From August 18-31, 2009, the
The Unofficial Podcast, and
AIO Wiki teamed up to bring fans an opportunity to prove
themselves the biggest Passages fan to win cool prizes.
Participants went through a several-step process. First, each
contestant was required to visit each of the individual sites to
find five questions about Passages, set up in a scavenger
hunt style. A total of fifteen questions were asked of the
contestants, and all the answers could be found within the pages of the
official Passages Site and the
Next, participants had the opportunity to create their own
Passages episode or story. It was up to them how they wanted to
do it. It could be a short script, a plot summary, or any method
they chose -- as long as it impressed the judges and seemed as if it
could fit into the Passages series. Contestants could use
characters from the existing books or come up with some of their
own. Oncethey collected the answers to all the questions and
fine-tuned their Passages stories, all they had to do to be
considered was submit their answers and stories via a contest
This contest was set up in such a way
that readers, as well as those who have never opened a Passages
book, could participate for Adventures in Odyssey prizes.
had a commercial to get contestants excited! Thanks to our friend Kevin at the
Ceiling Fan Podcast for his creativity and audio
Choosing Winners Between the three sites, as well as promotion from the
this contest sparked a lot of interest. A total of 48 contestants
submitted their answers anda Passages story.For a
writing contest, having 48 contestants is quite a large number,
considering writing intimidates some people and takes a good amount
of effort.Even with so
many entries, the judging had to take place. As a team, Jacob Isom
(The Odyssey Scoop) and Chris P. from The Unofficial Podcast judged the entries as fairly as possible.
The winners' plot summaries have been judged by their creativity,
originality, and Biblical integration.
And now, our
Grand Prize Winner: Erin S., age 25
Runner Ups: Ryan S., age 22 Peter S., age 17 Michaela B. age 12 Lizzie G., age 20
Honorable Mention: Rachel D., age 12 Stephen S., age 21 Erica G., age 18 Christian A., age 13
of us from the Odyssey Scoop,
The Unofficial Podcast, and
AIO Wiki would like to congratulate
Erin S., our grand prize
winner. She will receive a free copy of the audio adaptation of
Passages: Darien's Rise.
Our runner ups (Ryan. S., Peter S., Michaela B., and Lizzie G.) will
all receive a poster of the Darien's Rise cover artwork
signed by the Adventures in Odyssey team. You can read our
five winners' entries below, along with the judges' comments as to
why these entries were chosen as the best. You can also take a look
at the stories of our four Honorable Mention participants.
Contestants, if you're dying to know the answers to our scavenger
hunt questions, we've got those below as well.
All of these fabulous prizes are compliments of Focus on the Family
and the creators of Adventures in Odyssey! Thanks, Focus on
the Family! And, as always, a big thanks goes out to everyone who
participated in The Ultimate Passages Fan Scavenger Hunt!
All answers could be found within the pages of the official
Site and the Official Site. Highlight for answers. Answers are provided
first, followed by a reference to the section at the Passages
site where the answer is located. Out of 48 contestants, 47 answered
at least 10 of the 15 correctly to be considered for prizes.
Congratulations, Passages sleuths!
The Odyssey Scoop 1. What is the 43rd word in Chapter 1 of
Darien's Rise, not
including the chapter title?
(Kyle, Read a Chapter) 2. Which city is nearest to Darien's family home?
Marus) 3. What actor will voice Mr. Whittaker in the audio adaptation of
Darien's Rise? (Andre Stojka,
Official Podcast #75) 4. Darien's home is located on the edge of which city?
Marus) 5. What color is Anastasia's hair?
The Unofficial Podcast 1. Which city is an ally of Marus?
(Gotthard, Explore Marus) 2. What's the name of Kyle and Anna's uncle?
(Bill, Read a Chapter) 3. Who rescues Anna from being sold as a slave?
(The Old Judge, Characters) 4. In which city did Darien defeat Commander Soren? (Glendale,
Explore Marus) 5. Who is the author of Passages?
(Paul McCusker, Video Interview)
AIO Wiki 1. What is the site of the Adrians' first attack?
(Territory of Peace, Krawley; Explore Marus) 2. Who is Darien's father?
(Torbin, Characters) 3. Fill in the blank: "The Chronicle of the ____"
(Chosen, Read a Chapter) 4. What city did King Lawrence use as his headquarters in the war
against the Palatians?
(Kellen, Explore Marus) 5. What is the 111th word from the end of Chapter 1 of
Rise, counting backwards? (Anna,
Read a Chapter)
Stories from our Winners The story of our grand
prize winner Erin S. is presented first. All runner up stories are
not presented in any particular order.
