Jayden submitted 2 Short Stories for the Connections Academy Young Writers Short Story Contest. Both were winning pieces, so both are displayed below.
The S.S. Escape
Screaming. Chaos. Terror.
Blood. Death. Terror
Fire. Running. Terr - “Mr. Daniels,” a voice said breaking into Marks thoughts. “Mr. Daniels, Mr. Daniels are you alright?”
Mark turned his head towards the voice and nodded slightly. “I’m fine,” he mumbled.
“Great, so what do you remember about it?” His interviewer asked curiously.
“Remember what about what?” Mark asked coming back from his flashback. Now he could remembered what they had been talking about, and now he felt a little embarrassed that he had asked.
“The question was: ‘What was the first thing you remember from waking up out of the cyro-freeze?’” the interviewer reminded him. She sat there awaiting his answer as though it were a matter of life or death.
“I remember waking up from the cyro-freeze in a room filled with flashing red light and the blaring sound of an alarm...” Mark started to say as his mind slipped into another flashback.
The room he was in was cold, or at least it felt cold because of its lack of life. Slowly Mark stood up out of the capsule that had held him for ten years, and slowly looked around. His room was bare. In one corner was a desk, in the other was a door with an assult rifle leaning against it, and in his corner was his cyro-freeze pod. Mark stood there soaking in his new surroundings (at least they felt new) for a few minutes before a scream, roar, and thud caught his attention. His head turned slowly towards the door, mark was still in the cyro-trance, a trance that lasts a few minutes after one wakes up from being in the cyro-genetic sleep. Without him noticing, his legs started to move slowly towards the door, not slowly because he was being cautious, but slowly as though he forgot how to use his legs. As he reached the door, Mark instinctively picked up the assault rifle, a habit he had gained from being in security for many years. He stepped out into the raging flood of terrified people and...
“Mr. Daniels! Mr. Daniels are you sure you’re all right?” This voice, the voice of his interviewer, pulled Mark back down to Earth.
Mark looked back up into the interviewer’s concerned, tan face. “I’ll be fine.” He finally managed to say in a gruff voice.
“Are you sure?” the interviewer asked with worry. “If you are not comfortable talking about this, we can skip the interview or -”
“I’ll be fine,” Mark insisted. “Let’s just move on to the next question.”
“OK. Next question, what do you think caused the space station, Escape, to have a critical failure and, in the end, explode?” The interviewer’s words were smooth as though she had practiced saying them, but they still contained true curiosity as if she was actually interested.
“I don’t know what they were, only God would know. They were just there.” This was all Mark had to say about the subject, he truly did not know what the creatures were or where they came from or even why they were there.
“Pardon me, but, did you say them?” The interviewer asked flustered. “Can you describe them? Mr. Daniels? Mr. Daniels!”
Mark looked down at his feet feeling another flashback overtaking him. He was in a new room, no, a hallway, running. The daze had finally worn off and Mark was now fully aware of his surroundings. To his left, fire raged, and everywhere else people ran screaming. His rifle was pulled close to his chest and he too felt the terror running through the crowd. He still had no clue about what happened while he was asleep, but he did know that he was running for his life. The screams of people echoed off the walls of the space station along with the crackling of fire and a different sound that he could not yet place. It almost sounded like a bear mixed with the howling sound of a wolf. As Mark ran he dared look back, but that was a mistake. As he turned his head a piece of debris flew out of the wall and hit him in the stomach making him collapse to the ground gasping for breath. It took him a many long moments before he was back on his feet running, but now he was at the very back of the crowd, and struggling to keep up. He ran and ran ignoring the flaring pain in his stomach from both the running and the being hit with a flying projectile. While he ran, the roar-howl sound became louder and louder until he thought it was right behind him. He forced himself not to look back, but after a few minutes curiosity won, he looked back. Behind him was a towing creature chasing him and slamming into walls like it was trying to make the ceiling collapse. It was tall and black with red speckles that seemed to pulse like heart beats. It ran on four legs and was terrifying. He pushed himself forward away from this creature, his life on the line. It felt like an eternity of sprinting until finally he saw the life-pods they were headed to. There was only one life-pod remaining and it was nearly full, he was the last person. Claws raked at his back pulling forward droplets of blood, making him wince. He was only a few feet away and the door was already closing when an explosion erupted behind him. The force of it threw him into the capsule just before the doors fully closed –
“Mr. Daniels, are you sure you are OK?” The interviewer had her hand on his back and was trying to get him to look at her.
