YOUNG WRITER'S STORIES PUBLISHED - Calhoun Young Writers Competition

Published here are some of the winning selections in Calhoun's Young Writers competition. These are the selections of the first place winners at each level.

1st/2nd - JOSEPH RICHARDS "My Camping Trip"

One warm morning last year, I got out of bed. Dad was already up. He said that we were going to the mountains camping. I went to wake up the rest of the family.

Dillon and I started packing the food and the tent. Mom and Dad gathered the fishing poles. Dad said we were leaving at one o'clock. I couldn't wait! I was so excited! Finally my family and I got in the jeep. Dillon and I were looking for deer as we drove along. Then we finally arrived at the mountains.

We looked for a place to camp. Dad drove up a huge hill and we found a place. The people next to us had a dog that looked like Lassie. We put up the tent. Mom said that it would be a good idea to go first to Blackwater Falls, then fishing. It turned midnight and everyone went to sleep.

The next morning we ate crackers for breakfast. Dad said that we were leaving for Blackwater Falls, so we all loaded in the jeep. When we got there, it was packed with cars. There were about one hundred steps down to Blackwater Falls. There was a beautiful waterfall! Black water was rushing down the mountain! We took pictures and then left to go fishing. We went to a huge lake. I grabbed my fishing pole. Dillon caught a catfish. I caught a bass. We left at six o'clock. We all squeezed into the jeep and drove back to the campsight.

When we got back, we built a campfire. We roasted hot dogs and went to sleep. The next morning Mom woke us up and told us that we were leaving to go home. Dillon and I were still tired. I got into the back of the jeep and went to sleep. When I woke up, we were pulling into our driveway. We were finally home! I had a wonderful time in the mountains.

3rd/4th MONICA WILSON "A Pencil for a Day"

One day when I was sitting in class, I noticed my friend Brittany had a shiny, new red pencil I kept staring and staring at that wonderful pencil! I must have fallen asleep because I suddenly became that pencil, and that is where my adventure began.

It was worse than I ever imagined. Brittany began chewing on my eraser. Oh, no my beautiful shoe--1 mean eraser was mangled! Boy, that was close. I had just settled for the smooth glide across the paper when suddenly I could not breathe. That tight grip Brittany had on me was squeezing me to death! If that was not bad enough, she dropped me on the floor.

My body ached from the tip of my pencil down to the eraser. The worst part was yet to come. Brittany asked the teacher to sharpen the pencil. Slowly, but surely, this grinding animal began chewing up my body.

I tried to scream, but the words did not come out. I yelled stop as loud as I could. All at once everyone in the room began staring at me. I woke up. I looked at myself and I was delighted to see that I was not that pencil with the mangled shoe and aching body. Boy, I was glad it was only a dream.

If you ever wish to be a pencil, think again. It hurts! The life of a pencil can be short and dangerous.

5th/6th TYLER BENNETT "Here's Annie"

It was just another summer day. The kids were out playing in the pool when they saw it. The water hose came on by itself. The two girls screamed. The boys jumped out of the pool and ran over and wrestled it. Billy, the youngest, turned it off.

The youngest girl, Sheba, screamed, "Is it dead?" The oldest, Ryan, punched her. "OWW!" she screamed, as their mom came running out of the house. "What's wrong?" she asked. "Ryan hit me!" she bawled.


"She was being stupid! She said that the water hose was alive!"

"Mommy," Sheba whimpered, rubbing her arm. "No one turned the water hose on. It just came on."

"What?" asked the mom confused.

"It's true," Billy said.

By this time the mom was growing aggravated, "Who did it?"

"No one!" they all shouted.

That night the kids had a meeting. Ryan said, "We should have a look at that water hose."

"NO!" Sheba yelled.

"Shh!" Ryan said.

. "Sorry!" she said. "It's too scary. Do you think that it's a ghost?"

"Yep," said Ryan. "It's you know who."

"Who?" said Sheba curiously.

"It's Annie."


"She's our dead sister. She wants your necklace. It's hers. Before you were born, Mom, Dad and Annie lived in Texas until Annie was mysteriously killed. Mom and Dad kept her clothes and the necklace that she died in. But when you were born, they gave you the necklace in rememberance of Annie. That's the necklace that you are wearing. She has come back to haunt us until you return it."

That night Sheba lay awake. She thought about Annie. Could it be true she wondered? Suddenly, she heard something. She snuck out and saw that her mother's vase had been shattered. Sheba screamed. Mom came running in, "What's wrong?" she yelled.

"Mom, I didn't do it. I promise."