Untitled Story Erin S., age 25 Grand Prize Winner
Characters: Jeremiah Thompson—June's twin brother, much more outgoing than
June, sometimes "speaks for her" in unfamiliar situations,
paralyzed from the waist down from a drunk driving incident as a
toddler that took their mother June Thompson—Jeremiah's twin sister, very quiet, stopped
talking altogether until she was four as a response to their
mother's death, helps Jeremiah when he needs it (Jeremiah and
June are very close and usually get along pretty well) Ben Thompson—father of Jeremiah and June, has had a hard time
dealing with his wife's death, but is usually good humored and a
good father Rachael Thompson—mother of Jeremiah and June, died in a drunk
driving incident when they were toddlers "Bear"—nickname of the girl the diary the children find, becomes
a prophetess who predicts the desolation of Marus (represents
Jeremiah) "Taz"— nickname of the boy the diary the children find, thinks
of himself as strong and independent until his experience in
Marus Zerich—prophet who predicts desolation of Marus (represents
Isaiah) King Mirad—last king of Marus Eli—comes with the favor of the king to help Marus rebuild
(represents Ezra and Nehemiah) King Rulin— King of Palatia, has a policy of tolerance, and
Josiah has made a good enough impression on him that he looks on
the people of Marus with favor (represents King Artaxerxes) Ichabin and Toaz—Enemies of Marus, work against Josiah and
has spontaneously decided to buy an old house on the verge of
being torn down, move himself and his two children (Jeremiah and
June) there, and fix it up. The story begins with June outside
planting flowers and Jeremiah tossing a ball around nearby. The
two children are discussing (and occasionally complaining about)
their father's strange move and wonder if it has anything to do
with their mother's death, though it's been almost ten years.
Suddenly, June hits something with her trowel and digs up an old
tackle box. The two children pry it open, and discover it's a
time capsule. Inside are some toys, a baseball cap, and a few
other items, but the most interesting is an old diary. Jeremiah
decides to read it, and June, though feeling a little guilty,
reads along over his shoulder.
turns out to be a story in the form of a diary from the point of
view of a girl nicknamed "Bear". One day in late June, her
friend "Taz" decides to break restriction and sneak out to the
movies. She later finds him in their tree house in the woods not
daring to return home. Bear tries to convince him to go home,
but instead he starts blowing bubbles pretending to ignore her.
Suddenly Taz starts seeing images in the bubbles. After not
believing him, Bear starts seeing them too. Suddenly the bubbles
grow bigger and somehow they each find themselves separated in a
place neither of them recognizes.
himself with an old man named Zerich, a prophet for the Unseen
One. At the time, he shouting at people going into what appears
to be a place of worship predicting the demise of Marus if they
don't obey the Unseen One. He explains how the people of Marus
claim to follow the Unseen One, but their actions don't match
their words, and this place called Dorr used to be a place to
worship the Unseen One (rebuilt several times), but now the
people worship whoever they want there. He agrees to let Taz
spend the night with him, but he plans to go speak to the king
in the morning, and it would be too dangerous for Taz to go with
him. During their time together, he tells Taz about the history
of Marus and what's happing now.
Bear spends the night by herself, finding shelter as best she
can. She is scared at first, and her eyes are in pain for some
reason, but suddenly, she finds herself comforted, and for some
reason, she knows where she is. The next day, the two manage to
meet up, but in a surprising way. Taz finds Bear in the village
square preaching against the people of Marus! Those that aren't
laughing at her are ignoring or whispering about her. Taz tries
to stop her, but she refuses. She later tells him there are many
things she said that she'd rather not say, but if she tries not
to speak, the Unseen One's words are like "a fire in her bones"
that would consume her if stopped.
learn of Zerich's death at the hand of the king. Eventually, Taz
helps her, even if it's just by being the only one that listens
to her. In the end, Palatia captures Marus and drives everyone
out as slaves. Though both Taz and Bear are sad, Bear tells Taz
that the Unseen One promised the city would one day be rebuilt.
Eventually, both Taz and Bear make it back, humbled by their
experience. Taz goes back to his parents and admits what he did,
willing to accept punishment as long as they were willing to
June are surprised it ended that way. No more Marus? June grabs
the diary and tries to flip through it to see if it continues,
but a strong wind suddenly takes it and she chases after it with
Jeremiah chasing after her. They suddenly find themselves
running through Marus and meet up with a man named Eli, who has
the favor of the king to help rebuild Marus. They help him, and
he continues the story where the diary leaves off. They also see
how different Marus is after the exile, continuing to persevere
despite opposition. Apparently the Unseen One has finally gotten
their attention and turned it where it should be.
finally return, June flips through the book again and discovers
the author of the diary has signed her name on the last page:
Rachel Carver – their mother's maiden name. They are excited to
learn more of their mom and decide to ask their dad if he knew
anything about the diary. Instead of answering right away, he
takes them to the book of Jeremiah in the Bible and explains how
he and their mom chose their names...
