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Winner of Reigate & Banstead Writes

5th Jun 19


We're delighted to share the winning entry for the Reigate Writes competition among schools in Surrey, which was won by 12 year old Katy Adanaya from Warwick School.


Over 450 young writers entered the 2019 round of Reigate and Banstead Writes and after a marathon judging process, a story of the dastardly Black Knight of Reigate Castle by Katy Adanaya beat off all other creative competitors to be crowned the overall winner.

Jennifer Callaghan, a year 7 student from St Bede's school, was a close runner-up with her comical tale of Superdog becoming Mayor of Reigate and Banstead.

Orla McNally came 3rd with a tale of ghostly goings on at Reigate Priory Junior School once the children have left.

Matty Stevens from Reigate School and Isabella Paloba, a year 7 student from St. Bede's school, Redhill, came 4th and 5th.

Here is the winning story:

The Black Knight of Reigate Castle
By Katy Adnyana

1st Place

It was dark. It was cold. The wind swept past me, hitting my cheeks like the blade of a knife. Up ahead, I could see the distinct shape of Baron's cave. I pushed on through the rain, which thundered down on me like a hammer and soon I was touching the rough, icy-cold surface of the pyramid. Reigate Castle is not a safe place to go at night. Strange things happen. People do not come back. Like my best friend Elizabeth. Feeling my way round the pyramid, I gripped tightly the rusty, metal gate and tugged it as hard as I could possibly could. It didn't move an inch. Swinging my rucksack off from around my shoulders and onto the floor, I took my dad's crowbar out and let out a cry as I struck the lock with all my strength. To my relief, the lock threw itself onto the drenched grass with a loud 'thud'; now, I could find Elizabeth.

The reason why no one goes back to the pyramid is because no one comes back. The reason why no one comes back is because of the Black Knight. The Black Knight stalks Reigate Castle like a lion hunting its prey, snatching any trespassers and hiding them away in Baron's Cave. These were the thoughts that were darting around my head like arrows.

Wrenching open the gate, I peered into a sea of darkness. Did it go straight down? How far did it go? I buried these questions inside me and began to edge into the tunnel. Grime clogged up my nose and I retched and coughed at the smell of stale air. My cheeks brushed the jagged straight walls, but I staggered on.

It was as if heaven had opened up on me! A light. A glorious, life-giving light. My eyes locked to it and I quickened my pace, shuffling between the dust-caked walls. One step away. I took that one step and I fell.

I met the concrete floor with a hard thump. I lay there, still and life-less. Groaning, I hauled myself up and looked around; a cold, bare room surrounded my apart from a table with what looked like a bear trap sitting on it. Wincing, I stumbled across the room towards a doorway. Echoes could be faintly heard in the distance and, as I grew closer, they became more and more distinct. The clashing of armour. The grunt of a man. The scream of my best friend Elizabeth. Suddenly, I was charging through the passage, my crowbar in hand. You're ok Elizabeth. I'm coming for you.

This tunnel was much like the other, only wider and there were beacons alight on the walls. Still, it was filthy and covered in a blanket of dust. Soon, I stumbled out into another room. I scanned around me. Standing in the corner of the room, was a statue. A statue made of gold. In awe, I reached out to touch it - it was so entrancing, pulling me in - but before my fingertips could feel it, a sharp blow sent me flying across the room and I landed hard on the floor. Did I dare look up? Slowly, I raised my head and there, towering above me, was the Black Knight. I was a tiny mouse and he was a giant, barbarous lion.

"Who are you and what are you doing here?" came his thunderous voice that resounded through the tunnels. Shifting my gaze behind him, I noticed Elizabeth - a sobbing wreck. Fumbling about behind me, I grasped the crowbar. I had only brought it for precautionary purposes, but now I would have to use it. In a flash, I swung the bar round into his legs, causing him to crash to the ground with an almighty roar. Limping slightly, I hurried over to Elizabeth.

"Annie what are you doing here?" she whispered, sniffing back her tears. Chains coiled around her arms and legs like snakes, squeezing its prey to death. From the corner of my eye, I could see the Black Knight rising up and charging towards me, thrusting his sword forwards, but I had got the hang of this now.

"This may hurt a little bit, but there's no other way." I replied, whacking the chains and watching them slither to the ground.
"Annie be careful!" Elizabeth cried, as we threw ourselves to the side before the knight could reach us. The crowbar was tossed to the other side of the room, so helplessly we scrambled behind a metal table.

"Hand her over to me!" the Black Knight bellowed, advancing menacingly towards us. He raised the metal table above his head and launched it behind him, smashing it into a thousand pieces. Bits of razor-sharp metal darted around the room and one caught me in the shoulder before embedding itself in the stone wall. Suddenly, there was a rumbling noise from above. The whole room moved and all three of us glanced up. I let out a shriek as part of the ceiling collapsed and rubble and bricks came shooting down on us like bullets. I gripped firmly onto Elizabeth's hand and shut my eyes tight as dust and dirt fell around us. Once the dust had cleared, I opened my eyes and looked in horror as the metal hand of the Black Knight protruded from underneath a large pile of rubble.

"Liz?" I spluttered, heaving myself up from underneath some bricks, which felt as if they weighted a ton.

"Annie! Help me!". I turned around and saw Elizabeth lying with her leg stuck, under a wooden beam.

"Oh Lizzy!" I cried, dragging my body over to her and hauling off the beam.

"Come on Liz," I said, turning away and beginning to stumble towards the tunnel opening, "We need to get ourselves home".

I couldn't help but give a backward glance the gold statue, half submerged beneath the rubble. I guess that will be the Black Knight's final prisoner at Reigate Castle.


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