Story #5: The Mansion

Hi guys! I hope you enjoyed my last blog post about our holiday in Bude! Today’s post is a story that I did for my homework. Originally it was just something I started writing and never finished, but then we were learning about the Radio 2 Five Hundred Words story competition, and my teacher decided to let us write our own story. Here’s mine (although it’s a bit longer than 500 words…!):

ENJOY!

The Mansion

                                                                                                                       By: Ella Ridgway

This story begins in a London orphanage, St Leonard’s Orphanage, and you are about to follow a young girl’s adventure for-well, you’ll find out.

12-year-old Amelia picked up her spoon and sighed.

“Disgusting, sloppy soup for tea,” she thought. “Yippee.”

Pinching her nose in disgust, she dipped her spoon into her bowl and lifted the soup to her mouth. Trying not to think about the taste and how she would smell for days on end, she tipped in the soup and swallowed. Yuck. Carrots and broccoli in it. What on earth was Samantha the cook thinking!

At least it was worth it. Everyone who ate their tea got to hear one of Alan’s stories (Alan was the headmaster, and a good one at that). How Amelia longed for those stories each night. Though she was twelve, she felt like three again and remembered how her parents would read her stories, leaving her spellbound. Amelia smiled and gulped down her soup. In less than five minutes, Amelia had cleared away and was upstairs in the ‘Story Room’. Again she was the first one there. Soon after she arrived, Alan came in and beamed when he saw her.

“My most interested pupil,” he said fondly. “Ready to hear another story? Tonight’s should be good.”

Amelia nodded eagerly. “Your stories are always good,” she murmured.

“Thank you, Amelia. Now, sit down and let’s wait for the others, shall we?”

About five minutes later, the rest of the children came in and Alan began his story…

“Today’s story is about an eight-year-old girl called Lotta and her adventure to find treasure in a mansion not so far away from here. Lotta was exploring it, because she had been evacuated here in the Second World War, as our city was once just countryside. Anyway, Lotta was going down a staircase one time, and she got shut in by a gust of wind, or so she thought. It was actually a human-like monster that secretly inhabited the mansion. It is rumoured that his human grandson now roams it’s corridors, kidnapping all who come across him.”

“Lotta walked around the dungeons of the mansion desperately, calling for help. Eventually, in a corner of the large room, she found a door, cleverly hidden as bricks. Some say this was for St Leonard to help the prisoners escape, then hide them in this building, St Leonard’s Orphanage.” Here Alan spread his arms out widely, and everybody had mouths agape in awe.

Alan continued. “Lotta yanked against a brick that looked like where a doorknob would go, but it didn’t work. Again she tried. Same result. She pushed, pulled gently, but nothing worked, until she remembered how her doorknob worked at home. She twisted the brick and this time it worked! The door of bricks slid apart, leaving a space wide enough for even the biggest person to get through. She sprinted through the gap, just in case any obstacles came at her. After all, you wouldn’t take any choices if you’d been through what Lotta had, would you?” Everyone shook their heads vigorously and waited eagerly. “So Lotta went through the door and she was in a seemingly never-ending corridor, very narrow, mind you, but still wide enough for most people to get through. Lotta scurried through the corridor, turning her head anxiously every now and then. Finally, she reached a turn in the path and stopped abruptly. For right in front of her, a heap of gold and other precious materials lay randomly in the middle of the room she was in. There was enough there to fill two London buses, children! Imagine! Lotta circled the treasure in amazement and unexpectedly noticed another door in the wall. This one was wooden, and falling apart. The longer Lotta stood there staring at it, the more it became unstable. All of a sudden, it collapsed with a cloud of dust that had probably been gathering there for years. Lotta saw her chance of escaping and picked up a handful of jewels.”

“Diligently clambering over the rubble, Lotta saw a possibly misplaced cart. She didn’t care whose it was, though. She towed it back to the room, and piled as much treasure as she could onto it, before carting it back through the doorway. By the time she reached the end of yet another lengthy hallway, she was puffing and sweating like crazy. Some say the treasure is still there.” Alan stopped talking here and folded his hands on his lap. “And that, children, is where we’ll leave it for today.”

Everybody groaned deafeningly and Alan covered his ears in mock deafness.

“Now, now. I’ll continue it tomorrow, IF you’re good and eat your tea. Go on, then.”

Everybody filed out, chatting excitedly about what could happen to Lotta. Only Amelia went out silently, deep in thought. She went to her bunk and slung herself on it. Next, she tranquilly brought out her secret notebook, and began to make plans…

Plan for getting treasure

9 o’clock: Escape from orphanage.

9:30: Arrive at mansion and get inside without being seen.

9:40: Get to dungeons.

9:45: Escape from dungeon via brick door.

9:55: Find cart and treasure.

