Fraser Writing Contest — Fourth-grade winners
Editor’s note: The following two pieces tied for first place in the fourth-grade division of the 18th annual Fraser Writing Contest. The first-place winner in the third-grade division was published on this page Jan. 27.
Once Upon a Vacuum — by Taj Clarence
Before the beginning of existence there were two speeding, zooming particles of exotic matter zooming around empty minded when suddenly they bumped into each other. At that moment a spark of light occurred and for the first time ever the two particles saw each other.
“Uh, who are you?” said one of the particles. “I, I think I’m Space — who are you?” “I’m not sure but I think I might be Time.” “It’s very nice to meet you,” said Space. “It’s nice to meet you too!” said Time. “Why are we glowing?” said Time. “I think we are glowing because we bumped into each other,” said Space. “I feel excited and energetic!” said Time. “Maybe we should go exploring.” “I think we should,” said Space. So, the two glowing particles went off exploring the vast, empty, sleeping void of darkness together.
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After a while Space said, “I don’t think there is anything out here to explore, in fact, there might not be nothing out here at all to explore — is there anything else we could do?” “Yes, there is,” said Time. “Do you remember when we first bumped into each other and we made a spark of light?” “I wonder what would happen if we bumped into each other on purpose — what would happen then?” Let’s try it out!” said Space.
The two particles moved backwards facing each other and then zzzippp! They raced toward each other and just as before a spark of light occurred, only bigger and brighter than before. It made Time and Space glow even brighter, so they tried again and every time they tried, the spark got brighter and more brilliant and Time and Space felt more energetic and happy. On their eighth and final try they moved so far back and raced toward each other so fast that there was a very big bang!
“What was that?” the two parties said in unison. “I … I think we just made something,” said Space. “I think you’re right,” said Time. “What is it and what should we call it?” said Space. “I think we should look around before we name it,” said Time. “I agree,” said Space.
So, the two parties went off exploring their new surroundings. What they saw was beyond imagination: nebulas forming and creating stars, comets flying by at the speed of light, planets being formed, gas and dust making asteroid belts, and many, many other particles zooming around happily making friends. Aftr a while the two particles decided to name what they had created.
“Hmmm,” said Space thoughtfully. “I think I’ve got it — how about The Gorgonborg!” “No, that just sounds weird,” said Time. “You’re right,” said Space.
So, they thought up some more names.
“I think I have it — what about The Ectoflarp?” Time said triumphantly “No, that sounds even more odd,” said Space. “I think I have a really good one,” said Space. “This had better not be your last one,” said Time. “Oh, don’t worry — this is going to be good,” said Space. “The Universe!” Space announced very loudly. “I agree!” said Time.
“This place is amazing, I love how the Universe is constantly making life and beauty,” said Time. “And I love how the Universe is always getting bigger and bigger,” said Space. “We should care for and protect the Universe,” said Time. And so, the two particles promised to care for an protect the Universe for all of eternity.
And that, my friends, is how the Universe came to be: two tiny particles of exotic matter zooming around empty minded in the dark, vast, ocean of emptiness, who accidentally bumped into each other and sparked a bright, unbreakable and truly Universal friendship to last til the end of eternity and beyond.
Sweet Spot in the Middle — by Lia Hodgson
They heard of Earth’s destruction.
The Nelfians were creatures of peace. All they wanted was goodwill and happiness on their planet of Nelfia.
The planet they orbited was called Quintelrin. Quintelrin was an Eyeball planet. One side of an Eyeball planet is hot and always facing the sun, the other side is never facing the sun and is freezing. The creatures there were called Quintelrins. There were actually two different types of Quintelrins. Daylontors on the hot side and Pilgariths on the cool side.
The Daylontors and Pilgariths were not friends. They were always in a squabble because they didn’t understand how to compromise. They were also polar opposites. They did not look the same. They did not treat their environment the same way. Whether it was over nothing at all or the biggest problems in their world, they could just not agree. But the worst part was they were always at war. And when Nelfia orbited them, the horrible war and angry energy would touch their planet too. If too much of that touched their planet it could wreck their society and the Nelfians would be no more.
On the planet of Neflia they were very peaceful because they understood the pure concept of peace. That you don’t need a lot of possessions to be peaceful. What really makes you peaceful and happy is love and respect for your environment and each other. Conflict is just a misunderstanding that is something they definitely understood.
So some of them started to think. They decided to sit down and called a full Nelfian meeting to discuss how to save Quintelrin.
“What if we could do something to help the planet of Quintelrin before it is too late. Like what happened with Earth.”
“Our great, great grandparents have told us that Earth’s own inhabitants, the humans had destroyed their own planet because they didn’t respect the planet and each other. Humans were pitiful creatures and they didn’t care for Earth, that’s how Earth was destroyed. They were in constant conflict as well.”
The Nelfians were not going to let that happen to their neighbor Quintelrin.
“What if we could stop all their wars,” said one Nelfian. “Yes,” said another Nelfian, “and teach them the ways of peace.” “What if we could teach them how to live in the center of the Eyeball planet where everything has balance?” “The sweet spot?” said another.
“But how do we do that? They have been fighting as long as we have known. They have nothing in common. How do you teach someone peace who doesn’t know how to compromise? asked another.
Then another Neflian jumped up and said, “I know what we can do! Teach them peace without them knowing.” Then he told them his plan.
When they arrived on Quintelrin they all had to wear their special peaceful suites that protected them for awhile. They split up and told the Daylontors and Pilgariths that they were going to play the Nelfian games. The winner wins the best prize of all.
The next day everyone lined up to begin the game, except for one Daylontor child and one Pilgarith child. A Daylontor and a Pilgarith ran up to the Nelfians. “We must go search for our missing children!” said the Daylontor. “Yes!” said the Pilarith. “We must look for them together.” Okay, they all agreed.
After searching everywhere, except for the mounts of doom, they decided they must search there even though the dangerous Taligarath storms might be active.
Sure enough the children were in the mounts of doom, hidden in a cave, sheltered from the storm.
“What do we do?” said the Dilantor child. “We must stay strong and work together,” said the Pilgarith child. “Let’s build a Dilantor signal fire and blow the Pilgarath winds to call for help.”
The adults had been searching with the help of the Nelfians and suddenly saw the Dilantor signal fire coming up on the Pilgarath help winds.
“It’s coming from the cave. Quick, get up here.” They got to the cave and realized that by working together the children saved each other. And they all realized that by working together they could enjoy their beautiful planet in the middle sweet spot and perhaps even find a way to live on the other sides together. So they all went back down the mountain rejoicing and thanking the Nelfians for bringing them together.
The Nelfians returned to their planet and rejoiced over their accomplishment. “If only we had been there to do the same things for the Earthlings,” one of them said.
“We will be there next time another planet needs our help. But those Earthlings did deserve it. For all their pollution and disrespect for what good they had on that planet.”
“They should have tried harder to save their animals and planet.”
“And they probably should have been more careful with their choices and learned to live in their own sweet spot.”
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Aspen Skiing Co. and most of the Colorado ski industry were cruising along in a second strong season, until the coronavirus crisis forced their closure on March 14. Skier visits would typically be announced this week, but the ski industry is focused on forging ahead rather than looking back.