Category Archives: Spanish

2024 Flash Fiction Competition Results

In December 2023, we launched our annual Flash Fiction competitions, which closed at the end of March. The competitions were open to students in Years 7 to 13, who were tasked with writing a short story of no more than 100 words in French and/or Spanish.

We had an incredible response, with entries coming in from all areas across the country! In total, we received over 1200 submissions across the two languages!

We would like to thank everyone who entered the competition and commend you all for your hard work and creativity in writing a piece of fiction in a different language. This is a challenging exercise, and a significant achievement – congratulations all!

We are delighted to be able to announce the winners, runners up, and highly commended entries for each language below. We will be publishing the stories over the summer so you can read them for yourselves.

French

In the Years 7-9 category, the winner is James Best. The runners-up are Zaynab Chaudhry and Simeon Molloy.

The judges also identified the following entrants as highly commended: Neela Alagar, Nicholas Bailey, Prayaan Sharma, Hassan Chaudhry, Grace Cao, Helene Leonard, Antoine Carmody-Portier, Bo Celeste Lawson, Vishnu Vardhan, Beemu Padmanaban, and Louis Koller.

In the Years 10-11 category, the winner is Tony Shi. The runner up is Vaishni Jeyananthan.

The judges also identified the following entrants as highly commended: Mia Wildgoose, Nia Mohlala, Ritisha Agarwal, Capree Chong, Eshaal Riaz, DingDing Zhou, Daisy Apfel, Darwin Armstrong Farr, Lucy Nguyen, and Katya Hanbury.

In the Years 12-13 category, the winner is Hannah Gleeson. The runner ups are Zac Henderson-Lea and Ashley Woo.

The judges also identified the following entrants as highly commended: Nigelle Niyodusenga, Massimo Mitchell, Rain Kaur, Grace Dobson, Harriet Palfreyman, Aaron Butters, Eleanor McQuinn, Caitlin Graeff, Sally Codling, and Jovian Yan.

The French judging panel were very impressed with this year’s submitted stories, and commented the following about all the entries:

We are thrilled to share our excitement about the entries for the 2024 Flash Fiction competition. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated and contributed to the competition!

We were impressed by the variety in your stories and by how much emotion and detail could be packed into just 100 words. Your stories made us laugh, gasp, reflect, and sometimes even tear up. We read tales that spanned from light-hearted daily occurrences to epic medieval duels and forbidden werewolf romances, from futuristic visions of 2050 to unexpected encounters with demon snowmen and talking ants. We encountered characters from all walks of life and visited settings that ranged from the familiar to the extraordinary. Along the way, we met a crocodile in the Thames, a sentient piece of bread, and many other memorable figures that made your stories so engaging.

We truly enjoyed reading your stories and want to commend each of you for your creativity and effort. Thank you for making this competition such a wonderful experience, and congratulations to all of you.

Spanish

In the Years 7-9 category, the winner is Sayuri Bansal. The runners up are Chloe Crowther and Donatella Ferrito Innamorato.

The judges also identified the following entrants as highly commended: Keira Moyes, Zara Amjad, Avy Abdulrazzaq, Ayomide Adesola, Chloe Lei, Amelie Thompson, Harry Clogger, Zeynep Yesilirmak, and Keira De Castro.

In the Years 10-11 category, the winner is Charlotte Jory. The runners up are DingDing Zhou and Xander McComb.

The judges also identified the following entrants as highly commended: Sophie Lonsdale, Siri Krznaric, Tiana Majumder, Atharv Kokate, Chloe Skelton, Anonymous, River Lee, Kumar Banerji Ballester, Annabel Hogan, and Jonathan Visan-Gherghe.

In the Years 12-13 category, the winner is Isobel Gurnett. The runners up are Daniel Enrique Ascencio Lopez and Aidan Brooke.

The judges also identified the following entrants as highly commended: Maria-Magdalena Covasa, Nihika Koranne, Noor Ullah, Oliver John, Rabia Chowdhury, Sadie Greenwood, Anonymous, Sophie Welberry-Smith, Valentino Ordonez Imafidon, and Velislava Koleva.

