Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: In Too Deep

Photo courtesy Kijal at Pexels

IN TOO DEEP

by Analia, 10, USA

The waves splash calmly against the small cruiser. The salty sea air tickled Erica’s nose as she leaned closer to the water. Dolphins splashed in and out of the water in glee, swimming next to and under the boat. Oohs and ahhs rose from her mother’s mouth as she fell in love with the dolphins. Erica’s sister stood off to the side recording the energetic creatures. Erica and her father stood silently watching the dolphins and leaned over the railing, smiles showing on their mesmerised faces. The driver of the boat often glanced to the sides at the dolphins around the boat. After a while, they left the pod and were consumed again by the endless water. The world seemed to come to a pause as they drifted. Erica only heard the occasional cry of a bird or the lapping waves against the boat. All land around them faded out of view and seemed to be swallowed up by the clouds. The sun beat down on them as it continued to shine.

As the driver once again glanced off to the side, Erica felt a bump. Then another. Everyone suddenly tipped left and right, dangerously leaning over. Her sister’s phone slipped from her grasp and into the ocean. Her sister groaned at her loss. Erica gulped in fear at her possible future.

“I hope we don’t end up that way.”

For once the driver spoke up. “I hope not. I wasn’t paying attention to the course we’re headed in. There is a bunch of sharp rocks in this area. As soon as the sharpest one hits, down goes the boat. We can try to abandon ship and swim to a small island we passed.”

Guilt passed in Erica’s eyes. “I don’t know how to swim. Maybe we can use life preservers.”

The driver’s face brightened at the idea then darkened again. He chose his next words carefully.

“There is a slight chance that would work BUT since we can’t swim, a boat would have to come to our rescue. There would be no boat out here in these rocks. There’s no way for me to turn around because the rocks would hit us for sure. We do seem to be reaching the end so maybe if we can just wait until then, we’ll have a fighting chance.”

Suddenly a bump hit the boat. Water started to seep in through various holes. It wrapped around their feet until the water was up to their thighs.

“We’ll never make it to the end like this.”

Another bump threw Erica over the railing. She reached her hands out for the rail but couldn’t grab onto it. With a splash, she fell into the water, clear of the rocks. The light above her faded away. She was consumed by the darkness. Erica didn’t know how to swim but she had seen her father do it when he attempted to teach her. She started moving her legs in a quick, swift, kick and batted her arms back and forth to escape the force of the waves. In a slow steady movement, she fought her way back to the surface. Lungs bursting, she felt like she would fall into the sea all over again but she didn’t. Determined, she slowly fought her way to the surface until she broke the water. Turning her head left and right, she spotted the boat with four little specks on it. Realizing that she could only stay on top of the water for so long, she waved her arms back and forth before starting to sink back into the water. Luckily, Erica’s message was caught and they charged ahead to her. Reaching down, they helped her up. Erica coughed up water and then looked around in confusion at the floating boat.

“How did the boat not sink?”

The driver gave a narrow smile. “We used goggles and your sweater to plug up the holes. It won’t last for long. We need to head back!”

“I’m game, as long as I don’t get knocked back into the water again!”


Analia is a frequent contributor to Alphabet Soup. You can read her earlier work here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines


Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: A Fresh Start

A FRESH START
by Analia, 10, USA

Backpack photo by Luis Quintero on pexels comThe bell rang, setting the hallways into chaos. Left and right kids raced past me in an attempt to get to class while I awkwardly stood there, confused. I patiently and nervously waited as the hallways cleared up. Now, I was the only one. Chatter rose from inside the classrooms around me but I was too scared to move. This was my first time transferring schools, and I was in the middle of 6th grade. The middle of the school year is always the worst time to transfer but it’s when my parents wanted me to take the step. There was nothing wrong with my other school. Normal class, normal teachers, normal lunch. The only thing was that it was an hour away. Now I understand why my parents wanted me to transfer but they could’ve waited 5 months. Then, I would’ve moved to another school like normal for middle school. My parents think it’ll be a fun experiment. I don’t agree.

“Excuse me, I don’t believe we’ve met,” a voice sounded from behind me. I turned to face a thin, tan man with a snappy suit on and a Starbucks coffee in one hand.

“Sorry, sir. I’m Lola. Lola Sanchez. This is my first day here and I was a little confused about where my class was. Can you help me find room 554?”

The man smiled, “Ah, as principal, you know these hallways like the back of your hand. Mr Johnson’s your teacher for this year. Just take a right up at that hallway then it’s the first door to your left,” the man explained as he gestured with his hands.

