NaNoMo – Vivi Soto


National Novel Writing Month (NaNoMo) is a non-profit organisation that “believes in the power of creativity”. Each year throughout the month of November, interested young writer’s are asked to write an extended piece of creative writing across the 30 days of the month.  It’s a significant challenge to undertake but thousands of young writer’s sign up each year.

This news story is about celebrating one young writer from FIS who completed an extended piece of writing that can be found below. Vivi Soto loves to paint and is a fan of video games. She enjoys writing creatively.


Beneath the House

The Earthquake


“What Mamá?” he yelled.

“Get me some chicken from the market” she said.

“Don’t we have chickens in the pen?” asked Marco.

“Yes but your dad isn’t here.”

“What dose that have to do with anything Mamá?” he asked.

“I’m not killing one of those poor chickens!” she shouted back.

“Fine” said Marco.

He walked outside and grabbed his bike from the side of the house. He got on then pedalled onto the dirt road. ” Bye Mom!” he shouted.

She simply waved her hand at him. He started pedalling and  he was on his way to the market. People mostly think the Mexico is dangerous, it is, but Marco still thought it was beautiful, especially at this moment. The sky was blue, there wasn’t a cloud in sight, the colours of the surroundings seemed to be extra bright today. Nothing could ruin this perfect day.

He arrived at the market, but he stopped abruptly. He put his foot on the ground, looked up and noticed that everything was shaking. “Oh no, Earthquake!” he thought. He looked around for shelter but couldn’t find any. He jumped off his bike and ran around franticly. The ground was vigorously shaking at this point, people were screaming and Marco began to panic, but before he could even take one more step he was crushed by a stand.

Marco woke up, opened his eyes and looked around. He was in a hospital. He attempted to sit up but he soon noticed he was unable to. He was in pain, lots and lots of pain.

Before he could even ask what was going on his eyes started to get heavy and closed once again. They reopened but he was in a different place. He looked around but was very confused. It was completely white.

Was he in heaven? Did he die? Were the last words he ever said to his mother going to be about chicken? He decided to calm down and look around to see if there were any clues as to where he was. Marco began to walk, and walk, and walk. He came to a halt. He could see ahead that there was a dark figure in the distance. He turned to walk the other way because whatever that was, he did not want to mess with it.


He fell over. He put his hand in front of himself and hit a wall. The strange thing was, there was no wall in sight, at least not one he could see. He stood up confused, and turned around. The figure had come at least 10 feet closer. “Hello?” Marco shouted.

His voice echoed off the invisible wall and the figure got closer, and closer, and closer. He backed away, afraid of what might happen next. Marco didn’t want to die, he was only 14!

He closed his eyes, prayed to God that he would still live another day, and slowly opened them. To his surprise the figure was no demon or zombie at all, it was his grandmother. “Abuelita Maria? What are you doing here? You’re dead! Am I dead? Where are we?” Marco was so confused.

“Calm down Marco! It’s fine.” said Abuelita Maria. “I am dead, you are right about that, but you are still alive, mostly.”

“Mostly? What do you mean mostly?” exclaimed Marco. “You are just in a small coma.” said Abuelita Maria.

“COMA?” yelled Marco.

He felt dizzy, really, really dizzy.

He somehow managed to keep it together and luckily he didn’t throw up. “Don’t worry Marco, you will wake up soon which means we don’t have much time, so I’ll get to the point.”

She took a deep breath and put her hand on his shoulder. Was what she was going to tell him really that horrible? “Marco, your father is in terrible danger. He was taken while he was walking back home to you and your Mamá.”

“Are you telling me that Papá is dead?” asked Marco.

“No, no, no, all that I am saying is that you must go find him before something bad happens to him.” she said.

“Where do I look?” asked Marco, but his grandma was already fading away.

He was about to wake up. “ABUELA WAIT!” he yelled, but it was too late.