Our Spanish judging panel in particular have been extremely impressed with this year’s entries, and have commented the following about all the stories they read:

As always, we were captivated by the creativity of the many entries and thrilled to see a lot of very promising stories. It was a hard job choosing from so many markedly different pieces, some of which were humorous or haunting, serious or silly, but all entertaining. This year, there were quite a few that engaged intertextually with other works in English and Spanish literature as well as classical literature and myth and it was particularly good to see how your wider reading has been channelled into your own imaginative responses to the sources.

Huge congratulations everyone – you should be very proud of your achievement!

An experience of a lifetime in Argentina

On the blog this week, one of our final year French & Spanish students tells us all about their experience of being an English Language Assistant in two Argentinian schools…

As part of my year abroad, I spent five months in Argentina taking in the beautiful setting, learning a new kind of Spanish and meeting some lifelong friends. I was quite keen to push myself and make the most of the opportunity to go abroad so going to South America was definitely on the top of my list. After having applied to some other programs and been unsuccessful, I found an experience which offered the possibility of teaching English in school. The thought of being placed in ANY part of Argentina (the eighth biggest country worldwide with one of the most varied climates) meant that I was excited yet also nervous about what could lie ahead.

During my time in Argentina, I worked with two institutions in the Buenos Aires province which both offered unique experiences! I stayed at my first institution for two months and it was an amazing private school with some equally incredible teachers. The best thing was being able to share my culture with others as well as form a rapport with the children that I taught.

During my first placement, I had the pleasure to live with a wonderful host family who made me feel welcome despite the fact that I am naturally quite shy and introverted and they were always willing to help me with my Spanish, share their culture and take me in as one of their own. My arrival began with being invited to a quince (a fifteenth birthday party) which was overwhelming yet it meant that I soon made friends. The welcoming and kind-hearted nature of the people meant that I was invited on many outings, meals out and drank a lot of mate (a drink which has the same cultural prestige as a cup of tea in England).

The second institution that I worked with was in a small town of 5000 people in the countryside and whilst I did the same activities in regards to sharing my culture and teaching classes, I had a whole host of new experiences. I lived with two fantastic families who welcomed me as one of their own. Something I still miss to this day is the tasty soup and desserts that were made by Hebe! A memory that I will never forget is that I taught students the moves to the cha-cha slide and the Superman song. Whilst there were times that I missed home, these times were few and far between. I am extremely thankful to have met my supervisor as well as to have had the opportunity to go on outings with different families and of course, drink more mate! I still keep in touch with my supervisor and friends I made there and I hope to visit them again someday.

During my free time, I was able to organise my own travel around Argentina. My favourite trip definitely had to be visiting Iguazú Falls in the north of Argentina which definitely was a sight to behold! I frequently visited Buenos Aires and marvelled at what the city had to offer. Whilst there were some anxieties about being in Argentina as a result of cultural differences and general feelings of homesickness which comes with any experience abroad, I always had support around me whilst I was there and knew that I could contact my tutors back in Oxford in the face of any problems.

My advice to anyone considering a degree in Modern Languages is to go for it and make the most of the year abroad! The opportunity to further develop your cultural knowledge through literature alongside the different options available for going abroad is something I will always be grateful for. If you had asked me when I first started my degree whether I would have travelled to Argentina alone, met amazing people and have done the cha-cha slide with students in a small town in Argentina, I would have thought you were crazy. However, that’s something that became a reality and now a fond memory and, I am looking forward to going back one day.

Spotlight on Spanish: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695)

This week’s blog post is written by one of our wonderful student ambassadors, a finalist in French and Spanish. Enjoy!

Before coming to Oxford, if you asked me about feminism, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you a lot other than about the suffragette movement and movements in the 1970s and 80s. However, one of the most rewarding and unexpected things that I have discovered since studying at Oxford is that feminism goes a lot further back than I had ever thought.

