Collection of short stories by local students offer tales of adventure, friendship

Cover of "Ungoverned Children 2023"
Courtesy photo

The Bookworm of Edwards recently released their 11th collection of short stories written by Eagle Valley students. Inside the pages of “Ungoverned Children 2023” you will find sinking ships, rare creatures and tests of true friendship, that will make you wish the stories never end.

The featured author of the 2023 edition was Kaela Rivera, who wrote the introduction to the book: “Stories matter so much. They matter to the readers who find themselves in the pages of another person’s soul, and they matter to the writers who pull out precious pieces of themselves to explore, understand, and to share with others. It is pure communication and communion, to read someone else’s work, and to write and share your own.”

The winner of seventh grade was Ava Mulholland-Brueck from Eagle Valley Middle School. Ava wrote “Beta.002” about government-created superheroes and the heroes’ quest to uncover the truth. “September 9th, 2125. That was the day that everything started for Vail,” Mulholland-Brueck writes. “We thought it was no big deal, just a cold, nothing serious or to be taken as such. People got this ‘cold,’ but for some reason they didn’t get better.”

The honorable mention for seventh grade was Jake Martz from Vail Mountain School. Jake wrote “Dead West” about a quest for revenge set in the old west. “Part 1: The Cold Men – 1899,” Martz writes. “‘How much longer?’ I hear them shouting from the back. ‘We have a long road ahead,’ I yell back. It was cold and dry out, and the road was bumpy. I could start to hear the heavy panting of the horses. It’s a lot to pull on a frosty blizzard day. The wind was whirling in my eyes, I couldn’t see anything.”

The winner of eighth grade was Carys Highum from Vail Mountain School. Carys wrote “A God’s Gift” about a Norwegian girl who is bestowed powers by a god. “The buzzing of the forest was like a siren song, luring me deeper into its embrace, revealing to me the great wonders it held,” Highum writes. “Birds chirped and trilled in the canopy above, their joyful songs filling the air. […] I sighed and turned towards my village, the sound of the Midsummer Festival preparations finally reaching my ears.”

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The honorable mention of eighth grade was Alix Maule from Eagle County Charter Academy. Alix wrote “Traitors in Their Midst” about a Dungeons and Dragons-inspired fantasy adventure. “My job as the Dungeon Master is not to remember the past, but to create the future,” Maule writes. “Tarquinn sighs as he docks his damaged boat. Just another day in paradise. A few days before, his main mast had been hit by a small cannonball coming from a ship he proceeded to sink … With his built 6’1” structure and his pirate hate, Tarq is an intimidating dude, sending children scuttling away as he struts the streets, whistling a nameless tune.”

The winner of high school was Shelby Spiegel from Eagle Valley High School. Shelby wrote “Crow Black” as a survival, man-versus-beast adventure between a crow and boy named Charlie. “The crow, perched on a root overhanging the furious spate, stared the young boy deep in the eye,” Spiegel writes. “He gripped a boulder on the edge of the river to avoid being flung away by the current, yelling something up to him. The bird, after croaking once, leaned forward to glare at the child with a tilt of its head.”

The honorable mention of high school was Kyra Amass from Vail Christian High School. Kyra wrote “The Game of the Unbroken” about a young girl who has to compete in a grueling competition in a camp that serves a faraway kingdom. “Every Monday morning, the entire camp crammed into the Council Ring and a different speaker came to tell us stories of Zeneve’s glorious past,” Amass writes. “I found them tedious, especially since they took place before lunch when I was starving from my morning training.”

The teasers of the published stories from third through sixth graders was published in the part one article last week, and the book is available for purchase at The Bookworm.

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