Illustration by James de la Rue

First Prize

The Prison Between The Worlds

Monty Desforges
Year 9 St Sampson’s School

Slipping through the crack in space, I slip the knife into my dark coat, sew the portal up behind me, and race towards my destination.

My feet make no sound on the cold floor, as I tear past people milling about the Knife-Bearers Tower. No one sees me. That's why I was chosen. To enter the prison, and break Sonja out.

Slinking through dark alleyways and corridors, I reach the cell. A ball is huddled in the corner; it looks tentatively upwards when I drop my lock-picks. “Kai?” it whispers.

“Hey, Sonja,” I whisper back, then force my eyes back to the lock, fumbling with the picks. As the wrought-iron gate swings open, I hear a cane tapping behind me, and freeze.

“How predictable!” Cold scorn coats the sentries words. Sonja and I know his voice too well, so we dart past him, one left, one right, to find our exit guarded. We back up, dash down a side alley, then another, until we find ourselves squeezed onto a narrow path.

The Towers sit on an island between Worlds, encircled by a sea of Nothing. Since this ledge borders the steep walls on one side, and Nothing on the other, it's imperative we weren't followed. The ominous tap of a cane says we were.

“Our legendary escape artists. You seem trapped,” his mocking voice echoes over Nothing. "A shame. Legends die here." I slip my hand into my coat, seeking the knife, but only cloth brushes my hand.

Gunshots ring out. Sonja shoulder-barges me. We plummet over the island's edge as bullets scream over our heads. Pulling another knife from her prison robes, she slashes the air. Looking up, I see his face gloating over us; blackness claws at my vision.

Then, the familiar shine of a portal, as we fall through worlds.

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