By Erin Beck
Caroline Ashcom, a fifth-grade student at Simpson Elementary School, is among three Harrison County students who placed third in their categories in the 2022 West Virginia Young Writers Contest.
Those students included Caroline, who wrote “Lucid;” Brynn Sickles, a fourth-grade student at Norwood Elementary School, who wrote “The Shapeshifter;” and Mary Calvert, an eighth-grade student at Washington Irving Middle School, who wrote “A Star Filled Story.”
The competition, which began in 1984 and aims to celebrate student writing, divided students into six categories. Third and fourth-grade students competed against each other, as did fifth and sixth graders, as well as seventh and eighth graders.
The names of those students who placed, along with their stories, were provided by Jenna Williams, curriculum coordinator at Harrison County schools and county coordinator for the contest.
The Shinnston News & Harrison County Journal is featuring Harrison County’s placing stories. Brynn’s story was featured last week. Caroline’s story is as follows.
Herbal tea flows lightly into a tiny floral cup, I look down and take a sip. It burns my upper lip, but only a little.
I walk up the stairs silently, enter my bedroom, and tug the string to my lamp and watch as the light dims. Softly, I fall into my bed. With my head resting on my pillow, I gently close my eyes.
I can do anything when I sleep. See anything, hear anything, smell anything, feel anything… be anything.
I can see winding rivers, feel the cool water brushing up on my ankles. I can hear woodland animals going about their day in the neighboring forest. I see the cold morning dew resting on the grass. Bugs tickle my legs as I observe the world around me. I smell bonfires coming from my neighbor’s campsite. Wind swirls through my hair causing a slight chill. I feel tiny pebbles under my feet as I walk around the campsite.
Or I’ll be at the beach with my toes in the sand. The grainy texture is nothing new. I walk past the crowd of people on the beach and make my way towards the sea. The ocean sings an old familiar song. I can smell the salty water. Young children splash and play around me. The sun is shining brightly, as I stand covering my eyes. Seagulls squawk and fly overhead.
Perhaps I may be biking through the streets of Italy. My bike is a sage green color with a brown basket on the front. Inside the basket, there is a small golden doodle puppy named Odie. Upon our return from the beach, we are going to get food. We proceed to bike for about 15 minutes; Odie decides to peep his head out of the basket to take in the beautiful scenery. White brick walls covered in flowers tower over us casting a slight shadow. Odie’s tail starts wagging, aromas of bread swirl around us. I immediately know we are close to the restaurant. I keep going down the street and pull into the parking lot. My bike rests on the wall. I put Odie on his leash, and we casually step in.
The restaurant is filled with windows and light cascades throughout the interior. There are dark hardwood floors. Standing proudly on the floors are the tables, all of them are round and have tiny glass vases on them filled with roses and daisies. A waiter walks up to me and leads me to my seat. He sets a menu on the table, as I order my drink.
“Just lemonade please,” I request politely.
“Right away,” he replies before he promptly walks away.
Odie sits in my lap while we wait. Not long after, the waiter comes back with my lemonade. He sets it on the table and I take a sip, it’s perfect! It isn’t too sweet, but not too sour. The flavor tingles on my tongue, but just as I close my eyes I am in an apple orchard.
It is autumn, the trees have orange and gold leaves, they are overflowing with apples! The trees are planted in rows based on what kind of apples they grow. Jonagold, Pink Lady, Honey Crisp, McIntosh, and so, so many more! Every time I pick an apple off of a tree, it regrows in a matter of seconds. I lug around a basket that seems to be bottomless, as if it could carry all the apples in the world. I walk around for hours in awe, simply admiring the elegant autumn weather.
I might be relaxing in December. Just my dog and I in a cabin. I sit on the couch beside the crackling fire with Molly at my feet. She’s a mutt with long black and brown fur. My hand glides gently across her back as the Christmas tree glistens in the corner of my eye. I lean back with not a care in the world. I hazily close my eyes and fall asleep.
Soon after, I hear buzzing. I lazily open my eyes and am disappointed to find out that it was just my alarm. I can do anything when I sleep. See anything, hear anything, smell anything, feel anything… be anything.