Story Competition 2008, winner's story - Katie Lloyd Hughes
The Brother Sister Lamps
by Katie Lloyd Hughes
This is a story about a boy and a girl who should never have met but Fate suddenly changed its mind.
It all started seven hundred years ago on the dusty streets of Tabas in Persia. Emile was an orphan boy about thirteen years old who had no-one in the world apart from Mocha: his pet monkey. Though Emile was a very smart boy, he found it hard to survive. Mocha was quite good at stealing from the market but still received a few mouldy tomatoes in the back of the head!
Bella, on the other hand, lived in the modern day, in Manhattan, New York, with Clara: a large, fluffy white poodle. Bella was an only child, thirteen years old also and had always wished for a brother but had to make do with a sleepy goldfish. She loved shopping in the large department stores and her apartment was crammed full of junk.
One day, Emile was walking through the market when he saw a new stall. There was an old man standing behind it. The stall sold jewels and gems that were gleaming in the sunlight. Emile but attracted to the glitter but as he approached, a dull black lamp jumped out at him. It seemed to have a hold over him so his sticky fingers reached out to grab it. As he was making a getaway, he heard an angry voice behind him shouting, "Come back thief!" But Emile was too speedy.
He reached a dark alley and sat down. The lamp looked so dirty that Emile began to rub it. Suddenly, green smoke poured out of the spout and a genie sprang out muttering, "Rotten lamp. No leg room. What do they expect me to do for two thousand years?" Emile jumped back in surprise. "What? You've never seen a genie before?" Emile shook his head. "So what do you want? A wish? A favour?"
At that very moment, the old man from the stall came spinning round the corner. He stopped and stared. "Oh no," he moaned. Emile shrank back. The man continued, "You now have the power of the lamp. Listen boy." "Have you heard about the lamp with endless wishes?"
Emile said, "I have - but it's just a myth isn't it?"
"No. Years ago, when Mustafa the magician died, he left two lamps: a golden one with endless wishes and a black lamp with only one. Mustafa was my father and left the lamps to me. But my sister, Lavinia, was jealous and stole the golden lamp. She has taken it to the future and is using it for evil purposes. The lamp must be returned soon or it will lose its magic powers. Please use your wish to find it for me. "
Emile hesitated. He'd wanted to become rich but the old man's pleading was very convincing. After a pause, Emile said, "Alright; I'll go." The old man was so grateful that he hugged him. Emile said, "Genie, take me to the golden lamp." The genie clapped his hands and whoosh... Emile and Mocha vanished. They then found themselves on the rainy streets of Manhattan.
Bella and Clara were ducking into a junk store to escape the rain. The store was full of old bits and bobs. Bella walked around peering at the antiques when she caught sight of a golden lamp that was shimmering like the sun. Bella took it up to the counter but the old woman standing there said in a wicked voice, "That shouldn't be on display!" She snatched the lamp, put it under the counter and disappeared into a back room.
As soon as she had gone, Bella seized the lamp. It seemed to have a hold over her. She smoothed her hand over the jewels. At once, a genie sprang out. "What is it you wish for Mistress?"
"Well," said Bella surprised, "now that you ask, I would like a brother."
"As is your command." The genie clapped his hands. "Now take me away from this witch Lavinia." Bella tucked the lamp under her jacket and sprinted out of the shop with Clara at her heels.
Emile was sitting on the pavement in the rain when Bella's parents walked past. Her dad stopped and said, "Look at that poor boy and scruffy monkey. It is so cruel that some children have no home."
"Well we could look after him - for the night that it," said Bella's mum.
Emile was depressed and scared. He had come to the future to find a lamp but had no idea where to look for it. At that point, Bella's parents walked over to him.
Bella was at home already, watching the news, when her parents arrived with Emile. He looked at the television and was amazed to see a man in a box talking. "Is that a genie?" he asked.
Bella's parents laughed. "There's no such thing as a genie," they said.
"Yes there is," said Bella holding up the golden lamp.
Emile gasped. "The golden lamp!"
"What about it and who are you?" asked Bella.
Just then, Mocha jumped up, grabbed the lamp out of Bella's hands and ran towards Emile. The door flung open and Lavinia was standing there. She grabbed Mocha by the scruff of the neck. He dropped the lamp but Clara caught it in her mouth and ran to Bella. She began to rub it and the genie sprang out. "Turn this witch into a dog." Bella commanded. The old woman dropped Mocha and found herself in the form of a mongrel.
Emile said, "I have been sent here to return the golden lamp to its rightful owner."
In Tabas, the old man was sitting down by his stall when an ugly old mongrel dog, carrying the golden lamp, fell out of the sky. "Yahoo!" he cried. "The lamp is back." Then he looked at the dog, "You're so ugly; you remind me of my sister!"
Emile decided to stay in Manhattan. He loved Bella's family they wanted to adopt him. In the end, everyone was happy - even Fate.