Story Contest 2018 #1 - Outstanding Stories (Senior) »


“Homeless” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Niccolo Mastrogiovanni Tasca, Italy.


In December 1968, a poor family was trying to survive in the cold freezing streets of Reno, California. The family was formed by the dad, the mum, and their three children: Jack the oldest, Frank the middle son and Tom the youngest brother. The family had been able to survive until this point by providing themselves enough money, by going around the city streets begging for some cash. The family had been united for all the time but these days on it has been difficult to survive, mostly because of the fevers and influences Jack got by walking around the cold streets of the city, which obligated the family to concentrate more on him and in this way lose time and money which would help them to live.

Few weeks later Tom, while walking along the ice roads of Reno, found a map on the floor just by a parked car. He was excited to show it to his parents, but on the moment he looked at them he thought that if he had showed them the map, his parents would have told him that going and follow the directions would have been useless. For this reason Tom decided to keep all for himself and to follow the map on his own, wishing to make a great gift to his family. And less than one month later during a Friday night he followed the directions of the map. After hours of exhausting walk he was nearly arrived to destination, instantly he started thinking about his family and that they would have been scared because not finding him. But he knew that what he was doing could “probably” change his family lifestyle into a positive way.

But when his instincts took over he decided to continue the journey and climb on the hill. When he had reached the top he started searching for a symbol that he could have used to recognise the “treasure”. After long and intense minutes of scavenging he finally recognised three trees positioned in a triangular shape. He then immediately started running towards the three trees as fast as he could, but when he got down of the hill he was blocked by the high vegetation that grew during these years. He knew he couldn’t give up, and mostly after all the effort he had put in for all this exhausting hours. So he started making his way between this vegetation by using the whole body to make his road towards the trees. The work became harder when the dried grass and vegetation began to get taller than him and hinder his sight.

But a few moments after he stepped on top of some ruined wooden beams, which cracked when were subject to hold his weight. He initially got scared of the sudden sound, but just few seconds after, his fear changed in emotion and joy. He started digging through the dirt and wood with his hands and he recognised an X on the floor, he was now shore he had certainly found a treasure. When he ended digging he lifted the beams and saw million blocks of gold just under his eyes. He was so excited he started screaming for joy. He then heavily carried the wood box behind him on the hill. When he was able to carry it down the hill, he began to trace the map in the opposite direction. He couldn’t wait to get back “home” and show his treasure to the family. While he was walking he began to think about, what his family reactions would be. And that he has been able to save his family’s life.

When he got back home he saw his own parents and his older brother Jack, lying on the floor. He got scared and in less than a second asked Frank, what had happened to them. His brother told him f they got a serious illness to their lounges caused by the air pollution of the city. Tom was frightened, he thought his return would have been great instead most of his family members were sick and nearly dead. He then decided to use one of his gold bars to call an ambulance and bring his family to the hospital. He tried to remain positive and think everything would be solved in a matter of time. But unfortunately, the doctors revealed them that their parents and their brother suffered a bad illness and that they are now dead. This tragedy pushed Tom and Frank to structure their future, and this is the reason for which, when they became older they founded an organisation whose job was to save poor people’s lives around the hole world. This industry made them become the richest men on earth and this helped them expand and develop their association.

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