The Emerald Star by Molly Wigley

The Dome of Astronomy seemed to be covered in dust as it had been deserted for years. When the reporter stepped into the room, the place crumbled. All that was left was a shameful telescope and the ghosts of failure!

An eye peered through the telescope, recording the stars. The scientist had been working for 61 years in the Dome of Astronomy and he had made no discoveries. The Dome was a waste of space in the big city, so it was being closed down. Stars glistened like silver diamonds, shattered into a million pieces in space. There was the glowing source of light, the sun, planets and of course the moon. The scientist searched the sky for the last time, taking notes and filing them in a cabinet. Before he pulled the cover over the telescope, the man peered at it for the very last time.

“Space is painted black with dots of buff, circles of dusty red, swirls of shades and the fiery orange sphere”. This time however, one more colour was added to his description, ‘emerald’!star

 The emerald star,

 Shined so bright.

Life wasn’t a failure for him, yet.

 The news struck. “A scientist discovers a green star!”

When the townspeople read the newspaper they threw it in the trash. “Rubbish, the old the old man is going mad!”

A young astronomer picked up the newspaper and read with curiosity. He went to his telescope and looked into the stars, no emerald star. He shook his head in dismay. “The old man has gone mad,” he exclaimed.

The ruins of the Dome of Astronomy were swept up by a cleaner. When the reporter walked out of the debris, he unleashed the ghosts of failure.

The eye looked into the telescope enchanted to non stop work on that lone emerald star. Suddenly, more appeared, not one but sixteen in a curved dotted line. Twenty four hours passed and another twenty four, little emerald stars dotted the sky. Another sixteen stars mirrored the other sixteen and eight made a small circle inside the elliptical oval shape. It was an eye! All of his astronomical beliefs came rushing back. The eye of space, wide seeking, he remembered from the astronomical guide.

Suddenly, two figures grabbed the scientist. “You’re too old and alone. We are taking you to your family. Say goodbye because you will never see this place again,” they said calmly.

The ghosts of failure rose to join the living that day as the man with a life changing case never closed it.

The world never changed, it could have, but life chose another door. The eye of the stars was still there but no human except the old scientist could accept it. They weren’t stars; they were the emeralds of belief!

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THE DAY MY PANTS CAUGHT FIRE by JONATHAN

Flip! So close! Just a few more times until I get it right! Showing my friends a backflip at school camp was so embarrassing when I landed flat on my face.

Flip! Finally! I landed on my feet! But why were my friends screaming? Had my pants fallen down? I looked down. A strange light was coming from … Then it hit me.

My pants were on fire!

One of my friends ran to the nearby lake with a bucket. He raced back with it full of water and he threw it at me. I was soaked, but the fire still shone. I was in a panic. Every fire alarm went off! All of the teachers rushed out, firepantseach with a fire extinguisher, and sprayed me. I was drenched. I nearly choked on the air from the carbon dioxide extinguishers.

I did more and more backflips to try to undo the process, but that only caused me to be totally enveloped by flames.

I ran like Usain Bolt and dived into the lake. Nearly half of the water in the lake evaporated, but I was still on fire! It was an inextinguishable fire.

For some reason, I didn’t see any burns on my skin. That calmed me down. Was I immune to heat and fire? I thought I was. Then one of my friends shouted, “Do a front flip!” I decided to try one. I landed on my back, but I kept trying.

Finally! I landed on my feet. I looked down. The fire was gone. Everyone around me cheered. I heard people say, “I’m telling everyone I know about this!” or, “The whole world is going to know about this!” I already felt famous, but I wanted to be humble.

I entered “Australia’s Got Talent”, and won! I had never felt so popular before. Scientists took me to their laboratory to perform research on me. They discovered radioactive material in all of my organs and muscles. They told me that I had accidently drunk some water with radioactive material mixed in it. (Don’t try that at home. I remembered being in pain for 10 hours last week and painkillers hadn’t worked!)

