The author, an 11-year old student at Baptist Academy, says: “I love playing football and I am a part of the Villa Lions Football Club.”
Judges’ verdict: “This story has potential.”
In the 2017 Wadadli Pen Annual Writing Challenge, the judges ranked Simmons’ story 3rd in the 12 and Younger age category.
“Good Morning mommy!” I said in the kitchen of my home. For some reason, I started playing football; she turned and exclaimed sharply: “BWOI! how much time I have to tell yuh nuh play football in the kitchen, especially when me in yah a cook!”
I immediately stopped.
“Go bathe yuh ‘kin and get ready fu football and then come eat,” she instructed, going back to work on the fried dumplings.
Later that Saturday afternoon my mother told me that she was going to get her hair done. After she left, I played football at the front yard on the grass. Fifteen minutes into the game, while I was cheering myself on and sweating all over, I heard a cry.
I stopped and listened. I was about to continue when I heard it again, this time louder and more frightened. I ran to where the crying was coming from and ended up in my neighbour’s front yard. I ran into the house and saw the pot on fire with no way to out it.
“What can I do?”
I ran to the baby’s room, quickly grabbed her up but by that time, the fire was eating away at the Living room. I looked and looked and looked for an escape. Then, I saw a window in the masters bedroom. I got a stool from the baby’s room and then I started to cough. I placed the stool at the bottom of the window and awkwardly lifted myself and the baby out the window, accidentally cutting my right shin against the window pane.
When I got out the house, ABS and the Daily Observer questioned me. I didn’t Know how to answer those questions because I was so badly hurt and I was coughing non- stop. As the house exploded I heard a wailing scream coming from the baby’s mother, Yvonne, who was running towards the house. She saw me with the baby in my hands and came over, crying “OH GOD! OH GOD! OH GOD!”
She took baby girl from me and started crying all over again as she sobbed “Thank you!”
Two minutes later the ambulance arrived with the fire fighters and it was all loud and exciting from there, however I was still struggling to breathe.
When I woke up I was in the hospital. They said I had second degree burns on my hands, feet and face. The doctors placed me on oxygen because I had inhaled a lot of smoke. Baby girl’s parents visited me and thanked me again for what I had done. I was in the newspapers and on the television… I was to be the next national hero.
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With thanks to our patrons, see this writer’s total prize haul below (and remember, support the businesses/individuals who support the arts):
EC$75 cash/gift certificate (contributed by Art. Culture. Antigua)
Books – The Person Controller by David Baddiel w/illustrations by Jim Field, AniMalcolm by David Baddiel w/illustrations by Jim Field, Sword in the Stone by T H White, Spell like a Champion (contributed by Harper Collins)
Gifts (contributed by Juneth Webson)
With Grace by Joanne C. Hillhouse (contributed by Little Bell Caribbean)
Certificate (sponsored by the Best of Books)