Horrified by the sight of her vase, the mom yelled, "Sheba! Go to your room!"

"But, Mom!"

"NOW!" Sheba cried as she marched to her room. The rest of the household was awakened by now.

"It's one in the morning mom," said Ryan, rubbing his eyes. "I know!" Mom replied shortly. "Sheba broke my vase!" "She broke it?"

"Yes." It was then that Sheba's dad came stumbling in the room.

"What's wrong?" he asked. He was amazed when he saw the sight. Instantly, he went to talk to Sheba.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"Go away!" she said madly. "I didn't do it!"

"Sheba," her dad said calmly, "then who did?"

"I don't know," she sobbed. "I just heard it break and went to investigate."

"OK," her dad said and walked off.

The next day Sheba watched her step. "So far, so good," she said to herself. Just then, "BOO!" Ryan tumbled out of the bushes. Sheba began to cry. Their mom came running.

"What's wrong?" she yelled.

"Ryan scared me!" she whimpered.


"I'm sorry," Ryan said apologetically. "I know you are. You're grounded!"

"What!" Ryan yelled.

"One week," mom said. "Go to your room and stay!"

The next day, Annie was mad. She was making everyone's lives miserable. She caused Sheba to be grounded, Ryan with no supper, Billy no TV and Sue to get gum in her hair. For the final trick, Annie would become visible.

That afternoon, the kids went to play in their backyard. When Ryan looked up and saw her.

"Annie!" he screamed. "Everyone run!" Everyone ran except for Sheba. When Ryan realized that Sheba wasn't coming, he stopped and yelled, "Ghost!"

Sheba screamed and ran. The kids ran and tried to hide in the attic, but it was no use. Annie barged through the door. She pointed at Sheba.

"She wants me Ryan!" Sheba cried.

"I want my necklace," Annie said, looking at Sheba. Sheba gave her the necklace.

"Thank you. I just want to rest in peace now." Annie turned and left. Curiously, Sheba and Ryan followed her to the basement, but they saw no sign of Annie. Suddenly, they heard a noise from behind and turned only to see Annie's jewelry box close. They looked at each other and smiled.

"It's over," Ryan said in relief. "She can finally rest in peace."

7th/8th JESSICA COSGROVE "Future Frenzy"

I was a mischievous youngster. It wasn't passed down, or from too much television. It was from ... the inspiration.

Yes, the inspiration. My Uncle Frank, a scientist, told me his narrative in the past. His anecdote of his time voyage motivated me to find the secreted, "Neon Eon Conveyance." I would find that apparatus, and discern a world concealed by a vortex of time...


"I'm in the attic!"


To disguise my escalating culpability, I let out a lame reply:

"Looking for Halloween costumes!"

I suddenly took in how unintelligent I sounded; it was March 15th. I anticipated Uncle Frank to say something mordant. After all, who wouldn't lampoon a punk teenager with emerald, spiked locks, or one who gets Halloween attire in spring!


Aunt Sierra is the coolest relative I have. With her spunk, muscular make up and funky outfit, she was like a sister.

I thundered downstairs. As I advanced to her, Sierra raced up to me and gave me a "noogie."

Uncle Frank explicated that he was hanging about all night at an associate's residence, so when he pulled away, we raced up to the garret, where I informed Sierra about... the inspiration.

She said, "Girlfriend, Frank gets... incensed easily and I can't get you in a snag. Anyway, whatcha gonna do with the, 'Leon Crayon Thingy'?"

I was getting volatile. "It's the 'Neon Eon Conveyance,' and I wanna show Frank I'm in my prime!"

"Alicia--can I come with ya?"

I couldn't believe it. When I notified that her I couldn't fmd it, she shook her head and said, "He told me where it is." She heaved an aged mirror over to reveal a cavity in the wall. In it stood--


After a clean-up and inspection, Sierra offhandedly inquired, "Where're we goin '?"

I grinned and said, "9999 AD."

We obtained some provisions, leapt in the machine, and situated the dials. I checked the energy gauge--jam-packed. Then Sierra beamed and hit the yellow button.

WHOOSH! Everything became a cyclone of blurry color. Sierra closed her eyes to avoid queasiness.

The landing was immediate, but soft. We cautiously strode out onto the suspended, amethyst landing. I took my Polaroid out and took a photograph of hoary-skinned girls with streaming gold tresses, and colossal androids.

We passed sapphire flames, wine cascades and jade-eyed sentinels. We had to dart lasers and watch for conveyor belts relentlessly. Spiked floorboards materialized out of nowhere, and some platforms slanted before you could move. There was the reverberation of machinery dancing through the humid atmosphere.

