Stone In My Pocket

By Ava Doran. Ava, 12, is a student at Graham Bell Elementary School. She lives in Chicago, USA. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below. (*Shortlisted for the 2018 prize!)

Whenever I come to this place, all I can think of is him. I’ve never moved on. He said he would be back someday. After waiting many years, I’m starting to believe it was all a dream, until today. I found the stone again. That made my thoughts go all the way back to the beginning.

I was standing on the cliff, looking out into the mist when he appeared, panting and said, “Take this.” He shoved a stone into my hand. “This will protect you.”

“From what?” I asked. “Who are you?”

“Not important. We need to get away from that!”

He pointed at the horizon where there was an approaching darkness.

“I’ve never noticed that before,” I said.

“Yeah, it’s kinda new.”

“But why?” I asked.

“No time!”

He took my hand and we ran. The darkness multiplied as we progressed, and eventually surrounded us. I instinctively knew what to do. I pulled out the stone and

held it up to the sky. It shot out green rays all around us, and then everything in our view exploded. We moved as fast as we could through the debris, and discovered a small cave.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“Shhh. It can hear us.”

For the next few hours, we sat in silence, though we were only brought closer through the awkward situation. Maybe something was forming between us.

“Wake up! It’s coming!” he said, gently shaking me. I guess I had fallen asleep. The darkness was already swirling around us. I reached into my pocket for the stone, be he stopped me.

“No, let me handle this,” he said.

Energy started flowing around him like water. The darkness recoiled and the energy expanded, eventually pushing the darkness to the entrance of the cave. We held hands and pushed through it, and ran back to the cliff.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

“For what?”

“For this.”

He pushed me off the cliff and I crashed into the cold water. As I came up gasping for air, he appeared above me, floating.

“I’m going into it. The darkness. It won’t let up until it has one of us. Goodbye,” he said.

“You can’t!” I screamed.

“I have to. I’ll be back some day.”

“Wait!” I called.

He stopped without turning around.

“What’s your name?”

Before he could speak, the darkness overtook him, swallowing him, and eventually he disappeared.

I’ve cried and known that he would never come back. But after today, and finding the stone in my pocket, maybe there’s a little hope.

75 comments on “Stone In My Pocket

  1. Susan Reilly on

    I loe the mystery here. I also love the fact that there is an element of hope. We need hope badly today. Lovely and suspensful story.

  2. Janet on

    I love the opening paragraph! It really drew me into the story. Fantasy is one of my favorite genres. I hope you will continue the story!

  3. Glynis Bergner on

    What a cool short story. I didn’t want it to end. Keep up the good work! Looking forward to reading more of your stuff.

  4. Michelle Vallet on

    I really felt like I was there, which is the sign of a great story and talented storyteller. Keep working! Writing is a great way to get to better know both yourself and the world.

  5. Lyndsay Tuggle on

    Great! I want to know more! It was enticing and thought provoking. This was extremely well written regardless of the writer’s age. I know well educated adults who can’t write this well. Bravo.

  6. JJ on

    Awesome story!!! I like your use of imagery, and your choice of words, and it’s amazing how you put all that into such a short story!!! Nice job

  7. JJ on

    Awesome story!!! I like your use of imagery, and your choice of words, and it’s amazing how you put all that into such a short story!!! Nice job

  8. Sir David on

    Very interesting story and the end of the story leaves me suspension which makes the story more exciting. I really like the imagination.

  9. Ms. Caskey on

    This story is full of suspense and intrigue. The narrator’s voice is the best part; it is calm in the face of danger and mystery. Nice work, Ava!

  10. Alice Wack on

    I am usually not a lover of fantasy but this short story was
    quite interesting and left me wanting to have more. Follow
    up with bringing the hero back.

  11. Joanne Gans on

    I was very impressed with your mature handling of the tension in your story. It questions, rises, flows, frightens and finally nearly snaps as she abruptly lands in the water. Keep up the good work.


    I loved your story! I was left wanting not only to know more about the characters, but where their journey would be taking them!

  13. Heather Milstein on

    What a wonderful story, Ava! Your use of action, dialogue, setting and elevated vocabulary is so impressive. I would love to read more!

  14. Barbara Bercu on

    Dear Miss Doran,
    From one writer to another – you are a very gifted storyteller. The Dalai Lama once said, “The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.” Keep up the good work!
    Barbara B.

  15. Rika on

    I loved the story, especially the first paragraph!! It was beautifully written and it got me into the story. Your word choice helped me imagine the scene in my head clearly.

  16. Joanna B on

    I love this story! I love how it ends off and the style of writing. I love the mystery and the descriptions. Reaching the end made me want more and more! Please write more! I want to find out who this boy is and what this stone is and what the heck it all means!!!

  17. Joanna B on

    I love it. Your writing made me vizualize it so clearly it’s like I was watching a movie instead of reading. I was drawn in from the first sentence. The skill can be compared with some of the finest authors out there, ones that have written #1 New York Times bestsellers! I so wanted it to be longer so I could find out what happens. Five stars! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ This story deserves to win every prize for short stories out there!

  18. Donna Berley on

    He’ll be back, he promised! Just need to have faith. Well written in a time that Faith is definitely needed. Keep us posted!! Great job.

  19. Sonya Nicholson on

    Beautifully written I was hooked from the first paragraph. The suspense and mystery was on point young lady.
    Looking forward to your next masterpiece

  20. Lydia Landini on

    This was a very good story and I can not wait to see if there is going to be a continuation . very interesting and wanting me to have more of the story.

  21. Bex B. on

    I agree Jacquelyn!! She belongs with the likes of Ally Carter, the Erin Hunters, J.K. Rowling, Rick Riordan and Sutherland!! Well done! Reaching the end made me want to read more and more!!!

  22. Tanna Frederick on

    Wow! Left me breathless! Was such a metaphor for so many relationships in life-really gripped my heart! I have many ‘stones’ to think about now…Bravo.


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