Lin Weich and Neveah Kueber won the adult and youth contests respectively, each taking home $75 for their short story. (Submitted photos)

Lin Weich and Neveah Kueber won the adult and youth contests respectively, each taking home $75 for their short story. (Submitted photos)

Quesnel Short Story Contest youth first place: Stranded

Nevaeh Kueber’s story won first place in the youth category of the Quesnel Short Story Contest.

Have you ever been trapped inside your own mind? So deep in your thoughts that even when you try to awaken yourself and come back to the present, you can’t. You can’t because when you do, you know you’ll lost the only chance of understanding what is truly happening in your head. You can’t because even though at that moment you are stranded within your own mind, you know it is easier to survive within it, rather than to sink into what civilization has created. You can’t because you still fear what will happen when you wake up, you fear being hurt by those you love, you fear being the one to hurt them.

So, you stay, inside your head. You stay there until the call of your classmates awakens you. They tell you the bell rang, but even when you can see their mouths moving, you still want to stay. As it is easier to stay stranded in your mind where your only problems are the ones that you know you created, rather than wake up from the fog and face what’s happening around the world.

You don’t think you deserve to come out. You don’t think you deserve to hear about the possibility of another world war. You don’t want to hear about the pandemic that has everyone locked away in their homes. You also don’t think you deserve to be helped through these difficult times.

You watch some more as their lips move; this time you stand up. You still don’t hear what they say but you are at least moving now, walking to your locker, then to your next class where you sit in your usual seat and return to the depths of your mind. After all, it’s easier to remain stranded there rather than face what’s outside.

By the end of the day you are still trapped. Your thoughts still consume you and you still refuse to admit and face what’s in front of you. But now its different from what it was hours ago. Now you are no longer concerned about the pandemic, nor the possible war. No. Now you are concerned about the weeks worth of homework you have received, the finals that are coming up and to top it all off, whether you’ll be able to eat tonight.

But this time it’s okay. It’s okay because you know even if you are still stuck in your mind, you are aware that your friends have been there the whole time. You are aware that they won’t leave you, even if you push them away. Knowing that gives you the courage to fight the fog and face the present, it gives you the courage even if just for now, to stand with those you have. Even if you still feel stranded, you know they are there with you.

READ MORE: Quesnel writers rewarded for short stories

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