Parnika Sharma-William, grade 8, G Davis
The golden rays of sunshine were at its peak today; the news forecaster had said that we were in the middle of one of the biggest heat waves since 1956. I squinted my eyes so I could see past the blinding light. I was outside; on one of the hottest days of the summer. Call me crazy! Beads of sweat trickled down my forehead and momentarily blinded me, until I wiped my eyes with the back of my arm. Oh how I regretted leaving my hat. I could feel my hair lying limp at the nape of my neck. Rather than wind cooling me off and blowing my hair behind me, there was no breeze and my neck was already sweaty and starting to itch. My bronzed arms were stiff and the skin on my nose was starting to burn.
**”She’s not going to make it”**
Nevertheless, I willed myself on, my mouth dry from dehydration. My feet pained from the blisters as my legs kept pumping up and down vigorously. I was running out of breath, my legs were sore and bright coloured lights were starting to flash in front of my eyes. I started to feel dizzy and could barely feel it when my legs had stopped pedalling as hard. Suddenly, I saw in front of me the peak of the hill. I had made it! I lay my worn out bike on the soft grass beside me and gazed ahead at the small house. My dried, chapped lips cracked when I broke into a smile.
The humble- looking home was a one story bungalow with a welcoming porch and white shutter windows. There was no garage, as there were no cars. It was a blissful sanctuary of peace surrounded by nature. All the trees that I had missed on the ride up when longing for shade were here, as were the chirping birds I had heard and beautiful flowers. The flowers! The blossoms were brilliant shades of violet, fiery orange, cherry red, forget-me-not blue and a multitude of green. The bushes, shrubs and grass made me feel like I had stepped into a magical woodland. Morning dew gathered in drops on the leaves and dripped slowly and evenly. The glossy remains on the leaves appeared to shimmer like jade and emerald. All of my weariness from my journey seemed to have disappeared and been replaced by a sense of calm and relaxation. I had finally arrived. This was where my journey had led me.
I saw a shadow out of the corner of my eye and saw a slender woman clad completely in white step out onto the porch. I remember being awe-struck by her beauty but if one asked me now, I couldn’t describe her. “Welcome,” she said in a voice that sounded like the tinkling of bells, “Your journey has been long. Come in and rest.” I smiled gratefully and stepped towards her and the house. I was in heaven. My long journey of life had wound me here. I wonder what it was I had done that had wound me here. I let my eyes slowly close, a smile playing on my lips and sighed. No more pain, this was it.
She’s gone. I’m sorry. She fought hard, but-it spread. You should be proud, she’s a fighter.
I know, the other man replied, she always was.