This month's short story theme is: Their invention was crazy. But sometimes crazy can be good, right?
By James Grace, Bunscoil McAuley Rice, Callan, Co. Kilkenny.
From the years 1957, all the way up to 1975 one of the biggest things happening throughout the globe was the space race.
The space race was a rivalry between two of the most powerful countries in the world, The United States Of America and Russia. Both were competing against each other to see who could get further in space travel.
On the 12th of April 1961, Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin completed an orbit around space. This very much frustrated America.
Three days later, on the 15th, one of the most important meetings in the history of the states was held in President Kennedy’s office at the white house:
Kennedy sat at the top of the table, with his fist over his mouth, dreading the arrival of the businessmen and NASA workers who would eventually be coming. What were they going to do to get ahead of the race? It seemed there was nothing left for them.
Finally, the swarms of people came through the door. Kennedy instantly sat up. They all found a seat along the massive table and settled themselves. The President felt obliged to say something first.
“Thank you all for coming, I know you have been very busy with work and other sorts. Of course, I have a very serious matter to discuss with you. I assume you have all heard about Russia’s orbit around space last week.”
Suddenly, a man sitting at the table leaped out of his seat.
“Obviously we’ve heard about Russia. But what are we going to do about it?” The man shouted.
Another man stood up.
“Yea he’s right! How are we supposed to beat Russia if there’s nothing else to do?” Yelled the other man.
Kennedy tried to stay positive, but yet another man stood up.
“They may as well have already beaten us!” He shouted.
Now, everyone was up shouting, screaming and yelling at one another. President Kennedy tried to quiet them down, but his voice was lost in the all the noise.
He couldn’t handle it, so he got up from his chair and walked over to the window to get some peace. Suddenly, while glaring over Washington, an idea burst over him.
A small smile grew on his face.
“How about we go to the moon.” He said aloud.
All the talking came to a stop. The entire room stared at the President.
“What?” Said a voice.
“You heard me. Let's go to the moon.”
“Go to the moon! That’s impossible!” Said another voice.
“Actually it’s not that bad of an idea.” Contradicted someone else.
One of the men walked up to Kennedy.
“I think it’s a great idea.” He said.
“If we do this we could become one of the greatest nations the world has ever seen. I know it sounds daring or challenging, but I think we can do it. So what do you say?”
On the 20th of July 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to travel to the moon.
"That's a GREAT idea!" Shouted Martin. Martin was in the middle of inventing a compass watch that brings you to the past.He had asked his friend Séan to help him.
They had written out their plans and were ready to start. The two boys spent the long afternoon collecting items they might need to use and joining them together.
It was now seven o'clock. Time for Séan to go home! The two friends said goodbye and Séan went home.
Now Martin was tired.He decided to go for a short nap even though it was too early. As he was about to put his glasses on the dressing table, something shiny caught his eye. He picked it up and examined it. It was a strange item. It looked a bit like a battery. He went and took his compass watch that was half completed and attached the battery thing to it.
Suddenly he heard a loud screeching noise. He looked up and noticed that he was in a cave. He saw stalagmites and stalactites up and down the cave. Eventually, he remembered his compass watch. It was still lying in his hand.Could his invention have worked? He took a few steps forward and saw a glint of light. He ran until he reached the light and found that it was an old stone with hieroglyphics on it!
He touched the letters carefully with his finger and suddenly in the blink of an eye, he was back at home in his bed!
What was happening?
Where was the cave?
Unfortunately, all those questions couldn't be answered.
By Zara Daly, Quay NS, Ballina, Co. Mayo
“Ssshhh!” I said to Chloe as we crept into her bedroom for a Friday night sleepover.
Chloe, Jenny and I are best friends and we were sleeping over to make an invention for ‘Invention Day’ in the school hall the next day. We chatted all night…until we fell asleep.
On Saturday, we awoke at noon in a panic! Only three hours to the competition and we hadn’t even started! We dashed downstairs, grabbed some arts and crafts supplies and tried to make something out of them!
The school hall looked amazing with buntings and balloons hanging from the ceiling and a proper stage set up. All of our families had come to watch and I was shaking with nervousness.
Mum had left my baby sister Molly with us while she talked to the other parents. “Don’t forget to feed her!” she said.
“But, Mum ... !” I cried, but she hadn’t heard.
As soon as Mum was out of sight, Molly spat her dinner back into her bowl. “Yucky!”
Jenny gave her some chips and jelly tots instead.
My heart sank into my stomach as I thought of what the judges would think of our feeble, pathetic project. What was it anyway? I still wasn’t sure! A fruit bowl? A windmill? A basket or something? A miserable pile of sticks, glue, string and paint. It was ... terrible!
