Category Archives: Wadadli Pen 2006

Listing of winners and prizes received in 2006

The Creation by Rosalie Amelia Richards

[2006 – Young Explorer Wadadli Youth Pen Second Runner Up]

It was a beautiful day. The dirt smelt freshly dug and the tunnels seemed like new. I made my way to the utility room with some friends to get our tool-making equipment, as it was time to start working. As we worked, we talked and laughed about the boys out hunting, wondering what they would bring back. Probably moles, agouties or dirt animals again.

I started to daydream and my sharpening tool dropped out of my hand and rolled down a narrow hallway. I snapped out of my dream and jumped up to catch it. I ran out of the room and followed it. I was amazed at how fast a pointy object could bounce away. Finally it stopped.

However, something was wrong. The sharpener was oddly lit up…I glanced upwards and I rubbed my eyes just to make sure I was awake. I saw light! I picked up my sharpener and made marks along the wall as I ran back, so that I could find my way back to the spot.

I got back to the main hallway; I shouted so that all the people could hear, “I have a huge EMERGENCY!”

People crowded out of the different tunnels and crowded around me. The elders came out. The speaker of the elders said, “What is the meaning of this, Tokomaka?”

I gulped. I was never good with crowds. “Sir, I, um, I have discovered something amazing. Please follow me.”

The elders looked at each other hesitantly and then followed me through the narrow passage in single file. The villagers followed them. We came to the spot and I pointed upwards. They gasped.

The elders decided to explore this new finding. As the hole was big enough to fit a person about my size, they boosted me and about three other people my size up through the hole out of the earth, on a strong man’s shoulders.

As we came through up the hole, we each ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ as we saw our surroundings. We were in a magical place with green things coming out from the ground and round colorful things hanging from what seemed to be a bush on a stick. We saw animals and trees of all sorts and colors and beautiful surroundings all around.

However, we had work to do. We picked up our tools and set to work making the hole wider so that the other people could come through. After about half and hour, we finished and the others came through with our help.

We went exploring the new land together, seeing wonderful and amazing things around us and our elders decided to name it Erth. On the horizon, we could see a blue watery looking substance and headed towards it. As we got closer, the smell of our surroundings changed and the ground beneath us grew sandy. We arrived at the beach, as it is now called, and stared in awe at the water. We decided to leave the adventure of going in[to] the water for a different day, probably on a special occasion, that is, if we were ever going to come back. When we headed back to the mainland, a few of our young men killed a wild animal and roasted it. Everyone found it delicious and liked the taste of the new meat. We also noticed that as the day wore on, it grew darker and darker. After the day’s goings-on, we made our way back to the hole.

But the hole was not there. Someone (or something) had filled it in, somehow, and made it look like all the other dirt around it, and no matter how hard we dug and searched, we never found it.

We are still looking and have not found it yet…and that is why when our dead die, we bury them so that they can find our lost underground city.

THE END

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION & TERMS OF USE
Copyright of the winning Wadadli Pen stories and/or art work featured on this site belongs to the creators of the individual works and are used here purely for promotional and educational purposes. Other blog content, except otherwise noted, is created and/or maintained by Joanne C. Hillhouse. Site content should not be copied, distributed, transmitted, used for commercial purposes, altered, transformed, or built upon without the consent of the copyright holders.

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The Village Obeah Woman by Verdanci Benta

[2006 Young Explorer Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Honourable Mention]

No sensible student from Bath Hope Estate dared to take the shortcut through Gigi’s yard to or from school. Any foolhardy student who defied that well-known unwritten village law would most certainly fall asleep during class, drop out of school or end up pregnant if it is a girl child.

As my granny told us, nobody knew Gigi’s village of origin or her age. Only that she had moved to the village when it was still a sugarcane plantation populated by wattle and daub houses with Massa Joe Moore’s Buff on the hill where the New Beginnings Church of Christ now stands.

However, Gigi’s strange behaviour, her frequent trip overseas reportedly to Guadeloupe, her early morning walk to her ground in the hills and her attraction to cats and little children earned her the reputation of being dark. 

So when John-Joe’s family moved in next to Gigi, Brawler, the village conduct-maker, took it upon herself to warn John-Joe’s mother about Gigi’s doings. It was a Sunday morning about ten when John-Joe’s mother stopped by the lone village shop to change a hundred dollar bill to make change for her church offering.

“Excuse me Misses, I notice you are new to the village so I am giving you a little warning about your next-door neighbour, Gigi. She dabble inna iniquity. Don’t let your son walk in her yard. She keep children down in school,” Brawler declared in her best English to impress the newcomer.

“Pardon, me,” replied John-Joe’s mother combatively, as she brandished like a sword from her handbag, a huge bible, “This has the remedy for any obeah!”

Brawler, mouth half opened, was for once, at a loss for words.

“OK, ahrrright…..mmmmee sarree fu badda you”, she stammered as she hurriedly left the shop without buying what she had come for. Every other newcomer had heeded the village’s warning but this one was different.

For the next few weeks the village watched and waited for something sinister to happen to either John-Joe or his mother, as they had befriended Gigi.

