Congratulations to our Short Story Contest Winners! Here are the winners of the Grades 4-6 and 10-12 categories:
Short Story Contest Winner, Grades 4-6:
The Forgotten Tale of Autumn, By Reagan Work,
Long ago, the King of Light created all. He gave to each species its own job. To the fairies he gave the most difficult job: coloring all natural things.
The master fairy Tikarona created magical pots that were used by the fairies to color the world. When the magic pot was placed at the end of one of King of Light’s rainbows, the colors swirled at the bottom of the pot. The fairy would then simply pick out a color and commands what he wanted colored.
Fairies loved that green made them feel joyful. For this reason, the fairies colored almost all natural items green. However, one fairy named Leif absolutely hated the look of green. He wanted some of the world the color fire! One night, Leif remembered an old fairy legend:
When it is the King you seek
Climb the highest mountain peak
When the crystals all reflect
The King of Light will resurrect
The next morning Leif flew out of his house to find the crystal circle. It was not long before he stood in front of Crystal Hinge. Then, before him, a faint figure began to appear. The King soon sat on the innermost crystal looking at Leif with an unreadable expression.
“Leif, of the family Demetrean,” the King of Light began, “why now do you come to your king?”
Leif used his courage and proposed, “Sir, all my fairy friends love green and have colored most of the world green. I beg to ask if I may change the color of one green thing to a color which I prefer.”
The King of Light looked thoughtful for a moment. “You may, Leif, son of Mauly, of the third generation of Demetrean. I will allow this change to take place each year during the season of your birth. I made you in autumn and thus this change will be permanent. No other fairy will be able to alter this.”
Leif stared off into the distance thinking, and when he looked back the king was gone as mid-day was over. He journeyed back to his magic pot and chanted:
“I need to color the magnificent earth
That was my intention since birth
As your colors unfurl
I see a pretty rainbow swirl”
Leif selected a fiery red that appeared in the pot and began singing again:
“Let it be known to maple leaves
A fiery red will fight the breeze
Let it be known to the strong oak
Your bright orange will provoke
Let it be known to the poplar tree
Yellow leaves will bring to others glee”
And so it was that Leif Demetrean changed the leaf cycle forever. He was now content. All humans look forward to this season of bright reds, oranges, and yellows.
Short Story Contest Winner, Grades 10-12:
By Ned Potter
It’s raining outside. The kind of rain that makes steam drift out of the New York City manholes and dampens your clothes and your hair. I rush across the street toward the towering glass building and push my way through the revolving doors. Warm at last, but still damp, I collapse my umbrella and carry it under my arm. A crowd of people stands before a line of elevators, so I push my way to the front. The doors on elevator C slide open and I step inside along with six or seven other rain-soaked patrons. As the door closes, I feel the floor start to rise below my feet, slowly, steadily, the usual awkward silence filling the space between us.
“You’re probably wondering why I brought you all here,” one man says breaking the silence. He hits the emergency break button suddenly, and the elevator jerks to a halt.
Glancing up from my neighbour’s shoes I observed the man who spoke. The best way to describe him would be a bear with a limp, pretending to be an accountant. He growled out the following “As you all know the Rósanna Disease is sweeping the States killing thousands, and reliable sources tell me it has now spread to Europe and Asia.” In reaction to this a murmur of fear passed through the elevator just like the disease crippling the world outside. “But I didn’t stop this elevator just to give you an update that you can see on CNN later, but to tell you that someone in this office is infected with Rósanna Disease, they are keeping a low profile to try and retain their job. But they must be found and eliminated for the good of mankind.” He glanced around, his piercing bloodshot eyes accusing everyone. Yanking a radio from his belt, he called someone telling them the briefing was done. Suddenly the elevator jerked back into motion.
When I stepped into the office I glanced around at my colleagues, suspicion crowded my every thought. Which one of these people that I respected would endanger their whole office just to keep their job. As I walked toward the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee, I listed the Rósanna Disease symptoms in my head. Coughing and sputtering, but anyone with the common cold might do that, aching joints, a bit hard to observe, excessive sweating and a scarlet rash. The kitchen door had a small lined piece of glass in it, I peered in. There was only one person in the kitchen, a man I knew by name. Liam Wilson, he worked in my department and was disliked by most as he didn’t pull his weight.
I stepped into the kitchen and started pouring myself some coffee from the cafetiere. Liam must have not noticed my arrival because when he heard me he jumped out of his skin. “Oh Martin I didn’t hear you come in.” He was shaking feverishly and as he turned around I observed he was sweating profusely, beads of water were pouring down his face and dripping from his bald head. Using a damp napkin to mop his brow, he swiftly turned away again. “I um… need to get to the board room.” He quickly shuffled out of the kitchen banging his shoulder on the door frame in the process. As I sipped my beverage I thought over what I had just seen, could Liam the one referred to in the elevator? No, I shouldn’t jump to any hasty conclusions. Just because he displayed two of the symptoms didn’t mean he was the infected one. I had one last gulp of coffee then headed to the boardroom for a scheduled meeting.
I pushed open of one of the two double doors to the room and walked in. The room was empty, except for Liam, who was sitting at the long table glancing around nervously, scratching his wrist like a crazed dog with fleas. I took my seat next to him and waited for my other colleagues. Peering down at his wrist I noticed the scarlet patch of irritated, flaking skin, which was causing him such discomfort. Excessive sweating, crimson rash….. I felt uneasy so decided to make a move. I began to excuse myself when Liam seized my arm. “Its not me I…. I just have eczema and a… c cold!” He gripped my forearm tighter. “I’m not infected!”
I wrenched my arm from his desperate grasp and fled from the room. Liam’s pitiful silence burning my ears. I made my way into the bathroom. Dousing my face with freezing water, I stared wearily into a broad landscape mirror. As I stood there I did much thinking, although Liam claimed he wasn’t infected he obviously was, he had all the symptoms and yet if he was being truthful… I pushed that thought to the back of my mind. I had made my mind up. I would inform the boss. I left the bathroom and headed toward my boss's office, but just as I reached his door I heard a sound from behind me. Psssst! And then a cough, I spun around and observed one of my colleagues, Peter, crouching behind a desk. I raised an eyebrow at him as he quickly beckoned me with his hand. I glanced around, making sure no-one was watching, then stepped over toward him. He seized my shoulder and yanked me towards him. “Where are you going?” he hissed urgently,
“To the boss’s office”
Peters eyes narrowed. “Why?” he retorted.
“I’m going to tell the boss I’ve found the infected one!”At that, Peter cuffed me across the jaw and I fell back stunned, exclaiming loudly “What was that for?”
Peter appeared even more shocked than I was, for he was a mild mannered fellow and to my knowledge had never hit a man in his life. “You must not tell him!” he said in a panic.
“Of what concern is it to you?” I groaned.
“What concern is it to me if I lose my job huh? I thought we were friends!” Peter muttered, sounding deflated.
“What are you talking about?” I spluttered. Peter then glanced up at me and for the first time I noticed his neck was covered in a scarlet rash, he was sneezing, coughing and copious amounts of sweat were dripping from his face. “You’re the infected one?” I muttered utterly stunned.
Peter nodded. I groaned and scratched at a itchy patch of skin on my wrist. Suddenly the door to my boss’s office opened and the man in the lift limped out, mopping his sweating brow, he stared at me and Peter. “Have either of you seen the infected one?” he coughed, reaching to scratch a rash on his neck. I opened my mouth, but it was dry, the words didn’t come.