Story Contest 2016 #2 Results » Highly Commended - Sub-junior Category

Finn Gilbert Keene

“The dancing willow tree” by Finn Gilbert Keene, is the Highly Commended story in the sub-junior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2016.

The dancing willow tree

I heard the creak of the wooden floorboards as I walked down the steps of our house. Our house was a small one. It was mostly made out of wood. It stood by a peaceful river. But the willow tree on the other side of the river, I loved best of all. I used to call it a dancing ballerina because when its branches swayed from side to side it looked as if it was dancing. Me and Papa go to the willow tree all the time. Sometimes I go by myself.

One day, I came back from school and I found Papa sitting by the willow tree crying. My bag fell as I ran across the bridge. “What’s wrong Papa” I shouted in terror. “Mama, she fell” he said behind a curtain of tears.

“Is she gone?” .My head ached, my throat hurt and my eyes were pools of water. I couldn’t hold back the tears, they came like a waterfall. Papa leaned out to hug me I pushed him away. “I’m sorry darling… she’s gone”. My heart stopped, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t speak… so I ran. Where to? I didn’t know.

I felt the grass caress my feet as I ran through the forest. The cool breeze brushing my cheeks. I hurtled over tree stumps and then came to a halt. I stared up through the arms of a tree and I climbed. I climbed to the top. From there, I could see the waterfall and the rest of the world.

I sat at the top of the tree and gazed at the sunset. I felt her warm arms hugging me like a baby, I saw her vast blue eyes watching over me like a hawk, I heard her sweet laugh drifting through the air, every little perfection of her hugging me like a blanket.

“Good bye Mama, my dancing ballerina”