I looked over at Molly and gasped! She had squirted a sachet of ketchup and a packet of jelly tots into her bowl of mashed cucumber and banana dinner and was mixing it around and laughing her head off!
“Molly!” I hissed, then hastily grabbed the bowl and started to clean up the mess.
I was so cross that I didn’t hear the footsteps coming behind me.
“And what do we have here?”
I spun around, wide-eyed, to see the judges and school principal standing in front of me! I stood there, stunned, with a bowl of gooey food in my hand and a look of shock on my face!
“I ... err ... well, we ... ummm...”
We watched in disbelief as the first judge stretched out a hand and scooped up a finger full of the horrible mush!
“No...I wouldn’t...!!!” I stammered.
“Sshh!” said the principal.
“But.....” argued Jenny.
“Ssshhhh!!!” glared the principal and put his finger to his lips.
I couldn’t believe my eyes as the first judge sniffed the mixture then slowly smeared it on her face!!!
“This face cream is amazing!” she exclaimed.
“Yes!” nodded the second judge. “I love it!”
I inched over and ‘accidentally’ elbowed our first ‘invention’ off the table and into the bin.
“So what do you call it?”
I smiled and winked at the girls. “Molly’s Magic Mixture!”
Now, looking back, twenty years older and a multi-millionaire - that was one crazy invention, but sometimes crazy is good, right?!
By Aureja Stankeviciute, St. Oliver Plunkett Primary School, Navan.
“After nearly two months of secluding herself from the outside world, she’s finally done it. She’s made a real, fully functioning, actually good looking hoverboard”
Hearing the reporter made her nervous. Really nervous. She never thought this day would come. After all, most of her inventions that were actually quite useful looking simply backfired, and the rest broke down in a couple of seconds.
“You’ll be alright, just don’t worry too much” her friend mumbled behind her. She turned around to see her friend’s kind eyes and reassuring smile. “Thank you, but are you sure I’ll be fine? Everyone will think I’m crazy” she said, looking down at her simple shoes. “We all know you’re crazy, but crazy can be good, right?” She inquired, quite obviously expecting an answer. “Right” she answered, her voice slightly quavering. Then go make your family, and me, proud” she boasted, patting her on the back.
The inventress, with her notes and board in hand, finally mustered up the courage to go through the curtain. Once she stepped out, the huge crowd cheered, and cameras flashed everywhere.
She knew she had a lot ahead of her.
By Grace O’Connor, Scoil Mhuire gan Smál, Co.Mayo.
We stood, hidden in the shadows, hardly daring to breathe. My heart pounded in my chest and the palms of my hands were sticky with sweat.
Neither of us dared to glance into the opaque, scary and overwhelming night. We knew we had to flee before they found us. We were trying so hard not to scare ourselves. But this was a horror film coming to life.
Suddenly I heard a lonely, gasp whisper. They were on one side, we were on the other. Out of nowhere, a hand rested on my shoulder. My ear picked up the screech of a banshee or ghoul. The air was cold and crisp. For a moment time seemed to stop.
Then I had a thought to run so I did. I Began to slouch so I took a rest. Time seemed to be resuming because I heard a trickle of water. I continued to advance as I felt someone was stalking and following me.
We thought they were gone but neither of us was certain. This was the first time we had experienced a real-life witness- protection scenario. We have been in witness protection for seven years. Just as we thought we were free, they found us.
Finally, we had made it safely home. We were glad that all of this was over…… for now!
By Elli May Reddy, Muire gan Smál, Claremorris, Co. Mayo.
“What’s wrong?” Grace questioned her best friend pitifully. “Adam is an amazing artist but being colour blind, he never gets the colours quite right” replied Steph. Steph’s boyfriend Adam was a growing artistic icon but he was colour blind. ”That’s never been a problem for him” protested Grace.” It wasn’t a problem until his heartless fans begged and pleaded practically forcing him, to change from black and white drawings to brightly coloured ones”. ”I think I can help” Grace claimed before standing with a smile and skipping from the room.
Grace always has crazy ideas and normally they don’t work. What gave her the idea for dogs that walk other dogs or replacing all celebrities with hamsters? Basically, Steph wasn’t expecting this to work.
Grace worked day and night. She always had ideas ready for testing but this time she wanted it to work so she tried idea after idea. Grace didn’t leave her apartment for 3 days and that worried Steph. Maybe she blew herself up or maybe she was evicted from her apartment for spilling her chemical un-colour blindness potion on the carpet, thought Steph. Meanwhile, Adam had no idea about this plan to save his career.