As part of my degree in Spanish, I had the opportunity to choose an ‘author paper’ that I would study over my second and final year. This is where you pick two authors and get to know a variety of their works in depth. Having enjoyed studying El médico de su honra by Calderón (a celebrated Spanish playwright) in my first year, I decided to pick a paper which focuses on the golden age (siglo de oro). I continued my studies on Calderón however, I was delighted to find that there was a female author on the syllabus (which is largely male-dominated as a result of contemporary attitudes of the time): Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Although her works are known to provide some challenges with sentence structure and philosophy, I can firmly say that I am glad I took these challenges on.

Sor Juana was born in Mexico and had a desire to learn from a young age. As a result of the misogynistic attitudes of the time, she was unable to attend school. Despite this, she begged her mother to attend but disguised as a male student yet it wasn’t enough. Sor Juana was educated at home and during that time, she learnt how to read and write in Latin by the age of three and in Nahuatl (an Aztec language), she became well-versed in philosophy and wrote an array of poems.

Sor Juana later entered the monastery of the Hieronymite nuns which allowed her to pursue her studies with few limitations. During that time, she amassed a huge collection of books and was supported by the Viceroy and Vicereine of New Spain. The Vicereine Maria Luisa Manrique de Lara y Gonzága, Countess of Paredes was a recurring subject of her love poetry.

One of Sor Juana’s most famous poems ‘Hombres Necios’ (You foolish men) was written in the 1680s. This poem is one of my firm favourites! Published in a society that was extremely patriarchal, this poem criticises the double standards that men imposed on women and advocates the need for women to have more agency in their day-to-day lives. These double standards affected her reputation, her (sexual) freedom as well as her prospects as she would be left in situations that she could not control.

To illustrate her case, Sor Juana makes a strong argument for how double standards imposed on women aren’t just a problem of her time. Through comparing Thaïs (an independent, educated and sexually free woman who often accompanied Alexander the Great) to Lucretia (a woman who was so committed to fidelity to her husband that she killed herself after being abused by another man), Sor Juana demonstrates how there is a double expectation placed on women: they are expected to be sexually free like Thaïs before and then should completely change and be like Lucretia after entering a relationship with a man.

Whilst I have only mentioned one of Sor Juana’s poems, there are so many others that I could have delved into! For anyone who wants to further their interest in women’s writing or feminist works, I would definitely recommend Sor Juana (even if you are not studying Spanish!). There are many accessible English translations of her poetry and works available which also explore other themes such as education, love and philosophy. If you want to learn more about a subject area in general, there are so many beautiful opportunities to do so through literature. Whether it is medieval literature, seventeenth century plays or modern day poetry, there is bound to be a topic or genre that will fascinate you. Whatever the language, there is something for everyone!

Modern Languages Summer School

Applications are now open for Wadham College‘s annual five-day Modern Languages Summer School. The residential will take place at the college, based in the centre of Oxford, from 19th to 23rd August 2024.

Summer schools are designed to give UK pupils studying in Year 12 a taste of what it’s like to be an undergraduate studying at the University of Oxford.  Pupils will take part in an academic programme, live in College, meet student ambassadors studying at Oxford, and receive information, advice and guidance on applying to university. Wadham’s Summer Schools are free and the college will provide financial support to pupils to cover their travel costs.

We’re delighted to be able to run these events in-person allowing participants the best experience of life at the university.  The feedback from last year’s Summer Schools was hugely positive with over a third of participants subsequently securing offers to study at the university.

“After the summer school I am much more confident that I would fit in at Oxford and feel like I am more ready to move away from home”

Summer School participant, 2022

For Modern Languages more specifically, pupils will engage in a seminar series led by Wadham’s language tutors, including language classes in their selected language of study (French, German or Spanish) with opportunities to try other languages as beginners (including German, Portuguese and Russian). Students will complete an assignment on a main topic with feedback from tutors. Pupils will also be able to receive support from current undergraduates and from the College on making successful applications to top universities.   