“Wha sweet inna goat mout’ sour in ee battom,” I overheard my Granny telling Miss Ruby as they spoke in hushed tones at the Sunday morning market at Moore’s Corner.

As the weeks turned into months strange things started happening in Bath Hope Estate.

First, Miss Ruby’s grandson, Bobo, broke his right arm during a school’s walkathon the week before he would have written his exams.

Not long after, Brawler caught a stroke, rendering her unable to speak properly. The rumour was that something terrified her on a late night rendezvous with a strange man, who had raised the alarm about her misfortune. 

Meanwhile the villagers watched Gigi’s every move. When she journeyed to her ground in the wee hours of the morning grown men and even children would deck the path with certain evil-warding plants and paraphernalia, laying in wait to witness her demise.

Gigi never even flinched, as she would routinely walk over those traps. 

John-Joe’s mother had by then gained a reputation for being a prayer warrior. She preached sermonettes at church and was called upon to pray for the sick and evil possessed souls. “ Fret not thy self of evildoers” was the scripture John-Joe’s mother quoted anywhere she went.

My grandmother, however, was not one to warm up too easily to anybody so she just listened when she heard the villagers talking about John-Joes’s mother’s performances.“Not all who say Lord, Lord will enter heaven” was one of my grandmother’s favourite religious sayings.

It happened that the day before the school exams, just about midnight, John-Joe’s mother was caught naked as she was born, spreading a strange substance on the path leading to the school.

The next day, there was no sign of her anywhere. Gigi told my grandmother that a strange man had taken John-Joe and his mother away in a black car fore day morning.

THE END

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION & TERMS OF USE
Copyright of the winning Wadadli Pen stories and/or art work featured on this site belongs to the creators of the individual works and are used here purely for promotional and educational purposes. Other blog content, except otherwise noted, is created and/or maintained by Joanne C. Hillhouse. Site content should not be copied, distributed, transmitted, used for commercial purposes, altered, transformed, or built upon without the consent of the copyright holders.

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The Rescue by Chatrisse Beazer

[2006 Under 12 Honourable Mention]

“Let’s go!” Auntie Sheila called.

“I can’t wait,” Kayla said.

All of us, my aunts and their husbands, all my cousins and my family and me, were in Barbados for a family reunion. We drove in three separate vehicles on our way to the beach to enjoy a lovely day together.

The cloudless sky was clear and blue, the sun beamed down brightly, and the water was warm and blue.

All of the children were having fun in the water playing ‘throw to throw’. James, 16-years-old, threw the ball high into the air to eight year old Taylor but it landed far beyond his reach. Just then Auntie Isabelle called us to eat and everyone ran out of the water.

“Boy, am I hungry,” said James.

We all agreed and forgot all about the ball. While we were walking I noticed that Kayla, a very adventurous five year old, was not with the group, so I asked, “Where is Kayla?” No one answered, so I turned around and scanned the water. I did not see anything at first, then I saw a head pop up to grab the ball and went back under. I was sure it was Kayla.

Kayla’s head came back to the surface and she screamed,

“Help! Help! Help me!” I dived into the water and swam out to her. I put her arms around my neck and told her “Hold on tight.”

I swam to shore and carried her to her mother. In Auntie Shanna’s arms, Kayla whispered, “Thank you.” I kissed her on the cheek and said “You’re most welcome.”

All my family members hugged and kissed me and called me their hero. My Daddy and Mummy told me that they were very proud of me. I will never forget that experience as long as I live.

THE END

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION & TERMS OF USE

Copyright of the winning Wadadli Pen stories and/or art work featured on this site belongs to the creators of the individual works and are used here purely for promotional and educational purposes. Other blog content, except otherwise noted, is created and/or maintained by Joanne C. Hillhouse – coordinator of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize, and author of The Boy from Willow Bend and Dancing Nude in the Moonlight. Site content should not be copied, distributed, transmitted, used for commercial purposes, altered, transformed, or built upon without the consent of the copyright holders.

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Ma Belle by Kemal Osmel Nicholson

 

[2006 Young Explorer Wadadli Youth Pen Prize honourable mention]

She was a character, the old woman, and the villagers feared her. She lived alone through a small dirt road at the backside of the village. Hardly anyone walked so far back into the village.

Her house itself was small but neat looking. Somehow when you saw it (her house) you would think of the old lady who lived in a shoe. It was surrounded by a small yard which was unfenced. Behind her house “cassi” trees flourished.

Now, no one in the village was really that close to Ma Belle. Baysiders thought her queer and commonly referred to her (though not to her face) as “Medusa.” Occasionally one would say a quick “howdy” to her when she paid her rare visits to the shop, and even then she was avoided. No one was of blood relation to Ma Belle, an uncommon occurrence in Bayside where family was kept for generations. But as far back as any one could remember Ma Belle had existed.

Bernie, the oldest man in Bayside (almost 90) claimed that, “When me a likkle bwoy, she (ma belle) min dun owl a ready.”

The brave in heart attributed Bernie’s theory to loss of memory.

