Amazingly atmospheric writing

Wednesday 31 January 2018

One of the Year 5 and Year 6 learning objectives is to develop the skills of using other writing as a model for their own writing. This isn’t simply copying another writer; instead, it’s using their work as inspiration, a model, for their own ideas and style (a bit like J K Rowling being inspired, perhaps, by a writer such as Ursula K Le Guin, who also wrote about a wizarding school).

Here, two Year 6 pupils – Reece Morley and Jacob Rayner – have done just that, with great results. The original text was the wonderful The Nowhere Emporium by Ross McKenzie. Their writing is reproduced here (with just a couple of spellings corrected). Enjoy!

The shop was made of midnight black stone, embedded in little specks of silver and gold. The iron gate sat there in front of the grand oak door, guarding the entrance like a soldier. It had wooden beams which reached sky high which loomed ominously over the dusty street. Although the giant beams and the great gate looked quite foreboding, there was something calming and also quite mesmerising about the strange building. Just above a black, tinted, barred window were some letters that spelled out the name: The Midnight Mall.

Inside it seemed almost completely normal. The darkness ate at the light in the corners but that was all. Or at least it seemed like that was all. But if you focused a bit more you’d notice a green aura of light around all of the objects. The walls had cracks in them, the plants whacked each other with their branches even though the air was still. Small and very distant screeches could be heard if you stayed quiet. The place seemed quite intriguing yet kind of scary all at the same time, if you notice all those things. The shop with all this stuff that is quite mysterious can only appear at midnight.

Afterwards, it will be gone.


The Master led Vindictus through the abandoned worn-out factory. The derelict building stood lifeless. Its crumbling chimneys and hanging gutters were clogged with moist, rotting leaves and the walls were pitted, as if they had been gnawed by hundreds of starving rats. Vindictus followed the Master through to the decrepit, ancient office. The Master snatched a worn key from a battered safe. They passed conveyor belts that hadn’t been used for a decade or two.

“Argh!” screamed the Master as a nightmare-ish, blood-curdling wail erupted from a larger-than-life bat. Whilst the Master was hyper-ventilating, Vindictus asked, “Is this where you keep him?” pointing to a weather-worn prison cell.

“I’m afraid we had no choice,” sighed the Master. “He was
violent to the other boys but he is well fed.” The prison cell was dark and dreary. Boxes were scattered around the room. They contained unknown items. Although the entrance was damaged from constant usage, it was still firm. The boy inside was dreary, lonesome and unexcitable. However, there was something intriguing about him.