10 o’clock: Take treasure back to orphanage.

10:30: Be back in bed in time for check-ups on dormitories.

Amelia got undressed and lay back in her bunk. She fell asleep to vivid images of treasure. Bribring! Bribring! Amelia’s alarm hummed slightly, just loud enough for her to hear and wake up. Shaking her head slightly, she gingerly lifted her legs out her bunk, and swung herself out as well. Then she silently packed a backpack and tiptoed out the dormitory door. Groggily, Amelia leisurely stumbled down the dorm stairs and out the orphanage door. Shivering in the frost, she trudged through the cold towards the mansion museum.

The door creaked open and Amelia crept inside. She gulped. The mansion sure was bone-chilling at night.

HOO!

“What was that? Oh good, it was only an owl outside,” Amelia gulped and continued.

Soon she reached a part of the mansion where the nerves really hit her and she started to sweat.

Amelia wandered down the eerie corridor. Her hands trembled. Sweat launched down her forehead, loosening her glasses. They fell to the floor with a loud CLANG! Her heart pounding against her ribs, Amelia picked them up cautiously. Were they broken? No, thankfully. She paused. Distant footsteps came up the creaky staircase ahead of her. What was it? Amelia debated whether to scamper and hide, or stay and conquer her nervousness. She chose neither. She crept silently to a huge painting, when…a tough, bony hand slammed her against the stone wall.

“Ouch,” she squeaked.

“What you doin’ here?” it asked in a gruff, rattling voice.

“I’m a-a tour guide-” she faltered as the voice snorted.

“Tour guide indeed!” it chuckled, “Don’t you know the tours end at eight, little missy? What’s your name?”

“A-Amelia, s-sir,” Amelia stammered in fright.

“Well then Amelia, I’ll contact your parents later, saying you’ve gone missin’, but for now I’ll shut ya in the mansion dungeons for a few hours. That’ll keep ya busy for a while.”

“No, no! Please, don’t! My guardian will be worried!” Amelia realized her mistake.

“Guardian? Wait a moment. How old are ya?” it narrowed its eyes suspiciously.

“I’m t-twelve, Mr…?” she enquired.

“Mr Petes. Parents dead?” the creature raised its eyebrows.

“Yes, Mr Petes.” she answered obediently.

“Well, I’ll be blowed! Do you live in an orphanage, little girl?”

“Yes, Mr Petes. St Leonard’s Orphanage, just round the corner.”

“So what are you ‘ere for? Lookin’ for the master, eh?” Petes chuckled. “’E’s dead, so not much chance.”

“No, Mr Petes. Actually I’m here to look for the treasure,” Amelia replied solemnly.

“Treasure? Pah! There ain’t no treasure ‘ere, girl. Now run along before I call the coppers.” He paused and thought, loosening his rough hand on Amelia. She took this as an opportunity.

Ducking under the emaciated hand, Amelia slipped away and ran as hard as she could, faster than she had ever ran before. Daring to sneak a glance behind her, she saw the man race after her, yelling for backup. He came closer and closer and eventually became close enough that he could reach out his hand to grab Amelia. Just before he did…Amelia whipped like the wind out of his way and dashed down rotting stairs that crumbled beneath her. She leapt the last three steps and landed with a THUD on a rigid stone floor with a gasp as all the air was knocked out of her.

Rolling over, she clenched her stomach and tried to steady her breathing. Just then, a creak and a groan came down the stairs and Amelia realised a door was being shut and bolted upstairs.

“Oh no!” she moaned, realising she was in the dungeons and Mr Petes had just locked her in. Suddenly she had an alarming thought.

“Mr Petes must be the monster’s grandson Alan was talking about. Wait a moment, what if I can’t get out? Oh no! I might be stuck here for weeks and eventually shrivel up and die!” Amelia started to panic.

She crumpled into a defeated heap and sobbed. After only ten minutes (but what felt like hours to Amelia), she had a sudden brainwave. She thought back to just a few hours before, when Alan had told them his story. Of course! There was a secret door!

Amelia instantly scrambled up, full of hope now. She searched the entire room, but could not find any door of bricks, until…She reached the last corner of the dungeons and peered at it closely. Aha! Here it was! Amelia spotted a brick in the design where she thought the doorknob would go, and tugged. She pulled with all her might, she twisted to the right, she heaved it sideways, but nothing seemed to work. With each twist, Amelia grew more and more puzzled. After all, the story said Lotta had twisted it like a door handle, but it didn’t work when Amelia did it.

That’s when it occurred to her. St Leonard would never had kept the key action the same, otherwise anyone could get out. Maybe there was a key, hidden for the right time. Now, Amelia searched the entire room again, more thoroughly this time. She returned to the corner empty-handed.

“Where would a key go?” she thought to herself. “Hmmm. I know! Under the mat!”

