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Young Authors Short Story Contest 

Aspiring young writers in grades 3 - 8 are invited to submit a short story to be judged on creativity, style, and voice!

Winners

Grades 3 - 5: The Aquarium Adventure by Sahiti B. 

The Aquarium Adventure
Once upon a time, there were two best friends. They liked the same favorite color, the same favorite place, and the same favorite video game, Minecraft.“ Valoe! We are going to the national aquarium!” Valoe loved to pick her nose. She used to do it anytime and anywhere. On the other hand Muzin, she hated candies. She only liked dark chocolate mixed with sushi. “Okay,” Valoe said in a loud bold voice. She hated yelling because it really made her throat ache. They started packing food for the long drive to the aquarium. Once they threw their bags in the trunk and took a seat, Muzin’s mom started the car. “ Mom, can we get chocolate ice cream mixed with sushi please?” “ No honey, we already packed a lot of snacks.” “ Okay… ‘’groaned Muzin. About two hours later, they were amazed. They looked out of the window and gasped at the sight. “ It looks … dazzling!” Her eyes were gleaming with excitement and amazement. They both ran inside and squealed. “ It’s so cool! I can’t wait to check it out!” said Valoe. They both ran immediately to the sharks' section. As you can see, Valoe and Muzin are shark fanatics. They would love to see sharks swim around the enormous tank all day. But things started to go wrong. They had no idea these sharks are powerful and can get angry easily. They didn’t notice the warning on the side of the tank.
“WARNING, DO NOT KNOCK THE WINDOWS OF THE SHARK'S TANK! THEY CAN GET ANGRY EASILY!” Muzin started banging on the glass for the shark's attention and started yelling. “ Hey sharkie!” The shark immediately turned around and got ready to charge at Muzin.Then Muzin started to feel something was wrong. Then she realized, the shark was going to break the glass! By the time she could take a step the glass shattered. “AAAAAHH!” screamed Muzin and Valoe. Everybody started to panic and scream. People started rushing out the door. People were pouring out of the building. They went through every exit they could find. People smashed windows with chairs and lamps and jumped
out. “HELP!, HELP!” cried the two friends. But no one even tried to look at the two friends. The people were too busy trying to save their lives. Instead, they stepped on them with no mercy. They were stuck and didn’t know how to swim. The aquarium started to flood. They went down, down into the water. Just when they thought their lungs were about to explode, something went under them up and out of the water. They gasped for breath. “ Look!” said Valoe. Muzin looked down. “ It’s a dolphin!” The dolphin swam and swam. The shark was right on their tails. Then the shark stopped swimming and started thrashing its muscular body ferociously. Valoe was stumped. “ There’s backup! “ shouted Muzin. Guess what, there was another pod of dolphins attacking the shark. That gave them enough time to reach the exit. The dolphin dropped them off at the exit and swam full speed toward the shark to help its pod. Muzin opened the door and the water gushed out the door, throwing and pushing Muzin Valoe outside.
After a second everything was over. The two friends scraped their knees and arms really badly, and they were bruised everywhere, but they were relieved they got out alive. The parking lot was filled with plumbers and animal rescuers. The shark suffocated to death by the time the animal rescuers came to get it, but the other sea animals were safely put in the ocean. Then they saw a familiar car. It was their parents. They came as soon as they heard the news.” Mom! Dad!” They all ran to each other and hugged. Their parents hugged them so tight that they couldn’t breathe.“ Thank goodness you didn’t drown! You two are so brave!” said Valoe and Muzin’s parents. Valoe and Muzin's parents didn’t care if they were all wet and bleeding, they cared if their children were safe. That was one spectacular adventure!

Grades 6 - 8: The Dark Case by Abhimanyu S.

The Dark Case 
 
As the sun rose people saw hover-cars on the road honking and people screaming, “Move!! I am late for work”. Nobody understood what was going on. Something happened that caused almost the entire city of New York to be in a traffic jam.   
Mayor George Nite announced, “Something has happened on the Brooklyn Bridge, and I am working to get you all back to your homes, but it may take a while. On the bright side, you get a day off”.  

While at the Brooklyn Bridge there were many cops there, because something weird had happened. There was a man who was a suicide bomber who caught a car in the explosion. The cops there kept wondering why someone would do something like that in the year 2049. This era was also known as the Peace era, even New York City won the World peace award, and The National peace award 10 years in a row. And this time they were gonna lose the streak. 

Every cop started scanning with the analysis bots and found nothing. Here’s the thing the car that the suicide bomber exploded had no one was in there.  
Yes, no one did. The police department even sent some scuba divers to check the east river of Manhattan and Brooklyn and found nothing.  

The question that was in everybody's minds was “how is it even possible?” 
The man said, “Why would someone do it in the middle of the night? As you all know I served in the Army, FBI and CIA so I have seen suicide bombers, The mayor specially got me here coz I know more about suicide bombers and suicide vests.”  
One cop spoke up “then why aren’t we able to get anything on the scanners?”  
The man walks up and says “The car was also rigged with explosives too.” 

The cops still didn’t get it. 

“Remember the car had explosives in it so you might have to try by checking the explosive marks.” 

The man was Eren Leon. He served in the army for 3 years from the age of 19. Then he was noticed by the CIA for his intel about other enemy countries. They used his intel to stop major terrorist organizations in countries like Iran, Somali, Cuba, and other parts of Africa. He left the CIA after working with them for 8 years. He wanted to do more for his country so he joined the FBI. He is one of the big reasons that the world is free from illegal drugs, illegal weapons transportation, mafia’s, crime lords etc. He is like a never giving up person. His IQ level is even better than average, more like he is gifted. He had a really lonely life. 

