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Friday, 1 February 2013

Comment and judge on this short story: Monster Race

**The winner of WWBB's short story competition will win a review and an author spotlight. Your comments will help me decide the winner.**
John Hudspith

Alice settled on the warm grass, sun behind her, breeze coming left to right; a strong breeze at that - just the thing for a monster race because the critters go faster with the wind at their tails.

Alice didn’t have long to wait. A skeletal dog came bounding into view in dreamy slow motion. The dragon behind had a funny jaw, sort of hooked like a parrot, and it was stretching wider and wider. Alice was certain the dog would be swallowed whole if it didn’t get a move on.

Too late. The bones in the dog’s neck separated and its skull went rolling forward. Alice gasped when she realised the rest of the dog had vanished. The dragon’s mouth was firmly shut, it looked fatter too and went sailing past without any clue that it might be feeling guilty at all. Dragons were sly things. Poor dog.

Alice smiled at the size and pure beauty of the boldest, whitest horse she’d ever seen. Shame it had six legs. It reared up, crashed down, up, down, then its hooves galloped into a roll, so fast they became a blur. It was plain to see what made the handsome horse so speedy. A trio of fat goblins were in pursuit, but that wasn’t the bad of the matter. No. Behind the goblins (which now dispersed so quickly Alice only blinked and they’d gone) came a fat grey snake, easily big enough to swallow the dragon, never mind the six-legged horse. Alice held her breath as it neared the speeding stallion. Its forked tongue curled out, stretched, then zapped at the horse’s hind legs which evaporated into fine mist. The horse tumbled and broke into bits, legs scattering like old bones thrown by a witch. Alice laughed. This was fun.

Then came a giant. Well, Alice presumed it was a giant. His legs and arms were normal sized but his head was definitely bigger than Alice’s house. He didn’t move very fast – due to the small legs, obviously. And he’d no hope of winning the race. Not unless he cheated. Alice watched as the giant lumbered. The others way in front had gone now. This giant was boring. He didn’t even look at her. Didn’t smile. Just rolled by with his ginormous head.

Alice sighed and wished the giant away and in seconds a new racer entered the game – a black rat – bigger than giant big head. Alice clapped her hands because the rat was fast and soon nipping at the giant’s ears. Its snout opened wide and began sucking giant big head inside. His little legs kicked for mercy.

“Eat him all up,” said Alice, just as the rat spread its black form upwards and outwards. Now it was a hooded figure, one long arm extended to the racers in front.

“Ha!” Alice laughed, then the dark figure vanished behind Ma’s bloomers.

“Watching the clouds again, sweetheart?”


“Think it’s going to rain?”

“No Ma, it’ll pass.”

“Who won today?”

“The man in the hood, Ma…” Alice got up and skipped down the yard. “…He always wins.”

Kimi’s secret is out – her brain is the key to successful time travel - and a ruthless greylian bounty hunter will break every bone in her body to get at it. As if that isn’t bad enough, the best looking boy in the world turns into a cannibal intent on devouring every last bit of her. Sometimes life really does suck.
Can Kimi thwart the bounty hunter, kill the boy of her dreams to save her own life, tame her greatest fear and keep herself from becoming greylian toast? Not without help. 

Tulpa Bentley returns with old favourites the famoose, Big Sue the giant with OCD, madcap mentor Stella, and chief of fuzz the monkey Rehd along with a whole host of new crazies in an adventure bigger and bolder than before.


  1. John Hudspith's short story immediately took me into the mind and imagination of a young girl. Nostalgic in a sense, it took this reader back to a time of wonderment, when summertime lasted forever and everything seemed new.

    Tom Winton

  2. Thanks Tom. Your comment's appreciated and noted. :)

  3. I love this little story. I've read it before but I think it's slightly different now and captures the mind of a child, who can see more in the changing clouds, beyond what an adult can see, to perfection.