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Young Writers Project: The Adventure

Georgia writes, "My inspiration for this story actually came from a picture in a Harris Burdick book by Chris Van Allsburg. The image shows a little boy and a sea captain (Captain Tory) looking out over a lake at a beautiful ship.  I love this picture. It really makes me think of the importance of childhood and a child's imagination.  I believe that it is so important for people, especially kids, to enjoy every moment of life so they don't miss special adventures, like the little boy has in my story, because you never know when a day is going to be just an ordinary day."

The Adventure
By Georgia Malone-Wolfsun
Grade Eight, Camels Hump Middle School

It was a warm spring day, and a little boy was walking home from school.  The boy walked briskly.  Sometimes, when he was absolutely sure nobody was watching, he skipped, loving the sound of his shoes slap the sidewalk. Birds twittered in the trees, and he whistled back to them, determined to have a conversation.  A small, green leaf tumbled by him, and he chased it, stooping down and grabbing at it with his small hands until he finally caught it triumphantly, and held it up so that the afternoon sun peeked through the cracks of the little leaf.  But as normal as it all seemed, this was no ordinary day.  

The small boy rounded the corner, and to his surprise, a man stood, waiting for him at the end of the sidewalk.  The man held a lantern in one hand.  His eyes twinkled and he wore a long coat and a sea captains hat.  And then there it was, as quick as a flash.  The boy swore he saw the man lift a finger and gesture a word; Come.  The boy hesitated for a moment.  The man beckoned to him again and shouted, “Come!  Don’t you want to have an an adventure?”  And the boy DID want to have an adventure.  So he ran to the man, dropping his backpack in the street, and leaving the ordinary day behind.  

The man leaned down and whispered into the boy's ear, “I am Captain Tory.” The  boy smiled up at him.  Captain Tory then snapped his fingers, and winked at the child.  Suddenly, the afternoon sky flipped, and across it was swept a beautiful, night sky.  The boy’s eyes grew wide as he watched, and he grabbed Captain Tory’s hand.  

Black seemed to be painted over the blue, and stars were sprinkled across the night.  Birds flew away, and it started to rain big, heavy drops. The water filled up quickly, forming a crystal clear lake.  When it stopped raining, miraculously the boy and captain were left unharmed and completely dry.  A swan gracefully flew into the lake, gliding across the mirrored sheets of water.  She swam in a figure eight, and seemed to be showing off for the boy and captain.  Trails of cracked water followed the white bird as she danced through the blackness that wrapped around her.  A moon as big as the little boy had ever seen stretched out across the sky, the stars surrounding it like a blanket. 
The moon was so close, that the boy thought he could touch it.  So, he tried.  He reached out, and to his amazement, he touched something soft and crumbly.  He was holding the moon!  The city lights had melted into the stars and were no longer visible, and all the previous noise was gone and had been replaced by the dainty sound of the stars twinkling. 

“Watch,”  Captain Tory said as he turned his lantern in his hands three times.  The boy’s eyes filled with wonder as he watched a ship skate its way out onto the lake.  The ship was tall and majestic, much like one the little boy had dreamed of before.  It looked like it was sliding effortlessly over glass.  Swirls of gold were pasted to the sides of the ship.  Looking closer, the boy could see that the gold told a story.  A village of Native Americans dancing, mermaids playing in the water, wild horses galloping, fairies flying across a happy sky.  

“What is this?”  The child asked, his hand never leaving Captain Tory’s.  

“Why my dear boy, this is my ship.  Would you like to climb aboard?  It’ll be an adventure.”


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