“Principal? I’m so sorry for wasting your time. I’m sure you have a bunch of important work to do. Thanks for the directions. Bye!”

Whipping the wooden door open, the classroom of 554 danced around me. The paneled walls didn’t have a speck of dust on them and I felt like I was floating on the newly mopped tiled floor.

Kids snickered as I nervously placed myself in an empty seat. Mr Johnson, who was wearing a suit like the principal, had curly blond hair and piercing jade eyes.

Mr Johnson barked, “Have a seat! You’re late!”

Mr Johnson continued to criticize other kids as I seated myself. Then, finally, he began teaching us. My head was in another place, though. My other school. It didn’t have the best principal but it had special kids. My friends. The stress of starting over was nothing compared to the feeling of not having any friends at a new school. No one to support you, just yourself. Sometimes, that isn’t enough.

After school that day, I walked over to Central Park where I spotted a bench to drown myself in music as I waited for the bus to pull up. When it arrived, I took off the headphones and climbed on. Staring at my phone, texts sprung out multiple times from my friends. They all wanted to know how my first day at the new school was. I didn’t think they would understand. At one point, they tried doing a group call. I ignored that, too. I looked my problem right in the eye, but not the solution. I thought seeing them would remind me too much of the life I left behind. What I would give to go back there again. I’m stuck in this school, now.

******

The next week as I trudged up the stairs to Mr Johnson’s class, something caught my eye. In a corner of the hall, a girl with shoulder-length blond hair was crouching down, trying to hide. I walked over to the corner and studied her face. It was the same face as mine, last week when I arrived. The same face of misery, confusion, and defeat.

“Hiding won’t help.”

The girl lifted her head so I could see her swollen crimson eyes.

“How would you know?”

Calmly I answered, “ I know because I came here last week and I tried to hide. People here don’t let you. What’s your name?”

“Jamie Hunter. What’s your name?”

“Lola Sanchez. Nice to meet you, Jamie. Do you want to team up so you and I can defeat middle school?”

A smile crept onto Jamie’s face, “Why not?”

I grinned as well, “We’ll make it into a game. Level 1: Surviving your teachers – especially Mr Johnson.”

“Check!”


This is Analia’s second publication at Alphabet Soup. You can read her earlier work here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines

Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young writers in action: The attack

THE ATTACK
by Analia Rivera, 10, USA

It was 8 pm. Attack time! In the morning, they just made noise, but at night they come to terrorize the house or anybody who dared to come too close. As we drove into the driveway, the cicadas bounced off the muddy CRV. We were trapped; there was no escape. If we got out, they would swarm. None of us were brave enough for them. We spent a half-hour trying to figure it out. Then, my dad got impatient and fled, slamming the car door. Approaching the house’s side door, he fumbled with the key in the inky darkness but couldn’t place the key in the lock. My sister shined the light from her phone to help. BIG MISTAKE! The cicadas were attracted to light and instantly made my dad their target. He screamed in terror as they attacked him. Pulling the door open, he lunged in and then closed it, leaving us still trapped in the car. We debated for another half hour on what to do. Then, a light flickered on outside at the other side of the house. We waited, hoping the cicadas would be attracted to it. Then it flickered off and was replaced by a light right where we were.

“Turn off the light! Turn off the light!”

My dad couldn’t hear us, but eventually, he did turn off the light. The darkness comforted us as we waited for the cicadas to evacuate our escape route. I was starting to get restless, and so was my sister and my mum. We decided to be quick and move. My sister, Indi, and I were right next to the unlocked door, but my mum was on the other side. We let her get out first and waited until she got to the back of the car. Indi and I opened our doors, joining my mum. Indi made a run for the door and was followed by my mum. I trailed behind, getting shoved left and right by Indi and my mum. The unpleasant sound of cicadas buzzed in my ear, and I could feel them attacking me. Indi and my mom were already in the doorway, and the wooden door started to close in front of my chestnut eyes.

“Wait!”

Sprinting into the doorway, I heaved a sigh of relief. We had won the battle, but the war was still to come. Some cicadas got inside, and now it was our job to dispose of them. Once that was done, the four of us laughed at our survival from the bugs and settled down on the couch. Then we heard the buzzing sound, inside! We missed one! Searching for it, we located it and calmed down except for me. I was thinking, and then I formed my practical question.

“Are there any more?”

The sound of the cicadas filled the endless night as we pondered the question.


This is Analia’s first publication at Alphabet Soup.To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines