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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the ADVENTURE genre (05/24/07)

TITLE: White Bird Friend
By Brandi Michel
05/27/07


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The sun came up and fell along the waters eight times since I left my home. I play a game with the white birds that fly over my head as I stare through the window that barley fits my face. I imagine that each bird flies from my homeland and goes to America to tell the other birds that I am coming and what I am like. Suddenly, my white bird friend comes back and sits on my window. He tells me everyday to hold on. I want to hold on, but I fear I may become quiet like Brigitte. There is no more food, and the water tins are dry like my throat. The white bird stays with me, he looks into my eyes. He urges me to hold on and tells me that I am his friend.
My friend flies away suddenly; I think the monster in my stomach scared him. I don’t hear Brigitte’s monster anymore. She is only one year older than I am. We come from the same village and would play together in the market where our parents would go to sell eggs from our chickens. We would sit under the tables and pretend we were mommies with the dolls my mother made with rope and yarn. We had to leave our dolls behind. I see Brigitte lying with her eyes closed; alone.
The cheering turns my head. People start jumping up and yelling, “Land! Land!” I see a dark colored blob at the end of the ocean as far as my eyes can see. I try to get up but fall back down in front of my window. As I land in my place, my friend returns. He looks into my eyes and tells me to hold on, and through my eyes I tell him that I am, that I won’t let go. He is my only friend now. It is so loud because all the screams and cries echo along the walls in the small space. I want to cry too because I am scared. I was carried on this boat by my uncle Hennrick, as I kicked and screamed for my parents. They said I would have a better life but my life was just fine the way it was. I keep staring into the eyes of my white bird friend.
The sun falls for the ninth time when something caught my eye. Another boat was coming our way. The boat reached us very fast and got so close that I could read that the boat said American Coast Guard. My parents have been teaching me to speak and read English since I was a baby. They always told me I was smart and should be able to go to school and promised me that one day they would send me to America. They taught me the words American Coast Guard and said they would help us when we reached America. I can hear a loud voice tell us to quiet and to come up to the top of the boat. My uncle picks me up, but I start to scream. I don’t want to leave my window and my friend, but my throat is so dry from no water that nothing comes out. My mind tells me I am kicking and screaming but I really lay there in his arms looking lifeless like Brigitte.

I look around and see I am surrounded by white. My bed is white, the walls are white, and the lady walking into my room is wearing all white. She’s smiling and waving the other ladies dressed in white to come into my room. They are so happy to see me. They tell me that I am in an American hospital and was rescued from a boat. They call me a miracle. She says I was almost dead when they found me and, that my people told her I was dead for four days on the boat. As the nurse comes closer, my eye catches a picture of a man standing in water being dunked under by another man. Flying above his head is a beautiful white bird just like my friend. I tell the nurse that my friend looked just like that bird and talked to me everyday on the boat and told me to hold on. She looks at me says, “of course he did”, and looks up at the cross hanging above my bed with tears rolling down her cheek.


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This article has been read 446 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Myrna Noyes06/01/07
Very touching story! You have some good descriptive phrases, such as "There is no more food, and the water tins are dry like my throat." I also like the line " I think the monster in my stomach scared him," refering to the white bird being frightened by the rumblings of her empty stomach. I would suggest, though, that you divide your story up into more paragraphs for easier reading. I like the happy ending to this piece! :)
Jan Ackerson 06/02/07
Your narrator has a very compelling voice. With a few easy edits, this piece would be hauntingly beautiful--just take a closer look at paragraphing and punctuation.

Good job at communicating the hoplessness as it turns to hope, and with the symbolism of the white bird.
Kristen Hester06/03/07
This is a lovely piece. I ditto both comments above. I would have perhaps liked to know by the end of the piece where he came from. Very, very nice.
Mo 06/04/07
Wow, nicely done.