I discovered that I could do countless things with my fire skills and immunity to heat and fires. I helped the fire brigade rescue people from burning buildings, and fight bushfires. I also performed in circuses and talent shows worldwide. I had become world famous.

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World Cup Fever! A sports report by Deylan Razmara

The FIFA World Cup is a soccer/football tournament held every four years. The World Cup was held in Brazil and 32 countries competed. The previous World Cup was held in South Africa and Spain beat Holland/Netherlands in the final.

Most people expected the semi-finalists to be Brazil, Germany, Spain and Holland and people thought that Italy would win Group D and guess what happened? Costa Rica won group D and Spain was eliminated in the first round! Costa Rica ended up making it into the quarter finals. Columbia ended up doing very well too. In the semi-finals, Brazil lost to Germany 7-1! In Group F, Iran held Argentina to 0-0 until the last minute then Argentina scored.

The teams that qualified for the quarter finals were Belgium, France, Costa Rica, Columbia, Brazil, Netherlands, Argentina and Germany. In the quarter finals, Argentina beat Belgium 1-0, Germany beat France 1-0, Netherlands beat Costa Rica in a penalty shoot out after a 0-0 draw and in the final game of the quarter finals, Brazil beat Columbia 2-1. Brazil, Germany, Argentina and Netherlands qualified for the semi-finals.

In the semi-finals (as you’ve already heard), Brazil lost to Germany 7-1. Many people say it was due to Brazil’s star player Neymar Jr and arguably their best defender, Thiago Silva not playing due to injury and suspension. This was probably the best game of the tournament. The third place playoff between Netherlands and Brazil was at 6 in the morning AEST and I was in Phillip Island at the time. Basically every Brazilian was in one of their worst moods ever and that was to get even worse! Netherlands ended up winning 3-0 so Brazil ended up 4th and Netherlands ended up 3rd. I don’t think anyone was surprised because all the Brazilian players’ self esteem was probably the lowest it’s ever been!

worldcupThe final was definitely the most looked forward to game of the entire tournament. There were many chances but after 90 minutes it was still 0-0. With seven minutes of extra time left, Germany scored. Mario Goetze was the goal scorer and probably every German went crazy and every Argentinean started crying! Germany won the 2014 World Cup!!  The Golden Boot (top scorer) went to Lionel Messi and the Golden Glove (best goalkeeper) went to Manual Nueur. I think Germany deserved to win. I was supporting Iran, England and Australia.

Australia’s performance was pretty good if you look at how they played but if you look at the scores, they did terribly. They lost 3-1 to Chile, they lost 3-2 to the Netherlands and they lost 3-0 to Spain. Tim Cahill also scored one of the best goals of the whole tournament. For a period of the Australia vs Netherlands game, Australia was winning  2-1 but then Netherlands scored  2 goals.

The next two World Cups will be in Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022. I think better planning is needed for the next World Cup. In 2022 I might travel to Qatar for the World Cup as a celebration for my good VCE (hopefully)!

This is sports reporter Deylan Razmara signing off and see me in four year’s time.

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The Lighthouse of Almadoa by Angus Jones

The Lighthouse of Almadoa

The Lighthouse was built by the Ptolemaic Kingdom between 280 and 247bc. It took 12 years to finish the lighthouse, it was between 120 and 137 meters tall. It was also called the Pharos of Alexandria and one of the seven ancient wonders. It was one of the tallest man made structures for many centuries. It was badly damaged in the earthquake of 956, and then again in 1303 and 1323. The two earthquakes in 1303 and 1323 damaged the lighthouse to the limit of collapsing, the Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta reported the lighthouse to be no longer enterable. It was built out of a light coloured stone and held together by molten lead. It was made out of three stages, a lower square section, a middle octagonal section and at the top a circular section. It then disappeared in 1480bc, this made it the third longest surviving of the seven ancient wonders.

In 796bc the lighthouse may have lost its upper tier. In 1480 the remaining blocks were used to build on the site of the lighthouse.