For more information and to apply, click here: Wadham College Summer Schools. Pupils should be studying French, German or Spanish at A-level or equivalent to apply. Applications close at 5pm on 3rd May.

If you have any queries, please contact access@wadham.ox.ac.uk

Flash Fiction Competitions reminder!

With just two weeks to go until the deadline, there’s still a chance to enter our Flash Fiction Competitions in French and/or Spanish – don’t miss out on your chance to win £100! A reminder of the competition details and how you can enter can be found below…

Credit: Aaron Burden via Unsplash

What is Flash Fiction?

We’re looking for a complete story, written in French or Spanish, using no more than 100 words.

Did you know that the shortest story in Spanish is only seven words long?

Cuando despertó, el dinosaurio todavía estaba allí.
(When he woke up, the dinosaur was still there.)

– Augusto Monterroso Bonilla (1921-2003)

What are the judges looking for?

Our judging panel of academics will be looking for imagination and narrative flair, as well as linguistic ability and accuracy. Your use of French or Spanish will be considered in the context of your age and year group: in other words, we will not expect younger pupils to compete against older pupils linguistically. For inspiration, you can read last year’s winning entries for French here, and for Spanish here.

What do I win?

The judges will award a top prize of £100, as well as prizes of £25 to a maximum of two runners up, in each age category. Certificates will also be awarded to pupils who have been highly commended by our judges. Results as well as the winning, runner up, and highly commended stories will be published on this blog, if entrants give us permission to do so.

How do I enter?

You can submit your story via our online forms at the links below.

FrenchSpanish
Years 7-9Years 7-9
Years 10-11Years 10-11
Years 12-13Years 12-13

Click on the links to be taken to the correct submission form for your age/year group.

You may only submit one story per language but you are welcome to submit one story in French AND one story in Spanish if you learn or study both languages. Your submission should be uploaded as a Word document or PDF.

The deadline for submissions is 12 noon on Wednesday 27th March 2024.

Due to GDPR, teachers cannot enter on their students’ behalf: students must submit their entries themselves.

Please note that the competition has changed slightly this year. We are now only accepting entries from UK secondary school pupils.

If you have any questions, please check our FAQs here. If these still don’t answer your question(s), please email us at schools.liaison@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.

Bonne chance à tous! ¡Buena suerte a todos!

UNIQ Applications still open

Every year UNIQ helps change the lives of young people, helping them to get into Oxford and other highly-selective universities. Apply now to take part!

What is UNIQ?

UNIQ is the University of Oxford’s access programme for UK state school students. It prioritises places for students with good grades from backgrounds that are under-represented at Oxford and other universities. Every year more students from diverse backgrounds get offered places at Oxford with help from UNIQ.

In terms of Modern Languages, we will be offering courses for French, Spanish and German again this year, all of which include the opportunity to taste two beginners’ languages.

UNIQ offers:

  • online support through the application process
  • a residential at an Oxford college for most participants
  • a trip to an Oxford open day for another 250 participants

UNIQ is completely free: accommodation, meals, academic courses, social activities, and travel are all included.

Every year students use their experiences on UNIQ to help inform their university choices and to make successful applications. UNIQ students who apply to Oxford have a higher rate of success than other applicants.

How to apply

UNIQ prioritises state school students with good grades from backgrounds that are under-represented at Oxford and other highly selective universities. UNIQ welcomes applications from:

  • Year 12 students from England and Wales in the first year of A level studies or equivalent
  • Year 13 students from Northern Ireland in the first year of A level studies or equivalent
  • S5 students from Scotland studying Highers or equivalent

We use criteria such as experience of being in care, eligibility for Free School Meals, and information associated with the area that you live in to prioritise who comes on UNIQ.

Find out more and apply here! Applications close at noon on 23rd January 2024.

FRENCH AND SPANISH FLASH FICTION COMPETITIONS NOW OPEN!

