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.
“There used to be six of us…… now I’m alone.” Gabe sighed. He missed his friends. They had fulfilled their dreams and left him to walk this road alone. When will I fulfill my dreams? For 2 years he’d walked this road with many others. But now they were gone.
He adjusted his knapsack and trudged on down the road, following the yellow arrows that marked the path to the place dreams came true. Good dreams, bad dreams too. The road was wrought with trials and hazards that seemed, out of this world. Only yesterday Gabe had had to face an angry griffin.
He remembered the griffin’s high scream when he had sighted Gabe. The beast had wheeled around in the air like a yo-yo, swooping and diving madly, trying to herd Gabe against a rock wall so he could trap him. The griffin’s yellowed beak and huge claws would have made short work of Gabe then if he had not scared the beast off with a flaming torch.
Gabe ran a hand through his brown, curly mop of hair. When would this road end? As a small child, Gabe had always had big dreams. He had always wished he could fly, soaring above the clouds on some majestic beast, perhaps a pegasus or maybe even a dragon.
A screech pierced through Gabe’s daydream. He looked up expectantly, searching with his keen brown eyes for the swerving form of a griffin. There! High above the canopy of the forest, he saw the beast’s huge wings.
Carefully, trying not to make a sound, Gabe backed silently behind a rock. He pulled off his pack, hunting furiously for flint and steel. Where, where, where! Thump! He froze, and turned his head around slowly to stare right into the piercing eyes of the griffin.
The beast didn’t move, just watched him closely, a low growl in its throat. Gabe couldn’t move. His limbs seemed frozen with fear. Even if he could have moved, he would never have been able to get away.
“Please, please don’t eat me,” he begged, even though he knew it was useless to talk to a griffin. It’s not like it can understand me, he thought bitterly. The griffin leaned forward. This is the end, Gabe thought. This beast is going to make mincemeat out of me. He closed his eyes and waited. And waited. But nothing happened. Finally, Gabe opened one eye and looked up at the beast.
It was staring at him quite intelligently, seeming undecided as what to do with him. Suddenly Gabe noticed something of that looked to be a piece of a net with heavy weights attached to it wrapped around the griffin’s wing. He slowly reached his hand out to the griffin and touched the net.
“So that’s why you can’t fly very well,” he realized sadly. Then, he cautiously pulled out his pocket knife and gently cut the ropes, watching the griffin out of the corner of his eye carefully. What are you doing, screamed his brain. This beast is going to swallow you up in one gulp if you’re not careful! Yet he ignored the protests and went on with his work. Finally the ropes slid off. The beast spread his wings and moved them back and forth a few times.
Then, in an instant, he grabbed Gabe in his claws and threw him up onto his back. He’s taking you to his layer to eat you, Gabe thought. He clung desperately to the griffin’s back. It spread its huge wings and shot into the air. Gabe wrapped his arms around the griffin’s neck in a death grip. His face was white with fear.
The griffin flew for what seemed hours. his flight was smooth and gentle, and slowly Gabe began to relax. He loosened his grip around the griffins neck and sat up. The griffin looked up at him. Gabe could almost swear that the beast was smiling.
Finally, the beast swooped around and landed softly on the ground. Gabe leaped off before the beast could take off again. He backed away slowly from the griffin. But the beast followed him. He nudged Gabe’s arm gently and made sort off purring sound in his throat.
“You, you don’t want to eat me?” Gabe asked, perplexed at the beast’s strange behavior. “You just want a friend?”
The griffin nodded. Suddenly, Gabe saw where they were. On the road to dreams. But the road stopped suddenly, ending at a sign that said:
You have fulfilled your dreams. Go on and find your friends.
Gabe looked beyond the sign and saw a large town full of people. He looked back at the griffin. It purred softly.
“I always did want to fly,” he said. ” Can I call you just Griffin?”