Construction

At the beginning of it all in 332bc Alexander the great founded the city Alexandria.
Alexander died of fever at the age of 32. The first Ptolemy announced himself king in 305bc, after the death of Alexander he started building the lighthouse of Alexandria. It took 12 years to finish the lighthouse and it finished in the reign of his son.

The Lighthouse Today
In 1994 French archaeologists discovered some remains of the lighthouse near Alexandria’s eastern harbour.

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Lonesome George by Tom, Grace & Willow

Far away on a green, mountainous island called Galapagos lived a playful but lonely tortoise called George. It was a beautiful island with lots of other animals including dolphins, goats, ducks, rabbits and monkeys but lonesome George had no one to play with because he was too slow.

George loved tok1598464 swim in the water but the dolphins all said: “You’re too slow George.” George loved running along the sand when the rabbits and ducks had running races but they all said: “You’re too slow George”.  He loved climbing the mountains with the goats but the goats said: “You’re too slow George.”

Poor, lonesome George was feeling sad when one day he came across a crocodile on the beach. George walked slowly around the crocodile and the crocodile very slowly followed him. George thought to himself, “This crocodile is slow like me.”

“Can you play with me crocodile?” asked lonesome George. “Sure,” said the crocodile. “Let’s play chasey.”

George set off at his fastest speed (which wasn’t very fast at all.) At first the crocodile couldn’t catch him but the crocodile was tricking George. He suddenly ran very fast and quickly caught up to George. George was in trouble!

Meanwhile the island monkeys had been watching George and the Crocodile from high up in the trees. They decided the crocodile needed to be taught a lesson. They swung out of the trees squealing at the top of their voices and frightened the crocodile away.

George thanked the monkeys and as the sun went down, told them his sad story of being too slow for all the other animals on the island. The monkeys told George about another tortoise living on the other side of the island who was just as slow as George! They arranged to meet in the middle of the island and remain friends until this day.

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The Temple at the End of the Cave by Bella

Lucy stormed in the door laughing hysterically, followed by Mia and Jess.

“Girls quieten down please!” yelled Lucy’s mum.

“Mum you’re not gonna believe what just happened! That was the most awesome adventure I have ever been on!” shouted Lucy.

“Explain everything to me girls” yawned Lucy’s mum.

We decided to go on a walk in the forest because apparently there are ghosts in there. We had a map from the start of the track. Jess was holding the map and told us to go left at the next turnoff. We walked down an extremely narrow path all tight together. We turned a few corners but something was wrong. On the map we were meant to go right but there was no right turn! After lots of arguing we decided to go left.

The second we turned let it felt as though the forest was haunted! It was ten times darker and we all seemed to have terrible headaches. Mia claimed that she saw a black figure at the end of the path but Jess and I didn’t believe her one bit. The thin path was becoming thinner and thinner. The forest trees loomed over us and scratched our eyes. The sky looked black and miserable.

As it started to rain we all ran faster. We could see this huge cave in front of us and we weren’t sure whether we should turn around or keep going. We reached the cave and walked inside. As we walked through the cave, beaming light stuck our eyes. We all stopped walking and looked at an old temple that was at the end of the cave.

Cave1

Jess squealed “Let’s go in…come on guys it will be fun!” We agreed that we would all go in together. We walked up the dusty front steps and into the temple. There were spiders and bugs and we even saw a snake! We kept walking into the room next door and looked around. The walls had handprints all over them. The roof was cracked and the plaster on the walls was peeling off. Suddenly, we heard a loud scream from the room to the left. We all jumped and ran out the front entrance.

We faced the door and a figure wearing a black coat started screaming “GET OFF MY PROPERTY”. She or he said this over and over again. We ran as fast as we could all the way back to the start of the path that we were on. “RUN” screamed Jess. We tripped over all the stones on the ground, we were scratched by tree branches and we fell over but managed to pull each other up. Jess dropped the map on the way but didn’t dare to look back!