Judges' Remarks: I personally thought this entry was the best of the best,
as it gave a brief overview of who the characters are and
where they fit within the story. We sifted through many
entries and this was the only one to include these details.
Also, the story was very creative in that Erin weaved the
story of the Odyssey family in and made it connect with the
Biblical account of Jeremiah. Congratulations, Erin! -
Highly creative, strong
characters, and great Biblical parallel. I especially loved
how it was the children's grandmother who originally visited
Marus. This nicely matches up with the chronology of the
original Passages series. Great work, Erin!-
Faithfulness Peter S., age 17 Runner Up
After James Curtis had mysteriously
disappeared, Whit and Jack no longer found any more of the
manuscripts. Whit was allowed to make copies of the manuscripts
and he put them in Whit's End Library where they were read quite
often by the children. Some had even written a variation of the
first and had performed it in Little Theater.
Much later, Whit's church was holding an
auction to raise money for a charity. Whit decided that it was a
good excuse to clean out some of the random objects that had
accumulated in the basement of Whit's End over the years. He
picked a rainy day to do it when he expected very few children
would be coming in. After finding many long-forgotten gadgets
and inventions of his from years ago, Whit made an important
discovery. In an old suitcase lying on top of another stack of
boxes, Whit found some his old college papers of. But that isn't
all. He also pulled out a strangely familiar, musty, old
notebook. On the front were inscribed the words: "The Chronicles
of the Faithful".
Whit immediately called up Jack. Jack was
soon there in the basement flipping through the notebook in
astonishment. It was definitely another one of the manuscripts
and written by the same hand. Whit got up and flipped a switch
on the wall, which illuminated a single light bulb hanging from
the ceiling over an old workbench with two chairs. The two men
seated themselves. Whit opened the notebook to the first page
and began to read it out loud.
The story starts with two Odyssey kids in
the year 1943, Robert and Barbara (more commonly called Rob and
Barb). On the way home from an average day of school at Odyssey
Middle School, the town's air raid alarm was set off. In reality
it was just a practice, but it startled the kids just as much
and they joined a crowd of people dodging into the air raid
shelter in the bottom of the Fillmore Recreation Center. While
there, the two are accidentally pushed through though a doorway
where there is a short flight of stairs. As they fall there is a
flash of light. Instead of landing on a cement floor, however,
Robert lands in a pigpen, and Barbara lands in a grassy yard.
Barbara is taken in by the family that owns
the yard. Robert is set on his way by the pig's owner and meets
Florian (Jeremiah) in a nearby town where Florian is preaching.
Florian describes to Robert how he was chosen by the Unseen One
to warn of its evil ways, but the people rarely listen. Florian
is faithful to the Unseen One by doing all He tells him to which
includes: warning King Hamish (King Neco) of Palatia (Egypt) not
to attack Marus, buying a pot and smashing it as a metaphor,
wearing a yoke before King Cadmus of Marus, and often
prophesying. Throughout Florian's story, he is persecuted and
ridiculed often. He is beaten and chained, imprisoned in the
basement of a man named Harkin (Jonathan)'s house, and thrown
in an old well filled with mud. Robert serves Florian by writing
God's words to Florian as Florian dictates them. At one point,
Robert (as Baruch) must read Florian's scroll to the king and
the king burns it piece by piece. Barbara meets up with Robert
once again when Florian is jailed in the basement Harkin's
house. She had been staying with Harkin's family. Finally, Marus
is being threatened by Adria (Babylonia), and against Florian's
prophecies, the citizens all to Palatia (Egypt) for protection.
They are warned by the Unseen One through Florian they will die
there, but few listen. Florian reluctantly goes along with them.
It is during this journey that Robert and Barbara are sleeping
in a tent for the night, when they are suddenly on a cement
floor-back in the basement of the Fillmore Recreation Center!
Whit and Jack were again very curious as to
the chronicler of the manuscripts and just how many manuscripts
there were. The two got up from the table to stretch their legs.
Then Jack helped Whit carry a few boxes for the auction upstairs
and outside to where Whit had parked his car. After stuffing the
boxes in the trunk, Whit closed up the shop, bid Jack Allen
goodbye, and drove back to his cozy home.
As Whit pulled up to his driveway, he
noticed that the flag on his mailbox was turned down. He had
turned it up earlier, so evidently he had received mail. Whit
stopped the car, reached out the window, and opened the mailbox.
Sure enough, inside the mailman had dropped off a thin yellow
package that felt like it contained a thin book of some sort.
