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The Chase

The Chase

Children's story

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Action / Adventure


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Tina Oneyear (United States)


~~The Chase

by Tina Oneyear



"Hurry up! Get outta there!" screamed Kalli.

"It's gotta hold of my leg" Tim yelled back. Tim's leg was stuck down in a snow caved hole. Tim caved it in when he tried to get out of it. He had seen the bear's eyes and yellow stained teeth when he and Kalli disturbed the bear from it's winter nap.

Now. the bear had Tim's leg. Kalli ran to Tim and pulled on his arm while packing in the snow they had already been standing on. The bear was a lot stronger than the two of them, together. All of a sudden the bear let go, trying to dig it's way out of the hole, which was a cave in the mountainside. A gigantic brown haired arm with long opaque claws that curled, reached through the hard snow.

Tim and Kalli were on the run as fast as they could go with the open wound leg. Leaving a trail of blood and deep footprints in the snow, the adolescents ran for home. Breathing and running hard through the forests and crashing into bushes, they came up on a familiar place. Their abrupt approach startled the herd of deer from the salt lick. Deer scampered in all directions, confusing the children in the route they took. Tim grabbed his sister, "This way! Don't stop to look, Kalli." The paths had crisscrossed so much that she hoped the bear would settle for a deer.

No such luck. The bear was hard on their trail. Kalli heard the distant grunts getting closer. She knew, bears could out run a human, even in the snow. She also, knew bears could follow the scent of it's victim, especially a blood trail left behind. She felt her heart beating inside her head and it was getting so hard to breathe. Her body was so tired of running against the snowy wind. Tim stopped, jolting Kalli’s mind to the awareness around her. She had hung on to Tim, trying to help him run with his hurt leg. "Keep on runnin', Kalli. I'll stop it."

"No! No! Come on, Tim. We can make it. We're not far from home." It was getting dark but they both knew the area so well that they could find their way home blind folded.

"I can't run anymore. Go! Go!" Just then, the bear stood up on it's hind legs and let out the loudest roar that she had ever heard. It was like being in a dream, that wasn’t real, but it was far, too real. The world began to spin in circles, her breathing seem to stop and fear making her tremble under her skin. Out of nowhere, came barking dogs, one on either side of the ferocious bear, their teeth just as vicious. The dogs danced around the bear, dragging its attention away from the kids. It would swipe it's big heavy claw at a dog as it came close. All of a sudden, three guns went off and startled the bear. It halted, turned and ran off into the woods.

Kalli took a deep breath and realized that they were still in one piece. The dogs came closer to them, panting hard and wagging their tails licking relieved little faces. Men approached the children. "Are ya' all right?" asked the biggest man in the long heavy coat.

"We'll live" answered Tim.

"Tim's hurt" stated Kalli. "The bear got his leg."

"Tim, what were you two doing around a bear?" asked the smallest man. Kalli released tension as she recognized her father’s voice. Uncle Pete bent down to Tim, looking at the injured leg and with a flashlight. "Any of ya' gotta hanky?" he asked.

Tim's leg was bloody and the skin was torn back. Each man gave Uncle Pete their handkerchief. He took his own and tied them all around the wounded leg. "We were just exploring. We were looking for the 'Miner's Cave' that is in ol' Smitty's stories," answered Tim. Father bent down and picked up Tim after handing his gun to his brother in-law, Derrick. Tim rode on father's back all the way home.

Inside the cabin, Mother had been waiting. As the door opened Kalli saw mother standing by the table with a very worried face. Her hands were tightly held together and twisting with fret. "They'll be alright, Mary," Father said.

"We do need to get 'im to a doctor, though. Mary, do you have some bandages to wrap around 'im?" asked Uncle Pete. Mother scurried to the linen closet and brought a sheet. "This is all I have." She leaned down and gave her son tight hug and let out a quiet sigh of assurance.

Uncle Pete tore the sheet into pieces and wrapped it around the gory wound. "Let's get him to the doctor" said Father.

"Kalli, are you alright?", asked Uncle Pete.

"Yes, I'm fine".

