‘The Shoaker’, a myth – by Sophia Suddaby, KS3 student

The Shoaker was a gigantic, blood curdling beast, who’s hunting call could be heard all over the world. When the people of Huissan heard the call, they quaked in their boots, terrified that they could be next, or even worse, their child. The shoaker could travel massive distances in seconds , with wings as wide as the River Thames. The wind created by the flapping could fell a tree or collapse a house. Its eyes were a terrible orange and its glare could paralyse you until you couldn’t move, cry or speak, only feel the immense pain of being chewed by the Shoaker. Its spine was covered with spikes as sharp as a butchers knife, and its tail was like a whip. No-one could defeat the Shoaker. Until Anna came along. 

Step, step, step. One foot in front of the other. With each step the feeling of dread in Anna’s stomach grew heavier and heavier. Today was the day. When the Shoaker came and took a child. Anna’s parents were at home, too terrified to leave the house, and her little sister Sal gripped her right hand tightly. “Be strong,” Anna thought, “For Sal.”

As everyone gathered in the center square of Huissan, which was the neighbouring valley of the Shoakers cave. The lush green, beautiful greenery that surrounded Huissan was a stark contrast to the barren, cold and dark lair in which the Shoaker took residence.

Suddenly, the all too familiar hunting call came from over the valley. The Shoake appeared, like a monster from a child’s nightmare, roaring up into the dark, gloomy sky. The Shoaker swooped down, eyeing up all of the gathered children. Anna’s heart beat wildly as its gaze came upon her and Sal, then finally resting on Sal. Its eyes turned a deep orange and she felt Sal go rigid beside her. “NOOO.” she cried. “Not Sal, not her, take me instead.” Her grief consumed her and she fell to the ground sobbing uncontrollably. Tears blinding her eyes, she barely saw when the Shoaker picked up Sal with his marled claws and carried her frozen body over the mountain and into his lair.  As soon as all traces of the Shoaker had gone, parents started to rush into the square to check if their children were safe. Looking up, Anna searched for her parents. Nothing. They were nowhere to be seen. Then, the feeling of grief and dread settling heavy in the stomach she saw a thin trail of smoke in the sky … right above Anna’s house. 

Anna ran so fast, like she had never ran before. But still, she was too late. Her house was in a heap on the floor, rubble scattered everywhere, … and still no sign of her parents. Once again, for the second time in less than an hour grief consumed her and she sobbed for her dead parents and her soon to be dead sister. Anna knew exactly how her parents had died- the Shoakers massive wings could collapse a mountain, let alone a little village house. Once again, the Shoaker was responsible for her family’s death. A fierce and dangerous rage filled her body, from her toes to her head. The Shoaker would pay for this, if it was the last thing she did. Once the idea, as dangerous and near impossible as it might seem, had set in her head, that was it. Her mind was made up. She would go and fight the Shoaker, and kill it- so that no more grief would be felt in her beloved village of Huissan.

She told no-one of her plan, for she knew that they would just try and stop her, as surely you were giving yourself a death sentence walking into the Shoakers lair. But in reality, Anna didn’t care if she died, as long as she got revenge for her family’s death. 

Anna sifted through the rubble of her home and found her great-great-grandads sword from in the war ages. That was all she took. She left in the middle of the night, quietly sneaking away from the village and snaking her way up the mountain. 

Panting from the steep climb, sweating from the heat from the oncoming lava pit in the bottom of the Shakers lair, Anna reached the top of the mountain early in the morning, just as the sun was breaking over the hills, casting long shadows. The villagers down below were emerging from their houses to go and collect the harvest when they saw the small but strong figure of Anna walking along the top of the mountain towards the Shoakers lair. Shocked and terrified, but not daring to go after her, they watching in suspense, as she neared the edge, and then disappeared down the other side of the mountain.  

Anna crept up behind the Shoaker, who had his back to the entrance of the cave (not expecting ambush), his tail curling out and hanging off the edge. As quiet as she could, Anna entered his lair and came up behind him. Then, her rage and hatred boiling over at the sight of her sisters lifeless body slumped in the corner. With blood-curling war cry she leapt up onto the Shoakers back, nimbly dodging the spikes on his back. Before the Shoaker even had time to react, she was on his head and had stabbed her sword deep into his eye, blinding him. Soon she had stabbed the other eye too. Blinded and taken by surprise, the Shoaker roared and spun around, groping in the darkness to find his attacker. 

Finding Anna, he pinned her down with his claw. Anna was thrown to the ground, and all the wind was knocked out of her.  Struggling to breathe and running out of time, she reached out to grab her sword from the floor where it had been knocked too, and stabbed wildly at the Shoakers chest. The sword drove through, and hit his stone cold heart. With a last breath, the Shoaker fell to the floor, dead. Conscious that his claw was still crushing her, Anna escaped from it and rushed to Sal in the corner, “Sal, Sal im here, im here. I’ve got you. You’re safe.” With a big, laboured breath, her eyes flickered open and she looked Anna directly in the eyes “Anna….” She said, before slumping back to the floor…