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Imagination (youngsters:mystery, 2745 words)
Author: Ian HobsonAdded: May 25 2008Views/Reads: 7126/3072Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Imagination? Just make something up? I scratched my head and had a think...


©2008 Ian G Hobson 

It must be almost a year ago now: my mum and dad had gone out and my
granddad had come round to babysit.  Not that I was a baby; I was just 
a few weeks short on my fourteenth birthday then.  But my little sister 
was only six, so we needed a babysitter, apparently.  Anyway, my sister 
had gone to bed and I was sat at the kitchen table doing my homework.  
I'd finished the maths, that was pretty easy.  I've even got to like 
maths since my granddad told me the secret of how to get good marks. 

I remember my granddad saying, 'Your exercise book looks like someone's
tipped a load of numbers onto the page and then given it a good shake.  
It's no wonder you get low marks; your teacher can't make head nor tail 
of it.'  He was right: teachers like you to be very neat, you see.  
Like when you're doing equations  you have to keep all your equal 
signs in line down the page, then it's easy for the teacher to mark.  
And even if you get the wrong answer, they'll still give you higher 
marks 'cos they can see where you went wrong, and they like that lot 
better than if the page is a mess, even you've got the right answer at 
the bottom.  'Keep it neat - that's the secret,' my granddad had said. 

I was thinking about that when my granddad came downstairs from reading
my sister a bedtime story.  My computer was on the blink, so my dad had 
lent me his laptop so I could do my English homework (we're allowed to 
use computers for that).  The homework was to write an essay, or a 
story or whatever, on any subject we liked,  but I could never think 
of anything to write.  And I said that to our English teacher, Mrs 
Dickinson.  So she said, 'Write about something you know about.'  Yeah, 
very helpful - I don't know why I bothered asking.  I mean, what the 
heck did I know about, beyond the fact that my bike had a puncture, 
City had lost three-nil at the weekend, and I'd had a boiled egg for 

'Granddad?' I said, as he came and got himself a beer from the fridge. 
'Is there a secret to writing essays n stories n stuff?'  He frowned, 
so I said, 'Mrs Dickinson says we should write about something we know 

He laughed then.  'That's the sort of crap advice teachers always give
you.  No, forget that.  That's far too limiting at your tender age.  If 
there's a secret, I suppose it's imagination.  That and punctuation, 
because if you muck that up, anyone reading what you've written will 
loose track of what you are trying to say.' 

'I see,' I said, looking at the blank Word document on my dad's PC. 

My granddad ruffled my hair.  'Don't look so glum, Adam.  We've all got
an imagination, and as for punctuation, well, that's just common sense, 
and if you're stuck, just look in any of your reading books to see how 
it's done...  Your Harry Potter books will do.  You like Harry Potter, 
don't you?'  I nodded.  'Well that all came out of what's-her-name's 

'J K Rowling,' I said, feeling non the wiser. 

'Aye, that's her, J K Rowling; and who's to say you can't be as
successful as her one day.  Just use your imagination; write a sentence 
and think of one to follow it, and then keep going...  Well, there's a 
programme on the History Channel I want to watch, so I'll leave you to 

'Thanks, Granddad,' I said as he went through to the living room. 
Though I was wondering what I was thanking him for, as I still had no 
idea what to write.  Imagination?  Just make something up?  I scratched 
my head and had a think, and then I remembered that my granddad had 
been in the merchant navy when he was a young man, and it gave me an 


Running Away by Adam Howarth 

There was this kid called Dave, and he lived with his mum and dad. 

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