Icy Memory
Laura, Age 13, Easton, CT

Dylan sat on the dock bench making snowballs with his younger brother, Jason.  Snow was lightly floating down onto the wooden beams that separated the holiday decorated land from the frozen, winter water.  There were only three more days until Christmas, and Dylan and Jason could not wait. This was their favorite time of year.  However, Dylan hated how the lake near his house became a sheet of ice every winter when the temperature dropped.  Every time he sees the ice covering the lake, he remembers the time that he almost drowned because of that ice….


“But Mom, all of my friends get to play ice hockey,” Dylan whined.  “Why can’t I?”

“I’m sorry honey, it is just too dangerous,” his mom argued.  “You could fall through the ice and drown."

“Uhhhhhhhhhhhh! You’re so mean!” exclaimed Dylan as he marched up the stairs to his room.  “That’s it!  I can’t stand it any more, I’m going to run away,” Dylan declared once he was in the privacy of his own room.

The night was cold and dark, and there was a light blanket of snow that covered the ground.  To keep warm, Dylan wrapped a scarf around his neck,  placed a cozy hat on his red-haired head, and buttoned up his winter coat nice and tight.

Dylan began to make his way quietly down the stairs.  However, he quickly realized that his mom would notice him walking out the front door.  So, he silently tiptoed upstairs and locked himself in his room.

“How am I going to sneak out?” Dylan whispered to himself, being careful not to wake up his brother Jason, who was fast asleep in the next room.  Dylan pondered over this question for quite a while.  Finally, his bright blue eyes rested on his window. “That’s it!” he exclaimed to himself.

Dylan then inched himself over toward his window and mentally measured the distance from his window to the fluffy, snow-covered ground of the back yard.

He figured it was not too far, so he slowly opened his window, letting the cold air rush into his room.  Before climbing out, he took his round, orange basketball in his warm mitten hands.  He wanted to bring the ball for company and something to do on his journey.  Knowing that he could not hold his ball while he climbed through the window, he threw that down first.  The ball landed with a small thump in the heap of snow on the side of the house.

Slowly and carefully, Dylan began to inch his way out the window and down the outer wall of the light blue house.  Then being cautious not to be seen,  he darted through the yard and down the street.  When he was no longer visible from his house, he began to slow his pace.

In a couple of minutes, Dylan had made his way to the lake.  It was here, on the dock, that he decided he did not want to run away forever.

“I’ll just dribble my ball for a while and then climb back through my bedroom window,” Dylan assured himself, “No one will ever know that I was gone.”

So, he began to do just that, he dribbled his basketball with force, letting all of his anger out on the ball.  However, Dylan was unaware of the sheet of ice laying on the surface of the dock.  With one more forceful bounce, the ball slipped and landed on the thin sheet of ice that covered the lake.

Dylan panicked.  There was no good excuse for a ball that disappeared over night.  He could not go home without that ball.  So, he did what any panicked child would do.

With his knees resting on the icy surface of the wooden dock, and his arm wrapped around a pole, he leaned over the ice to try to role the ball toward him. However, his plan was unsuccessful.  The ball was actually rolling away from him.

Before he knew it, he had slipped off the dock and splashed into the icy water.  Dylan began to move violently, trying to get back to the dock.  However,  the ice was too thick to push away.  He was stuck in a little patch of freezing water.  There was no way for him to get out.  He would freeze to death if he did not get out of the lake soon.  He now understood why his mom thought ice hockey was too dangerous.  Without any second thought, Dylan quickly grabbed onto a frozen tree root that had been resting on the ice and…..


“Dylan, Jason, it’s time to go,” said a woman’s voice.

“What?” said Dylan, awakening from his reverie.

“It’s time to go”.  Dylan now saw his mom towering over him, and his brother, Jason, in her arms.

“All right,” answered Dylan.  He began to trudge off the dock, leaving his icy memories of the past Christmas on the new sheet of ice that covered the lake as he followed his mom back to the car.

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