We’re delighted to announce the return of our ever-popular French and Spanish Flash Fiction competitions for UK secondary school pupils. If you are learning French and/or Spanish in Years 7-13, you are invited to send us a *very* short story to be in with a chance of winning up to £100! Read on to find out more…

Credit: Aaron Burden via Unsplash

What is Flash Fiction?

We’re looking for a complete story, written in French or Spanish, using no more than 100 words.

Did you know that the shortest story in Spanish is only seven words long?

Cuando despertó, el dinosaurio todavía estaba allí.
(When he woke up, the dinosaur was still there.)

– Augusto Monterroso Bonilla (1921-2003)

What are the judges looking for?

Our judging panel of academics will be looking for imagination and narrative flair, as well as linguistic ability and accuracy. Your use of French or Spanish will be considered in the context of your age and year group: in other words, we will not expect younger pupils to compete against older pupils linguistically. For inspiration, you can read last year’s winning entries for French here, and for Spanish here.

What do I win?

The judges will award a top prize of £100, as well as prizes of £25 to a maximum of two runners up, in each age category. Certificates will also be awarded to pupils who have been highly commended by our judges. Results as well as the winning, runner up, and highly commended stories will be published on this blog, if entrants give us permission to do so.

How do I enter?

You can submit your story via our online forms at the links below.

FrenchSpanish
Years 7-9 Years 7-9
Years 10-11 Years 10-11
Years 12-13 Years 12-13
Click on the links to be taken to the correct submission form for your age/year group.

You may only submit one story per language but you are welcome to submit one story in French AND one story in Spanish if you learn or study both languages. Your submission should be uploaded as a Word document or PDF.

The deadline for submissions is 12 noon on Wednesday 27th March 2024.

Due to GDPR, teachers cannot enter on their students’ behalf: students must submit their entries themselves.

Please note that the competition has changed slightly this year. We are now only accepting entries from UK secondary school pupils.

If you have any questions, please check our FAQs here. If these still don’t answer your question(s), please email us at schools.liaison@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk.

Bonne chance à tous! ¡Buena suerte a todos!

Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators

The Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators is a creative translation competition for students aged 11-18 studying French, German, Italian, Mandarin and Spanish. The competition also runs from French into Welsh. The Prize is free to enter and open to all schools across the UK. 

The 2023-24 prize launches today (20 September), when creative translation teaching packs will be shared with teachers in time for European Day of Languages on 26 September and International Translation Day on 30 September. These teaching packs are designed to help teachers bring creative translation into the MFL classroom as well as to help students prepare for the competition task.

Don’t worry if you have not yet registered! There is still plenty of time for teachers to do so as the competition itself will run over several weeks from 5 February to 28 March 2024. Area and national winners will be announced in May or June 2023. They will receive certificates and national winners will receive book prizes.

Over 15,000 students participated in the competition in 2023: see the list of winners and commendations in 2023.  For those registered, teaching packs for poetry translation will be circulated today, fiction will follow after October half term, and non-fiction will be released in early January.  Register to receive these resources and for updates about the competition task, click here

There are a number of related activities run by the Queen’s Translation Exchange that teachers and pupils can participate in, details of which can be found here.

If you have any queries regarding the competition, please contact the Translation Exchange team at translation.exchange@queens.ox.ac.uk.

SPANISH FLASH FICTION 2023: THE HIGHLY COMMENDED ENTRIES (Y12-13)

Following the publication of the winning and runner up entries, we are excited to present the highly commended entries for the Year 12-13 category of this year’s Spanish Flash Fiction competition!

A huge well done to all our highly commended entrants! Without further ado, ¡venga, vamos!

La Mujer

La estatua está sola en el patio de un palacio, suspendida en piedra para siempre. Su expresión es apacible y sonriente, con los brazos extendidos, su vestido que fluye. La Mujer la llaman, por no tenía nombre. Un símbolo perfecto de la feminidad, de silencio, de los oprimidos.

Antes era diferente. En vida estaba una fuerza de la naturaleza, con los ojosbrillantes de desafío, sus dientes al descubierto de furia incalificable. Sus uñas se hincaron en las palmas, dejaron semilunas en sus estelas; vestido rasgado, ensangrentado. La Bruja la llamaban y la evitaban.