The white was turning black but he did see one last thing, a fine wooden house that almost looked like a barn. He looked closer and noticed the number 566 near the door. Soon the picture of the house faded back into darkness, then he opened his eyes.



Marco woke up in the hospital yet again, but this time he was surrounded by lots of nurses. “He’s awake!” yelled one of the nurses.

“Quick get the doctors!” yelled another.

Marco was scared, so naturally he blacked out and his eyes closed. His eyes reopened and once again he looked around. He looked to his left and saw a nurse sitting next to him, reading to him. She looked up at him and smiled. “Where am I?” he asked her.

“You were hurt pretty badly in that earthquake today so now you’re here in the hospital.” she said.

Her voice was soothing and Marco felt calm and at ease, but he soon remembered his mom. She was at home alone during the earthquake. “Do you know anything about my mother?” asked Marco.

“What’s her name?” the nurse asked.

“Marina Paloma” he said.

“Oh yes she’s here in the hospital too. She is fine, just a few broken bones.” said the nurse.

“What happened to me?” asked Marco.

“You broke your arm and leg, but you also got a pretty bad concussion.” she said.

“When will I be able to go back to my house?” asked Marco.

“Oh honey, you have to stay here for at least 2 weeks.” she said.

“2 WEEKS?!” yelled Marco. “Yes, I’m sorry.” said the nurse.

“Let me get you some jello.” said the nurse, but before he could refuse, she was off to get jello for Marco. Marco was left alone to think, but all he could think about was his mother.  He was also still confused about the whole encounter with his grandma. Marco was tired so he decided to try and get more sleep.

Marco walked around his neighbourhood. He decided to walk to the market where he had been during the earthquake. He started to run.  As he arrived, he immediately noticed that there was no one in sight. It was eerily quiet, there was no talking, no laughter, no arguing, nothing at all. Mexico was never silent, so Marco could tell that this was obviously a dream.

He walked for about 5 minutes, until he could see the market in the distance behind him. He looked around then stopped in his tracks. He fell down but quickly got up. Down a long wavy dirt road stood a house, but not any house, it was the same house from the vision he had with his grandma. He ran down the road as fast as he could. He looked at the numbers on the house, “566″ he thought to himself. As he pushed open the door, he saw there was a single chair in the middle of the house and two spiral staircases.

Suddenly out of the silence there came screaming.

His dad!

He ran up the stairs and threw open every door he could find. The screaming continued, it got louder, and louder, and the screams became more desperate with every breath.

Marco could not handle it anymore. He couldn’t stand by while someone he loved got tortured. He sat in the hallway curled in a ball with his head down. He cried, he missed his mom and dad, he wanted to wake up, and he wanted to ease the pain of the person screaming. ” It’s just a dream, It’s just a dream, it’s just a dream” he had to keep reminding himself.

He awoke in a cold sweat, he was panting and his face was wet. The nurse with the calming voice was back by his bedside stroking his back.

“Are you ok honey?” asked the nurse.

“Yeah, just a nightmare, I’ll be fine.” responded Marco.

“I brought you some breakfast in case you were hungry” said the nurse.

“Thank you,” said Marco.

“I’ll come back after you eat, okay?”

“Okay, thank you.” Marco ate his breakfast, set his plate down, and started to draw on some paper. He drew some small comics, but he was still bored out of his mind. The next 5 days were all the same. Wake up from the same dream over and over, eat breakfast, draw, then go to sleep. On his sixth day in the hospital after he was done drawing, he went to sleep as usual.

This dream, however, was different. It wasn’t the dream with the man screaming but the one with his grandmother. “MARCO I TOLD YOU TO GO TO THE HOUSE IMMEDIATELY. YOUR FATHER IS IN GRAVE DANGER, GO NOW OR YOU WILL REGRET IT!” yelled his grandmother.

Marco woke up, it was midnight. He changed out of the hospital gown and back into his normal clothes. He was determined to save his father but he knew that the hospital would not let him leave. Marco punched his window, looked down, and jumped.


