Story Contest 2016 #2 Results » First Prize Winner - Junior Category

Savya Jain

“Eye of the storm” by Savya Jain, is the First Prize winning story in the junior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2016.

Eye of the storm

Rocking up and down in old, rickety boat is not a good idea. It’s 23rd July and summer is trying hard to burn through the gloomy sky of Texas. Stella barks as she spots a couple of seagulls overhead. It feels awful to weave through a couple of kids, I’ve never seen before, to calm my German shepherd down. “Keep that dog shut!” the guy over the wheelhouse snarls. The banner above Stella yells ‘No Dogs Allowed!’ I know, but I begged and pleaded until he got fed up and agreed, as long as I kept Stella calm and quiet. I don’t remember my name, though. Mum and dad died in a Cruise Ship, a few years ago. They gave me Stella, my pet dog, as a birthday present when I was 11. I miss them like mad, but I’ll never forget them. They taught me courage, self-confidence, determination and love. It was my mom and dad who brought me to this world, who gave me the opportunity to be free, but then again, the best doesn’t last. Stella barks and snaps me to the reality and I’m there, in the boat, in the ocean. I burrow my face into her and my eyes prick with tears. This can’t be happening. Boys don’t cry…but maybe orphans do.

Nights crawl and we had no idea where we were. This morning, the sun was nowhere to be seen, coal black clouds surrounded us. I had no idea whether it was day or night. My blonde hair gets tangled in the breeze. And that’s when I knew we were in trouble.

Towering us, waves began to create a gigantic veil of water, crashing on top of us, soaking me to the skin. Stella started barking furiously and continuously. The boat began to rock dangerously. Salty water filled my mouth; kids began to scream, lightning flashed above us. A storm was on its way.

I struggle to keep up straight. All of a sudden, the boat jerks to the right. I manage to cling on for my dear life, but Stella doesn’t. She tumbles after the gushing water. She yelps and growls. Stella knows how to swim, so why was she yelping? My fellow dog was yelping for me, she was worried. I was not about to lose my dog, my mum and dad, so I leap after her, into the eye of the storm. Nobody notices I’ve gone. My tired body shivers and tingles with the coldness of the ocean. I swim to Stella and pull her closer to me.

Thundering, rolling waves hit my face, as I choke for oxygen. I’m suddenly below water, below Stella and all I see is darkness- total pitch black moment. Hearing fierce, howling wind whistle through my ears, I feel dizzy. My eye-lids feel heavy. Beside me, I hear Stella howling. Without thinking, I give up and drown myself in the swallowing waves, Will I survive?

Filling my sleepy eyes with morning sunshine, I hear Stella yelping excitedly. It’s just a dream, I thought. I wake up and nuzzle Stella, the way I used to when we were home. Surrounding us, there are forests, banana trees and a wide-wide ocean. I whoop with excitement knowing that we’d survived in that raging storm. I hug Stella tightly, and that was that: I and my German shepherd survived!