Sure enough, there was a mat right under her feet. Amelia gently lifted it up, and, to her great relief, found a glistening, golden key! Amelia hesitated, then…

“Hurrah!” she cheered. “Yippee! Huzzah!” And she cheered anything else she could think of.

Finally, she remembered she had to get out. Slipping the key into an unnoticed keyhole, she felt a wave of happiness and glee come over her. But she couldn’t get the feeling out of her head that she was missing something. Nevertheless, she turned the key and opened the door. Straight away, she stopped. For there in front of her was a gargantuan pile of treasure. As much as Amelia was happy she had found the jewels, she couldn’t help but remember that Alan told them the jewels were off a corridor. Yet here they were.

Suddenly, she heard a continuous yapping noise coming from the pile.

“What the?”

As if by instinct, Amelia leapt forward and rummaged through the treasure. Halfway through, she found a young puppy, a gorgeous, golden spaniel. She held him up to the dim light and gasped with delight. The spaniel glanced up at her and yapped as if saying: “Thanks for saving me!” Looking at the pup, Amelia decided it was a boy and instantly named him Alan, after her headmaster.

Alan struggled and jumped down to the floor. He ran a few metres, then glanced back at Amelia. She took the hint and followed him, before realising she had left the treasure behind. She turned back, but Alan barked at her, a warning tone in his voice. Even though Amelia had no idea what was going on, she carried on, Alan sprinting ahead of her.

Eventually, they reached the end of a corridor and turned into an ancient room. It was so old Amelia felt like it should belong in an antique shop. She ducked under a hanging, half-broken cobweb and hurried through the exit. After many more rooms and hallways, Alan somersaulted-yes, somersaulted-over a fallen bookcase. Just in case they were good, Amelia tucked some books under her arm and flew over the shelves. Alan was way ahead by now, and Amelia could just glimpse a slit of trees and gardens. Seeing this, she hurried herself up and was soon ahead of the little puppy.

Just as she was about to reach the gardens, a fierce growl came from a room to the left. As if in a trance, Amelia wandered into the room and a hideous monster greeted her.

“Hello, little girl,” the monster purred, an evil glint in his eye. “Welcome to my little lair. Please, sit down.”

Enchanted, Amelia sank down. The floor felt like it was made of treacle: sticky, but liquid. After about ten seconds, the floor sank down and took her with it. The dog, meanwhile, had just noticed what was going on and barked a sharp bark. Straight away, Amelia sat up as though she was electrified and shook her head. She tried to jump up but the sticky floor held her down like a fly in a web. She held her arm out desperately, and somehow Alan understood. He snatched up her arm in his mouth and gently, yet firmly, pulled her up just in time. The floor dropped rapidly and suddenly there was no floor left. Amelia and Alan jumped across and the monster wailed with rage.

Not wanting to take any more chances, Amelia sprinted the last metre and stopped at the edge of the gardens, panting and puffing. Even though she had lost most of it, she sucked in her remaining breath with awe.

“Wow!” she murmured.

She was right to be amazed. The gardens, even at night, were the most gorgeous thing in all the city, possibly even the country. Purple petunias and red roses lined the sides. A massive fountain took centre stage, spouting impressive ribbons of water out of a golden dolphin’s mouth. Arranged round the fountain were many mini cacti and statues as tall as your knee. In one corner, half-hidden by ivy, was a statue bigger than the fountain, one of the founder of the museum, Henry, and his latest evacuee, Lotta, from Alan’s story.

But there was no time to stop and stare. Amelia managed to drag herself away and rushed back through the city, Alan close behind. At long last, Amelia reached the orphanage and slipped in through the back door.

“Shhh,” Amelia hushed Alan. Alan understood and followed his new friend upstairs to the dorm.

When the two crept in the door, one of Amelia’s roommates, Anna, sat up sleepily, slightly confused.

“Amelia!” she whispered. “Is that you? And who’s with you? Why are you dressed?”

“Yes, it’s me, Anna. It’s all right. I’ve been on a little adventure, that’s all. This is Alan. I found him.” Amelia sat down on her friend’s bed and quietly told Anna her story.

“I felt just like Lotta, Anna. I really did. I hope you and I could go looking for the treasure again.”

Now that, dear readers, is where we will leave it for today.

Thanks for reading my story! I hope you enjoyed it! Please leave some feedback comments for me! Thanks!

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2 Comments

  • Reply June 24, 2017

    Mary

    Hi Ella, I just read your story, It was really good not the sort of story I would usually read, it was exciting but scarey in places you really made me feel like I was there with you, I was holding my breath hoping you would be ok , You have done really well, keep it up

    • Reply June 25, 2017

      Ella Ridgway

      Thanks! I don’t really write that sort of story, but I tried really hard to make it feel tense 🙂

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