Fraser Creative Writing Contest winners, 2008
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN ” The winners for this year’s Fraser Creative Writing Contest for third- and fourth-graders at Aspen Elementary School recently were announced.
This year’s theme for writing was “Aspen in 100 years.” We are printing the stories of the two grades’ first-place winners, Natalie Stenman of the fourth grade, and Francesca Seeman of the third grade. (Their submissions follow.)
“We want to congratulate all of this year’s writing contest participants,” said local author Jill Sheeley. “The stories were incredibly creative.”
Sheeley is the author of the “Adventures of Fraser the Yellow Dog” series of children’s books, from which this writing contest gets its name. Sheeley’s real-life dog, Fraser, inspired the books, and although he died in March, Sheeley still brings her dog Maggie (who also stars in the Fraser books) to events with children.
Fran was sitting outside her house on a large hill in Aspen, debating what subject to write her story about. Her topics were the history of Aspen or Aspen in 100 years. She was having a hard time trying to convince herself to write about the future but she had lots of ideas for the history story.
Suddenly she looked up and saw an eagle swoop down and use its talons to pick her up under her arms. Fran was in mid-air by the time she realized what had happened. Being very concerned that she would get dropped, Fran started screaming, “Help! Help!” Next something happened that almost made her faint! The eagle opened its beak and said, “Shhh! be quiet. I am not going to drop you. But there is something I want to show you.” Fran was so shocked she thought she was dreaming.
Before she could say anything back she realized that below her was something that could have been a town. Just like a puzzle missing pieces, this town was missing a few things. The only things left from the buildings were scraps of glass, wood and rusted old metal. Fran looked down and just beyond these scraps she saw an old cemetery. Another thing she noticed was that there were no trees. In the distance she could see a few large mountains. At the base of the closest mountain there stood a dry river bed. Fran could see a few dead roots creeping down the sides of the river bed attached to an old tree stump. In the middle of the river bed there was a large pile of logs. They looked like they had been cut down to be used for fire wood and even looked a little burned. “What happened here?” Fran asked the eagle.
“The people who lived here did not control their pollution. The cars and factories polluted the air and all the trees died. After the trees died the pollution was so bad that the people could not breathe properly so they all left. Global warming caused it not to snow anymore and there was no snow to melt so the river stopped flowing,” said the eagle. Fran stared back down at the town. This town was a ghost town. Something about it seemed familiar. The roads looked like the ones in Aspen. And the mountains looked like the ones in Aspen. Everything looked the same as Aspen.
She wanted to ask the eagle if this town was Aspen. But when she looked up all she saw was a beautiful blue sky with white clouds. And when she looked down she was sitting on her hill with her notebook in her hand. “Was that town Aspen?” That would be a question Fran would have forever. Fran decided to write a story about what she saw with the eagle and she named it “Aspen in 100 Years.” THE END!
I felt dizzy after that zig-zagging ride in the time machine. It was out of control and was madly flying through different time periods. I wondered where that crazy ride had taken me, so I bravely stepped out. I immediately recognized it as Aspen, the town where I spent my childhood … but something looked different. I glanced back into the time machine. It said “Aspen, year 2108.” Oh my gosh! I didn’t know where to start exploring. This was incredible! I decided to start with checking out where my house used to be: the North 40. When I looked that direction, my jaw dropped to the ground. There was no North 40! Instead, a huge shopping mall was on the land where my house used to sit. Expecting the unexpected, I slowly walked inside the mall. The second I stepped inside the door, I was jolted on a moving platform and shot up through all the 26 levels. I started to get dizzy so I hoped for it to stop. When it slowed and finally stopped, I was at the restaurant level. I decided to stop for a bite to eat. A machine that looked like a tiny human was waiting for me to order: “R1Q5 at your service. What would you like to eat?” I chose pizza because I wanted to see what that was like in the future.
Once I was full of the futuristic meal, I walked to Main Street. Once again, I was so surprised I froze in amazement. I didn’t see any cars on the ground, or even in the sky! All I saw was lots of strange things along the streets. I walked over to one that had my favorite store’s logo on it! I wondered what that strange thing did, so I hopped lightly on it. I was floating through nothingness and suddenly came to a jerking stop. My favorite store! I looked around to see if there were any cute futuristic shoes, when I spotted someone who sort of looked like me. It was my great-grandchild! I talked to her for a while and told her that I’m from the past. She understood and offered to take me to her apartment. I accepted and we appeared back on the main road. She took me to a traveltube and jumped in with me.
In the blink of an eye, I was in the coolest apartment ever! Her chairs were floating, robots cooking and cleaning for her, and her plants were watering themselves! We ate and talked for a while. She told me a lot about how Aspen has changed. So many things are different! Because of global warming there was no more winter or skiing, they had invented new ways to travel, and use robots for completing everyday tasks! I noticed there was a big hole in her living room floor, so I took a peek at it. I leaned over a little too far … I heard my great-granddaughter saying, “Grandma, watch out …” after a sudden lurch, I was plopped in my room in 2008. It was sad to part with my great-granddaughter, but I know one thing for sure: I’ll have an amazing adventure to share at school next week about my topsy-turvy, time-travel experience!
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A speeding car on Tuesday morning crashed into and destroyed part of the winter closure gate on Maroon Creek Road.