Cross Border Story Seeds Project: Teleportation

An extract from stories by three primary schools in Ulster

Chapter 1: Time Travel in Jonesborough

Jonesborough Primary School, Newry, P6/7

It was a sunny Tuesday afternoon and Cahir was playing football in Jonesboro Park. He saw Pearse and Lily hanging out in one of the trees. He kicked the ball towards them to get them to come and play. Pearse and Lily jumped down to the ground. Pearse bicycle-kicked the ball back to Cahir. “This is why they call me the best keeper in Jonesboro,” said Cahir, catching the ball with ease.

“Do you want a challenge?” said Lily.


“Why not?” said Cahir. “I’ll go first.” He placed the ball onto the white spot of the grass and ran up to take a shot, but the power of the kick pushed him back. He fell right back to the river.

At that very moment, Lily ran and saved the goal. She turned around and saw that Pearse was eating popcorn.

“Where did you get that?” she said.

“I got it at the Sunday market,” replied Pearse.

“How did you get it at the Sunday market when it’s a Tuesday?” asked Lily, confused. She looked at her smartwatch and realised they had travelled in time…

Chapter 2: The Mysterious Dumpster

Windsor Hill Primary School, Newry, P7

Lily snapped out of her shock.

“Help, help!” shouted Cahir.

“What’s going on?” asked Pierce, waving his hands in the air.

“Let’s check if the Sunday market is open,” suggested Lily.

They all walked to the Sunday market. On their way they saw something quite surprising. A green dumpster. Poking out of the dumpster was the face of a cat. It had light-brown fur and green eyes, and was miaowing loudly at them. Cahir spotted it first.

“What’s wrong?” Pierce asked.

“What’s that?” asked Cahir, pointing at the cat.

Lily and pierce turned around, but the cat was gone.


“I swear I just saw a cat… I think it looked like a pancake… with butter on top?” said Cahir.

“You’re going crazy, Cahir,” said Lily, laughing.

“Let’s go and see if the cat’s still there,” said Cahir.

They walked towards the dumpster and stopped. The lid magically opened and they peered inside. While they were distracted, the cat hopped out of the dumpster and tied all their shoelaces together.

“See, there’s nothing there,” said Lily.

They looked down and fell head over heels straight into the dumpster.

Just then, the bin lorry pulled up. It tipped the contents of the dumpster into the truck and drove off.

At the traffic lights, it took a left and went through a portal. Little did they know the cat was driving the truck…

Chapter 3: Welcome to Ballybay

Scoil Éanna, Ballybay, Co Monaghan, sixth class

Cahir, Pierce and Lily woke up suddenly in the back of the green truck. They stopped at a traffic light and jumped out. They realised they were at Pearse Park GAA in Ballybay, Co Monaghan.

They decided to go in and kick a ball from the 45 line over the bar. Ellie was playing basketball at the astro pitchand suggested she take them to the old market.

Before they left, Cahir kicked the ball one last time, but it blasted them from Wednesday all the way back to Sunday 13th in 1989.

Lily checked her smartwatch and the time read 12.40.

At the Ballybay Sunday market, they were selling fresh fruit and veg for a low price, and the spuds were cheap. At this point, they realised they were not in their hometown any more.

They wanted popcorn but the market closed at 1pm, so they had to hurry. They only have 20 minutes left.

When they were leaving the market, they walked along the Main Street and saw a wee short lad with brown hair coming out of Gerry’s chipper. In his hand was a bag of chips.

“Well, how’s she goin? My name is Vincie,” said the boy. “Would you like a wee chip?”

Cahir, Lily and Pierce were scared so they replied, “No thanks.”

“Ach, go on.”

“No thanks, we don’t want any… but where are we?” asked Cahir.

“We’re in a wee town called Ballybay, Co Monaghan!” said Vincie. “Where are you guys from that you don’t know this place?”

“We’re from Jonesboro,” they all replied.

“Where’s that?”

Just then, a load of bulls came running down the street. Behind the bulls there was a man in very mucky clothes.

“Ay, wee gason, stop them bulls there would ya!” the man shouted.

“Here, hould me chips would ya,” said Vincie. “And don’t take any!”

Vincie ran out the road and started shouting. He swung his arms up and down.

“Suc, suc, suc! Come on!”

Most of the bulls ran off but one of them tried to charge at Vincie.

Meanwhile, a cat walked up to Cahir, Lily and Pierce and spoke to them in an Oxford English accent.

“Well, that didn’t go as planned,” the cat said.

The cat touched them all with a paw and they all teleported…

The aim of the Cross Border Story Seeds Project was to promote a positive sense of self and the community, bringing young people together across the Border and across traditions through creative expression.

Over the course of this project our facilitators, artists and volunteers visited more than 120 primary and post-primary schools and community groups, working with approximately 10,000 children and young people in Co Antrim, Co Louth, Co Down, Co Monaghan, Co Armagh, Co Donegal and Co Derry.

Working with primary schools, chapters were exchanged back and forth across the Border with each school adding a chapter in response to what was written by the previous school. This culminated in finished stories and the publication of the Zine Story Seeds Across the Border that weaves together a refreshing and insightful description of community life along the Border counties and beyond.

Working with post-primary schools, students created stories within the Gothic genre and wrote fantastical stories that were full of creativity and imagination that celebrated important local landmarks and investigated the folklore in their community. The stories are also published today in the Zine Gothic Tales: Stories of the Mysterious and Macabre.

Working with community groups, additional needs groups and youth clubs, some of the participants contributed stories to the Gothic Tales Zine. However, they mostly created stories, plays, screenplays and radio plays that will make up the next two episodes of the Story Seeds podcast that can be heard on the Fighting Words Podcast.

The project was funded by Creative Ireland and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media. The project ran from April 2023 to March 2024