We ran down random paths and finally ended up on the track that we started at. A few metres ahead was the path that led right where we were meant to turn. We ran up a steep hill and out of the forest. Once we were out we could hear the mysterious figure saying “I will get you one day.” That same line was said over and over again until we couldn’t hear it anymore.

We started laughing like mad people but then we heard another loud scream that echoed through the forest. We sprinted back home and now here we are! huffed Lucy who had now lost her breath completely.

“How weird” said Lucy’s mum, “because when I was your age, the exact same incident happened to my friends and me when we were kids!”

“Anyway…how about you girls clean yourselves up and have a nice hot chocolate?”

The girls started to walk upstairs into Lucy’s bedroom when the doorbell rang. Lucy opened the door and the mysterious black figure was standing outside Lucy’s house!

“Ahhhhhh” roared Lucy, Mia and Jess.

 

 

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The Magic Monkey by Lachlan Wong

BANG! CLASH! OH-OH-AH-AH-AH! Those were the noises that woke Bob up at four o’clock. Bob had been in a deep sleep until those noises stampeded into his thoughts. He was about to go back to sleep when…CLANG! BONG! MUNCH, MUNCH, MUNCH! The noises occurred again. This was way too much for Bob, so he decided to go and find out what was making the annoying noises.

Bob crept downstairs, through the lounge and opened the kitchen door slowly. After opening the door the light almost blinded him! It took Bob a while to adjust to the light when he saw a monkey making a mess of his kitchen and a machine that seemed to fire bananas!

Splat, splat, splat, splat, splat went the banana machine gun as it fired continuously. Bob had never had a pet before but he was keen to have one.

“Flur, blur a goo goo go”, said Bob as he tried to communicate with the monkey.

“Aha a a bloo ga do gee”, screamed the monkey as he went berserk.

The monkey charged up to Bob’s face and gave him a big, slobbering kiss. Surprisingly, he was a good kisser! Bob decided to give him a name.

“I’ll call you Tim.”

“Jim?”

“Tim!”

“Bin?”

“Tim! It’s Tim!”

“Banana?”

Bob gave up.

“Let’s get you to bed.” Bob said wearily.

So he carried Tim to bed.

Before Bob knew it, however, Tim was trashing the place yet again. Bob decided to settle Tim down by playing board games. Bob wanted to play Monopoly but Tim not surprisingly, wanted to play Falling Monkeys. They had different opinions. They would have settled this by a “rock, paper, scissors” contest but Tim didn’t know how to play. So they had a staring contest. Tim was very good at concentrating; he eventually won the contest and played Falling Monkeys until dawn. Then they went to sleep.

Bob slept in. He expected Tim to be making a portal to get bananas from outer space. However, when Bob got up, he realised TIM WAS MISSING! Bob searched all over the house for Tim and found the door open with slobber marks and hair all over the hallway.

“Tim wouldn’t do that much damage”, thought Bob. “He must have been kidnapped!”

So he put on his coat and run out of the door. Bob decided he should follow Tim’s hair and slobber by foot; he didn’t want to get caught in traffic. After all, this was an emergency! It was after about an hour that Bob came across a door with slobber all over it. It was a church. Bob crept in slowly and hid behind a bench. He peeped up and saw Tim chained to a chair. There was a hooded man with a sword to Tim’s neck.

“Make me a brainwashing chair, or else…” demanded the kidnapper.

Tim shook his head in distress. The kidnapper pushed his sword deeper into Tim’s throat.

Bob couldn’t bear to see his pet die now. So he snatched a stone sword from a statue, sprinted to the kidnapper and bashed the sword from his hand. Bob snapped the sword in half and was about to slice the kidnapper’s head off when he realised he only had the hilt! The hilt is only the handle; the rest was rubble because Bob’s sword had been made of stone not metal!

Bob headed for the belltower with the kidnapper following. As soon as they reached the top they picked up metal sticks and fought to the death. Bob managed to get the kidnapper to the edge. Then, with a mighty kick, the kidnapper plunged off the tower.

Bob rushed downstairs to free Tim. He managed to get Tim unchained and they became mates forever. Although it is a strange relationship!

