Story Contest 2018 #1 Results » Highly Commended - Junior Category

Danhao Ha

“Plunging to my DOOM!” by Danhao Ha, Japan, is the Highly Commended story in the junior category of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2018.

Plunging to my DOOM!

Soaking as much sun as I can like a sunflower, in a line on a not-so-small cliff, finally warm and toasty. Ten minutes ago, my friend Leo pushed me off the boat and I had already experienced the cold pierce me like knives against my skin and now I had to jump back in.

I thought Well, here I was standing in line for something I don’t want to do. I was fixed on a cliff that was mostly bare, with patches of grass here and there kind of like a minion. One by one as I watched people fall to their doom (Jump of cliff) with arms crossed across their chest. I panicked. I thought I had to do that too?! What if I didn't? Would that make me look like a scared cat or a wussy! I cringed as water splashed on my face by somebody who already had fallen to their doom. All my friends on the cliff watched as people jumped off and we looked to see how big of a splash they make. The fear was building up inside me growing bigger and bigger as people jumped off the cliff one by one. Some people make big splashes and some make small (No offence).

I looked down at the looming drop that looked like it was taunting me to jump. Everybody else may see the beautiful view and the clear blue water, but all I see is void that felt like it was sucking me into its water depths. This reminded me of a bestseller book turned into a movie called Middle School the Worst Years of my Life. In the movie, I felt I was like that kid when he is running away from middle school and eventually he gets eaten by it. Now, I felt like I was about to fall off of the cliff and into its mouth. The water was so cold and icy that it looked like a game of sharks waiting to bite me. I was terrified of the icy water, the looming drop and it was finally my turn!

I was standing on the cliff thinking what if I slip? What if I hit the jagged rock that is sticking out of the mountain? I was on the cliff. My mind told me to jump by firing neurons to my legs, but my legs just won’t obey I stood frozen stiff on the cliff. Then, suddenly everything changed. My legs were running at full speed and I can’t do anything about it. It was like my legs had switched on auto pilot. This is what they call brain overload. If I could look into my brain, I could see warning signs everywhere and hear sirens wailing. As I got near the edge I closed my eyes and took the leap of faith…

I was suspended in the air. Everything around me froze, as I fell toward the water everything was in slow-motion for me. As I fell closer and closer to the water, the thrill and the icy air made me feel like my heart leap out of my mouth and back in. For the rest of the world, this was probably just two seconds but for me it felt like I was going to be falling for all of eternity. I remember thinking this is how it ends.

I plunged into the freezing cold water. All of my other thoughts were pushed out of my mind and the neurons in my body was telling me to get out. The water was so freezing I felt I was just going to turn into an ice cube at that moment. This is the moment when I thought I was hallucinating because I felt I saw everything going on underwater. I remind myself desperately trying to swim back up. And with all my power, I pushed myself up...

“Whoooo-hooo” I shouted “THAT WAS AWESOME!”. I was out of the water, everything was still blurry for me but all I remember was that I had never felt i was alive. Then, I came back down to the earth and actually felt the cold of the water. Everyone was telling me to swim back to the boat. I was so cold I swam so fast that Michael Phelps would give me a thumbs up. When I got next to the yellow belly of the boat. I grasped the handles on the side of the boat. I felt hands pulling me up. I looked up and saw David’s dad was pulling me up. Finally, when I got up I fell on the boat wet and gasping for air.

I was shivering. Panting like a dog , I lay down relieved as a wave of cold washed out of me. “That was so cool right?” Leo said. “Yeah I guess,” I replied. It was exhilarating watching other people go through the same things I did! I cannot believe I did that! I jumped off a cliff! I felt so proud of myself as I chatted with my friends on the boat that bobbed sideways with other people climbing up the boat.

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