Broken Boats

By Grace Hewitt. Grace, 13, is a student at St Francis’ College, from Knebworth, UK. Please read her entry and leave your thoughts and comments below. 

Waves crashing, tumbling down, buckets of raindrops spilling from the sky. Sailing out, past the horizon, in despicable weather. A tsunami-like wave, swallowing the boats whole…

20 Years Later

Stepping onto the hard mattress, reaching up, pushing open the cracked, muddy window, not one foreboding feeling, just a determined look on her face. She had done this one hundred times before, as she had never found the key to her front door. She climbs through the window onto the slippery, wet tiles, that were dented, broken and inadequate. Throwing a frayed rope around a lightning-struck branch, then swinging to the marshy ground, she lands with a thud!

She was alone. Living in a rusty, old, broken home. Her parents long gone. She’s tried hard to keep the secret, not telling anyone about their ‘unfortunate’ drowning in the deep estuary near her home. She was doing okay, but she had almost spent the family’s money, the cupboards were beginning to look bare.

She walks the stony path to the sea. Reaching the beach, she stops, waits, a long time passes… Staring, watching the crushing waves and thinking of the ghosts of sailors years ago, that could morph out of the deep at any time.

Suddenly she’s compelled to dive into the chilling, salty ocean… At first, she swims, then she’s dragged down, salt crystals filling her lungs. She opens her eyes to reveal images of those wretched sailors and boats, drowning, breaking, dying… Now ghosts, haunting this aqua land. Fighting for life, battling the current, she moves her arms and legs frantically, finally head above water, gasping for air! Feeling sand beneath her toes, then pulling herself back to the sandy shore.

Collapsing onto the beach, drenched, she lays there exhausted, should she have saved herself, or have let the ocean take her? Getting slowly up, she walks, shivering from her traumatizing experience. Around the headland, she spies two boats resting up next to each other, paint-chipped and rotting. Realising they must be old sailors’ boats, washed ashore. Clambering her way onto the damaged deck she sits down and leans against the cracked steering wheel. She stays there; unmoving, watching the sunset burying itself into the unknown. She closes her eyes and dreams…

12 comments on “Broken Boats

  1. Kellie Wesson on

    Wow. I can’t believe this is written by a 13 year old – it’s so well written and grown up. Well done indeed, Grace.
    If you are writing at this level now it’s incredible to think where you could be in 5 – 10 years time.
    I also felt really moved and sad for the character in the blog and, as it was so descriptive and emotive, I could almost imagine myself there watching the character from afar. I would have continued reading if there was more……

  2. Sian Hewitt on

    You have such great imagination Grace. I felt captivated by your story and didn’t want it to end! A remarkable and inspiring piece of writing. Well done. Keep it up!

  3. Form 8RTH - St Francis' College on

    We thought this was excellent! It was very descriptive. She has an outstanding array of vocabulary. Her ideas are brilliant! We loved it!

  4. Sarah Hewitt on

    I love this story Grace it has a deep thoughtfulness to it and I love the way you’ve tried to convey the sadness the girl feels. Well done X

  5. Lesley McBride on

    This young lady is showing a depth of imagination beyond her years, as well as an extremely mature use of grammar, user her words in a way that truly brings the story to life in the mind of the reader.
    I finished the piece wanting to know more: what had happened in that 20 years…how had she survived? What brought her to her senses in the water…and what on earth was going to happen next?! Loved it.

  6. Angela White on

    Grace – A beautifully evocative piece of writing. The next story must surely be about what had happened in the intervening years…..and then what happens next…..indeed a whole trilogy in the making! Well done.


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