– Romilly De Silva, Year 12

«Tenemos que decirte algo, cariño».

En esta fracción de segundo, mi vida se ha puesto patas arriba. Me senté, chocada por esta revelación. Millones de pensamientos daban vueltas en mi cabeza, y unas lágrimas corrían por mi rostro, como un océano de dolor.

Todo lo que pensé que sabía era una mentira.

Es sorprendente que nunca lo haya adivinado. Los secretos, los papeles ocultos, la falta de fotos de mi infancia. Hubiera debido saber que me escondian algo. Pero nunca en mis sueños me pude imaginar que estaban guardando semejante secreto. El secreto de mi existencia.

Soy un niño robado.

– Meghan Henderson, Year 12

Hay una voz en mi cabeza. Te prometo que no estoy loca- se llama ‘inglés’. A veces ojalá no viviera aquí. Quiero correr de él, pero estamos atrapados juntos. Mientras escribo esto, inglés’ traduce y temo que siempre lo haga. Mi corazón quiere creer que entiendo las palabras y en principio sé lo que significan, pero no las siento. Son un concepto y no una realidad. Son un revoltijo de letras y sonidos que me han dicho que significan algo para alguien, hacen que alguien se sienta algo. Ojalá yo fuera ese alguien pero ‘inglés’ siempre será en mi cabeza.

– Martha Burdon, Year 12

La sopa es una comida complicada. Hay personas que dicen que la sopa tiene todas las respuestas. Dicen que si la miras atentamente, encontrarás las soluciones – ni demasiado cortas, ni demasiado largas. Dicen que la sopa tiene todas las informaciones necesarias. Si necesitas suerte, alegría, esperanza – puedes encontrarlas. Pero en mi sopa solo veo las verduras. No sé qué estoy haciendo mal.

Cada vez que voy al supermercado, busco por todas partes la sopa especial. Encuentro sopa de tomate, sopa de pollo – ¡incluso el gazpacho! Pero no sé dónde encontrar la sopa que necesito. La sopa de letras.

– Lara Horsley, Year 13

¿Ustedes aún han oído?

¿No?, les diré la leyenda de la mujer gitana que conjuró a la luna hasta la madrugada. La gitana rogó a la luna por un hombre gitano hasta que le enviara un cíngaro a condición de que se rindiera su primer hijo, que el gitano engendre, a la luna. Sin embargo, de un padre de piel morena, nació un niño blanco como la nieve fría.

El gitano, al creerse deshonrado, se enfrentó a su  mujer y la hirió de muerte con su cuchillo, en las montañas, rindió al niño albino a la luna de plata blanca.

– Charlie Crookes, Year 12

Sancocho

Cuba es un corazón que late, ritmos sincopados de tumbadoras que te llaman a refrescarte en el río que se arremolina en torno a las raíces de tus antepasados.

Los vendedores, gritando sus negocios a través de brillantes olas de calor. Vestigios de nuestra historia, las calles de Camagüey son un respiro mientras todo lo demás se mueve a su alrededor.

Acuno a mi primo mientras se desangra, un agujero en el pecho, su hermano escogió la pelea equivocada.

Aromas de sangre y humo de cigarro, con tintes de cilantro. La sangre caliente empapa la única camisa que tenía, y recuerdo que su madre estaba haciendo sancocho hoy.

– Edith Scott, Year 12

El Caudillo.

Por las calles de Madrid, nos caza. Cruza las playas de Andalucía, nos persigue. En las montañas vascas, nos silencia. Terror, vestido de blanco, nos agarra por la garganta y mientras morimos, por nuestros respiros finales, un último sabor de libertad, su agarre solo se hace más fuerte hasta que todo lo que queda son cadáveres ambulatorios.

Cadáveres desprovistos de autonomía, que sonríen, vistiendo el pretexto de una España en su antiguo esplendor. 

