'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 21 August 2015

KBR Short Story: Hills Hoist

by Marianna Shek

‘Tsssaaaaa!! Scat!’

Isla dug her heels into the dirt and jumped off the swing before it came to a stop. The bullies gave her a five second head start before they gave chase – like a cat playing with a mouse.

‘There was a girl called Isla
who thought she was a bear!’

And Isla’s mum thought they were lucky to move into this neighbourhood! She leapt over the bike rack but her shoelace caught on the bar. She pitched forward – hands smacked gravel – but quickly jumped up again.

‘She stuck her head in a honey jar
She wasn’t all quite there!’

Isla was fed up with her new neighbours, the twins Morgan and Anna. Her neighbour on the other side—Mackie, was a boy-witch, and not in the cool Harry Potter way. The first morning they’d moved in, Isla was in her bedroom trying on her bear hat with the side flaps and the furry ears when she’d caught him in the reflection! He was perched on her windowsill. She’d no idea how he got there seeing she was on the second level.

The twins were gaining on her. Isla jumped theovergrown bougainvillea hedge straight into Mackie’s yard. It was overgrown with runners and dandelion patches. She ran straight into a pair of boxers hanging from the hills hoist.

All she could see were polka dots, then with a rusty screeeeech the hills hoist spun and she was face to face with Mackie.

He held a pair of knobbly socks in one hand and pegs in the other. Mackie glanced over her shoulder, saw the twins sauntering across the yard as if it was their turf and squared his bony shoulders.

‘Grab the line,’ he ordered.


He cranked the handle of the hills hoist. Isla barely had time to grab hold before the line started vibrating. Craaaaaaaaaaaaank!The base started shaking.  Mackie grabbed the opposite line. Boiiiiiinnnngggggg! The hills hoist propelled itself into the air. Isla could see the solar panels on the roof. The twins cowered beneath them.

‘Are you alright?’ Mackie asked.

‘Thanks,’ Isla said when she finally found her voice, ‘But…how are we going to get down?’

‘Ah well, that’s where I run into trouble,’ Mackie explained, ‘We could try turning the boxers into a sail to steer?’

They rigged it as best as they could but there wasn’t enough fabric to catch the wind.

‘Power lines!’ Isla pointed up ahead.

‘I think we better jump.’

Before she knew it, Mackie had grabbed her arm and they let go of the line. Isla’s legs buckled under her as she hit the shingled rooftop of her own house. They watched as the hills hoist rose, waving its polka dotted boxers like a flag. Finally, it was just a pinpoint on the horizon.

‘That’s the third hills hoist I’ve lost this year,’ Mackie moaned.

Isla grinned, ‘That’s cool. You can hang your washing at our place.’

Marianna Shek has published a path-finding adventure called Choose Your Own Death for young adults. She is currently working on a picture book called Donald Doing’s House of Verbs.
Find out more about Marianna's books at her Rock on Kitty Facebook page.

KBR Short Stories are a way to get your work ‘out there’—and to delight our KBR readers. Stories are set to a monthly theme and entries are due in the 25th of each month. Find out more here.