Scholarship test writing: Creative Writing skills

The aim of this piece was to exercise the skill of composing a narrative using an interesting structural device. There are many such narrative devices that can be exercised to form a narrative that realises greater suspense or intrigue at different stages of the story, including epigrams, flashbacks, cliffhangers etc. In this piece, the structural device exercised is that of a “circular narrative”. For a word document version of much better presentation and formatting than what is shown here email me at



Angrily I hit the stop button on my bedside clock and drowned the noisy alarm. Oh God, why me? Outside I could see black storm clouds gathering and rumbling ominously. How appropriate, I thought, given that this was going to be the worst day of my life. Tony “Toerag” Toronis and his buddies were surely going to get me today.

All day long, one thing after another went wrong. I’d left my Maths worksheets half-finished at home on my desk, and Ms Fairchild made me to stay in at recess to complete them again from the start. Mum packed me tuna sandwiches in my lunchbox, but the extra slices of mango I’d stolen from the fridge and snuck in when she wasn’t watching had leaked everywhere to create a fusion of funky fruity fish that tasted far from pleasant. Then Mrs Diver had me write “I must not make foolish faces at my classmates during their oral presentations” fifty times in History class. Boring! The day dragged on…

Despite the unforgiving rain, I wasn’t surprised that afternoon to find Toerag and his goons loitering outside the school gates huddled beneath the shelter of a crooked, withered tree. It had been pouring all day and the gutters were swollen with rushing water. I’d called Mum and told her she had to come and pick me up, but she hadn’t arrived yet after the final bell, and I started to worry that I would have to brave the streets with Toerag and his goons in hot pursuit.

Shakespeare once said that “A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet”. Maybe he hadn’t read much Shakespeare, but Tony “Toerag” definitely didn’t agree with the nickname I’d given him. I knew he was determined to get even.

“Hey Toerag!” I yelled. Well, I wasn’t about to let him strike first!

The surly group turned as one and saw me. Toerag’s face withered like a forsaken lemon into a wicked, angry grimace. Boy, was he mad at me!

Just then I saw Mum pull up on the other side of the road. Yes! Even as they came forward to thump me, I danced across the sodden nature strip and leaped across a huge river in the gutter to land out on the road. Like a flying squadron of attack fighters, Toerag and his goons quickly followed.


I hadn’t seen the bus. It was travelling far too fast to stop. I saw the kids from my class sitting in the seats from the front rows watching me with wide eyes and open mouths. I saw the horrified white-knuckled, white-faced bus driver bearing down on both me and the end of his days transporting noisy, ungrateful brats between places. Too bad I hadn’t looked before crossing the road. My life didn’t flash before my eyes, but the image of oncoming death burnt itself forever onto my brain.

Somehow I made it across to the other lane, and the swerving bus just missed me.


Instead, the bus hit the huge puddle beside the road, right in front of Toerag and his goons. A massive wave of water leapt up and swallowed them entirely. Toerag was drenched, from head to cold, stubborn toe, and shocked, dripping and gasping for breath, he stood on the sidewalk like a stunned guppy. I got in Mum’s car and we sped away, safe and sound once again. YES!

* * *


Angrily I beat the stop button on my bedside clock and killed the noise of the alarm. Oh God, why me? Outside I could see the sun rising to dry away the tears of yesterday’s rain. How ironic, I thought, given that this was going to be the worst day of my life. Tony “Toerag” Toronis and his buddies were surely going to murder me today…

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