“I’m fine!” Mark said reluctantly staring back into her face.
“OK, well then, let’s move on to the final question,” Her voice was calm and clear. “How did you survive?”
Mark looked up into her clear, blue eyes and said “You don’t.”
The sound of claws scraping on the hard stone floor, echoed throughout the cave.
However, this wasn’t the normal scraping sound, this was the sound of someone trying to be stealthy but completely failing. This was the sound that awoke Dusk from his sleep. He lay there awake, pretending to be asleep, listening. There was the scraping of claws and the slither of a tail behind it; then he heard the sound of a rock skid across the cold stone and plop into the underground-lake. That was the clue he was looking for. Now Dusk knew that his assassin was hiding behind a tall stalagmite to his left, next to a large underground-lake. All of Dusk’s muscles tensed in preparation to spring out of his sleeping position. Without a moment’s notice, he sprung out of his sleeping position opening and closing his wings to glide over the tall stalagmite and come down on top of his perpetrator However all Dusk tackled was air. A wave of pain went all through his body as he was flung and pinned, on his back, to the hard stone floor. When Dusk looked into the face of his attacker he felt shock flood through him over powering the pain. Pinning him to the ground were the dark blue scales of his sister, Abys.
“Hey little bro.” She said with a toothy grin.
“Abys! What are you doing here?” Was his only reply. Dusk had too many emotions
going through him right now, surprise, anger, joy. It was overwhelming.
“Keeping an eye on you. What, did you really think I didn’t see you flying away?” she said as though she could see all of his emotions displayed on his scales. “Cute, but little bro, our tribe was just attacked and you expect me to let you fly away to who knows where?”
Dusk and Abys had lived in the Acantilado Tribe their whole life. It was their safe haven,
but just a few days ago it was attacked by the Escarcha Tribe. The Escarcha Tribe was a tribe of white dragons that lived in the snowy tundra at the Northern edge of Parar, they had been the Acantilado’s enemy since before Dusk hatched. The Escarcha Tribe had always coveted the Acantilado’s territory. Their territory, Dusk’s home, was located in the valley of the Culebra Mountain Range, keeping them safe from invaders.
The night of the attack started off as a perfectly peaceful night. The wind whisked quietly through the window of the hut where Dusk lived, the flames of a fire flickered in the middle of the floor while Abys, Dusk, and their parents sat eating quietly. Four full moons shone outside revealing the secrets of every crack and crevice of the mountain, but somehow their guards managed to miss the army of white dragons sneaking into the village. It started with a blood curdling scream from a few huts down, then more and more screams started to fill the night sky.
Dusk and his family hurried outside to find dragons screaming and running in panic. They looked down the alley of huts where they could see red and blue dragons taking off into the sky, only to be dragged back down again by white talons. Fire was everywhere, engulfing huts and dragons alike. It was a scene of horror, but somehow he had managed to escape.
That night was burned into his mind, but now he was relieved and the pain of the memory was slightly washed away because he knew his sister was alive. Abys had gotten off of him and was now headed towards the mouth of the cave where two full moons shone through.
“Well what are we going to do now?” Abys said gazing off into the night sky.
“Now, I am going to the Selva Tribe. And when I get there, I’m going to convince them to help us defeat the Escarcha Tribe. Me, not you” Dusk said to his sister sternly as he sat next to her.
“Oh, you’re going to go to the mysterious forest tribe that has somehow managed to stay out of this rivalry, to ask them to get involved? That sounds like the perfect plan, I can’t wait to see how that turns out.” She said sarcastically.
Dusk rolled his eyes and leaped out of the cave winging towards the forest where the Selva Tribe lived. Abys was soon flying along next to him. The two moons reflected off the top of Dusk’s blood red head as he flew beneath the night sky.
He missed his home, he missed flying over the mountains, he missed sitting by the river with his sister seeing who could catch the most fish, he missed dueling with his friends, but the thing he missed the most was his parents. I will rescue you guys, but first I’m going to get a lot more talons and claws to help me, Dusk thought determinedly.