Writing Contest Winners 2014 — 7th and 8th Grades
Congratulations to the following 7th and 8th grade winners of the “PHB” Homeschool Writing Contest!!!
1st Place: Kayla, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 8 from Aurora, Illinois for the story entitled “Skye’s Star”. Kayla’s wonderful winning story is reprinted below.
2nd Place: Becky, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 8 from Norristown, PA, for the story entitled “My Guardian Angel”.
3rd Place: Chloe, a traditional homeschooler in Grade 8 from Fredericksburg, VA, for the story entitled “No Way Out”.
The winners have been notified and will be receiving their prizes from the sponsors shortly.
Special thanks to all the students who participated! You did a fantastic job! We can tell that you all worked very hard. I hope to host more writing contests in the future. Please try again!
Special thanks to the following Sponsors who helped make this contest possible:
- The Institute for Excellence in Writing
- Peace Hill Press &
- Silver Lining Press
Special thanks also to the panel of judges who worked to select the winners:
- Marlene Bagnull
- Pam Halter
- Michelle Lofton
- Rosario Cintron
- Julia Melone &
- Kay Ben-Avraham
As promised, following is a reprint of Kayla’s fantastic winning story:
Skye looked around but realized with a sudden dread there was no way out. She was trapped! She turned her head to the side, her cheek touching the cold floor, trying to see where she was, but a searing pain stopped her. Her head hurt so badly, as well as her legs, but she couldn’t even remember what had happened. She remembered some things: the basement, the cold, Pieter sneaking down to see her. Then bright lights and loud noises, and so much screaming. Then everything started collapsing. Everything began falling apart because …
“Bombs.” Skye whispered to herself as the realization hit her. Bombs did this.
She started to move. She needed out. She needed to find Pieter, to find her brothers. She sat up carefully and brushed dust from her arms. Something warm and sticky trickled down the back of her neck and into her night-gown. Her eyes misted over for a moment as dizziness overtook her. She was bleeding from her head, and by the feel of it, she was losing a lot of blood.
As her eyes adjusted to the dark, she could see the outline of things around her. Above her was a black mass of broken wood and darkness. She carefully leaned forward, feeling for her legs, but all her fingers felt was the smoothness of wood. Panic overtook her as she realized her legs were being crushed by a large cabinet. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t push it off. It hurt. It hurt more than anything she’d ever felt. If she got out of this, would anyone be able to fix her legs?
Tears sprung from her yes and rolled down her cheeks and neck. She knew the answer to her question. Her legs were damaged beyond repair. She knew her legs were done, but she wouldn’t admit it to herself.
As the pain and sorrow hit her, Skye screamed. Ugly, choking screams. She didn’t care who heard her, if anyone could. She screamed for Pieter, her best friend. He was the boy who hid her from the Nazis. He was the one who comforted her when the dreams about her parents came. He was the one who protected her. He was a silly fifteen-year-old boy, and where was he now? Buried beneath the wreckage of his house or possibly even dead. All because he had snuck down to the basement to keep a fourteen-year-old girl company.
She pushed the thought from her mind. Pieter might not be dead. She had to hold on to the small sliver of hope that he was alive. That they would both make it out of this alive.
As she inhaled to call for help again, she choked. She could feel the dust in the air lodging in her throat every time she drew a breath. She coughed even harder than she had when she’d been sick last year. When she opened her mouth to cough again, she leaned over to the side, and instead of coughing, threw up. She vomited until everything she’d eaten the day before reappeared.
Skye laid back. She wasn’t going anywhere. She could feel her heart beating faster every second. Blood was still seeping from her head and she was having trouble breathing. She knew she had to relax. As she lay in a puddle of her own blood, she thought of her brothers Tommy, Rudy, and Isaac. She didn’t know where they were or even if they were alive, but somehow, picturing their faces in her mind made her feel calm.
She thought about Hitler and how Germany wouldn’t be crumbling right now if it weren’t for him. She thought about his hatred for Jews, and for people who had brown hair and brown eyes. Hair and eyes like her own. Hair and eyes like his own. That sudden thought made her want to laugh.
Searching her mind for something to think about, Skye suddenly remembered her book. The night before, Pieter had asked her about her book of letters. Over the last five years, she’d written hundreds of letters to God, her mama and papa, and Pieter, filling the blank book her mama had given her before sending her and her brothers to Pieter’s mama.
She thought back to where the book had been. If she was still in the same place she’d been standing last night, her book was probably somewhere off to her left. She sat up again, ignoring the pain and dizziness, and reached out to start moving pieces of the collapsed house. She moved as much as she could, but with her legs pinned under the cabinet, she couldn’t reach far. After a few minutes of searching, she gave up and started to pull back to lay down again. As she did, her eyes focused on a bright shape buried under splintered wood and dirt. It was her star — the one that had been sewn into her clothes before coming here. The one that Pieter was supposed to burn when she had arrived, but he had saved it and hidden it.
Coughing and breathing with great difficulty, she reached out to grab it. Her fingers wrapped around it, and she pulled it close to her, holding it to her heart. She could feel her heartbeat. It was slow, but she wasn’t worried. Not anymore. She laid down again, closed her eyes, and smiled as a tear rolled down her cheek.
“I love you.” She whispered, sending her words out to everyone she’d ever loved: Mama, Papa, Pieter, her brothers, Pieter’s siblings and his parents. She loved them all.
As she took her last breath, she knew her fight was over. She knew the people she left behind would hurt, and she hurt for them. But she also knew that every time they smiled they would smile a little brighter than everyone else. The saddest people always do. They shine like all the stars in the sky.
Posted by Gwen Fredette on December 23rd, 2014