Whit couldn't remember having ordered any book recently. There
was no return address on the label, and the postmark had been
smeared by the rain. He ripped open the end and pulled out what
This story had a lot of believability tied with it. The
publishing of the manuscripts and their placement in the
Whit's End Library was certainly a nice touch. Not only
that, the creativity of the author of this plot brings in
little details, such as the Fillmore Recreation Center, that
older AIO fans would like in a future Passages story. The
Biblical parallel is somewhat challenging to unearth, but
brings with it a joy like that of reading Passages for the
first time. - JACOB
how this story transpires after the events in the sixth
Passages novel. This entry could almost be the seventh
manuscript! Peter does a fantastic job referencing key
landmarks in Odyssey before diving into the land of Marus. - CHRIS
Drake's Treachery Ryan S., age 22 Runner Up
In the beginning, Someone created the
heavens and the earths. He created the beasts, the vegetation
and, in a certain world, the moons. On the sixth day, He
created Man with three blue eyes, so that he would be wise, and
with whom He was friends. Together, the unseen Someone and Man
walked through the most fertile part of this world, which the
Unseen One christened "The Glen." But Man could not see the
Unseen One and was lonely, so the Unseen One gave him a visible
companion. Man was put to sleep, and whilst asleep, had one of
his eyes removed. From this eye, the Unseen One created Woman,
and He made her eyes green, so that she would be shrewd and
intelligent. Together, the three of them inhabited The Glen,
and were content, and so would remain, as long as Man and Woman
did not stray from The Glen.
In another world, twelve-year-old Drake
Knowles had had enough. He was sick to death of hearing
everyone in his family go on and on about God and Jesus and all
that junk. When his eighteen-year-old brother was killed in
Vietnam only two weeks before his thirteenth birthday, he had
finally decided that there was no God. Rebelling against his
family and disobeying his father's warnings, Drake hopped on his
bike and took off for the harbor to vent. A horrible accident
at the docks resulted in his drowning and death. He was buried
next to his brother.
Drake woke up, lying in a sparkling green
clearing in a wood. When the Unseen One spoke to him and told
him that He had a plan for him, he refused to listen and ran
from The Glen. Because he rebelled against the Unseen One,
Drake was cursed to have long life and to be eternally separated
from Him. In his anger, Drake lost it mentally and became
In a plot against the Unseen One, Drake
found that His favorite creations were Man and Woman. He
observed them for several years before approaching Woman at the
edge of The Glen one day with the perfect plan. On the
outskirts of The Glen was a clear brook, and Drake tempted
Woman, saying that if only she were to drink from the brook, she
would be more intelligent than even the Unseen One. Her will
was weak, and she invited her husband to partake as well.
Because she was cunning, she was able to persuade Man to come to
the brook, and they drank. Great was their shame when they
realized what they had done. The Unseen One was both angry at
and sad with them, and they all left The Glen to live a hard
Furious at the love the Unseen One
continued to show towards Man and Woman, Drake vowed to tempt
every living human being on the planet from that time on to join
him against Him. A hundred years after their departure from The
Glen, Man and Woman had a son, which was named Gott, and a
daughter, who was named Anemone. Knowing that the son was
weaker, Drake formed a new plot against him, a plot which would
forever change the people of this world, and the land that would
eventually become known as Marus.
Ironically, this unique account of the Garden of Eden was
the first contest entry we received, but we found that as we
narrowed down the entries when judging, this one was
impossible to discard. The irony within the story is perfect
with the use of an Odyssey character's siding with and
becoming evil made the story much more appealing. -
Wildly imaginative and irresistibly
compelling, this one-of-a-kind tale kept me at the edge of
my seat (and nearly knocked me off of it once or twice). I
would certainly be curious to hear the unabridged version of
this narrative. ;o)
Untitled Story Michaela B., age 12 Runner Up
Two kids, a 12 year old girl named Rachel
Clair and a 14 year old boy named Tommy Hilden are taken to
Marus when Tommy gets sent to juvenile detention for breaking
into Rachel's house. Rachel goes to visit Tommy and pray for him
when the jail turns into a servant's shelter in the home of
Kalor. Kalor has 7 sons and 3 daughters. The sons' names are
Kitka, who is 25, Malidon, who is 23, Heltsa, who is 18, Remida,
who is 14, Cargias and Komren, who are 11, and Malkit, who is 9.
The girls names are Reilla, who is 20, Kaltesta, (becomes a good
friend of Rachel) who is 12, and Portilla, who is 6. Kalor is a
very rich man owning many animals, vehicles, forests, orchards,
fields, a huge house, slaves, (he calls them servants,) and lots
of land. He is also a devout follower of the Unseen one. He
lives in Marus, during the reign of Darien.
