Two Buda area scribes received top marks Friday for their efforts in the 2018 Friends of the Buda LIbrary Young Summer Writing Contest. Jamie Sturgeon was named as the first place winner in the 8-12 age group with her piece, “The Claw Machine,” while Gabi Rivas took first place honors in the 13-17 age group with her work, “Visions.” The writers, judged by the Hays Free Press, were divided into two age groups with writers following a prompt. The 8-12 age group prompt was, “The sign said not to push the button, but I did.” The 13-17 age group prompt was “The envelope looked as through it had been in the mailbox for years. The writing was faded.”
by Jamie Sturgeon
Chet knew what to say, but didn’t want to. The words were lodged in the front of his head. His mother had a furious face. It appeared she wouldn’t fall for anything. He frantically murmured something that sounded like “I didn’t do it you brainless woman”. She stared through him and finally found herself yelling at him once more, “I know you broke the vase, Chet! Stay in your room and think about what you’ve done”. She closed his bedroom door and went to the kitchen.
Chet was annoyed . His family always blamed things on him. He didn’t break the vase, his sister did. He was out exploring like always. He wanted to take a break from his thick headed family. He noticed a shiny, silver ladder next to his bed and snached it. He opened his window, threw it down, and climbed out.
He ran and ran only stopping for a broken piece of rock. He caught a glance of a broken down arcade. He carefully walked in noticing a sign taped to a brown, old, rusted claw machine . He walked closer to the sign. It read “DO NOT PRESS THE BUTTON”. Chet didn’t care, he smashed it anyway. He felt a tingling feeling throughout his body and thought to himself, “the sign said not to press the button, BUT I DID.
A thunderous swirling began to tug Chet closer to the machine. Suddenly, it was dark . Chet couldn’t feel anything whatsoever. He could see tiny gaps of light above him. Chet started to push the darkness as sudden light appeared. Faint whispers filled the big box. Chet was confused, he didn’t know where he was . An answer came to him as fast as thunder as he suddenly realized he had been sucked into the claw machine. He glanced down and saw that he was fuzzy like the rest of the stuffed animals . He screamed loud like a firecracker , there were gasps from the other fluffy balls. He walked up to the prize shoot and went down until he got stuck at the flap. A shy fluff nugget came from the side and told him it was broken. He screamed even louder this time waking some of the sleeping fluffs .
“THE ROCK!” Chet remembered . He took it out of his pocket. At the shy fluff ‘s suggestion Chet stood on her, took his arm back, and flung it at the glass. it shattered and flew around everyone. Chet and the fluffer jumped out of the machine . He felt a familiar tingle , but ignored it. He was so happy to be out of the arcade. He looked at miss fluff. She was no longer a stuffed animal. He looked at himself and saw the same. His face lit with joy as they both chuckled, “The name’s June, you?” asked the fluff. “Chet’’ he replied. “See ya” said June. “Yeah”. Chet bolted home and hugged his mom. “I’M SO GLAD TO BE HOME,” said Chet. “I’ll go glue the vase back together.
by Gabi Rivas
The envelope looked as though it had been in the mailbox for years. The writing was faded. Minutes before, I had pulled it out of the very back of the mailbox, where it was stuck. The envelope had only my address on it, written in elegant handwriting. Nothing more, or less. I opened it quickly, my curiosity getting the best of me. In the same penmanship as before, the small note stated: Meet me at our spot. It was signed in a practiced, cursive font, as elegant as the earlier message. Erin Blanco.
A memory was triggered suddenly. Someone, a girl, was sitting in front of me, laughing. A breeze blew her hair back and rustled the leaves of the tree we were under.
The sensation ended as soon as it started. I am left standing in front of the mailbox, contemplating what just happened. It was especially odd because I didn’t recognize any of it. It was like I was looking through someone else’s eyes, and it left me confused and shaking. Maybe it was from a past life, I thought. I firmly believe in reincarnation, so it would make sense, but why would I remember any of it?
My head swarmed with questions I couldn’t answer. I shook my head, successfully snapping me out of my trance, and thought back to the vision. It could’ve been because of the letter. I looked down at the beautiful words again and walked, following the steps to my front door. I went inside, grabbed my favorite blue coat, and started towards the park, note and vision in tow. I started running, fueled by adrenaline and longing. For what, I don’t know.