A farmer and his sheepdogs. Photo © Janet PackhamCongratulations Molly Partington, the judges were impressed with your beautiful and nostalgic short story. The narrator looks back on a bygone age which creates a deep sense of longing and warmth for happier and simpler times. This is a well-written, emotional story woven with lovely descriptions.

The wind whispered to me, it told me to be brave and that’s what my grandad told me too. He was never sad about anything even when Rusty, his dog, went missing.

We would sit on the fells for hours talking about sheep. He told me that I’d never be alone up here because the sleeping elephants would always look after me. That was how he described the mountains.

Vast lands of green lay before me, almost like the lands were bowing down to me, waiting for my first steps on the crisp, fresh grass. I would gossip with the buttercups and skipped with the new blossomed lambs and it would always remind me of home, where grandad lived, where the fire would blaze and, if I got too close, it would sting my eyes. There were grandma’s mouth-watering pies slathered in butter. The trickle of the stream washing though my mind fulfilling my hopes and dreams. Rusty and Daisy always eager to have the last cuddle before the light went out.

Now the light is always out. The time on the fell and with grandad I wanted to never end because I was free there.

Now I am stuck in a box, no good times, just pain and misery. That vast, green land forgotten, gone without a trace. Now when I look out of the window, I see man made boxes and the sounds of cars zooming past. Not the tweet of birds or endless rows of flowers. I am stuck in a box, the lid padlocked on. My mind is forever filled with dark clouds but the rain never comes.

See all the competition results