Ariss student one of two winners of Olive and Fred Robins Junior Short Story Contest

WELLINGTON COUNTY – The County of Wellington Library has announced the winners of the sixth annual Olive and Fred Robins Junior Short Story Contest.

It is open to Wellington County students attending Grades 4 to 6, who are invited to submit original short stories between 500 and 750 words.

Grade 5 student Annie Trott of Ariss and Grade 5 student Hannah Creamer of Drayton are the two 2023 top prize winners.  

Trott’s story follows. 

An Unexpected Journey

By Annie Trott

“Here fishy, fishy, fishy,” I mumble under my breath as I cast my line back out into the lake for the 50th time.

My name is Timothy Migraf and this year my Dad decided to bring me on a fishing trip to try to get my mind off what happened two years ago.

On December 11, 2019 at 3:05 in the afternoon … my Mom died in a car crash. Ever since this catastrophe, my life has been miserable. My Dad keeps saying we are going to get through this but there hasn’t been any improvement.

Still no fish. This is getting ridiculous. I cast my line out again. “There’s no point,” I thought to myself. Just then I felt a tug. “I got one!” I yell so it feels like the entire lake can hear me.

“Reel it in, Tim!” my Dad yells at me. I reeled it in as fast as I could. 

“This is going to be good” I thought. I kept reeling until it popped out of the water. It was green and slimy like a fish but it was seaweed. Disappointment filled my body as I stared down at the clump of seaweed. This was the first time I felt happy ever since Mom left us. 

I can’t handle it anymore. All my emotions are building up into anger and I lashed it all out on my Dad. 

“Why am I even here!? What’s the point of this whole fishing trip!?”

“We are going to get through this, Timothy”

“No, we are not! It’s been two years of saying it’s going to be okay and nothing has happened, there has been no improvement!” I screamed at my Dad as I casted again with fury as my anger guided me. But then there was a tug. And no, it was not seaweed nor a fish but it was a green wine bottle like the ones with a treasure map inside. I stare at the muddy bottle on the ground. “Open it!” my Dad tells me. I wondered what was inside. Maybe it was a treasure map! I opened it and looked inside but it was empty. Once again I was filled with disappointment. 

“It’s still pretty cool,” my Dad tells me.

“Yeah I guess it is still awesome,” I mumble.

“Let’s take it to the cottage and wash it up,” my Dad suggests . We washed it in the sink and laid it on the table staring at it and wondering why it was in the lake. 

“Maybe there was a treasure map inside but it rotted over time,” my Dad suggested.

“Maybe,” I said.

“Anyway, we should have some lunch. What do you want? Hotdogs?”

“Sure,” I replied. My Dad got up from the table which made it shake. The bottle rolled off the table and onto the hardwood floor then shattered into pieces. Great … now it was just green shattered glass all over the floor. 

“I’m so sorry Timothy. I think we can glue it back together, my Dad suggests. Together we pick up the pieces of glass. Just then I spotted what looked like writing engraved on the inside of the bottle. “Dad, wait!” there is something in the bottle!” I look closer and there are dash marks and riddles leading to a big X. “Is this a treasure map?” my Dad questions while staring at the pieces of the bottle “Maybe it’s some kind of puzzle to make a treasure map,” I said. 

My Dad and I started to put the pieces together to make a treasure map. After 30 minutes of putting the pieces together and munching on hotdogs we finally completed it. It was a treasure map! I gave my Dad a hug which felt magical. “Thank you,” I told my Dad.

“You’re welcome?” I could tell my Dad didn’t know why I was thanking him. “For getting me through this,” I answered. I could feel him squeeze me even tighter as I said this. “Looks like we’re going to the woods first,” I say, staring down at the map. 

This might be an exciting trip after all. I don’t know how, but I do know we will get through this.