One City One Story 2016 Writing Contest: “A Vivid Memory”
Category 1: Grades 3-5
by Noah Haile
The memory is vivid in my mind. It’s almost like I am still there today, 5 years later.
We were in the car coasting up a beautiful hillside in the nighttime. The lights of the city below us glowed like thousands of fireflies piercing through the darkness. And perched on the hill up at the top, laid a majestic castle. My family and I–my two brothers, mom and dad–drove up the hill in our dark blue Ford Focus. The road was narrow and filled with potholes, but the view definitely made up for that. Slowly the road began to level, beginning to circle around the hill. Once we reached the other side though, everything changed.
The darkness became almost absolute. Our car was the only beacon in the otherwise pitch black landscape. “Watch out!” My mom yelled. Dad stomped on the brakes. Everyone was scrambling to see what had happened. The road had suddenly ended. We hadn’t missed a turn, the path just stopped. Looking over the edge, we saw an amazingly long fall awaiting anyone who wasn’t extremely careful. The tension in the air was so thick that it was like syrup. It rolled over everyone in waves. The darkness cloaked our car like a thick blanket. No one spoke. No one was even breathing. No one knew what to do. “Get out,” my mom finally decided. Everyone left the car except my dad. There was only one thing to do. He had to turn around the car on the tiny ledge. One mistake, one fatal slip, and he would fall. The heaviness of everyone’s fear pressed down like a weight. I knew this must have been hard for my mom. Out of all of us, she was the most afraid of heights–as she had let me know countless times while talking about high buildings. But this was much worse. The high road was dwarfed by the immense dark drop seeming to go on indefinitely. For everyone, especially my mom, the time spent standing on that hill seemed like hours. Time seemed to move in slow motion during the whole tedious process as we stood on a tiny road with an even tinier car. My mom was carefully guiding my dad through everything, saying things like, “inch forward”, or “just a little backward”. My dad was very weary, I could tell that much. Suddenly a wheel slipped and hung over the edge. A drop was imminent. Someone gasped and it took me a while to realize that it was me. But he saved himself by backing up the car speedily. Afterward, we were all more careful. Then, as the moon rose, my dad finally turned the car around. After standing for so long, the car was facing the other way! By that time everyone was about to fall asleep standing up, but we were still happy. We all piled in the car. And we drove quickly to our house. With everyone tired and sleepy, we went to sleep immediately. But no one could forget what had happened that night.