We had just hopped over a great fissure in the violet floor when we heard a weighty thumping. Whirling around, we found ourselves face-to-face with an inquisitive, ginger-faced, stallion-like robot.

My primary response was to disregard it and move on, since it wasn't stirring much. But when I distinguished its four scarlet eyes, I knew it was time to be off.

With a bellow, I dashed and bounded onto an upper dais, which I used to evade the "horse." Since Aunt Sierra was a swift sprinter, I kept running. The "horse" kept close after; I could hear its quick clunking.

I knew Sierra was right behind me, so before long, as I boarded the conveyance, I set the dials and punched the yellow key. . .

When the machine landed, I smacked my skull. I was knocked out for a while. When I came to, Uncle Frank was standing over me.

"Where's Sierra?" he demanded. "Did she go home to leave you here guilty with my device? HUH?"

I unexpectedly got an atrocious feeling.

"Um, Uncle Frank? I think I might need to backpedal a little...uh, you know. To the future ...?"

9th/10th ERICA WRISTON "Outward Appearance Doesn't Matter"

April crossed her arms and stuck out her tongue. "'Why can't you look like your sister?" she asked, looking at her reflection in the mirror. "You're so ugly." She ran her fingers through her shoulder length hair and began to cry. "All I want is to be pretty. Is that too much to ask'?"

A knock sounded at the door. "Are you ok?" her mother asked. slowly opening the door.

She responded quickly. "I'm talking to myself that' s all."

April's mom stepped in and held out her arms. "Here are your clothes. Your summer dress is still hanging on the line. "

"Thank you. " April said trying to hide her face.

"'Everything's not all right is it?" Gloria asked making room on her daughter's cluttered bed.

April tried to deny her hurt. "What makes you ask that?"

"You only cry when something's wrong," she said softly.

"I hoped you wouldn't notice," April said, sitting next to her mother.

"Whatever it is, you can talk to me." Gloria held her hands on her lap.

"Yes, I know. I can't just tell you everything. Everyone cries." She let out a louder cry and began to weep even more. "I'm so ugly. I wish I looked like my sister. She always has guys by her side. She's never alone, Mother. Why wasn't I blessed with beauty?"

Gloria wrapped her arms around April's shaking shoulders. "You"re not ugly. You are a very beautiful young lady-. When I was your age, guys hardly ever came up to me. Your Aunt Linda on the other hand. had flocks of guys around her. It was like she was some super model. I don't think she ever had to carry her books to class. It was stupid in my opinion. Of course, I was jealous. I hated her so much for what she had. I bated my looks with a passion. Then I came: to the realization that I had something greater than what she had. I had Jesus and still do. I knew that if I stuck to the Father, all my desires would be added unto me. I had to let Him direct my paths and let Him be the one to lead that special someone to me."

"That's how you got Dad right?" April asked.

Yes, that's how. This relationship could never be destroyed, and that's because Jesus is in our lives. If you put your trust and faith in the Lord, 1 promise you'll never regret it. When God sees that you're ready, He'll send a boyfriend your way, and he'll be the right one:. Stop saying your not blessed with beauty, because: you are. Go take a look in the mirror and tell me what you see."

April frowned. "Do 1 have to?" she asked standing up.

"No, but I want to show you something," she said also standing up.

"Now, what do you see?" Gloria asked, standing to the side.

"I see the ugly duckling."

"No. Do you want to know what 1 see?" Gloria stepped in behind her.

"Mama, I already know what you see."

"Maybe you know, but I'll tell you anyway. I see a young teenager of sixteen who has a strong Christian faith, loves God with all her heart, sings beautifully, is very good at school, and is a writer of Christian faith. You see yourself as ugly, no good for any guy, stuck on your sister's beauty and not looking at what you have that your sister doesn't."

"What do you mean?" April turned around to face her mother.

Your sister may be beautiful. but what is the one thing in your life that she doesn't have?"

"I have Jesus," April said smiling. "I guess 1'm beautiful in God's eyes. I just didn't want to see it. I always thought that Rose had everything. I was wrong. I have everything I could ever ask for. I have Christ. I'm sorry. Mama." She buried her head against her mother's chest.

"You have nothing to be sorry about, dear. We all have our days like this. It probably won't be the last." Gloria started to laugh. "Want to know something that I hate about myself?" she asked.

April laughed too. "What?"

Gloria positioned herself in ftont of the mirror. "My hips are getting bigger." Laughter filled the room.