The House

Marco was covered in glass and was falling from the fourth story of the hospital. Was he really putting his life on the line for what was probably just a random fever dream? Why would he listen to his grandmother who was just in a dream he had? Now he was going to die, the ground got closer and closer.

Marco prepared himself. He closed his eyes and fell to the ground with a loud thud. Marco opened his eyes, he got up and dusted himself off. He looked at his arms and legs and saw that he was covered with scratches and blood, but he didn’t care. He had already jumped out of a hospital window, why not go find his dad and finish his mission?

Marco started to walk down the path, but then he stopped. He realized he was leaving his mom behind, but he had to if he was going to save his dad. He turned around and started walking again. After what seemed like hours he made it to the market. He looked at the wreckage. Food and other goods were scattered everywhere. He walked farther past the market, made a left, and there it was.

The wooden house! He ran towards it and read the numbers, 566, he found it!

He attempted to open the door but it would not budge. He kicked it with all his might and it fell. In the middle of the room there was a chair that was in the middle of two staircases, just like his dream. The chair was not empty though, in it sat a figure with it’s head down. The person was crying. Marco walked up to him. “Sir, what happened to you?” asked Marco in a quiet voice.

The man looked up at Marco, his face was covered in dirt and scars, and his face was wet with tears. It was hard to tell, but Marco knew this man. “D-Dad?” The man smiled.

“Marco. I missed you.”

Marco hugged his dad; it had only been about a week but he really missed him.

“How’s your mother?” asked his father.

“She has a few broken bones and is in the hospital right now.” said Marco.

“And what happened to you Marco, you look terrible.” said his father.

Marco told his dad the whole story. Marco untied his father “How did you get here dad?” asked Marco. “I was walking home from work, but then your mother called me and told me that she needed me to go buy her a new pan because the one she had broke. I was walked to the store and bought the pan, but when I walked down the road towards home, a woman approached me, knocked me out and I ended up here. She was wearing something over their face so I couldn’t tell who it was. She took me here and these people started.. well, I think you can tell what they did by my appearance.”

“Let’s go.” said Marco.

They both walked towards the door, but it was locked.


What a Nightmare

“What’s wrong Marco?” asked his dad.

“The door is locked.” Marco and his father were pushing the door with all of their strength, but nothing would happen. They threw everything that they could possibly find but the door stayed shut. “What do we do now?” asked Marco’s father.

“I don’t know.” said Marco.

“Wait! I have an idea!” exclaimed Marco’s father.

He dragged Marco up the stairs and down a hallway. Marco’s father punched the window and it shattered. “We have to jump.” said Marco’s father.

“There is no way I’m jumping out another window tonight.” said Marco.
“Do you want to die here?” said his father.


“You have to jump Marco.”

“I can’t. I’m going to die if I jump out another window.”

The house shook. “What was that?” asked Marco.

“I don’t know. Let’s just go.” said his father.

They both turned to the window but it was no longer smashed. Somehow, the window looked like it had not been affected by his fathers punch at all! They walked down the hallway to find another window, but the floor suddenly gave out.

They fell to the ground with a thud. They got up and brushed the wood off their clothes. When they looked at the door again, it was boarded up! The house shook once again but this time more aggressively. “WHATS HAPPENING?” yelled Marco.

The floor gave out once again and landed the two in the basement of the house. Both were laying on the ground defeated. Out of the corner of the room emerged a figure holding an object.

“Hello,” said the figure.

“Dad, is that the woman who brought you here?” asked Marco.

“Yes” he said sadly.

The woman crouched down to look Marco and his father in the eyes. Marco had a sinking feeling in his stomach. Somehow, he thought that he knew this person. Then he he knew exactly where he knew this person from, it was his mother! “Mom?” said Marco.

The woman just looked at him and smiled.

“Yes. I am your mother.” Marco looked at his father and he looked bewildered. What was going on? Marco’s brain was racing. He had so many questions. How could his mother betray him like that? “Mom, how could you?” Marco was heartbroken.

