The Latest from our Young Writers Project: Hail and Hell at the Farmers Market – Part One

Posted on: 11th Jan 2019

The Words Awry: Stories Told pilot project began in October 2017 for Year 7R. The project has been so successful that the project was extended to two other Year 7 forms in 2018/19 as a continuation of the experiment. This year The John Lyon’s charity have generously given a grant that enables every Form 7 student to take part in Words Awry: Stories Told.

The developing stories have captured the imaginations of the students and lead to an unprecedented interest in writing. The project is totally inclusive and complements the Key Stage 3 English curriculum.

The stories will be published in a book next year.


By 8R

Saturday December 21st 2018

The Parliament Hill Farmers Market Market has stalls of every kind: fruit, vegetables, cakes, Belgium waffles, cultural food like samosas, fresh juice, homemade jams, and smelly cheeses but as we approached on this Saturday, one smell smashed our noses.


The smell was wafting from the far corner of the Farmers Market where there was a huge brown horse, and a notice that said:


Our neighbours, Roberto and Jenny approached me, I don’t have much in common with Roberto, I’m a doctor and he runs a dog food company called Working Dog Food (they say it helps the dogs body systems work better) but on occasions like Christmas we do things like invite our families around for tea.

It was a Saturday in December and the boys were wrapped up in their pink and orange hats and scarfs that were knitted by their Gran. Scruffy and Zeus their two dogs were little with coats like white and brown coloured mops they looked identical with huge brown eyes and they were tied 3 feet from Nelson our families dog.  Scruffy's eyes felt familiar and he was straining at his leash so hard it looked like he might choke.

I greeted the family and went to buy the bread for lunch.

The sun came out and began to flood the Farmers Market not December cold sunlight but sun so strong that people began to sweat and the fresh farm milk began to look a strange blue colour as it rapidly became out of date.  Our eyes squinted in the bright sun.

Suddenly, hail began to hit the Farmers Market, hail that was half grey and half white, hail of all different sizes from tennis balls to hail the size of human heads! The sky turned red, and then grey and then black. Bob the Horse escaped his rope and with a huge: NNNNNAYY knocked down a crystal stall and jumped the gate. People started to panic and scream as they got hit by the hail and ran around like headless chickens, trying to get shelter from the stalls but the wind lifted the canopies and they flew around like huge wild birds. The shrieking sound of car alarms could be heard in the distance and then the crash of cars being lifted up by the wind and the deafening sound as they were thrown down. The tornado twirled the food there was manure, samosa’s, sausages and cake crumbs spinning through the air and the sound of dogs crying.

The lightening crackled in the sky like a silver cobweb.

I spotted Timmy, he could hear Zeus barking but it was Scruffie's wails that I think really hit him. He broke from his mother’s grip, grabbed a huge frying pan as a shield and ran like Usain Bolt towards Zeus and Scruffy.  Dodging loaves of bread, he dived into the doggy shed and bending over used his body as a barricade to protect Scruffy and Zeus.

I looked over at our dog Nelson. Nelson is a Leonburger (they were bred by the German town of Leonberg to have manes to match the heroic Lion on their towns coat of arms). Nelson somehow had unravelled his long lead and dashed towards two black pug puppies making himself a protective barrier for them. A tiny vicious looking Terrier leapt on to Nelson’s back and was batting bits of flying wood from the stalls. Then I saw the little man, I recognised him, he had been at the Bobs Burger Stall not eating but just watching and talking into a small microphone over the last few Farmers Markets. He was dressed in black, apart from a pink hat, he looked in my direction and his black eyes seemed to zap me. To my amazement the Tornado was coming out from the top of his hat!

Suddenly the wind and the hail stopped. Heavy rain began and wet seeped through our clothes and chilled our bones. An eerie silence descended on the Farmers Market like a thick blanket. It felt like time had stopped. My eyes watched Timmy he looked over to where his brother and parents were, like the rest of the people they lay very still on the ground, then to my horror their arms and legs started to turn into cow like limbs, and hooves begun to appear.

Scruffy whimpered and in the distance I could hear wolf like howls and I started to remember. How Scruffy had once been Cruet the dog and how I had joined the United Dogs for one night, ten years previously.

The howls became intolerable. I suddenly knew I was going to have to become my dog again and be dragged into the battle to stop hallucinatory beef destroying our world.

End of Part One

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