“Within Reach” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Caytlin Smith, Greentree Elementary School, Kingwood, USA.
“Come on, just do it”. We were at my house trying to practice for the Pop Show (that’s the talent show in middle school). “I don’t know why but when I open my mouth, I just freeze up”, I told my BFF. “Just do what you love. Just SING!”“I tried but it didn’t work. I don’t know what is wrong.”“Well the auditions are in two hours”, she said. “Uh why did I even sign up?” I asked. “Because that’s what you love.”
We spent the next two hours getting dressed up, painting and giving each other makeovers and trying to practice. “Ok, I am going to get my piano sheets. Stay there,” my BFF Cansis said. I stayed for which felt like hours. But finally, she came.
My mom gave us a ride to auditions. Cansis went first. I heard her through the door. She was extraordinaire. Soon it was my turn. I closed my eyes and imagined it was my dad. And surprisingly something came out. Finally, I was done. As I walked out the door, another girl went in. She was amazing! “Good luck”, she told me, “you are gonna need it.” And then she left.
“I wondered what my dad would say?” I asked myself when I went home. I thought, “Why did dad have to die in the car crash?” My friend must have seen the look in my eyes. And she said everything happens for a reason.
Then I heard my mom’s yell “Dinner!” “Want to sleep over?” I asked. “Sure, let me call my mom.” “Meet me at the dinner table.” “K,” Cansis said. I was serving myself some homemade lasagna when Cansis came in, sat at the table and said she could. After dinner, Cansis’s mom came and dropped her stuffoff. We got settled in after a while. I closed my eyes. The next morning, I woke up to Cansis shaking me. “The results are up online,” she said, still in her PJs. We ran to the computer. And we looked, and we were at the very top of the list. “Wow!” I said. “See, I told you.” Cansis said. “The talent show’s tomorrow. Let’s calm down and treat this like a normal day.” I said. “Ok” she said calmly. So, we went to breakfast and my mom had made pancakes. “Congrats!” she told us. “Thanks.” We said. After ten pancakes, we rode our bikes around town to get some fresh air and apparently the day went by really fast because the next thing I know I was asleep.
Then it was morning and I grabbed some breakfast, changed and rode my bike over to Cansis’s. The talent show was in an hour. We changed into our dresses and before we knew it we are waiting for our turn. Finally, it was my turn. I sung like never before. Then it was over. Everyone went silent. I was afraid they hated it. But then they burst into applause. I was very proud, and I bet my dad would be proud too. And then he would probably say something like” I told you – everything Within Reach.”