8th Grade, 2nd Place
by Vidhi Raiyani,
Putnam County Middle School
Owoooooooooooo, a wolf howled in the distance. I hear a deep growl right behind me. I gasp and turn slowly. I’m met with glowing yellow orbs, making my heart leap up to my throat and stunning me to silence. I’ve encountered a massive wolf.
I back up slowly and bump into a tree. The wolf is preparing to pounce on me but then I see a blur of black jump on the wolf and tackle it. The wolf ran away and the girl who just saved me said.
“Are you okay?” she asked me.
“Me? I’m the not the one who just tackled a wolf!” I exclaimed.
She chuckled and replied, “I’m also not the one glued to the tree.”
I look down and sure enough I’m glued to the tree. I slowly let go.
“Since you saved my life, I would like to repay you by helping you with something.” I announced.
“Well, if you insist… I need help gathering fire bird feathers. I need them for the special ceremony my people are holding and it’s tonight.” she concluded.
“Fire bird? “Am I in another world?!” I burst out.
“No, my people live alongside your people, but your population doesn’t know about us.” she confirmed.
“I would love to go with you, but I don’t follow strangers into the woods. What’s your name?” I asked
“Hazel, what’s yours?” she inquired
“Mary” I responded
I followed her to where she said she saw some fire birds. We looked around but only found two feathers and we needed to gather fifty feathers by sunset!
“I’m going to go look by that cave.” I volunteered
“WAIT! NO! Don’t go there!” Hazel shouted
I was taken aback by her sudden outburst
“Why? Is something wrong there?” I objected. In the back of my mind, I had a form of suspicion in my mind.
“No nothing’s wrong, but it might not be safe.” she hesitantly replied.
We went back to finding the feathers and a few hours later I was surprised when we came up with a lot of those bright red feathers.
“Are these enough feathers?” I asked
“Yeah” she replied but I could tell she wasn’t listening to me. Suddenly, she steered me towards the cave she told me to stay away from just a few hours ago.
“Why are we going there?” I asked
“Be quiet!” she whispered
A woman came into view and said, “Good timing Hazel, I see you’ve brought a sacrifice.”
“What?! I’m a sacrifice?? No way!!” I protested
“I’m sorry, but it’s the only way I can be a huntress and join them.” Hazel said apologetically
They tied me up to a tree and started to chant. I saw a huntress go out and accidently leave the entrance open. There was my escape! If only there was a distraction. Suddenly as if on cue a rock from the cave’s roof fell causing dust to blow everywhere. And by the time they got organized I was long gone.