Others took heed…

In the front of her yard, Ma Belle kept a white ram. She called him “Rambo”, he looked fierce, and if he saw any one coming into the yard he would charge. Some of the more boorish Bayside youth noted that there was strong resemblance between Ma Belle and Rambo. They hypothesized as to whether there was any blood relation between them. Any way…

The superstitious of the village have it that at nights, Ma Belle can be seen riding on “she ram goat” wearing all black, and searching for souls. Once again the brave hearts dispelled this, saying that Ma Belle was a poor old soul and should be left alone.

“She no trouble nonbady, ayu ha fu ‘low she”

And what does Ma Belle think of the villagers…

“Dem people in dis village ya weird, fifty years me a lib ya and not one smady a talk to me, a good ting me ha you see Rambo, no dem weird, ugly one dey,” she said chuckling; she gave the goat a little pat and fed him some grass. The Ram bared his teeth as if smiling.

THE END

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION & TERMS OF USE

Copyright of the winning Wadadli Pen stories and/or art work featured on this site belongs to the creators of the individual works and are used here purely for promotional and educational purposes. Other blog content, except otherwise noted, is created and/or maintained by Joanne C. Hillhouse – coordinator of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize, and author of The Boy from Willow Bend and Dancing Nude in the Moonlight. Site content should not be copied, distributed, transmitted, used for commercial purposes, altered, transformed, or built upon without the consent of the copyright holders.

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Who won in 2006?

2006 winners - front from left V. Benta and R. Richards; back from left A. O'Donoghue, R. Adams, B. Rose

*In addition to prizes mentioned, all winners receive a certificate from the YE WYPP team and t-shirts with the competition logo  from Sharon Embroidery. Also, as of this year, Best of Books undertook to purchase a Challenge Trophy and each year engrave unto it the name of the winner (retroactive to the first year).

Under-12 Honourable Mention:

Chatrisse Beazer, 11, Irene B. Williams School; story ‘The Rescue’.

Prize Package:

  • EC$120 – from monies contributed (2005) by Daily Observer
  • Gift (School bag and mini-radio) – OK Johnny

Honourable Mention – General:

Kemal Osmel Nicholson, 17, Antigua State College (formerly St. Joseph’s Academy); ‘Ma Belle’from his ‘Bayside Tales’.

Prize Package:

  • EC $120 – from monies raised during Word Up! fundraiser
  • Book – Going Home and other Tales from Guyana (Deryck M. Bernard) – Macmillan Caribbean
  • EC $50 gift certificate – Subway

Verdanci Benta, 13, Antigua Girls High School; ‘The Village Obeah Woman’.

Prize Package:

  • EC $125 – from monies contributed by D. Gisele Isaac
  • Book – The Annihilation of Fish and Other Stories (Anthony Winkler) – Macmillan Caribbean
  • EC $75 Gift certificate for school supplies – Sight Sound and Time

 

Blair A. Rose, 13, Antigua Girls High School; ‘The Day I became a Man’.

Prize Package:

  • EC $120 – from monies contributed (2005) by Daily Observer
  • Book – Such as I have (Garfield Ellis) – Macmillan Caribbean
  • Gift certificate – The Source

Third Placed Writer:

Rosalie Amelia Richards, 12, Christ the King High School; ‘The Creation’.

Prize Package:

  • EC $150 – from monies contributed by Dawn Gibson
  • EC $200 account certificate – Community First
  • Kid’s Fragrance – Flo’s Perfume+
  • Watch set – Colombian Emeralds
  • Book – Ginger Lily (Margaret Knight) – Macmillan Caribbean
  • HERO – Teddy Bear
  • Gift certificate – The Cushion Club
  • Free copies of Young Explorer with winning story for entire class – Young Explorer

Second Placed Writer:

Rilys Adams, 16, Antigua Girls High School; ‘Unheard’.

Prize Package:

  • Barbuda Tour x 2 – Barbuda Express & Nedd Tours
  • EC $200 – from monies contributed by Dawn Gibson
  • Discman  – Hitachi Centre
  • Mini-computer speakers – Electronic World
  • EC $300 gift voucher – King Progress Music Shop
  • CD – ‘Ab-soul-uuutely Dotsie’ – Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau
  • Journal – Spirit of Nature
  • Book – There’s No Place Like (Tessa McWatt) – Macmillan Caribbean
  • Gift (Teen Fragrance) – Flo’s Perfume+
  • Book – Becoming the Professional You – Guidance and Learning Centre

Winner:

Ayoka [Angelica] O’Donoghue, 17, Antigua State College (formerly Princess Margaret School); ‘Road Trip to Paradise’.

Prize Package:

  • Name engraved on challenge plaque – Best of Books/Made in Antigua
  • EC $600 travel voucher – BWIA
  • EC $500 – Caribbean Union Bank
  • Computer Course valued at EC $300 – Computer Reset
  • Printer – Illuminat & printer dustcover
  • Six months free Internet time – Cable and Wireless
  • Pen Set (valued at over EC $200) – Stephen B. Shoul
  • Watch set – Colombian Emeralds
  • Computer desk and chair – Courts
  • Books – Butler, till the final bell (Michael Anthony) + The Hummingbird Tree (Ian McDonald) – Macmillan Caribbean

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