– Jack Hussey, Year 12

El orgullo es el diablo

Puede apoderarse de cualquiera. Se acerca sigilosamente como la Serpiente del Edén, susurrándote palabras venenosas al oído. Si lo consigue, uno puede ahogarse en un abismo de aislamiento, para no ser visto nunca más. el sentimiento en el que te deja es la peor parte; una presión brutal como un maremoto que nos traga enteros, y algunos se ahogan en su abrazo. ¿Se ha apoderado de ti el orgullo? ¿Se ha acercado a ti como una llama silenciosa hasta que te encontraste luchando contra un fuego furioso? un fuego que te rodea y te separa del mundo.

– Josiane Kammani, Year 12

La sombra del tiempo perdido

Las temporadas se disipan, de entrada y salida- un tarareo dulce. La madre Tierra es la titiritera controlando cómo crece y mengua la luna; su mano compasiva cuidando la naturaleza. Ya sea el viento invernal, azotando con fuerza hercúlea o la melodía tranquila de los pájaros, compartiendo serenata del verano; la metamorfosis sigue. No podemos frenarla ni acelerarla- lo único seguro, un constante en la vida siempre cambiante. Los días son segundos y los meses, horas- quizás las temporadas son una medida de tiempo del mundo, nos prestan claridad y paz infinita; hasta que dejemos que su alma durmiente descanse.

– Eva Murphy, Year 12

¡ Felicidades a todos!

SPANISH FLASH FICTION 2023: THE HIGHLY COMMENDED ENTRIES (Y10-11)

Following the publication of the winning and runner up entries, we are excited to present the highly commended entries for the Year 10-11 category of this year’s Spanish Flash Fiction competition!

A huge well done to all our highly commended entrants! Without further ado, ¡venga, vamos!

La Magnolia 

Ella recuerda el día que plantaron la magnolia. Recuerda la aspereza de su pala, el aroma de la tierra. Recuerda ligeros pasos golpeteando como la lluvia, y el sonido de la risa entrecortada en su oído. Pequeñas botas amarillas, brillando en el lodo. Años después, la magnolia comienza a florecer. Sus capullos se despliegan como puños, revelando pétalos del color de cachetes rubicundos: cachetes que solía besar, hace mucho. El árbol que sobrevivió a su hijita vigila silenciosamente la lápida debajo. A veces, cuando hay viento, la madre puede oír todavía el sonido de la risa, enganchando en la brisa.

– Amelie Huntley, Year 11

El Páramo

Un plano aislado. Las arenas se estiran en la distancia. Ni un solo ser vivo. Como si hubiera sido abandonado. ¿La alegría de colores vibrantes? Ausente. Aparte de la neblina encendida por encima de mí. Rojo sangre. Las cáscaras arrugadas de árboles caídos. Sus raíces imitan la estructura venosa de la Tierra debajo. Muerta. En el horizonte, vi algo pequeño; el marco oxidado y crujiente de un edificio antiguo. La escena gótica delante de mí; talló en el hierro. Permanente. El valle de fuego se extiende más y más, hasta que no queda nada. Nada más que el silencio ensordecedor.

– Carlotta Gray, Year 11

Cebolla

Monda sobre monda. Capa sobre capa. Aro sobre aro. Desplegando su vestimenta violeta, cayendo, una vez fue redonda, ahora no. Enmascarada bajo su belleza óptica, embriagadora, de olor fuerte, trayendo lágrimas que ningún amante, o infeliz, puede darte. Eso es lo que mi madre me dijo.

Creyéndome listo, cierro los ojos, el cuchillo acaricia su piel. Ahora, no me van a escocer los ojos por ti. Un corte rápido, resbalando la hoja afilada, un chorro de calor. Las lágrimas no brotan. Éxito. Pero… siento el escozor. Imposible.

Abro los ojos, solamente para encontrar un corte, sangre brotando de mi dedo.

