A Resting Place – Deborah Hawksley
13500 words Ghost Story
Marie Helmsley is a dog person. Returning to her native East Yorkshire she acquires ‘Ben’ from the local rescue centre – a large black mongrel with spooked brown eyes. Is it possible for a dog to carry the spirit of a dead person? Marie supposes not, but is about to discover.
Marie Helmsley was what you’d call a ‘dog person.’ She could look a dog in the eyes and guess what it might be thinking. She could talk to a dog and it would tilt its head, seeming to understand. The shared bond was fundamental; the abiding loyalty, deeply reassuring. Marie had mulled over having a dog of her own for several months, spending time at her computer studying photographs of rejected, abandoned, dogs in the rescue centre near to where she lived. She didn’t want a puppy. She wanted a dog that, otherwise, might not get a new home. As she pulled in to the North Cove rescue centre she had the uncanny feeling she was about to find exactly the dog that was meant for her.
Once You’re Nine – Deborah Hawksley
1000 words Children 5 – 9 years
Timothy Downy is the new boy at school. When he tries to make friends with Billy Boyle he is laughed at, and ends up sitting alone in the playground. But friendship does come to him in a magical and very unusual way.
Timothy Downy was the new boy at school. He hated it. All the other children in his class had been there two whole terms, but he’d only just started. At playtime he sat on the school wall alone, wishing he had a friend. “Can I play with you?” Timothy said to a boy with red hair and freckles. “No you can’t,” said the boy, whose name was Billy Boyle. “I’m the Terminator, and if you don’t go away I’ll terminate you!”