The next week grace swung open Steph and Adams house door excitedly. “Wow” exclaimed Adam “your energetic today”. “Yup” giggled Grace. Steph ran into the room, upon noticing Grace she went in for a hug. But as soon as she got a whiff of Grace she had turned and stepped away. Steph just new this fishy smell was part of her new cure for colour blindness. So she took Grace into the living room to question this plan before testing it on Adam.
“Why do you smell like a fisher men’s boat” began Steph, not knowing whether to be angry or cool. ”It’s all part of my plan” squeaked Grace. “Somehow I’m not surprised” responded Steph. “Look, just let me show you” reasoned Grace. She pulled a fish and a pair of 3d glasses from her backpack. Steph began laughing seriously get out your cure I don’t need to see your weird hobbies”. “This is it” whispered Grace. “no no no no your ideas are so dumb I can’t stand it. After a while, I kind of had faith in you but you had to go and ruin with a dead animal and a red and blue lensed pair of glasses? Complained Steph angrily. ”No please let me explain” pleaded her Grace. “Ok, go ahead” whispered Steph carelessly.
“Alright so if Adam wears these glasses and wants to know the colour of something he just holds up the fish to a light source making it bounce off the scales of the fish, onto the colour then through his 3D glasses forming the correct colour just amplified to fit his eyes correctly” declared Grace confidently. Steph was speechless, it sounded so professional and sciencey that she couldn’t disagree.
They walked into the kitchen where Adam was. They showed him how to use it and It worked. Adam and Steph fell into a hug of tears as Adam saw his soon-to-be wife’s eyes.
By Ellen Bracken, Presentation Primary School, Thurles, Co.Tipperary
Today was the day of the All-Ireland Young Scientists Competition. The tension was high as the judges came around the auditorium judging the inventions. The auditorium was filled with amazing inventions. Kieran, Aoife and I stood silently waiting for the judges to come to us.
Each judge seemed to have a type of invention that they were intrigued by. One judge liked inventions involving nature and plants, another judge liked inventions involving space and the last judge was interested in inventions using weather or solar power to make it work.
These inventions were normal, everyone knew what they did and we seemed to be the only ones with, I guess, a CRAZY invention that included everything.
It was our turn as the judges approached our station. ‘Good Evening scientists, how are you doing?’ asked one judge. Kieran and Aoife stood there looking as if the judge was speaking gibberish. I gulped ‘Good, ah… Thanks’. ‘Great, tell us about your invention’ the judge asked. We all stood the silently.
I mumbled it is ah… am… Eventually, I announced ‘It’s an invention that combines space, nature and solar power to see life on other planets. Kieran took over ‘you look through this glass tube that MEGA zooms into space so you can see life on other planets. Aoife then said ‘It is powered by solar panels so the energy is everlasting. We then finished off by saying ‘we decided to combine all of your interests and make it into one invention. We all smiled at each other.
Then one of the judges said ‘well it sounds like a good idea but it seems to crazy and difficult for children your age to make it work, I’m sorry but seeing all the inventions today, this is probably the most doubtful, keep trying’. The three judges walked away.
I shouted ‘Everyone got a chance to show you what their invention can do, we should too’. The judges turned. ‘Fine, make it quick… So Kieran, Aoife and I brought our invention outside. ‘So which of you wants to try it first?’ Aoife asked.
‘I will I suppose’ one of the judges said sounding quite fed up. As the judge looked through he let out a roar ‘OH MY GOD THIS INVENTION DOES WORK, COME ONE, SOMEONE ELSE LOOK’. Kieran, Aoife and I all smiled. The other two judges looked through and were equally as impressed.
Then the judges announced on the podium ‘Hello Everyone, we can now declare Saoirse, Kieran and Aoife are this year's All-Ireland Young Scientists!!! We screamed, crowds of people congratulated us and started lining up to use our invention.
One of the judges came over to us and said ‘I’ll admit your invention was CRAZY, but sometimes crazy can be good. Congratulations!’ Kieran, Aoife and I all hugged each other and enjoyed the rest of the evening.
By Peter Boddy, Brittas Bay NS, Brittas Bay, Co. Wicklow.
12 years ago:
Bill Winter sat up on a cold November evening thinking about going to the freezing bathroom to wash his teeth. Then it struck him – why doesn’t someone make toothpaste that cleans your teeth automatically.
Bill Winter lived in an apartment in California. He was an inventor of sorts, spending his spare time working on his toothpaste prototype that cleans your mouth automatically. He had come very close to completing his idea. Bill had been rejected for a loan from the bank multiple times. He just needed a couple of dollars to complete his invention. He had thought of a couple of names like….Easy-clean or Gleam-bots….“PLAQUE BUSTERS” he blurted out. “Plaque Busters… have to go and write that down”. Bill got a text saying that the bank had accepted your loan figure as long as we get 30% of your future earnings.
