One Day in Fratton: Tia Walker

Earlier this year, our Editor in Chief Sarah Cheverton judged entries to the Fratton Big Local writing competition, One Day in Fratton. Over 3 weeks, we are publishing the winners and runners up. One of this week’s 3 stories is a beautifully written and heart-breaking tale by Tia Walker from Portsmouth Academy.

Winner, 12 – 16 years category

A Day in Fratton with the Three Lions by Tia Walker

‘Three Lions have currently made a successful get away from Marwell Zoo and are now heading towards Fratton so I’ll give you advice: Do not go outside!’ said Martha, the news broadcaster.

I was stunned; I ran to the window and stared through the glass.  I saw police, zookeepers and vets!  I grabbed my coat and threw on my emerald green wellies that my granddad had bought for my eleventh birthday.  I was feeling so ecstatic; an actual lion – well, three lions – were heading for Fratton.  I heard mum yelling at my older brother Jacob. She was mad at him because he came back home at five o’clock in the morning again.

I shouted, ‘Keep it down we have neighbours! Mum, I’m going to my friend’s house. I’ll be back at two o’clock.  Love you, bye!’

Mum didn’t say anything. She just carried on screaming in Jacob’s face for missing curfew because he was too busy hanging around with the people who I like to call the irresponsible, idiotic, lawbreakers.  Whenever they come round they tell lies about me and try and get me in trouble.  Mum calls the police often because they vandalise our home.

I ran outside and saw one of the lions whining outside of Asda, bleeding from its paw.  I gasped.  I sneakily ran towards the lion and stared.  Tears started to collapse down my face; I kneeled in front of the amazing lion.  I stroked his furry, golden mane.  Police, zookeepers and vets gathered around.

A policeman patted my shoulder and said softly, ‘C’mon kid. Let’s get you home.’

Anger roared through my bones.

So I ran off! I felt scared and worried but I started to let it roll off my shoulders; I ran towards Carnegie Library and thought it would be a good idea to hide inside of it.  It was dark, really dark.  I looked for a light switch hidden somewhere amongst the darkness.  Something had pounced onto my back and had made me fall to the ground.

The light switched on.

The librarian was shaking with fear.  She was too scared to even help me up.  Once I had helped myself up I asked why she was so scared.

She whispered back saying, “Behind the bookshelf on the left”.

At first I was confused but then I realised what was happening.

I walked slowly towards a lion who had only a mane full of wine, red blood.  I was confused.  I found the second lion in pain bleeding too.  What was happening? Why were these lions hurt?  I told the librarian to run over to Asda so the zookeepers and the vets could look after her.

I ran outside; I ran down so many streets in Fratton.  Then I realised I hadn’t been inside of St Mary’s Church yet.  As I was running I tripped over a cola can.  I looked up slowly and caught two angry eyes staring at me.  It was one of the lawbreakers.  He pulled me up by my hair and then pushed me back down.  Then I was surrounded by all of them!  They kicked me in the sides, stood on my face and hurt me much more.

Then I heard something growl as I started to go unconscious on the ground.  Later that day, I found myself curled up by something huge, furry.  I was nestled up next to the last lion.  I stroked its back to give him a sign I was awake.

The lion licked my face.  He was so beautiful and calm. Other lions would just eat you right at the spot but the three lions I met in Fratton were special.

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

Tia’s story about her adventure with the lions in Fratton not only keeps the reader on the edge of their seat until the very end, but is also a profoundly moral tale about finding safety from bullies. Tia’s story was the clear winner and very impressive.

One Day in Fratton is an annual writing competition run by Fratton Big Local for residents of all ages. S&C is 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.