Here are the prompts:
Lacey looked up from the table and twirled her pen. Then she sighed, and gazed down at the paper in front of her. Lacey’s teacher had instructed each student to write a short novella of 10,000 words of more over a five-week period. But Lacey had no idea of what to write about.
Maybe a walk in the park will help me think. She flipped her wheat-colored hair away from her green eyes and pulled on a coat. It was still summer, but the air had a bite to it nowadays.
“Mom, I’m going for a walk,” she called as she strode out the front door.
“Ok honey! Just be back before dinner time,” was the faint answer.
She walked and walked, taking in the crispness in the air and all the fall colors.Finally she came to Tunnel Park, so named because of the enormous train tunnel that ran through it. In the early 1900’s, this tunnel had been used to get through the rugged mountains of central eastern Colorado. But with the rise of faster and bigger trains that needed better routes, the tunnel had been abandoned and donated to the city as a park.
Lacey walked inside the tunnel, remembering how she and her friends used to pretend it was the dungeon in an ancient castle. And she could see why.
With its many candles that lined the walls and the small cubbyholes and nooks that disappeared into nothingness on the cold, stone walls that went up and up until they disappeared into blackness, it made a very convincing dungeon.
She walked down the tunnel, completely absorbed in thought and not paying the slightest attention to where she was going.
Oof! Lacey felt herself falling backwards on to the icy gravel floor. She felt a stab of fear. Who or what had she hit? Should she run?
“Ouch,” a boy’s voice said. “Wha’d you do that for?”
“Sorry,” Lacey replied, still unsure of what she should do. “Where are you?”
“Right in front of you. Open your eyes.” his voice came back at her slightly annoyed.
“Oh.” She felt a hot blush creeping up her cheeks slowly. She walked towards the exit of the tunnel with-whoever it was-beside her.
“Who are you?” the boy asked. He had brown hair and blue eyes that were oddly bright and intense. Right now they were watching her closely.
“I’m Lacey. Who are you?” she asked, surveying his dirty jeans and black zip-up jacket. He seemed sort of familiar.
“Ty. Hey, aren’t you that girl that’s always on the honor role?”
“Yes,” Lacey replied, waiting for the usual teasing and taunting that always followed such comments.
“So that’s what you are,” he said in awe.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” she snapped back at him, thinking he was teasing her.
“Nothing. You’re smart. That’s all,” he hurriedly explained.
“Oh.” That was not what she was expecting. Then , to get him of the subject of her being smart, she added, “So why are you here?”
“Oh, I got bored. Plus I thought this old tunnel might help me think for something to write about. English, you know, ” he answered. “What about you?”
“Same reason. Mrs. Rockfield apparently thinks ideas come from air.”
He laughed at that. ” I suppose. She’s a hard old teacher. I had her last year. But I learned a lot more with her than I ever have with anyone else.”
They walked along the edge of the Tunnel Park pond, talking and laughing. Suddenly, the bank beneath Lacey’s feet gave way and she fell into the deep, dark water.
Fear shot through her like an arrow. Tunnel Park pond was famous for its depth and the thick weeds that grew in it. Mothers, along with Lacey’s, forbid their children from swimming in it because people sometimes got tangled up in the weeds and could reach the surface to breath.
Lacey kicked and tried to swim for shore, but something was holding her down. She could barely reach the surface to breath. She was sinking downwards fast.
Splash! Someone was swimming for her. Who was it? Then she felt strong arms lifting her up. But the weeds wouldn’t give up the prey without a fight. No matter how hard she struggled and how hard the arms pulled, they wouldn’t let go.
Suddenly the arms let go of her and the person dove under. She felt him pulling at the weeds. There! She was free. She kicked, and with the help of her rescuer she reached the shore after what seemed hours. Cough! Cough cough! Lacey heard someone else gasping for breath and rolled over.
“Ty?” she said breathlessly.
“Ya?” he choked, spiting out pond water.
She stood up slowly, wobbling a little, but other than that and her being wet, she was fine. “Oh, what is my mother going to say, ” she moaned.
” Just be glad your okay. That pond is very dangerous. Lot’s of people think it should be filled in.” Ty replied. ” I better walk you home,” he added, seeing her wobble.
” Oh Ty, I don’t know what to say. Just..Thank you.” Lacey answered.
He looked at her for a moment with his pale blue eyes. Finally he said, ” No problem.”
He walked her home and then left, saying, “See you at school.”
Lacey walked in the door. “Mom, I’m back!” Her mother walked towards her. “Good, honey, dinner is almost…..” and then she saw her condition: a soaking wet, freezing, dripping mess.
“Lacey, what happened to you?” she asked firmly.
” I fell in Tunnel pond. But a boy pulled me out. I’m ok. ” she answered.
” I am so glad to hear that. Tunnel pond is very, very dangerous. ” Her mother added, “Now go take a shower! You smell like mud and pond water. ”
“Yes mother!” Lacey said.What an idea she had! She couldn’t wait to start writing…..
Three weeks later Lacey was handed a nice A+ on her novella, The Pond. It was a story on a girl and her best friends who where trying to cure her fear of swimming. But even an A+ didn’t rival having a friend who would jump into literal dangerous waters to help you.
Motto: A good friend is always there when you need him.
I hope you enjoyed it!