Prompt Replies

Pen Friends ~ Thanks to Vanessa Weight (our selected prompt winner) and Noah Dingman, our SP teen contributor for replying to the prompt. Due to changes on our blog, we were a bit late in posting. Sorry! Please enjoy their creativity!

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Prompt #1 Vanessa Weight, age 16, Washington

A thirsty cry startled me from a sweaty sleep. The sound– high-pitched and screechy– rang in my ears. I licked my dry lips and cracked a smile. I knew that sound. Among the tents of my father I heard it all the time –camels. Today it was much more. It was the sound of salvation. I was close. It had been three days since I entered the desert… , but yet I felt as though my journey had just begun.

As the comforting sound of the camels slowly drifted away, I came to realize that I wasn’t safe to rest, not here in the open. I couldn’t afford to make myself more vulnerable than I already was. I quickly started packing my supplies–including my dagger and my revolver–into my bag as I prepared to keep moving. I figured there’d be enough food and water for at least another week, as long as it was used sparingly. I had to find shelter, and fast. As the break of dawn began to rise, I would be spotted far too easily. If I had any chance of finding the artifact, I had to get there soon.

My father used to tell me stories about an ancient emblem that had special abilities. According to ancient myths, the emblem carried the power to cure any illness. I grew up knowing this story by heart, but I always thought it was just a tall-tale. When I was about fifteen years old, my father started acting strange. He tried to explain to me that the artifact was real, and that it was hidden inside a tomb somewhere in the Libyan desert. I didn’t believe him; neither did my mother. One day, my mother found out that he went to Libya to look for the artifact, but she told me instead that he went on an unexpected business trip. After four years of waiting for him to return home, he never came back. I had to figure out by myself that he went to Libya, and after finding his notebook and doing my own research, I decided to follow him.

As I started walking away from my makeshift camp, the hot wind and sand scratched at my face and started to become unbearable. I better not die here. After long hours of miserable traveling, I finally found something; a wrecked plane. I quickly hustled to the plane and discovered the fuselage was in decent enough shape to camp in for a while. I walked through a rather large gap in the side of the plane, and immediately discovered an old bag sitting on the ground. I recognized the dark tan color, and the lightly rusted buckle in the middle. My father’s bag. If my father left his bag in the plane, then I figured I was getting close.

Once I had a few hours of rest, I needed to move forward. According to my father’s map, the tomb was hidden in a large sand dune. I started heading towards the cluster of sand dunes near the plane. When I looked real close, one of the dunes had a slightly lighter shade than the rest, so I began searching for an entrance. When I finally found it, I entered the tomb and found a chest inside. I’ve done it. With a rather large grin on my face, I slowly opened the chest with a slight creak emerging. My smile quickly faded when the chest was empty.

“Iris.”

I jumped at the sound of my own name. I reached for my gun as I turned around to see a man wearing a suit of bronze armor. As he took off his helmet, I gasped loudly in my own realization. That man was my father.

Prompt #2 Noah Dingman, age 16, Washington

A thirsty cry startled me from a sweaty sleep. The sound– high-pitched and screechy– rang in my ears. I licked my dry lips and cracked a smile. I knew that sound. Among the tents of my father I heard it all the time –camels. Today it was much more. It was the sound of salvation. I was close. It had been three days since I entered the desert…

My father didn’t know I had left. If I had told him he would have been furious, he probably was. The camel I stole turned out to be sick, slowing our progress immensely. We should have reached the oasis yesterday. Of course it was just my luck to steal the sick camel. Well, it wasn’t really stealing if your father is the Chief, and I will be Chief someday soon. At least that’s how I justified it. Its loud cry, although not very beautiful, signified that it was feeling better.

I sat up, taking down my makeshift tent and morphed it into a bag that I slung around my shoulder. I went over to my camel and pulled myself onto her back. We began to ride north.

If you had found me in the desert and asked me where I was going, you would have thought I was crazy.

            An oasis? In the Goubai desert, you’d say. There is no oasis here.

 Maybe you’d be right, but my dreams hadn’t been wrong before and in my dream I saw myself in the Goubai Desert, at an oasis. I had the strangest feeling that I needed to go to this oasis.

The heat of the day was beating down fully now. I hadn’t had water for two days, the oasis had to be real, or I may die. As the hours inched by, the heat got hotter, and hotter. Then I saw it, the oasis. I urged my camel faster and jumped off into the water, only to find hot sand. I stood up brushing sand off my hopelessly sandy clothes. My camel looked at me quizzically, no doubt wondering if I had ever seen a mirage before.

I got back onto my camel doubting my dream even more now. What if I die out here? I shook my head, I couldn’t afford to think like that, if I did I was already as good as dead. We pressed on, the thirst unbearable now. All I could think of was my oasis and the water, mostly water. I could tell the heat was affecting my camel now too. Her feet thudded heavily to the ground and her pace had slowed.

My eyes drooped, I couldn’t see, I was so thirsty. The only thing I was aware of was the sound of my camel’s feet sloshing in water. Water?

I fell off my camel into the oasis and found myself knee deep in the water. I looked around. I couldn’t believe it. I had found my oasis. The palm trees jutted out of the sand, their leaves constantly changing colors like some deep-sea creature. That’s what made me doubt my dream the most, but I had found it nonetheless. What kind of water did that to palm trees? The kind that could cure my father’s sickness? I bent down and took a drink, almost surprised at the power that coursed through me, but not really. My dream had been right all along.

 

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