Why would the person who had cared for him for 14 whole years cause so much pain to their family? “Why are you doing this?” asked his father.

“Why? Well that’s easy. If both you and Marco die, I will get all of the family money. Of course I couldn’t kill you both myself, so I prayed and begged for help. He sent me this house to help me succeed in my task.”

“Who exactly did you ask for help?” asked Marco.

“The devil of course,” said his mother. Now I will kill you both.”

The house shook again, the walls and floor started to crack. The ground gave out once more, but this time they fell straight through the earth. It seemed as though this nightmare would never end.

Hells Gates

They were falling through darkness for what seemed like hours, and finally they hit the very hot ground.

Where were they?

Marco stood up, he looked around.

Everything was red and black. Lava was everywhere, at least he hoped it was lava. There was lots of screaming, not angry screaming, but very pained screaming. Marco ran to his father to help him up. His mother was still recovering from the fall and was laying on the ground.

“Are you okay dad?” asked Marco.

“I’ll be fine.” said his father.

They started walking around. They came to what seemed to be an information desk?

“Hello,” said Marco.

The goblin sitting at the desk turned in his chair. He was plump and was wearing a ripped suit.

“Hello!” he said.

“Welcome to Hell! Will you be staying here or are you visiting a friend?”

“Ummm, visiting I suppose?” said Marco’s father.

“Okay here is your pass, just give it to the security guard over there and then he will take you to your friend, okay!” said the goblin. “We also offer some other passes for food and drinks!”

“I think we’re okay for now.” said his father.

“Alright then, enjoy your time in Hell!” said the goblin.

Marco and his father turned around and started walking towards the security guard. They looked back at where they had landed minutes earlier where Marco’s mother was laying on the ground, but she was gone.

This made both Marco and his father uneasy, but they decided to continue on their way.

They arrived at the security gate and were waiting in line to get their passes scanned.

“Hello, may I see your pass?” asked a security guard.

Marco’s dad pulled out the passes from his pocket. “Let’s see, ahhh, visiting I see. Who are you here to see exactly?” asked the guard.

Marco looked at his father and his father looked back at him. “Uhh we are here to see…uhh…uhhh… Roberto Nevelis,” said Marco.

His father looked at Marco and laughed. “Uh-huh okay. Oddly that is the person that most visitors down here want to see.” said the guard.

He scanned the passes. “Okay go on through.”

They went through and were met by yet another guard. “Come with me I will take you to Roberto Nevelis.”

They got in a bus with the guard and were on their way. Even though they did not know what they were doing, they were determined to somehow get out of hell.

“Okay we are almost there.” said the guard.

Suddenly the bus stopped. A voice came out of a small speaker in the corner of the bus. “Hello people of hell! I have gotten word from an anonymous source that there are visitors here that belong in HEAVEN! They are not even dead! Look for one adult and one child and report them to me.”

The voice stopped and the bus driver looked back at Marco and his father. He grabbed his walkie talkie. “Sir, I have the trespassers!” yelled the cop.



“I have them, I have them!” yelled the guard.

The bus doors locked and the windows automatically sealed. Marco banged on the walls. “Stop trying to escape! The devil will be here any second,” yelled the cop.

The guard shoved Marco’s dad against the wall and cuffed him. “STOP!” yelled Marco.

“Shut up kid!” yelled the guard. “Once I get you both to the Devil, I will be greatly rewarded!” he said.

The guard let go of Marco’s dad and shoved him on the ground. “Your turn kid,” said the guard.

The guard shoved Marco against the wall and reached for a new set of handcuffs but suddenly Marco’s dad got up off the floor and walked over to the guard. “Hey what are you doing?” said the guard.

Marco’s dad did not respond, but instead hit the guard on the head with his own head. The guard fell down and put his hand over his forehead. “Hey what was that for?!” yelled the guard.

