Our runner up in the 8-11 age category was Miriam, whose story was written from the perspective of Hercules’ monstrous opponent, a shapeshifter! We hope you enjoy reading Miriam’s tale of Hercules!
Hera was furious. Hercules had managed the 12 tasks. I crouched under the table as Hera threw plates around the room. ‘HE DIDN’T FAIL. HE SURVIVED!’ she yelled.
I scrambled away from her but before I left I heard her scream, ‘He will have one more task. If he fails then I’ll cast him into Tartarus; if he succeeds he will earn a place in Olympus.’
I was so scared, I turned into an eagle and flew down to earth. There was Hercules sitting on a rock carving his knife. It made a horrible screeching sound. I took a deep breath and turned into my true form.
‘Hercules!’ I yelled. He looked up and saw me sitting in a massive tree.
‘Um… what are you,’ he grunted.
“Good morning to you too, sir, ‘ I replied. ‘I’m a shapeshifter’, I said as I flicked my ears back and swished my tail.
‘Good for you,” he murmured.
‘Sir, Queen Hera of Olympus has sent you a 13th challenge.’
“WHAT! THAT STINKING LITTLE DEVIL! HOW DARE SHE?! I HAVE COMPLETED 12 TASKS LIKE SHE ASKED! WHAT MORE DOES SHE WANT?!” he shouted.
‘Um, sir, you might want to hush down a bit. She might hear you.’
‘Oh, I heard.’ Queen Hera of the Heavens floated down on a cloud of sparkles. She looked heavenly except for the fact that Hercules had made her lose her royal temper. (Trust me that’s not a good thing!) With the click of her fingers, everything went dark and suddenly we were in a field in the middle of nowhere. “You must defeat this beast I set upon you,” her voice gloated. ‘Fight well, young shapeshifter!”
Woah woah woah! Hold up! Me? Fighting Hercules? Hahahaha! Very funny! You can stop joking now.”
Hercules came at me. ‘Well well well! Looks like your precious mistress betrayed you!’ He laughed.
That got me mad. I growled and turned into a massive dragon bigger than the whole field. ‘I am the great Hercules! I’m not….’ and then he ended his sentence as I brought my paw over his face and squished him on the ground.
‘Look. I don’t want to fight you,’ I said and I turned back to my normal shape. Hercules got up. Half of his face had a massive paw print on it.
‘Listen kid. I don’t wanna kill you either but I don’t have a choice.’
‘Then we have no choice,’ I grinned bearing my knife sharp teeth and launched. Fighting in my normal form was best. I could flip and run like the wind. Hercules was strong, but too strong. He couldn’t act quickly so I used that as my advantage, ducked between his legs and front flipped onto his head, turned into an elephant and sat on him.
‘HMGHGHMMM!’ Hercules gasped as I changed back and flipped off his back, my swords against his throat.
‘Hercules, I will let my mistress decide what to do with you’.
Suddenly a flash of light occurred and Hera slowly floated down. ‘Well well well! What do we have here? I must admit I was rather mean putting our best swordfighter against you. Your punishment will be to guard the moonlight bay for eternity.’
And with that, Hera clicked her fingers and everything went golden. My mistress and I walked up to the heavens. My plan was to go check on Hercules but that was impossible. Hera half-shoved, half-pushed me to Olympus.