Young Readers League 2019 “Hidden History” Writing Contest
(Category 2: ages 12-14)
by Emma Rispin
Summary: Amidst a war, a frightful night, and an unknowable future.
I awoke to the frantic sounds of my father’s footsteps. I jumped from my bed and ran across the worn floorboards to the window. There was one lonely flickering light in the distance. My heart sped up. Tonight! I rushed through the darkness to the staircase. I could just see my father’s silhouette as he exited the door. I wanted to shout after him, to tell him to come back, that it wasn’t safe. But I kept my mouth shut, and stared at the darkness in his place. I sighed, and quiet as a mouse, started making my way down the stairs. Taking a deep breath, I stepped out into the icy night, and hurried passed the aging houses. The air felt thick with worry and anticipation of the minutemen hiding in silent wait for the British. Suddenly the earth shook with cannon fire. I stopped dead in my tracks, and tried to control my racing heart. Then I started running as fast as I could towards the edge of town, my breath coming in short gasps. I didn’t stop until I came to the bottom of the hill at the edge of town. I slowly made my way to the top, collapsing under a silver oak, and closing my eyes. Then I heard the soft rustle of leaves above my head, and the thump of feet touching down next to me.
I opened my eyes and smiled, my heart swelling with love and happiness, as I looked upon a girl with untamed brown hair and welcoming hazel eyes. “What took you so long sleepyhead?” she asked, her voice rich with a British accent. I stood up and took her hand and together we ran off across the hills and to a delightfully unknowable future.