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‘The Vengeance’ by William Lay

‘The Vengeance’ stands proudly in the entrance to his castle dressed in metallic blue and black armour, glistening red chains wrapped around his chest.

His choice of weapons are the phoenix blaster; a gun powerful enough to blast titanium plates used to defend most enemies. For added protection he has the vengeance sphere; a sharp, deadly blade forged from a meteor. He also carries two black thorn back blades, strong enough to slice open diamonds, and two extendible hidden blades that project from his armour.

the-vengeance

On his back The Vengeance has glowing wings made from shards of a rare crystal encased in chrome-plated metal. The wings crystal powers enable him to move at almost the speed of light. He has the hood of an assassin that increases his sense of hearing and psychic hearing, vital for his defence.

The Vengeance comes from a line of assassins giving him animal powers of the wolf and bear. The wolf can make him turn invisible for a limited time. He can also summon on three invisible wolves to come to his aid. The power of the bear gives him unbelievable strength. These special powers, however, come at a price – the more he uses them, ultimately the weaker he becomes.

Psychic abilities give The Vengeance a distinct advantage over any potential enemy. He can teleport, read minds, control minds, move objects and remove memories. Of course, like all super-heroes, The Vengeance has his Achilles, whereby any psychic attacks upon him, renders his own psychic powers inert.

He stands as the most powerful being in the universe. He will always fight to the death for the good of mankind and to maintain the order of his beloved assassins.

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Violence is Never the Answer by Jack Wilson

Adam was a killer. I say ‘was’ because on December 14th 2012 after he had shot 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary school in America he turned the gun on himself.

On the 13th of May I could not sleep so then I got up. I was allowed to stay up for a while to watch ’4 Corners’ on TV. The show was about the shootings at Sandy Hook and the thing that caught my attention was all the shootings in America and how there were so many deaths. Mum and Dad explained to me the things I did not understand so that I understood them. Mum and Dad have always told me that I can make a difference in life so the next day I got up early and wrote to President Barack Obama to tell him my thoughts.

This is what I wrote.

“Dear President Obama,

My name is Jack Wilson and I am 10 years old. Last night I watched a program about the shootings at ‘Sandy Hook Elementary School’ in America with my parents. I am so concerned that kids growing up in America don’t feel safe like I do here. Do you know that I ride to school and feel safe? My school has a ‘sign in ‘ process for all visitors but there is just no need for high locked gates that might not work. The problem is the gun laws. We have strict gun laws here and it is just not in our thinking to pick up a gun and shoot someone. I am concerned that guns are part of life in America and it doesn’t have to be that way.

 

Thank you for your time and I hope my wish comes true.

 

Jack Wilson
Melbourne, Australia

 

I received an automatic response back and I get ‘The White House ‘ updates all the time now.

washington-dc-white-house-s

I wrote to President Obama because I am shocked that at Sandy Hook a teacher was shot trying to save her class. She was standing in the middle of her class and the gunman. She was shot right in front of all her class just trying to defend them. Why was she put in this position?

He could not have done it if his mum did not have three guns under her bed and cupboard.

Adam had a hard time when he was growing up because he was bullied and he had to move schools many times. His parents also were divorced and that was another setback to him but just another bad thing going wrong in his life.

At the age of about 14 Adam was getting to know a teacher very well which was unusual for him. Then he moved schools again so  he had to start all over again.

Adam had an obsession of playing violent video games on his wii or X-box. From a very early age Adam saw guns everywhere and then it started to be a common every day thing for him to be involved with. Like a bike is to me guns were a normal part of life for Adam and thousands of others. Adam was encouraged to go to shooting ranges as a normal activity on the weekend. Gun laws in America make this normal.

In conclusion Adam was a sad kid and many things went wrong in his life. If there were no guns that Adam could get his hands on in the first place, then the shooting of 26 people and Adam would not have happened.

My one wish is that Barack Obama listens to my letter and then eventually America feels safer like I do.

 

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