Young Aspen scribes shine in Fraser Creating Writing Contest

Staff report
Katie Waldeck/Special to The Aspen Times Winners of the Fraser Creative Writing Contest joined for a photo on Jan. 12.

Winners of the 16th annual Fraser Creative Writing Contest were announced Jan. 12 at the Aspen District Theatre.

Organizer and founder Jill Sheeley and Lynda McCarthy reviewed nearly 80 contest submissions from third- and fourth-graders at Aspen Elementary School. Also helping was Julie Wille, ASCENT teacher at Aspen Elementary School. The contest’s theme was water.

The list of winners is as follows:

Fourth grade

First place — Leilah Whitman

Second place — Ingrid Cassidy, Jaden Schille, Audrey Woodrow, Emily Jacobson and Anna Dangler

Third place — Darienne Kenny, Clare Williams, Luka Jaramaz, Mila Vonderhaar and Morgan Phillips

Golden Honorable Mention — McKenzie Roy, Collin Luu, Madison Nelson, Quintessa Frisch, Landen Thurber, Chelsea Doolan, Eric Pearce, Lenna Persson, Giovanni Seeman and Laila Rose Pergande

Honorable Mention — Cameron Dioguardi, Luke Holloway, Kaiya Koller-Torres, Lindsey Waldeck, Julia Diaz, Mateo Taffarelli, Analicia Moreno, Cerys Hembury, Ela Stevenson and Smith Agley

Third grade

First place — Aurelia Tunte

Second place — Jackson Calliham, Eleanor Carroll Alana Owsley and Wyatt Ferrell

Third place — Eli Genshaft and Carter Kuhlman

Golden Honorable Mention — Maggie Baker, Cooper Lewis and Quintin Calcott

Honorable Mention — Leila Baker, Jack Kravitz, Khalil Khan Farooqi, Luka Smalls and Gavin Boggs

The winning essays are as follows:

“The Adventure of the Droplets”

By Aurelia Tunte

Once upon a water-filled time there was a deep dark bathtub. Inside the bathtub lived a great looking drop. Her name was Luna. Luna had no droplet friends, but on the other side of the tub lived Oaple, a small and round drop of water.

Oaple knew Luna because they went to the same school together for five years before Oaple moved across the tub of an abandoned house. But one day, Luna and Oaple decided to have a playdate by the drain. They were playing and laughing when suddenly a large human walked in and reached towards the drain plug, making Luna and Oaple jump a foot in the air and fall back into the drain. After what felt like ages of falling they landed in a long river we call the Roaring Fork.

The two droplets landed on a leaf and they floated to the river bank. When they got to the bank they noticed that it was very hot outside so they waddled through a small puddle. When they were on the other side of the puddle, Luna noticed that they were rising. Oaple gasped when Luna told her what was happening. After a moment’s silence Oaple shouted “we are evaporating!” Later, after yelling and screaming, the two drops decided to calm down, and realized they were surrounded by very similar looking clouds. Luna told Oaple that they had become part of a cloud too, and soon the two got used to it. The friends where now flying through the damp and fresh air and enjoying everything around them. The drops flew with the wind and ate the cotton candy clouds (which are very rare!). They swam with birds in the sky and, best of all, jumped on the clouds and backflipped through the air very gracefully, until suddenly it started raining and they were falling again.

They fell into a spacious but very dark and damp sewer. They could see much, but where able to recognize a big dark figure ahead of them. As they got closer Oaple froze dead in her tracks. Luna saw her friend was not moving so she hurried over to help, when Oaple pointed at something behind Luna. Luna spun around on the spot to face what Oaple had been pointing at when Luna’s eyes fell on a huge crocodile. For a moment or two they were frozen on the spot. After waiting for all the shock to drain out of her, Oaple shrieked: “let’s make a run for it!” The two drops run very quickly to the other side of the sewer where the fell into a pipe that carried them to a factory that filtered water. At the factory, they got scrubbed and cleaned. Soon they went through another pipe that took them to a house. After a while they fell through a bathtub faucet and recognized the old abandoned house. A long bathtub came into view. They landed right next to Oaple’s house where the two droplets had a snack.

The end.

“The Crystal River and the Trolls Water Story”

By Leilah Whitman

In the continent of Europe, there lived a family. Now, this wasn’t just any family. This family was very special. All because of the youngest member of this family, Marcus. Marcus was ten years old. His birthday was just a couple months ago. Marcus’s family lived in a small wooden house, far from the city of Paris. Marcus’s mother is named Samantha. His father is named Ryan. Marcus’s family lives where it is very dry, it was like a desert. There wasn’t much water, there wasn’t even enough water to fill the family’s cups when they were thirsty. But one day, Marcus wanted to go outside to explore. So he packed his backpack, and he was ready. “Mother, I am going out to explore.” Marcus said to his mother. “Alright, just be careful, ok darling?” Marcus’s mother said.”Yes mother!” And so, Marcus was off.

