Short Story Contest: Top 2 Stories

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Student Blog has recently hosted our first ever “Short Story Contest” where any high schooler could enter a story based on images that were provided. On May 11th we read and voted for the top 2 stories.

Here there are:

This Old Arcade – Teagan (Sophmore)

I know life is crazy. I know what you mean. Not only that, but I was born in a world where humans did not exist. It was the year 2095 and humanity destroyed itself. First, mass genocide started. It started in schools, hate crimes starting rising excessively, and then people got to the point where they normalized killing off each other for fun. The overpopulation started to decline and then there was a big issue with coffee. Since, so many people depend on coffee to get them through the day, world politician Francine Dippins, hired her team with a pay said to be more than 3 million dollars per person. Her team would poison coffee with this drug called Klopton. Klopton is a Pepto-Bismol like liquid and is not necessary deadly, but it causes infertility in humans. Dippons had this worldwide goal to make everyone equal and since she grew up in the foster care system, her birth mom was a druggie, and she had lost faith in the planet. Decided no kid deserved to grow up abused or not knowing who their parents were. It would reduce accidental pregnancies by one hundred percent. It was perfect. Now, the last generation just had to suffer more. Mass genocides just kept increasing. I am pretty disappointed in the human race, knowing how far they got with civilization and just gave it up. They could have been ruling so many other planets right now or maybe even galaxies but nope let “YOLO” get the best of you. 

I was one of the last on earth. Why you might say? Because I am not a dumb human. I am one of Mother Earth’s fondest creations! It is pretty easy to find buildings to call home in this trashed world. I found an old arcade that was obviously made by the smart side of human- kind. Probably the ones everyone would make fun off because they thought being popular would get them farther in life. I like to go and reminisce there. There are old games like Pac-Man and one with a girl version of him. It is blue with hints of pink and the paint is very slowly chipping away. Out of all the games in the arcade. The female Pac-Man just has something about it, that reserves it in time. There is of course a King Kong, Galaga, Joust, and a Dig Dug, but they are so glitchy nowadays. It is more the ambience of the arcade I enjoy. Its like I can feel the energy of all the people who used to go there. I can imagine little girls, boys, lovebird teenagers on dates, and geeky workers living life way simpler. A girl with blue eyes, red curly hair put in two ponytails on each side, rosy cheeks, and a yellow jean like dress runs around with her older sixteen-year-old brother Mikey. He bought her a snow cone with cherry syrup after they shared a pepperoni pizza for lunch. They met this once kid Larry who was totally obsessed with Burger Time, and at first they thought he was a bit off, but he turned out to be a real cool guy. His parents owned a real big business RealityFonsers which made beds that can control your sleep. You can experience a night anywhere you wanted, though your physical body stayed at home. Your conscience could travel anywhere. You could even meet celebrities, take sneak peaks of them filming new shows, and if I had one, I would have wanted to experience life in the 1920s without the discrimination. Since, it was filled with life, parties, old classy music, cute cars, and hairstyles. 

I really wish I was not born in a post- apocalyptic planet because I am so lonely. I can not spend a day without crying my eyes out, the white part of my eye at this point is permanently red. I can feel the pain earth went through repeatedly. Like right after that little red head girl and her brother left the arcade, they were run over by a bus because they forgot to look before crossing the road. I am alone, and can not mentally ever leave this old arcade.

Kaleo and His Journey Across the Sea – Leia Wong

The nights grew darker and colder as the lahui began to get sicker. Chief Kapono of Kauaʻi knew he had to come up with a plan that could help save everyone. That night he met with his wife to discuss what will happen to their people. “Kapono our time is running out!” his wife exclaimed. “Okalani, do not worry, we have the medicine, and our people will survive.” he responded. She asked “What about the people of Niʻihau? It is our duty to help them as well.” He looked at her with great sorrow. “We will find someone to journey to Niʻihau and bring them the medicine.” 