Both of them turned toward the door. Rose was standing with her hands over her eyes. "April, I'm sorry you feel the way you do. I have to confess something to you. You have always been jealous of the things I have, but I have always been jealous of what you have. Mom is right, there's one thing I don't have, and that's Christ. I see the way you're happy at school, the way your friends are so nice to you, and the way you care about everyone around you. I notice those things. I want the same. Please, don't think that you're not pretty because everyone at school thinks you are. They've always told me that."

"Really? They said that? I thought no one liked me. Guys wise. I mean I have guy friends, but not a boyfriend. I always thought 1 was ugly, and that's why they never came around me," April said relieved.

"They're afraid you'll say something about God. They know how much of a God chaser you are," Rose said walking closer to her.

April laughed, "I guess that could be the reason."

"No, it is the reason. After today, they probably won"t want to be around me either," she said kneeling beside the bed.

"Why?" her mother asked.

"I'm making today the best day of my life. I'm accepting Christ. I'm tired of putting myself down all the time, and I'm tired of the worldly things I do. I want to change, and today is the day. After all, we're not promised tomorrow," Rose said.

"You know, God doesn't look at the ourtward appearance, only the inward appearance, " Gloria said .

11th/12th AMANDA LAY "Armageddon"

It was a gentle breeze that woke me from my slumber under the tree. My sister was sitting beside me, singing in that strange enchanted voice we had been hearing more and more since the accident. I started to become frightened, when my brother, Todd, calmed me, saying that Liz had explained it to him. She had told him, while I was sleeping, that it was the new breed speaking through her. We must all learn to interpret what it was saying. As the wind ruflled the leaves in the tree above me, stirring the birds from their neatly made nests, I looked out across the field. Slowly, as the song captivated me, nature's sweet sounds diminished. All I could hear was Liz's voice singing in the strange language of the new breed. I relaxed feeling it take control of my being. Gradually even my sight diminished, and all I could see was the stain inside of us. The stain was growing and taking control.

Since the accident three weeks ago, we had all been noticing small changes in our psyche. We had all become skilled at reading minds; I could levitate objects and reroute small streams. Todd had an amazing talent with animals, they all gravitated towards him; and he could also make small objects combust. Liz's changes though were by far the greatest. She had the ability to speak with the new breed, the stain living inside of us, and she could use her mind to control other species. She learned through talking to the new breed that our talents would grow, and we would soon be the bearers of the Armageddon.

I leaned back against the tree and gave over my complete self to the new breed. After I had completely relaxed and surrendered myself, I saw. I saw the horrible end that was to come; I saw all of the suffering that we were going to bring to everyone. I was horrified. I tried to shake off the new breed, to get away from it, but it would not leave me. Finally I could feel it relenting. I stood up and retched, I could hear Todd whimpering. I looked down at Liz and saw her with a faint smile on her face. The thought that she could actually enjoy a slaughter like we had envisioned sickened me. The sights, sounds and smells eventually came back to me as I sat there and thought about what was to come and what we could do to stop it. As I sat there and pondered, I looked around at the world that would be no more. A butterfly fluttered over a cluster of wildflowers, and a small fawn nibbled at the grass. The wind was flowing through the tree over our heads, just enough for us to feel the breeze on our faces.

Liz looked at me with her cold green eyes; I could tell she knew what I was thinking. "Chris," she said, "we have to follow its lead. We cannot try to change fate, what is supposed to happen shall happen. You will playa large part in this Chris. We need you, the new breed needs you." I knew that no matter how much I tried to argue it wouldn't matter, Liz would win. She always won arguments, and now that I knew she had the new breed on her side, there was no way I could win.

As the hours dragged on, we stayed positioned under the tree. The clouds began to obscure the sun, and Liz told us she could feel the rain coming. The rain. I knew then that there was nothing I could do. At that moment, I felt the new breed bursting inside of me struggling to be free. I knew that once the rain began to fall, the fate of the world was sealed. After the downpour, only the three of us who were tainted with the new breed would remain to repopulate the world with this new super race.

The branches in the tree overhead began to sway more fiercely as the wind picked up. A shadow covered the field as the sky blackened, turning it dark as night. I thought of my mother and father sitting at home, unaware of the changes that had taken place within their children in the weeks following the accident. I thought of my friends, oblivious to their pre-determined fate.

I felt the first raindrops hit my face, and as they ran down my cheeks in the form of tears I sensed the new breed. It was exploding within me; I had no control. As the rain started to fall harder I knew that Armageddon had begun. All that was left to do now was to wait.