One day, Rachel, who has the different
color eyes, has a weird vision and says to Kalor that all his
land has been taken over by the Palatians. She says that the
Palatians took captive the servants at the site, taken the land,
cut down the trees, and taken away the animals. Tommy has taken
this place as some sort of weird joke, and refuses to do much of
any thing. He tells Kalor it isn't true, and he doesn't need to
believe what Rachel says. Kalor replies it would be a sin to not
believe the Unseen One's Message. "Besides, your eyes are not
different colors." he says. That makes Tommy angrier, and he
runs away from the house, stumbling upon a group of raiders from
Albany. They ask him to join them in taking over some of Kalor's
land. He gladly agrees.
Meanwhile, Rachel has another vision and
tells Kalor that the rest of his land has been taken over by the
Albanians. Again, all the trees are down, the servants are
captured, and the animals have been taken away. Kalor is
The very next day, Rachel says that a
terrible drought has reached his crops, and they have all died.
"How shall I feed my family?" Kalor says. Rachel answers that a
terrible wind has blown against Kitka's house, where all the
children were feasting and all have died. Kalor cries out, "Oh,
Unseen One, have mercy on me!! That night, bugs infested the
house of Kalor. Kalor was bitten head to feet. His wife told him
to curse the Unseen One, but Kalor refused to.
Meanwhile, Tommy finds his way back to Kalor's home and begs
Rachel for forgiveness, and she forgives him. A couple days
later, all Kalor's neighbors come forward and fight the
Palatians and Albanians off. Kalor's health is fully restored,
his wife apologizes, and they are blessed with more children.
Rachel and Tommy are at a party at Kalor's when the house fades
way back to the juvenile detention.
Throughout the contest we had noticed that some
contestants focused on some of the same Bible stories. In other
words, some Bible stories were more popular than others. In
the end, we had small collections of retellings of some of
the same stories, but this one is the only one that took on
the challenge of retelling the story of Job. Also, the
interest was in the details of this winner's fiction. -
This particular story reminded me of "Darien's Rise," as
it is the younger sister who remains faithful to the Unseen
One. I liked how the older brother initially rejects his
sister's words, but ultimately asks for forgiveness. Nice
Biblical parallel, too! -
Darien's Fall Lizzie G., age 20 Runner-Up
The Voice and the Protector have returned
to Marus, but is the King the same man he was 30 years ago?
It is January 15, 1962, and teenagers Anna
and Kyle are trekking down a snowy path in a thinned-out wood
formerly known as the Black Forest. Now, it serves as proof
that Odyssey is growing. Houses and buildings have sprung up,
though not as quickly as the trees have fallen.
On this white, winter day, this boy and
this girl find themselves the only ones out and about. And what
is it that has torn them away from the warmth and the safety of
"It's just a feeling, Kyle, but I haven't
felt so strongly about anything in… years."
He met his sister's earnest gaze, then,
without a word of protest, reached for his coat.
And now here they were, venturing toward
that old house that had ushered them into Marus three years
ago. They continued on, even when the un-forecasted snow began
to fall thickly. There would be no point in turning around; the
nearest shelter was ahead, not behind. So they pressed on.
I won't say how long they walked, or how
cold they got, or describe the shudder of fear that went through
Kyle when he lost sight of Anna, because all those details pale
in comparison to what happened next.
Kyle found himself heavily garbed, not in
winter coast and hat, but in armor. Directly in front of him
lay the gates to a city he had never seen before… but he had no
time to linger there in open-mouthed astonishment.
A bullet suddenly whizzed past his face,
and a voice, emerging from the fray of battle, called out,
"Don't stand there, boy – here, here!"
Kyle didn't hesitate, but followed the
voice to safety… if crouching behind an overturned train car
while bullets are flying can be considered "safe." There were
four other men hiding there, wearing uniforms he recognized.
Anna was dizzy when she came to. Dizzy,
but not frightened. She was waking up on a soft couch, but she
knew she was no longer at home, and that the person asking her
if she was alright was not Kyle.
She opened her eyes and saw a young man
peering at her anxiously. He looked unfamiliar and yet,
somehow, familiar! Wide awake now, she tried to sit up, but was
rewarded with a throbbing pain in her head. "Owww… where am I?"
"You're in my home, and you're safe," the
young man said, moving unsteadily into a chair sitting by the
couch. "My servant found you outside in the yard. Looks like
you fell out of the tree there." He gestured toward an unseen
window, then paused. "Anyway, I'm glad you're alright."
Anna thanked him for his kindness, but
still couldn't make it all compute. Fallen out of a tree? She
didn't remember falling from anywhere. Bewildered, she looked
around the room and at her rescuer. The man had mentioned
having a servant… how could that be, when he seemed like a
peasant himself, and his home, one of the poorest shacks she had
One thing, however, did not trouble Anna,
and it was the most important thing of all: she knew she was in
Marus, because she had had a dream the night before… a dream
more vivid and real than any she had ever experienced in her
world… a dream from the Unseen One.