– DingDing Zhou, Year 10

Se despierta. Mira el reloj. Son las dos de la mañana. Mira alrededor de su habitación. Está oscuro. Sólo su mesa está iluminada por una lámpara de escritorio. Delante de él hay un ordenador portátil. En la pantalla hay un ensayo incompleta, titulada “Mantener una vida estudiantil equilibrada”. Piensa. Recuerda. Entra en pánico. Empieza a teclear. Clic clac. Clic clac. Sube el documento. Pulsa enviar. Son las 3. Se apaga. Se despierta. Mira el reloj. Son las 9. Llega tarde. Entra en pánico. Se pone frenéticamente el uniforme. Tiene prisa. Tropieza en la calle. Cruza corriendo la calle. Choca.

– Ryan Cheung, Year 11

Cada día cuando estoy caminando del colegio veo una niña en el parque. Lleva una mochila rosa con lentejuelas blancos, que brilla en la luz de sol. Pasa tiempo con un grupo de niñas, todos se rieron de ella. Cada día veo ellas en el parque y sé que están haciendo, sin embargo no hago nada ya que demasiado asusto. No quiero ser la próxima víctima. Quiero estar contentos y ajenos a lo que pasa pero, estaremos contentos si no decimos nada?

Mañana no va estar en el parque y pasado mañana el grupo de niñas encontrarán una niña nueva.

– Rhea Sandher, Year 10

Sueños

Dorado. El sol brilla sobre la playa con tanta fuerza que parece resplandecer. Azul. El mar juega consigo mismo, chocando contra la orilla y luego arrastrándose hacia atrás solo para que otra parte de él colapse. Bronce. Mi piel se broncea instantáneamente mientras camino por la playa hacia el agua bajo el sol abrasador. Blanco. Salpito al agua, vientre pegado a mi tabla de surf, deslizándome por la superficie como un avión listo para despegar, haciendo que el océano se convierta en una ráfaga de burbujas detrás de mí. Negro. Oscuridad. ¡Es una pena, se estaba poniendo bueno!

– Prithika Anbezhil, Year 11

El jardin de mi cuerpo

La serenidad me invadió en cuanto entré en el bosque: era una zona preciosa donde el sol brillaba a través de las hojas y los árboles se erguían altos y orgullosos. Entré en el bosque, caminando por un sendero sinuoso mientras una brisa cálida me acariciaba la cara. Mi cuerpo se había entumecido a medida que avanzaba por el sendero, como si estuviera borracho de vino. Mis piernas se habían vuelto rígidas y mis pensamientos parecían haberse quedado en blanco: mi cuerpo se había vuelto leñoso y duro. Estaba encadenado para siempre a este jardín.

– Mustafa Ayub, Year 10

Para la gente común, es impresionante ser pianista. ¿Pero para conseguir un trabajo en la industria? Tuve que tener una habilidad que no era físicamente posible. Así que sí. Es horrible que fingí la lesión. Es escandaloso que continúe este acto. Pero la gente paga mucho dinero para ver a un ciego tocar el piano. Sin embargo, hoy, accidentalmente bajé la guardia- pero no porque de mi conciencia. Porque, cuando mi hermana me dijo que estaba arrastrando la basura afuera, ¿Cómo podría no reaccionar al ver el cuerpo sin vida de su esposo en sus manos?

– Mia White, Year 10

Tan Bueno Como Ella

“Sigue el ejemplo de tu gemela,” ellos dicen. “Sigue sus pasos,” dicen. “Un día serás tan buena como ella,” dicen. Bueno ¿adivina? Estoy harta de ser el segundo mejor. Ella está siempre un paso por delante de mí. ¿Pero sabes la peor parte? ¿Cómo puedo odiarla? Ella es un ángel. Tiene los modales perfectos mientras que tengo un temperamento horrible. Ella es Blancanieves, soy la Reina Malvada. Tiene el alma bella mientras que el mío se pudre dentro. ¿Soy una persona despreciable? Tal vez. ¿Pero puedes decir que no sientes lo mismo si estabas en mi posición?

– Khanh Linh Nguyen, Year 10

¡ Felicidades a todos!