Story Contest: Work of Art - Sara A. - 03/28/20

Contest: Winners

Story Contest: Work of Art

Submitted by: Sara A., age 13, Kingston, GA

Creating Connection

You gasp as you walk into the cave. You gaze at sparkling stalagmites and stalactites adorning the cave. You’re only eleven years old, yet you’ve just entered the home of the newest addition to the cave painting world.

She gasped. She couldn’t believe that they chose her, of all people, to help with the cave painting. She was barely past eleven winters, yet they wanted her to help paint one of the biggest paintings in her tribe’s history.

For the first time, you are shadowing your parents, world-renowned cave painting experts, on one of their expeditions. You’ve begged for this, but they always refused, saying conditions in caves were dangerous. On your eleventh birthday, they finally decided you were ready.

For the first time, she was invited into discussions. While at first she remained silent, listening, when arguments arose concerning what to make the red paint out of, she found her voice and suggested a scarlet clay found on a nearby river’s bank. To her delight, everyone agreed.

You steady yourself on the wall as you trudge through slick caverns. You hold your breath, hoping to see the painitng, but you see only an endless rock labyrinth. Suddenly, your face breaks into a smile.

She gripped her small pot of paint and lovingly traced the outlines of animals. Although the cave wall was rough and damp, making painting difficult, her face wore a constant smile.

The painting stretches from the bottom of the cave to above your head. What looks like animals, people. and other symbols are depicted in blacks, grays, and powerful vermilion. You see chaos, but also symmetry. The painting seemed to speak to the balance of nature. You wonder if that was the intention of the past inhabitants of this world.

The painting was finished. She set her pot down and looked up. The sight was breathtaking. Hundreds of animals, symbols, and people existed together in a beautiful, bizarre dance. For that was what life was: the balancing act of nature. She wondered if the future inhabitants of this world would understand that.

They both hoped so.

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