Story Contest: Work of Art - Aiyla S. - 03/28/20

Contest: Winners

Story Contest: Work of Art

Submitted by: Aiyla S., age 13, Asbury, NJ

What Is Reality?

Salty, merciless waves tower over me. They roar unstoppably as they collide and rise together. I fearfully cower in my tiny wooden fishing boat, My eyes tightly closed as I anticipate the large wave about to overcome me. The people of Kanagawa will get no fish tonight. Just as I’m about to be thrown into the angry, seething water, time stops. I feel the spray of the great wave, my half-broken boat beneath me, yet all is ominously still. Everything turns pitch black.

I’m awake, then not. I open my eyes to the scratchy brush of a cypress tree across my cheek and look up to a luminous starry night. The sky shines bright through whirling clouds and a radiant crescent moon, casting its glow on the sleepy town below me. How did I get here? Was I not just trembling with the fear of death upon me? Where is my boat? The ocean? Where am I? Before I can make sense of my surroundings, the magnificent night disappears, and all is black again,

This time when I wake, it is a delightful sunny day, though I am not in the ocean or on a hill. I am at a park amongst families basking in the sun’s warmth. The happy notes of a bugle urge me to nod my head and silently sing along to the sweet rhythm. Children escapade around with vivid imaginations. Dogs frolic, happy to be part of the fun. Curiously I ask the woman nearest me, wearing a purple-and-black dress, holding a plain black umbrella, where I am. She looks at me and smiles, a sweet little smile, and says, “Mademoiselle, this is the island of La Grand Jatte.” I look away, confused. Everything turns dark again.

I open my eyes with a quick jolt. I look around: no ocean, no stars, no park. A museum curator smiles a me. I smile back. This time I’m truly awake.

back to Story Contest: Work of Art Winners