IGCSE narrative essay | 2008 May-Jun | The year is 2035. As a special birthday present you


You are advised to write between 350 and 500 words on the following topic:

The year is 2035. As a special birthday present you have just received the latest gadget that other teenagers would love to own. You take it to your room, switch it on, and something you don’t expect happens. Write a story from this point onwards.

Model Essay

The year was 2035, and on my sixteenth birthday, I received the most coveted gadget any teenager could dream of: the OmniSphere 3000. This sleek, spherical device was rumored to be a revolutionary virtual reality system that could transport users into a fully immersive digital world, unlike anything ever experienced before. I hurried to my room, my heart pounding with excitement, and gently placed the OmniSphere 3000 on my desk.

After a quick glance at the instructions, I placed the lightweight headset over my eyes and ears, feeling a slight tingle as it adjusted to fit perfectly. I pressed the power button on the sphere, and the device hummed to life, casting a soft blue glow across my room. A welcome screen appeared in my vision, and a calm, soothing voice greeted me: “Welcome to the OmniSphere 3000. Prepare for an unparalleled adventure.”

I selected the “Explore” mode, eager to dive into the vast digital landscapes I had heard so much about. Suddenly, the room around me dissolved into a blur, and I found myself standing in a breathtaking, futuristic city. Towering skyscrapers with neon lights stretched up into the sky, and hovercars zipped through the air. The detail was astonishing; I could feel the cool breeze on my skin and hear the distant hum of the city’s hustle and bustle.

I began to wander through the city, marveling at the incredible realism of my surroundings. Every step felt as solid and real as if I were truly there. I was completely immersed, lost in the wonder of this new world. But then, something unexpected happened. The sky above darkened abruptly, and the vibrant cityscape started to glitch and distort. The buildings flickered, and the ground beneath me seemed to waver.

A voice crackled through the headset, different from the calm, welcoming one I had heard before. This voice was urgent, almost panicked. “User 3247, please respond. You have activated a restricted mode. Identify yourself immediately.” My heart raced. What was happening? I hadn’t intended to activate any restricted mode.

“Uh, my name is Alex,” I replied hesitantly, unsure if the voice could even hear me. “I just got this device as a birthday present.”


There was a pause, followed by a series of rapid beeps. “Alex, you have inadvertently accessed a top-secret prototype feature. Remain calm. We are attempting to retrieve you from the system.”

Before I could react, the environment around me shifted dramatically. The futuristic city vanished, replaced by a dark, shadowy forest. The trees loomed high above, their branches twisted and gnarled. A chilling wind rustled the leaves, sending shivers down my spine. I could hear distant growls and the rustling of unseen creatures in the underbrush.

“Alex, you must find the beacon,” the voice instructed. “It’s the only way to return to your reality.”

My pulse quickened as I set off through the forest, every sense heightened by the eerie atmosphere. The OmniSphere 3000 had turned into a high-stakes adventure far beyond my wildest expectations. I pushed through the dense foliage, scanning for any sign of the beacon. The forest seemed to close in around me, and the sounds grew louder, more menacing.

Finally, in a small clearing, I spotted a faint, pulsating light. The beacon! I sprinted towards it, my heart pounding in my chest. As I reached out to touch the light, the ground beneath me gave way, and I fell into a swirling vortex of colors and sounds.

With a jolt, I found myself back in my room, the OmniSphere 3000 still glowing softly on my desk. I ripped off the headset, gasping for breath. The calm voice returned. “Welcome back, Alex. We apologize for the unexpected journey. The restricted mode has been deactivated. Enjoy your OmniSphere 3000.”

I sat back, my mind racing. What had just happened? The OmniSphere 3000 was more than just a virtual reality device; it was a gateway to extraordinary adventures and uncharted territories. As the adrenaline faded, I realized that this birthday present had given me the thrill of a lifetime—and who knew what other secrets the OmniSphere 3000 might hold?

Word Count: 685