Marcus’s bare feet hit the sand. It was very hot, but Marcus didn’t mind. He had been living here since he was born. He had been walking on hot sand his whole life. He walked far from home, and then he looked out on the horizon. He saw something like … a patch of trees in the distance. But then his eyes lost focus, and he saw hot gas lifting off the sand. And you know what Marcus did next? Well, he ran. He ran as fast as his little legs could take him. He ran until he got to the patch of trees. He stopped, and then went inside the forest. You wouldn’t believe what he saw next, a river! He pinched himself, thinking that he was dreaming, but he just didn’t wake up. He ran all the way back to his house, without telling his mother or father what was happening. He wanted it to be a surprise. He couldn’t even stop thinking about how proud his mother and father would be! He got a big wooden bucket, and once again he was off! Then he ran all the way back to the forest, went to the river, and filled his big wooden bucket up with water. He was so thirsty, but he wanted his family to take the first sip of this beautiful clear water. When he got home, just about at dinnertime, he told his mother and father all about his trip to the river. “We finally have enough water to fill our cups each day!” Marcus’s mother said. “Really? I am very proud of you Marcus!” his father replied. “I think we should save the water for morning, so we don’t have to make Marcus walk all the way back to the forest early,” said his mother. “Let’s make a toast!” said Marcus. With their empty cups, they made their toast, and drank their make-believe water.

The next morning, Marcus woke up with a dry throat. He decided to have some of the water that he took from the river the day before. When he got to the kitchen, he looked into the bucket. Much to his surprise, there wasn’t water inside the bucket. There were shining crystals! They were so full of beauty, all packed together, they still looked like the beautiful white water at the river. “How did … how did this happen!?” Said Marcus. He reached into the bucket and grabbed a big handful of crystals. Marcus’s face was pale, he never seen this happen, ever! He ran to his parents room, and said, “Mom, Dad, wake up! Come here! Your minds are going to blow up like grenades once you see this!” Marcus, Samantha, and Ryan ran to the kitchen. That exact moment, when Samantha and Ryan saw those crystals, their minds did blow like grenades. Their heads went POOF! They were totally shocked. “What … what is this?” said Marcus’s mother. “I have no idea!” yelled Marcus. Marcus’s family got dressed, and Marcus showed them the way to the river. With a different bucket, they filled it up with clear water from the river. But as soon as Marcus tried to drink, there was something that sounded like a gunshot. Then a puff of purple smoke surrounded Marcus and his family. Marcus started to feel very tired. Then he collapsed, in a deep sleep. His family did the same.

Marcus woke about 3 hours later. He sat up, and he saw that he was in a big cave with lots of crystals everywhere! His mother and father were tied up, red dusty cloths over their mouths. Marcus scrambled over to them. He reached into his father’s pocket, and pulled out a pocket knife. Ryan always carried this pocket knife, to keep them safe, or if they needed something to cut with. Marcus cut the rope around Samantha and Ryan, and then they both untied the cloths over their mouths. “Are you ok!?” said Samantha and Ryan. “Don’t worry, I’m fine! But what happened?” said Marcus “I don’t know, maybe this has to do with the river and the crystals.” said Samantha. “It definitely does.” said Ryan. Suddenly they heard small, fast footsteps. Then a small figure appeared. It had big pointy ears, and a small round nose.“You are ordered to meet the troll king!” said the figure. Marcus, his mother and father were then picked up big giant figures! “Are these guys, trolls?” Marcus said. “It seems to be…” said Samantha. Suddenly, they were brought into a huge part of the cave. There were two big, long, thick lines in the rock. They had the same water from the river! Behind the rivers there were trolls. Millions of them! It was like a whole colony of trolls lived here! There were families. There were baby trolls tackling one another. There were trolls about Marcus’s age too. There were old trolls, adult trolls. Then Marcus was brought to the middle of the room. There was a big crystal throne, with a huge troll! Marcus thought he was a big blob of fat. One troll stepped up to throne. “Hear yee, Hear yee, the Troll King speaks!” Then the king boomed with his big low voice and said “Do not take the water from our river!” “But why?” said Marcus. “If you take our water, and you drink it, you will be punished! You shall then be turned into complete crystal!” said the Troll King. “But why must you take the water for yourself?” said Marcus. “Don’t you see? It is very dry in this place.” said the Troll King. “But can’t you share some water for my family?” said Marcus, pointing to his mother and father. “No! This is our river, The Crystal River! Our ancestors created this cave, and the river.” “Oh…but if only…” Marcus started “NO! I will never share our river with anyone! You are complete strangers to me. I don’t give anything to a stranger,” Marcus looked down at the ground and looked at the Troll king once again. “Please?” said Marcus. “You can’t fool the Troll King smallish alien. I am too powerful for you.” the Troll King said as he picked up Marcus and put him right to his eye. “Yes” said Marcus softly. But then, a small baby troll screamed “NO! The troll king is lying! The troll king has imprisoned us to use our powers to create this cave and the Crystal River!” Then the baby trolls mother and father said, “He is telling the truth! The troll king has no powers! So he forces us to use our powers to create things that he wants. If we do not obey his orders, we shall be executed by being turned into crystal. We cannot let this go any further! With that, all the trolls attacked the Troll King, using their magical powers to turn him into crystal. Then they unleashed Marcus’s family. The trolls wanted Marcus to be their Troll King. In return they would give the Crystal River to Marcus and his family, and they would never turn into crystal even if they drank it. So all the trolls went home with Marcus and his family, taking all the water they needed from the Crystal River.