It was 1684 and the Hawaiian Islands had a smallpox breakout. Niʻihau and Kauaʻi were hit the hardest during this time and many died as a result. “Cheehoo!” Kaleo shouted as he came in on his canoe. He was riding the waves all morning at Hanalei Bay. Kaleo lived right next to the bay and surfed those waves all day when he could. The chief had called the lahui to the grand circle. “My people, we have found the cure for smallpox and our neighboring island is in trouble.” he spoke with sternness. As the chief continued to speak about his plan to choose a voyager who will journey from Kauaʻi to Niʻihau with the cure and give it to the chief of Niʻihau. The chief exclaimed “I will make the journey so that my people can be safe” his wife cried out “No Kapono, it is too dangerous.” The chief looked at her and said, “There is no one else who can make the journey.” Kaleo stood up and raised his hand “I will go my great chief; I have experience in the water, and I can make the journey.” 

Kaleo spent the next three days preparing. He went to his ancestors’ burial site to find wisdom and strength through them. His grandfather appeared to him and told him that the ocean is a sacred place and that he would need to respect every aspect of it. Before Kaleo left the burial site his grandfather told him to beware of the powerful manō for he will tempt you to do wrong. His grandfather sternly told him do not look into the manōʻs eyes or you will find yourself on a journey of pain and sorrow. Kaleo became paralyzed with fear, he thought had I just made the biggest mistake of my life. He took a deep breath, inhaling with a feeling of power, strength, wisdom, and humility and started to pray to Kanaloa the God of the ocean. On the second day of preparation Kaleo sacrificed his beloved puaʻa that he had raised from birth. He chanted as he sacrificed this animal in hopes to have a safe journey ahead of him. On the last day of his preparation, he gathered supplies from around the village and packed up his waʻa. The chief brought him the medicinal plant and wished him luck on his journey. 

The whole village came out to see him off. Kaleo paddled with his whole body and he was on his way. The sun beat down on Kaleo, sweat poured from his forehead. He reached into the water and splashed it on his face to cool himself down. He looked around him to find he had reached the middle of the ocean. He began to tie down his sails on his waʻa for a clear journey ahead. What Kaleo did not know was that five miles ahead of him was the cave of the great and powerful manō. It came nightfall and the waters began to get rougher. Kaleo shouted to his ancestors and the Gods “Do not fail me now, for I have a journey to make!” A sudden wave came and knocked Kaleo out. When he woke it was morning and he was floating above the manōʻs cave. As he looked below him, he could see thousands of sharks circling. As the great manō swam out of the cave all the sharks started to move out of his way. The manō swam up to Kaleoʻs waʻa and said, “what have you come to offer me, for you to pass?” Kaleo shut his eyes and stuttered “All great and powerful manō I bring you the fishhook of my ancestors, the first coconut of this year’s harvest, and the blood of my chief, may you accept these gifts as a token for me to pass.” The manō circled him and examined his waʻa “Why do you not look at me? Do I frighten you?” The manō said charismatically. Kaleo opened his eyes and looked the manō in his eyes, they were bright red and cruel. “I am Kaleo, and I am here to cross this ocean and bring medicine to the people of Niʻihau.”

The manō let him pass, but what Kaleo did not remember would soon cost him. Kaleo could see the tip of Niʻihau in the distance. When out of nowhere a stingray pierced his thigh with the swift motion of a blade. Kaleo cried out in pain “AHHH! Why!” As he went into a panic, he could hear his gradfatherʻs voice telling him to not look the manō in his eyes. He felt an undying amount of pain as he searched the waʻa for something to wrap his leg with. Kaleo realised many lives depended on his arrival to Niʻihaui now including his own. He hobbled on one leg to tighten the sales on his waʻa. He knew that he would have to stop the bleeding, or he would attract predators. He grabbed the ti leaf wrapped around his food and washed it with ocean water. Placing it on his wound and wrapping his shirt around it. 

The waʻa brushed on the sand of Niʻihau. Kaleo laid there fading in and out trying to shout “Iʻm here!” A warrior walking the shoreline heard him faintly and rushed over. Kaleo mumbled “I have the medicine, send for your chief.” The warrior ran to get his chief. Chief Makani with gratitude took the medicine. His wife Ailani and the other warriors took Kaleo to the healing hale. “He must have looked into the manōʻs eyes, his wound will not heal” Ailani whispered to her husband. “Get him to the ocean and lay him in the water or we will lose him forever,” Chief Makani told his warriors. Kaleo laid in the water as his body turned white, he began his transformation. As a consequence, for his temptation, he will now spend the rest of his life as the gatekeeper between islands, the great and powerful manō.