Eight years ago, when his mother became sick his father asked him even begged him to come home but he had said no every time because they were about to take a serious terrorist organization down. Even the UN and the governments from around the world were involved. He couldn’t come home. When his mother’s condition got worse in her dying breath she said “I wish Eren was here”. At the funeral the next day Eren wasn’t there either. The other day Eren came back he was excited to see his mother thinking that she might have gotten better by now. He went inside his house; the house was dark and cold. He asked his dad “Dad where is mom what happened?” 

His dad looks up and says “Your mother is dead.” In shock Eren dropped his stuff and said “How, but why, why?” 
“She was in a really bad condition son, her disease get worse every day, I called you every day but you never came.” 
Eren trying to find the right answer. 

“I-I was-you know how important my job is, and I had a really important mission to take this organization down.” 
His father looks up. Eren saw anger in his eyes. 

“So, so what, what about someone who cared for you since birth every day, even the days I was gone for my business trips, she used to say “We are good.”huh In her dying breath she said “Eren was here.” You weren’t there at the funeral, get out of my house!” He leaves.  

He turns around to see his dad slammed the door. He felt tears running down his cheek. Then a black car pulls to him a woman steps out of the car and says “Sergeant Leon are we interrupting something?”  
Eren wipes his tears away and says “no.” 

“Good” the woman says “Cause right now America needs your help.”  
He asks “Why and who are you guys?” 
The woman says “we are the CIA.” 
He learns about everything, becomes a CIA agent and starts the peace era.  

Fourteen Years Later… 

He enters a building it was the FBI field base of operations in New York. Everybody there greets Eren. Then he enters a room saying “I need all kinds of explosions marks from all explosives ever made.” 
The guy in the chair turns around and says “Eren Leon, you got to chill man, you can’t just rush in and ask something to get it that fast.”  

It was Eren’s best friend Jack Jones who served in the army for eleven years, because after they took the organization down most of the years were a waste of time. Later on he joined the FBI. He was mad when he learned when Eren got in CIA.  
“Eren you don’t have to do it old school man, we got the best technology come on, let me see that “futuristic Eren” not the “oldie Eren”.” 

Eren shoots him a look. 
“Anyway.” Jack says when exiting the room, “The whole team started scanning the pictures of the explosion marks that you sent, it turns out it was dynamite.”  

Eren surprised “Wow that much damage by a dynamite? the bridge was damaged too.” 
“No, it was actually rigid and just had more explosive stuff.” Jack explained. 
“So, whoever did this knows alot about explosives. Maybe we need to find this guy.”  
“Not today.” Jack interrupts. “Why.” Eren questioned.  
“It is 12 in the night and you have been pulling alot of all-nighters. You need some sleep my friend.” 
Eren was just about to say but Jack said “That is an order.” 
Eren thought that was a good idea and wanted to have some rest before getting more deeper into the case.  
Eren gets in his new hover Mclaren and zooms out of the city and stops at a Mansion. He sets his car to auto drive and goes to his front door while his car goes in the garage. As he entered Eren said “Hideo turned on the lights.” The lights turn on and Eren's personal A.I greets him  

“Welcome master Eren.”  
“Hey it's been a while” Eren replied.  
As Eren enters Hideo asks “would you like the usual Cobb salad or something else?”  
“No, make me some Mac & Cheese in a medium bowl.” 
“Mac & Cheese will be made shortly.”  
Asks “Hideo starts by analyzing the evidence” 
Hideo replies “Okay, when you are gone your salary came.” 
He checks his bank account. Currently his balance is 100,000,000. Then he sends $100,000 to his dad’s account. His dad was retired.  

He was unable to sleep. In the morning he checks the time and goes to bed. The computer still wasn’t able to find a match. He woke up at 10 a.m.  
He was the first one there on bridge. It was a sunny day; something was shining in his eyes. He moved closer and saw gold right where the car had exploded. He called Jack and said “Can you bring a team with shovels cause I think I might know why the huge explosion happened. ” 

In like ten minutes a team comes in with shovels, Eren tells the team to dig there, they dug there for an hour and found a lot of gold that cost more than 200 billion dollars.  
Eren explains “whoever planned it knew about the gold.” 
Jack asked “What about the suicide bomber?” 
“The car might have been remote controlled, when was this bridge created?” 
They found it was built in 1869 by a famous company called John A. Roebling Sons Company, Eren explains, “He was not who you think he is.” 
Nobody understood. 

“He made a lot of money but it was black money, he knew he can’t hide it forever so he used every penny in buying gold, diamonds so he can hide it. He was working on this bridge at that time & found it the safest place.” 
All the money and gold were loaded and was going to FBI’s vault.  
When they were about to leave Eren gets a call that Leonard Roebling was found dead.  
Just when they were about to solve the case, they find there only clue dead. 
Eren stops and says “There is a mole in the FBI!” 

Rules for Entry:

  • Anyone living in the library's service area may enter.

  • Story must be no more than 1500 words and written in English.

  • Only one story may be submitted per person.

  • All stories must be original, free of copyright restrictions, and previously unpublished.

  • Story content should be appropriate for a wide audience and suitable for all ages.

  • Each story must be accompanied by an entry form.

  • Stories must be typed and include the story title and page numbers on each page.

    • Do not include your name on any of the story pages, only the entry form.

  • Writers can submit a hard copy in person to any APLD Children's Reference Desk.

    • Hard copy entries will not be returned.

  • Entries that do not meet the above guidelines may be disqualified from judging.

  • Submission Deadline is November 30, 2022.

    • No late entries will be accepted.

  • Winners announced Friday, December 16, 2022.