Registration for '23-'24 Live Online Classes is open! Interested in learning more? Schedule a free consultation with an expert today!
Student Spotlight | 6 Minutes

2018 Short Story Contest Winners

2018 Short Story Contest Winners

In January, we ran our annual short story contest for our students. Below, you'll find the winning pieces from the 1st-3rd and 7th-9th grade categories. Congratulations to Jovany Santillano in 3rd Grade from Redeemer Christian School and Violet Thorne in 8th grade from Castalian Springs, TN.

The New Shop

Nothing exciting ever happened in my small town. It was a boring town with a boring school and boring people. Until one day, a new shop opened up on Main Street.

There once was a book shop called The Book Shop, and there were four people in the shop, and I went into the shop and I bought some books then I ran home and I tripped on the sidewalk because I was so excited. I started reading the books when I got home.

The people that worked there make books and help people find books. The next day my friends and I went to buy books at The Book Shop. We saw computers and we saw books about animals and then we saw more books and there was a boss who was good.

The next day my mom, my dog and I went to The Bookshop and I found a book to read to my dog. The people that worked there were good because they were helpful to their customers.


Jovany Santillano


“...and then when I was six, we moved to Colombia to do mission work,” says the patient.

“And how did that make you feel?” I ask.

“I….I don’t remember,” says the old man, “I was six.”

“Try to relax your mind a bit and recreate the scene.”

“OK.” The patient closes his eyes.

“What do you see?”

“I see...a dirt floor. My mother’s in the kitchen cooking something that smells like onions and spices.”

“Mmmmhmmm,” I say, scribbling on my notepad.

“And I’m playing with this little plastic figurine. It’s some sort of Colombian superhero…”

“Yes, yes..” I scribble some more.

“But its face is melted because I left it next to the tea kettle once.”

I freeze. I look up at the man lying on the couch in my office. I know now why he seems so familiar to me. It’s me. From the future.

I've never liked time travel into the past, too messy, too uncontrolled. And it brings multitudes of logical fallacies flooding my brain. Like, 'How can you change the past if it has already happened?' 'How can you exist when you've never been born?' 'What would happen if you stopped your parents from meeting?' Just think about it for a minute! You could change the entire future course of the world by just being there. No matter how careful you were, you could never control the changes you would cause.

However, time travel into the future does not pose the same problems, as at that point the past has still already happened and is unchanged. But who would want to travel into the future if they could never come back? And who would want to send someone if they couldn't tell them what it was like?

But people, foolish curious people, never could stop messing around.

Finally, Dr. Edwin Sanders stunned the world with his invention of the Light-Speed, a machine able to take you forward in time in a controlled manner. But his invention was never really put to use, as the other part was missing: the back in time part.

That was when the Unidentified started appearing.

There's an online record of every single person on Earth, stating their name, age, birthplace, and residence, and it corresponds to each person's fingerprint, or so we thought.

Some years ago, two individuals were found in what seemed like a coma, and were rushed immediately to a hospital, where the personnel there were shocked to find no records of their fingerprints. After being revived, they seemed confused, and when questioned said strange things that nobody understood.

That's where I come into the picture. As a leading researcher, though only in my early thirties, the scientific community came to me for answers. The Unidentified were most certainly human, their DNA matched perfectly. But there was something odd about them, something different. I remember I'd said something about our president and one of them laughed and said, "What year is this? Why there's been seven presidents after Jenny Goke!"

"What?" I'd said.

"Yes, John Baker, Leonard Sims, and the others. Didn't you know?"

I'd stared at him open-mouthed. "But Jenny is the current president!"

"Not in 2609!"

And that's how we'd finally known. These weren't aliens, they were our own people... from the future. Someone there had found out a way to send people back in time, now they wanted to go home. Using the Light-Speed, we sent them back.

Soon more began to show up. That's how I got my job. They'd bring the people from the future to me, I'd find out what time they were from and send them back. I just dreaded to think of the people who went too far back, into my present's past…

I never did learn much of the future from them, they were all too confused. It was hard and dangerous. Hard, because sometimes you could not find out when they came from and dangerous because the programming of the Light-Speed machine must be so precise and any mistake could be fatal.

When the old man who was me came, I knew that he was familiar, but I couldn't place why. He was one of the harder cases. It was difficult for him to remember anything. When he remembered being in Columbia to do mission work I was surprised. I remembered being there as a child. That was when I'd looked at the patient more closely. Then the Colombian Superhero with--a melted face! My favorite childhood toy! There can be no mistake, as incredible as it seems, I am looking at myself.

The impossibility of it enters my mind, but oddly, I don't care. My only thought is this can't go on. People aren't meant to meet themselves! And those poor people, confused and scared, sent to a world that they don't belong to. Someone has to stop them, tell them what they are doing. Someone has to go into the future.

And that someone is me.

I talk to the patient a little longer and finally find out when his time is. I then tell him I'm going too, but I don't think he understands. I don't tell him that he is me, I don't want to confuse him even more. Slowly, I dial my boss's phone number and tell her my plan. She agrees. I realize that I may get confused so I write down who I am and what I'm doing on a note and take it with me so I don't forget.

I help the old man walk over to the machine. We get in and I close the door. I program it to the exact second we are to appear in time and it begins to spin. I shut my eyes. The machine has stopped and my mind is still clear.

When I open my eyes the machine is no longer around us. I am in the future and I'm not going back.


Violet Thorne