While fighting for his life against the
Palatians, Kyle stumbles on a plot by one of the Marutians to
kill one of his fellow soldiers! Though unable to stop the
assassination, he vows to tell King Darien about this treachery
upon his return to the capital city. When he finds out that the
man responsible for this murder was none other than Darien
himself, however, Kyle's world is thrown violently upside down.
What has become of his childhood hero, the valiant and noble
Meanwhile, Anna finds herself in the
company of Prodigar, the only son of Prince George. Because of
King Darien's tumultuous relationship with his grandfather,
Lawrence, Prodigar has been living in hiding most of his life,
certain that that is his only chance of survival. Anna,
however, is determined to reunite them.
Their paths converge in the capital city of
Marus, where introducing Prodigar to Darien becomes the least of
Anna's worries. She must work up the courage to confront the
King himself on behalf of the Unseen One, while Kyle struggles
with his bitterness and the desire to ignore that sick feeling
in his stomach when the King is forced to flee the city and once
again hide in caves – this time pursued by his own son, Prince
This manuscript, titled the Chronicle of
Redemption, is a story of healing, forgiveness, and the mercy of
the Unseen One, Who not only cherishes His cracked vessels, but
can still use them to accomplish His will in great and mighty
The very first sentence caught my eye and kept me
reading. Not only is the writing colorful and strong, the
creative play off of "Darien's Rise" to "Darien's Fall"
brought our contestant to a level of uniqueness unmatched.
Why would readers of the first Passages book pass up this
future story? It's genius! -
One of the more captivating entries we
received, this story could almost be considered a sequel to
"Darien's Rise." I enjoyed Lizzie's use of rich
descriptions, which provided depth and detail to a story
that could have otherwise been quite bland.
We enjoyed your stories so much
we had to share four of our other favorites! Honorable Mention stories
are not presented in any particular order.
Untitled Story Rachel D., age 12 Honorable Mention
Hope, an 11 year old who tries to live up to her name, is
preparing for bed one evening, when she glances in the mirror and finds
herself in the bedroom of the queen of Marus. Lady Guildoff, one of the
queen's assistants, discovers her and soon the two become close.
Hope also meets King Evontide, whom she classifies as
"someone I know I can trust." However, just three days after Hope has
arrived, the king and Queen leave to finalize the preparations for a new
castle in the east. The king reminds the entire castle of his few
rules, which prohibit uncouth behaviour of any sort, with the
consequence of death.
The very next day, Lord Pretorius, the king's own
advisor, takes over the castle and begins breaking all of the king's
guidelines, along with his many followers. They host wild parties and
begin engaging in disgraceful behavior. Soon, almost all the castle
joins in. Lady Guildoff and Hope are the only two in the castle who
resist Lord Pretorius and his tactics.
Hope tries and tries to make Lord Pretorius understand
his errors, but he insists that since the king will not be back for
months, there is no reason to worry. He claims that "everything will be
under control by the time the king arrives," and will not change his
ways, although Hope points out that they have no idea when the king is
planning to return. Finally she gives up and even begins to lose her
hope when the king fails to return after several weeks.
What's more, Lady Guildoff gives into temptation, telling
Hope, "it's simply the best party ever given here. How can I say no?"
But soon she becomes a regular in the ballroom every night. "Hope dear,
why don't you come with me?" she even asked once. Hope knew later that
she shouldn't have, but she agreed. She had a fabulous time, also…until
she realized her mistake the next morning. She felt horrible and
terrified of the king. But she would do what she should when the time
However, one night, as the rowdiest party ever is
underway, the king suddenly appears. The partygoers are shocked and
begin denying what they were doing. King Evontide is appalled that his
friends would go against his specific orders and orders them all
killed. The next day, everyone who had gone against his wishes is
beheaded in the courtyard. Hope, scared, hides under her bed during it
The king decides to reward Hope for her faithfulness by
inviting her to live in his new castle. At that point, Hope breaks down
and confesses, ending with "Will you please forgive me?"
King Evontide smiles and says, "Of course, because you
asked forgiveness, unlike those other rabble-rousers, I would be happy
to welcome you into my kingdom."
that she cannot, she has to return home. She stands before the same
mirror she entered by and finds herself back in her hometown of Odyssey.
Untitled Story Stephen S., age 21 Honorable Mention
Two kids find a tunnel which they explore. It has many
different passages and they get lost in its maze. Finding a hatch in the
ceiling of one of the passages, they climb up into it. They climb some
stairs and discover they have just come out of the cargo hold of a ship.
