressing the stinging handprints around my neck. Through the desperate gulps for air I whispered to myself, ‘This is just the beginning.’ I walked away from the building’s facade, dragging the thought of killing someone behind me.



I’m young and afraid. I need to get there but I don’t know how; it is what my family would have wanted. I must seek revenge, it is the only way. It’s dark and cold and lonely, but there is one thing there and that is what I need to discover. The clock is ticking, time is running out. I must do this or I will end up like the others.

I’m climbing; I’ve been going for days, picking away at the mountain of ice. My ice pick is getting blunt, and so are my ways of thinking. I’m getting weaker. I’ve been climbing for thirteen hours now. One slip and my life is gone.


A huge chunk of ice comes crashing down. I lose focus and drop my ice picks. I am hanging on for dear life. My life flashes before my eyes. I panic. I have no idea what to do, so I let go… falling. Suddenly I stop and a sharp pain crushes my spine.




It’s been a real delight to host Millfield’s first FreeSpace with ArtiPeeps.  I can see from all the story openings above that the pieces are going to make really great short stories. Good work writers! Thanks for sharing your work with us.  Millfield will be back with us on Tuesday 6th May with more creativity  to share.

You can follow Millfield English on Twitter here and Millfield Drama here

Tomorrow we launch our second Hot Potato Collaboration, where 6 writers create 1 online short story over a period of 12 weeks. Passing a story section to each other on a fortnightly basis. Writer/potato Steve Harris will be starting the whole story off. Do come back and take a look. 

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