Father and Uncle Pete carried Tim to the four-wheel drive pickup and headed for the nearest emergency clinic.

Mother embraced Kalli as Uncle Derrick stayed behind in case the bear were to follow the human trail to the cabin. The dogs belonged to Uncle Derrick, as he was a hunter by trade. Higgins and Molly were allowed to come in the cabin this one time, as a reward for their efforts to save Kalli and her brother. Mother put down a big bowl of warm milk and the leftover deer roast from dinner. The dogs lapped the food up.

Kalli went in to change her clothes and freshen up. Uncle Derrick put his arms around his sister to assure that everything would be all right. "Do you think Tim will be okay? Will he be able to walk? Will he.."

"Mary, Mary, Mary" said Uncle Derrick, holding his sister tighter. "He'll be just fine. Don't worry. You should be checking on your daughter."

"Oh, of course" Mother gasped as she turned around to see Kalli coming out of her room. Mother and daughter hugged for a few minutes longer, then she sat down on the couch that was covered by an old bedspread.

"Come here, Molly" Kalli told the yellow lab that saved her life, patting her own cold stinging thigh. Molly came panting to her. She bent down and hugged the dog. "Thank you so much for coming after me, Molly. I love you." Just then, a high pitched moan came from the Airedale that sat by the stove. "Oh, I'm not leaving you out, Higgins. Come here boy!" Kalli said with enthusiasm. The brown and black, curly haired dog dashed to her for affection. "I love you, too. And you have my greatest thanks, too. You'll both get a lot more when Tim comes home." The dogs laid down on either side of cold and tired girl and went to sleep. Mother brought her daughter a cup of hot chocolate and a sandwich, covered her legs with a quilt. Kalli sipped on the drink and nibbled the food. She snuggled under the cover and fell to sleep.

The hours passed what seemed like an eternity to the family members that had stayed behind. Finally, there was a roar of an engine coming up the snowy drive. Tim, Father and Uncle Pete had come home. Tim hopped out of the pickup and walked toward the house on crutches. Mother and Uncle Derrick went out on the porch, eagerly awaiting the news about Tim. "Like I said Mary, he'll be alright" said Father.

Tim grinned at her and winked. “I’m doing well, Mother. Just needed a few stiches. The crutches is just for a day or so.” She embraced her son as he hobbled up the steps, “I am so glad that you and your sister are all right,” she whispered. “I am so glad”.


Competition: The Pen Factor 2016, Round 1

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Read Reviews

Review 1:


Compelling hook?

Fresh?

Strong characters?

Entertaining?

Attention to mechanics
  • The grammar, typography, sentence structure and punctuation would benefit from a further round of editing to avoid distracting from the quality of the story.
Narration and dialogue: Balance
  • Your story struck a good balance between narration and authentic dialogue.
Narration and dialogue: Authentic voice
  • Your characters’ voices were convincing and authentic.
Characterization
  • Your characters were multidimensional. I found them believable and engaging and they genuinely responded to the events of the story.
Main character
  • Your protagonist exhibited a unique voice and had original characteristics. Their actions and dialogue were convincing.
Character conflict
  • Your characters drew me into their world from the very beginning. Their goals and conflicts were clearly conveyed.
Plot and pace
  • Maintaining the right pace and sustaining the reader’s interest is a difficult balancing act. Are you sure all the material is relevant to the plot, setting and atmosphere? Make sure each sentence makes sense to the reader, and each paragraph moves their experience forward.
Suspense and conflict
  • The joy of reading often lies in the element of suspense prompted by internal or external conflicts. The build-up was intriguing and I felt the tension mounting with each word.
Technique and tight writing
  • When writing is tight, economical and each word has purpose, it enables the plot to unravel clearly. Try and make each individual word count.
Point of view
  • The story successfully solicited the reader’s empathy through the clever use of the narrator's point of view. You show great deftness in handling point of view.
Style and originality
  • Creating a unique writing style while maintaining quality of prose is tricky. As writers, we face the daunting task of making sure we are not being predictable. Can you find a way to give the content and characters more of a unique edge? Perhaps say something boldly, something fresh or show an unorthodox approach to a topic?
Atmosphere and description
  • Your story was a feast for the senses. The atmosphere wrapped itself around me and transported me onto the page alongside your characters.
Authentic and vivid setting
  • The setting was realistic and vivid. The characters’ mood and emotions were conveyed successfully through the believable setting.
Opening line, paragraph and hook
  • Your strong opening was a promise of wonderful things to come!
General comments from your fellow writer 1:
I enjoyed this story; it had pace, drive and excitement especially the first half which really grabbed me. I felt that this fell off in the second half. The domestic descriptions were very touching and well written but for me I was looking for something else dramatic to happen in that second part. Or the closing paragraph. The opening line was effective and hooked the reader in. I think the whole story would benefit from some editing and another check through for punctuation etc and there is some repetition. Perhaps also as it is a short story there are one or two many minor background characters appearing, which detract from the two main ones (Kalli and Tim), perhaps keep the focus on those two and what they do. Loved some of the background touches like the roast deer meal- the atmosphere was strong and evocative.The dogs were beautifully described too. But overall the second half was a bit too busy with extra characters. Keep at the writing though,this was enjoyable