It is a warship in a battle with other ships. The kids are discovered
and brought on deck where the captain sees that they have different
colored eyes and says they are messengers. They are defending a ship
that appears to be dead in the water. It has no lights. When the kids
look through the scope they see that its name is Marus. They must defeat
the invading fleet, and the two sea monsters. They fight the sea
monsters, which disappear. The captain has the kids take a lifeboat over
to the lead enemy ship, where they meet pirates. When they go below
deck, they are in another world – one that is coming to an end. The
pirates rule it and the sea has turned to blood. There are two pirate
forces at war with each other. The pirate with the kids wants to capture
one of the sea monsters in the other place to use on his enemies even
though this will destroy his own world.
The pirate king and the kids journey back to the other
place and take a sub down to where the sea monster laid its eggs. He
gets one, but sees the Marus ship when they resurface. Its lights have
just come on. The pirate king wants to build his empire in the young
world of Marus. They go into Marus via the Marus ship, taking the
monster's egg with them. Once there, they see the beginnings of that
world – including its first people. The Pirate King offers these people
the egg in exchange for making him king instead of the "Seen One." The
people accept, and the "Seen One" becomes the "Unseen One." The kids
join with other two-colored eye beings and fight the Pirate King who
throws the egg into the sea before being killed. The kids and the beings
then go to the other place where they discover that a full-scale war is
going on between the ships. The pirate ship eventually sinks, but one of
the allied ships also sinks.
is over, and the Captain has everyone stand on deck in a ceremony, honoring their lost comrades. The two-colored eye beings take a life
boat back to the Marus boat, and the kids go below deck to try and get
back to Odyssey. They don't know the way, but they discover a bean plant
below deck that always grows and points towards the sun. Next to it is
the symbol of the Seen One, who is now invisible, but who had apparently
been there the whole time. They use the bean plant to find their way
through the tunnels and back to Odyssey.
Rida's Loyalty Erika G., age 18 Honorable Mention
The Palatian navy fiercely attacked the shores of Marus.
Ardell, a wealthy factory owner, was wanted by Palatia because of
valuable information that he had. Fearing for his family's safety, he
decided to flee to Adria. Before escaping, he entrusted his factory to
the son of his best friend, Badilon. In Adria, Ardell, Natania, his
wife, and their two sons lived in hiding. As the war raged on in Marus,
Ardell's two sons fell in love with and married two Adrian maidens.
One day, Ardell fell ill. Before taking his final breath,
he passed his factory down to his eldest son. Shortly thereafter, they
received word that Marus was at peace. Natania, her two sons, and her
two daughters-in-law started back to Marus. At an inn just outside the
Adrian border, raiders attacked. In an attempt with others to save the
innkeeper's family and guests, both of Natania's sons died. After the
burial, Natania gave her daughters-in-law a choice: continue on with her
to her hometown in Marus, or return to their families in Adria. Rida
chose to go with Natania, while her sister-in-law chose to stay.
Meanwhile, in the little town of Odyssey, Jane slowly
walked through the woods looking for a place to sit and write. Suddenly
she noticed a fog rolling in. Common sense said to return home. Jane's
imagination and hope of adventure urged her to check it out herself.
Jane cautiously ventured through the fog. Soon, she found
herself at the wood's edge. A village lay before her, and it was unlike
anything she had ever seen.
Jane soon meets up with Natania and Rida and after
hearing their story accompanies them on their return journey to
Natania's hometown. Needing an income, Rida and Jane went together to
work in a woolen mill factory. The factory in which they worked belonged
to a man named Badilon. He showed great kindness to Rida. Jane and
Natania soon noticed that Rida and Badilon loved each other. Together
the three women planned how they could urge this honorable man to take
Rida as his wife.
However, Rapiman, a big factory owner, sought to claim
the contract of Badilon's prosperous factory. After Rida confessed her
wish to marry Badilon, it was discovered that because Rida had been
married to Ardell's eldest and the factory Badilon oversaw had been
Ardell's Rida was the true owner of the factory. According to contract
the factory had to remain in Ardell's family, so in order for anyone to
receive the factory as their own they would have to marry Rida. Of
course since Rida was of an enemy nation, Rapiman didn't want to marry
her, no matter how much he wanted the factory. So, Badilon was able to
marry Rida. Almost a year after the marriage, they had a son who they
end of the manuscript Whit found a note which read "Badilon begat Omar,
and Omar begat Torbin, and Torbin begat Darien."
The Chronicles of the Consecrated Christian A., age 13 Honorable Mention
"This is so weird!" Christian said to himself. He had
fallen into a well in the woods of Odyssey but when he came out of the
water he was no longer in Odyssey, or even the woods. He was in this
strange country called Marus where he met a man named Sorkah who seemed
to have super strength that came from a being called the Unseen One.
Sorkah told Christian that soon after he was born the Unseen One told
his father and mother that He had chosen Sorkah to deliver Marus from
the hold of the Palations.
