One Day in Fratton: Marnie Ripley

Earlier this year, our Editor in Chief Sarah Cheverton judged entries to the Fratton Big Local writing competition, One Day in Fratton. Over the next 3 weeks, we will be publishing the winners and runners up. One of this week’s two stories is a vividly told fantasy story set in Fratton and written by Marnie Rapley, aged 11 years, from Newbridge Junior School.

Winner, 9 – 11 years category

One Day in Fratton by Marnie Rapley

Great day today, I am going shopping!

I love shopping. Running down the stairs, I opened the outside door and raced towards the main road, with my mum trying to catch up.

Suddenly, I stopped. It felt strange. It looked weird. Even the lady at the cafe with her pug was not there, and she is there every day.

Waiting at the bus stop, in the distance I see the number 7 bus. As it comes nearer, it looks normal, but it’s empty. Mum and I looked at each other curiously as we sat down. As I looked out the frosted windows, I could recognise St Mary’s Church and Carnegie Library, but not much else.

Within a blink of an eye, the bus zoomed off and then screeched to a halt.

My mum stepped off the bus, gripping my hand tightly. She had an odd look on her face. I pushed forward to see what was going on. My jaw dropped.

Where was Asda? The pet shop? Subway? And Dominos?

A little girl walked past us, she was carrying a toy puppy in a basket. She smiled sweetly as her mum called her.

My mum seemed to be mumbling to herself. I could make that she said, ‘I think that’s the Co-op.’

In front of me I could see a large building with iron-framed windows filled with lots of displays. The models wore odd clothes, but catching sight of our reflections in the window, we looked exactly like them.

How could this have happened?

We walked along the road peering in all the little shop windows. There was a fruit and vegetable shop, a fish shop, a butcher’s a tobacconist, a chemist and a post office. As we passed the pet shop, I noticed a toy dog on the pavement. I picked it up and though to myself, this looks familiar. As I turned to show my mum, I saw a little girl crying.

I walked over to her and gently put the toy in her basket. She hid behind her mum and said, ‘thank you.’

With a flash of lightning and a shower of rain, we found ourselves back on the bus. This time the bus was full and everyone was chatting. We were in our normal clothes and I recognised everything.

When the bus stopped, we got off. There she was, as usual, the old lady. As we walked by, she winked and put her pug into her basket.

What a weird day, I thought. And I still didn’t get my new shoes! But that could be another day…

Judge’s comment, by Editor in Chief, Sarah Cheverton

Marnie created a surprising fantasy story that was beautifully written and kept the reader guessing til the end.

One Day in Fratton is an annual writing competition run by Fratton Big Local for residents of all ages. S&C will be publishing the winners across three categories: 9-11 years, 12-16 years and 17 years and over, and you will be able to read all winners here as they’re published.