Review 2:


Compelling hook?

Fresh?

Strong characters?

Entertaining?

Attention to mechanics
  • You demonstrate a professional quality of writing throughout the story.
Narration and dialogue: Balance
  • There needs to be more balance between narration and dialogue. Avoid overdoing the narrative and remember that dialogue can diffuse long claustrophobic text.
Narration and dialogue: Authentic voice
  • Your characters’ voices were convincing and authentic.
Characterization
  • Make sure your characters are multidimensional. Do they have strengths and weaknesses? Mere mortals make the most interesting stories because they are like you and me and we are able to empathize with their journey. That’s how the connection with a character is formed.
Main character
  • Your protagonist exhibited a unique voice and had original characteristics. Their actions and dialogue were convincing.
Character conflict
  • Your characters drew me into their world from the very beginning. Their goals and conflicts were clearly conveyed.
Plot and pace
  • Maintaining the right pace and sustaining the reader’s interest is a difficult balancing act. Are you sure all the material is relevant to the plot, setting and atmosphere? Make sure each sentence makes sense to the reader, and each paragraph moves their experience forward.
Suspense and conflict
  • The joy of reading often lies in the element of suspense prompted by internal or external conflicts. The build-up was intriguing and I felt the tension mounting with each word.
Technique and tight writing
  • When writing is tight, economical and each word has purpose, it enables the plot to unravel clearly. Try and make each individual word count.
Point of view
  • Point of view helps the reader identify whose perspective we are engaging with, i.e. who is narrating the story. It can sometimes be helpful to double check that the point of view in the story is successfully handled. Ensure you consistently use the same point of view and tense throughout.
Style and originality
  • Creating a unique writing style while maintaining quality of prose is tricky. As writers, we face the daunting task of making sure we are not being predictable. Can you find a way to give the content and characters more of a unique edge? Perhaps say something boldly, something fresh or show an unorthodox approach to a topic?
Atmosphere and description
  • A writer’s ability to create mood and atmosphere through evocative description is vital to the reader’s experience. It’s a real skill to craft out how the characters react to the setting and atmosphere and perhaps your story could go further in its description. The reader wants to experience the same sensory and poignant journey as the characters.
Authentic and vivid setting
  • The scene needs to be vivid and realistic in order to hold the reader’s attention. Being concise and plausible at the same time is tricky. Giving this further attention could perhaps be worthwhile.
Opening line, paragraph and hook
  • Your strong opening was a promise of wonderful things to come!
General comments from your fellow writer 2:
I loved the beginning and got all caught up into the unfolding events, as if I myself, were with them. But, once the bear was gone, so was that connection I had with the characters. It felt like air being slowly exhaled from a balloon. Poof, my reading orgasm was over. Some of the country folk talk, ie, words, I had to re read to make sure I got it right what they were saying. All in all, it was entertaining and only needed to keep that connection the reader had, through the entire story. Then, it will be a 10 all across the board.