The Unseen One had told Andre, Sorkah's father who was a
welder, to make a ring of silver. Once the ring was finished the Unseen
One wrote strange words on it that only He could understand. He told
Andre that Sorkah was to be consecrated as a holy man of the Unseen
One's choosing and that as long as Sorkah wore the silver ring He would
give him supernatural strength.
Soon after he entered Marus, Christian's eyes changed
colors. He started having visions in which the Unseen One spoke to him
giving him messages to deliver to Sorkah. One message warned about a
beautiful but wicked woman named Amelia who had been hired by the
Palations to trick and capture Sorkah. Christian gave the message to
Sorkah but he did not listen. He had fallen in love with Amelia and
refused to believe the truth.
One night as Amelia was massaging Sorkah's head, she
said, "Sorkah, my love, tell me what makes you so strong."
"I was told by the Unseen One not to reveal my secret
except to the people that He releases me to tell it to," Sorkah replied.
"If you don't tell me," said Amelia, "then it's obvious
that you don't really love me. How can you love someone and keep secrets
"Amelia, my darling, I do love you! You must believe me!
The thing that makes me so strong is this silver ring. As long as I have
it on, the Unseen One gives me power."
"Now I know that you truly do love me. Now just lie down
Sorkah soon fell asleep and Amelia left his room.
Christian had seen everything from an outside window and remembered the
warning about Amelia being hired to trick and capture Sorkah. Christian
tried to open and crawl through the window to warn Sorkah, but just as
he had opened the window and started to crawl into the house, someone
grabbed him from behind and covered his mouth. It was Amelia! Christian
tried to get away from her, but no matter what he did, he couldn't get
free from her grip.
Amelia whistled and suddenly she and Christian were
surrounded by a small army of Palatians. The head soldier walked up to
Amelia and gave her what looked like a bag of gold coins. Amelia then
led about twenty men into the room where Sorkah was sleeping. She took
off his ring and gave it to the man in charge. The other men then tied
Sorkah up in chains and woke him up. Sorkah tried to get loose of the
chains but his strength had left him.
The Palatians took Sorkah and Christian and made them
prisoners. They made Sorkah work long, hard hours welding and making
silverware for the king of Palatia. Sorkah was grieved and prayed to the
Unseen One. He asked forgiveness for not heeding the warning about
Amelia and for disobeying by telling her his secret when he had not been
released to do so.
Just as Sorkah finished praying these things, Christian
went into another vision. In the vision the Unseen One told Christian
that because Sorkah had repented, he was forgiven. After that, He told
Christian the directions for making the silver ring that Sorkah had had
before and told him to tell Sorkah to make the ring. He also told
Christian that as soon as Sorkah put the ring on He would once again
give him supernatural strength. "I will soon provide a way for Sorkah to
finally fulfill the plan I had for him," said the Unseen One. "He will
deliver Marus from the hold of Palatia,, but he must not use the
strength I will return to him until I tell him to. Tell Sorkah
everything you have seen and heard in this vision."
Christian followed the instructions given to him and told
Sorkah all about the vision. Sorkah got to work right away making the
ring and after he was finished the Unseen One inscribed on it the same
strange words that He had inscribed on his last ring.
A few days later a man came to the jail to get Sorkah.
"The King wants to show off our once mighty foe at the party that was
thrown to celebrate his defeat," the man said with a chuckle. Sorkah
knew Christian didn't want to be left alone and told the man that he had
become sick in the jail and was nearly blind. "May the boy come with us
to be my guide so that you won't have to lead me around throughout the
party?" The man agreed and took them both to a giant pavilion on top of
the King's palace where the party was being held. The Pavilion had a few
big and beautiful pillars that held up its roof. There were thousands of
Palatians there including the king himself.
The man who had led them to the pavilion then got
everyone's attention and said sarcastically, "Here he is, folks! The
mighty Sorkah!" As everyone laughed and mocked him, Sorkah heard the
Unseen One say, "It's time. After this day the people of Marus, My
people, will be free from the hold of Palatia." Right then Sorkah knew
what to do.
Pretending to be blind and weak, he asked Christian to
assist him in placing his hands on the two pillars nearest to them. Once
Christian had done this Sorkah pushed on the pillars with all of his
Christian realized that Sorkah was going to break the
pillars making the roof fall and killing everyone in the pavilion
including himself! He panicked and looked over the edge of the palace.
He saw that there was an Olympic size swimming pool about four stories
down. He was scared, but he knew that this was his only chance of
staying alive, so he jumped off of the edge of the palace. He heard
screaming and the roof of the pavilion falling as he was in the air
falling towards the pool.
fell into the swimming pool with a big splash. He then felt someone grab
him and pull him towards the surface. It was his brother Sam. As soon as
Christian came out of the water, he saw that he was no longer at the
King of Palatia's palace. He had come out of a well in the woods of