Contest

Survive the night

    I wake up in the back of a black van, bewildered and shivering when I notice an envelope with my name on it. “That’s odd, there’s no mailman around,” I think to myself and proceed to open my letter. On the page was written “Hello, Nicole! Of course, you don’t know where you are, but follow the trail of red roses if you want to ever see the stars.” I begin to panic and jump out of the van into a mound of snow. I am left in frozen solidarity, but run to the trail of roses hoping to see the light of day. Another note is left on the ground next to a thick black coat. “Put this coat on, it’s chilly, but don’t wait too long or you’ll face the wrath of my pet Tilly.”
    I then hear a roar and quickly begin to walk through the eerie path. I walk amongst the shadows, until I am presented with another rose. Like last time, the rose had a note. “Honey, take the bike, you’re too slow, let’s see if you can get away from my pet Toto.” Bright green eyes emerge from the darkness and a shiver runs down my spine. Tears spill from my eyes in fear. Slowly, I back away to the blue bicycle, plan my getaway, and bike into the darkness. My legs ache, heart pumps aggressively, and fists clench, but it’s all about survival. I feel numb, but make it to yet another rose. I don’t stop in fear of getting mauled, but suddenly, I hydroplane and land on my head. I hold my head trying to pry my eyes open, and get a glimpse of a face and hear the purrs of cats in the morning sunrise. I try to get a clear look of the mystery figure, but to my dismay, I am stabbed with a needle. My eyelids get heavy and I hear a voice in my hazy state. “Sweetheart, you should have stopped at the rose, but while my sleeping tonic seeps in, you will be in the lowest of the lows!
    I am out cold while my madman begins to cackle and beasts roar. I jerk awake, but can’t breathe! I look around to discover I am at the ocean floor with a weight attached to my foot. I scream into the freezing water and sift through the sand to find something, anything! My chest feels tight, but my blue fingers find an old key. I jam it into the shackles holding the weight and swim towards the light trying to avoid death by hypothermia. I paddle to the warm hue of the sun, my hands like oars, and I reach the surface. I feel the cool zephyr of the sea and smell the salty air. I flap my arms in exhilaration that I am alive (and to stay afloat), when I hear the cock of a gun. My arm begins to throb and I start to sink. I scream and shout, and suffocate. I try to reach the surface, but alas, I can’t. I sink into the depths of the sea, taking my last breath.

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Darshita Rakam – 11th grade

Darshita is hardworking, dedicated, and best of all, self-motived. Her sincerity towards her work is commendable. She always ruminates on her assigned task, and then uses a combination of intense thinking and writing to compose her stories, essays, and poems. Her handwriting is a joy to read!