Bill accepted the offer. He started hiring people he knew for jobs at the factory. The bank gave him six months to work on his childhood dream. Bill rang up the bank and thanked them for their agreement. After about a month they were in business, Bill made a lot of money and donated to a lot of charities to help the poor people start their own business. Everyone loved Bill because he helped so many people. Bill became a very famous man but none of this mattered to him, he just liked being himself. So many people use the toothpaste. One day a man was using the Plaque Buster and one of the bots malfunctioned instead of shutting down after three minutes, it went all the way to the man’s heart. It cleaned the man’s heart plaque which was very high and the doctor noticed how low it was and he asked him how he did it. He told him all that he did today. The doctor realised that one or two of the bots must have gone to the man’s heart and cleaned his heart. The doctor rang Bill and told him about this medical breakthrough. Bill was delighted that his crazy idea had worked and saved a lot of people without them having to take medicine for the rest of their lives. He became a hero and won a Nobel Prize.
By Isabelle O'Driscoll, Scoil Mhuire gan Smál, Claremorris, Co. Mayo
I walked down the bleak, white hallway. I waved at the familiar scientists and doctors that walked by. Each and every one of them was staring at my leg - or my loss of a leg and had pity in their eyes. They have since I found out about the killer- Cancer. I was determined to put an end to this tragic, terrifying disease. I ignored them though and limped down the hallway, gripping my crutch. I made my way to room J-269. I unlocked the door and was punched with the smell of bleach and metal. Somehow this familiar smell calmed me. I looked at the once white walls, now stained with a black liquid from my first experiment. I let out a content sigh and smiled softly. I glanced over to the middle of the room where there was a silver trolley with a heavy, metal machine covered in a white sheet lying in the middle. I slowly shuffle towards it. I grip the metal bars and let out a shaky breath. “Stay calm, it’ll be ok,” I repeat to myself several times. I slowly wheeled the trolley to the door. I looked over my shoulder and let out a deep breath. A thousand memories flashed through my mind of my laboratory. This place has been my second home since I was seventeen. I feel tears prick at the corners of my eyes. I smile sadly as I leave the room and lock the door for the last time. I take a deep breath as I make my way to the conference room. These chalked coloured walls had become so familiar to me. Before I knew it, I was outside the conference room doors. I took a deep breath and entered and almost cried when I saw how many people were there. The room was filled to the brim with doctors, scientists, family, friends and supporters. I set the trolley into the middle of the room and stroll over to the podium. Everyone’s eyes are on me. I take a deep breath and smile as I begin “Hello everyone, my name is Cassie Williams, and I am a survivor. I’d like to introduce you to the cure for cancer…”
Living in a body that’s no longer in use
By Jazz Mousz, Gorey Educate Together, Gorey, Co. Wexford.
Felix Agost Feral swaggered down the hallway of Amber Sky Boarding School late on a Thursday evening, with his two compatriots scuttling behind him. Keller Dustin was Felix’ best friend since they met in an Electronics Summer Camp when they were younger. He had flowing Blonde hair that came down to his shoulders and wore a single Yellow contact lens.
Miranda Covleck was the Bouncer of the group, she met the Dynamic Duo Three years ago when she emigrated from Canada to Philadelphia and joined in on their last year of Primary school. She has a Black belt in Judo, Tae-Kwondo, Tai-Chi and Ju-jitsu. She had Sapphire Blue eyes and Black hair.
Felix August Feral was the shortest of the three, standing at Five- Foot Flat, even though he was taller than his friends they towered over him. His red hair was waving a little bit in the wind. He was orphaned at a very young age and learned to scavenge for himself. He eventually made a name for himself as the creator of the Instant- water boiler. After another four minutes, Felix stopped at a door that had a sign on it, it read “HEINZ KATT.” The flame-haired boy knocked powerfully on the door causing the sign to shake. The hallway went silent for a second, and then the door was answered by a grey old man with a beard. He looked at the three and smiled. ‘Hello, children.’ The man said enthusiastically. He ran over to a purple curtain and pulled it over beaming at the children. ‘This my young friends is the Soul Transverser.’ A hulking metal machine was revealed from behind the curtain. Felix gave a quizzical look to the man and pointed to Miranda ‘Give him the vial Mi.’ Miranda handed over the vial of glowing stuff to the old Professor. He took it and poured it into the machine. ‘This is crazy Prof’ said Keller as the machine powered on. ‘Yes but crazy can be good’, replied the Professor. And then the school was reduced to ash.