Marco ran to the front of the bus and grabbed a pair of handcuffs and slapped them right onto the guard’s wrists. He got the key for his dads cuffs and freed him. The two ran to the front of the bus and desperately searched for a button or switch that would open the doors. Marco touched a big yellow button that turned on the radio, then a button that tuned on the turn signal, until finally he found a blue button that opened the bus doors.

Marco grabbed his dad by his wrist and dragged him out of there. They were running down the streets of hell, which was so unbelievable! They looked around to see if there was an exit or somewhere to hide, but there was nothing to be seen.

The streets were crawling with monsters that Marco had only seen in movies. Both Marco and his dad stopped running to catch their breath, the air was thick and it was hard to breath.

“Marco.” said his father. “I can’t keep running like this. Let’s just turn ourselves in.”

Marco was taken aback by this. “Why would we turn ourselves in? We just took down a security guard and ran for 30 minutes! We’ve come so far, and for what? Just to turn ourselves in? I don’t think so.”

Marco was furious. Why would his father suggest such a thing? “Marco you don’t understand. I’m older than you, I can’t keep up.” said his father in a low voice, “Go find a way to escape from here without me. If I run for a second longer I think I might pass out, and if I do that I might have to go to the hospital. I don’t have health insurance in hell!”

Marco sat down. He didn’t want to leave his father but he had to keep going if he ever wanted to see his home ever again. But what is a home without family? He didn’t know what to do. “Dad,” he said, ” I promise I will be back for you, but first I have to try my best to clear our names and save mom.”

Marco got up looked at his tired father laying on the ground and ran down the street.

He was going to find the devil if it was the last thing he did, even if he had to go through hell to do it.


Good as Hell

Marco was running running down the street and was having no luck finding wherever the devil was. Marco knew that if he was ever going to find the devil he had to blend in with everyone. He couldn’t be a monster because he had no costume or mask, and he highly doubted that hell would have a costume store. What was he going to?

Then it came to him, he would turn himself in. His dad was right, this was the right thing to do. Marco looked up and down the street then spotted a small café. “Hmm, Good as Hell, sounds good,” he thought and he walked to the café. Marco opened the door and walked in.

He waited in line and started to think about what he was going to order.

What do they even serve in hell? Is it normal food or something else?

The line started moving and and soon it was Marco’s turn to order. “Hello” said the barista in a gruff voice. “What can I get for you …”

The barista stopped mid-sentence and grabbed a paper from under the counter. She looked at it for a good 30 seconds and then looked back at Marco. The cycle continued for at least a minute. “Uhh, sir,” said the barista to Marco. “It turns out that you have won a free coupon for being the twentieth customer of the day. Come with me to the back to get it.”

Marco was relieved that his plan had worked. He walked to the back of the café to get his coupon. The got to the back of the store and the barista opened a drawer and rustled some papers around. “Oh, one second I have to make a call,” said the barista.

She grabbed a phone out of her apron pocket and started dialing a number. She mumbled a few things into the phone then hung up. “Okay, sorry about that, let me just find that coupon for you.” She pulled out a handful of papers and handed them to Marco.

Marco was confused and just shoved the papers in his pocket. “Thank you,” said Marco.

The barista just smiled at him and then was silent for a couple seconds.

Suddenly without warning, the door to the back room fell down. About five police men emerged from behind the door holding hand cuffs and tasers.

This was scarier than Marco had imagined but there was no going back now. “SIR PUT YOUR HANDS WHERE I CAN SEE THEM. YOU ARE UNDER ARREST FOR TRESPASSING AND ASSAULT!” yelled an officer.

Marco put his hands in the air and an officer ran up to him. Marco was shoved against the wall and cuffed. “We are taking you to Lucifer and he will decide your fate. Thank you for reporting him.”

The officers took Marco and led him to the car. After maybe 10 minutes, they pulled up to a huge castle.

Was this where Lucifer lived? How could Marco have missed it?

They drove up to a gate and the officer rolled down the window. A voice from a speaker started talking. “Hello, what business do you have here with Lucifer?” said the voice.

“I have the trespasser.” said the cop.

The gates opened and the car went right through. They drove to a pathway in front of the palace and the officer got out of the car. He walked over to Marco’s side of the car and pulled him out. They walked up what seemed like a million stairs, but finally they made it to the front door.

They rang the bell and the door swung open.

Both Marco and the cop walked in but then a winged figure flew down from the celling. “Hello Marco,” said the figure.

Marco knew immediately that the figure was Lucifer.

Before Marco could answer, a second figure flew down. He looked at the new person and knew that it was his mother. At this point Marco was really confused, so he decided to start asking questions.”Why is my mom here, and why do you want me?”

“Well,” said Lucifer, “she is my wife and I want you because my beautiful bride wants you dead.”

Marco just stared at them. “Why would she want me dead. She has everything she needs right here and money means nothing here in hell.” said Marco.

“True, but she’s sick of you and now she wants to start a new life with me,” said Lucifer with a smile on his face, “Now enough of this stalling. I have a child to kill.”

Lucifer started to walk over to Marco, but suddenly a ray of white light came down. It was so bright that Marco thought he would go blind.

A white and transparent figure emerged from the light.



It was Marco’s grandma!

Marco was so relieved to see someone he knew, he even started crying a little bit.

He ran over to his grandma and gave her the biggest hug, which was hard because she too had wings. His grandma turned around to look at Lucifer and Marco’s mother. “How could you! Threatening a fourteen year old boy, and you cheating on your husband like this! My son!” said his grandma. “I am ending this torment once and for all!” said Marco’s grandmother.

Suddenly, tons of other angels appeared behind her. They all surrounded Lucifer and Marco’s mother.

Marco stood back, and the policeman who had brought him there ran out the door faster than Marco had ever seen anyone run.  Marco had no idea what was going on because he could not see through all the angels.

A burst of white light emerged from where everyone was standing, and then all the angles backed away. They where all surrounding a jar filled with black and grey clouds. “What is that?” he asked. “That is Lucifer and your mother,” said Marco’s grandmother.

“I have the coolest Abuela!” said Marco and his grandmother smiled.

“Let’s get you back to earth,” she said.

Marco held onto his grandma, closed his eyes, and they were transported back to the house in seconds. Marco opened his eyes, but his grandmother was no longer by his side. Marco wanted to scream and cry. He missed his grandma so much, now he was alone in this house, and by himself in Mexico.

His mother was a cloud and was married to Lucifer himself, and his dad… his dad! He thought for a moment. Oh no, he had left his dad on the streets of hell!

“WHAT KIND OF SON AM I!” yelled Marco with tears in his eyes.

He had left his dad for dead, what would the people in hell do to him? What would Marco do without him?

He was utterly alone, he had no money, and for crying out loud he was just in hell! Marco sat down, he was panicking, the air became so thick he thought he wouldn’t breath ever again. He curled into a ball and hugged himself. He was crying uncontrollably. He would never see his father again, and just to think that it was all his fault. Marco cried for what seemed like hours and then he fell asleep. Sleeping was no better than being awake, nightmares awaited his arrival in the world of sleep.

In his dream, he saw his father being tormented by the townspeople. His mother was there too. She was being tormented too. He still loved his mother and it pained him to see the people he loved screaming in pain.

Marco woke up in a cold sweat. He was panting as if he had just run a mile. Marco walked out of the house, he could not stand being there for another second. He ran towards his actual home and went to his bedroom.  He lay on his bed and contemplated what to do about his parents.

The choice was very clear, but it scared him too much. He got up, looked out his window and knew exactly what he needed to do. He was going to go back to hell, he would save his father and his mother. No matter what. Marco grabbed a back pack and ran out the door to the cemetery.

He was going to pay his grandma a little visit.