Category: Grades 3-5

First place -- "The Mystery at Lakeside Manor" by Hallie Parker

One bitter cold night in the middle of October, Lucy, Wes, Eli, and Jessie were strolling to Lucy's house to spend the night. All of a sudden, huge storm clouds started rolling in. They all glanced for shelter. "Over there!" Eli said pointing to a very aged house. The group hurried over. Jessie opened the door. As soon as they stepped in, the door shut and locked. They were trapped.

"What is this place?" Wes asked. "I would tell you if I could see in the dark!" Eli responded. Suddenly, the lights flickered. It was enough time for Lucy to see a sign. "I think this place is called Lakeside Manor," Lucy told them. Then the lights turned on completely. She pointed to the sign. The lights turned back off. They heard a girl scream. When the lights turned back on again, Lucy was gone. "Lucy, where are you?!" No response. "This is not funny!" Jessie said. Still no response. "Let's split up and look for her." Wes suggested. Jessie went upstairs, while Wes approached the basement. Eli stayed right where he was. It was time to find Lucy!

"Lucy, are you down here?" Wes called. It was very dim and deadly silent. He roamed around looking for any sign of Lucy. Wes' head hit something hanging from the ceiling. It was a light switch. Wes pulled it, and the room flooded with light. There were boxes scattered everywhere. In the boxes were books, photographs, and bones. "Lucy has to be in this house somewhere," Wes thought. This place creeped him out. Wes then heard a girl scream. The clock hanging on the wall fell as it struck midnight. Wes hurried to the stairs, but as he stepped on a rock on the ground, three pieces of paper fell from the ceiling. The first one had an L on it. The second one had a U on it. The third had a C on it. Wes had to find Eli and Jessie.

"Lucy, where are you?" Jessie shouted. The upstairs had many rooms for her to search. She decided to go into the master bedroom first. The paint was chipped and faded. Jessie looked under the bed and behind the dresser. No sign of Lucy. She searched the other rooms just as thoroughly. Jessie realized that she forgot to check the room in the back. As soon as she walked in, Jessie realized that it was a really run down library. But instead of books on the shelves, there were bones. Then she heard a girl scream. The clock hanging on the wall fell as it struck midnight. Jessie headed for the stairs, but stepped on a rock on the ground. Three pieces of paper fell from the ceiling. The first one had a Y on it. The second had an A on it. The third had a T on it. She had to find Wes and Eli.

"Lucy, please tell me you are around here!" Eli shouted. "This place is creepy!" Every room he went into had piles of bones everywhere! Most of the rooms looked antiquated, but one looked modern. The only problem with the room was that there were spiders and cobwebs everywhere! He ran out of the room quickly. Then he heard a girl scream. The clock hanging on the wall fell as it struck midnight. Eli rushed through the hallway, but stepped on a rock on the ground. Three pieces of paper fell from the ceiling. The first one had a T on it. The second had an I on it. The third had a C on it. Eli had to find Jessie and Wes.

Jessie, Eli, and Wes all dashed around looking for each other. Soon, they collided in the moonlit kitchen. "Guess what I found!" they all shouted together. They read their pieces of paper. "Are we supposed to unscramble them?" Eli asked. "Sure." Jessie responded. So they did. "Yule tatic? Culy Catit?" Wes guessed. "Wait, that doesn't spell yule or culy, it spells Lucy! The other letters don't spell tatic or catic, they spell attic!" Jessie cried. They climbed the stairs two at a time, eager to find Lucy. But when they opened the door, it was not what they expected.

"Oh hello." Lucy said. "What!" the rest of them screamed. "You scared us! What happened?" they asked. "A spider landed on my head so I screamed and sprinted upstairs. I screamed again because it followed me." Lucy told them. "But what about the papers that said 'Lucy Attic'?" Eli asked. "Are you sure they spelled 'Lucy Attic'?" She held up a diary that belonged to Lacy Uttic. A key slipped out. "It's the house key! Let's get out of here!" So they did.

Second place -- "The Revolutionary Time Shift" by Katie Ann Bush

Strolling down the crowded hallway after lunch, my best friend Sarah and I talked excitedly because today was finally the day we were going on the fifth grade Revolutionary War scavenger hunt. "I wonder where it will be, Abigail!" Sarah exclaimed to me.

"I heard that it will be in the woods," I offered. We walked the rest of the way in silence pondering what adventures might await us. Once everybody was present, our teacher Mrs. Emerson announced, "Today is the scavenger hunt! It will be no easy task because it is located in the woods. Everyone will receive a clue and a compass. You will work in pairs. There is a yellow boundary line that you must not pass. Now please line up."

Outside she divided us into pairs putting Sarah and I together. She gave everyone the tools and sent us off. I looked at the clue and read it aloud, "Head north until you see a tree with a Revolutionary War picture."

We looked at our compasses and headed north. A few minutes later, we came to a tree with a picture of the crossing of the Delaware tacked to it. In unison we reached out and touched it and were instantly sucked into December 23, 1776 right before the crossing of the Delaware.

Shocked by the sudden shift in time, I looked around not daring to believe what had happened. Sarah was the first to speak, "Did we really just teleport into right before the crossing of the Delaware?"

"I think so," I replied.

All around us were tired, weary looking soldiers. Some with no shoes on in the bitter cold. Suddenly, George Washington walked over to a nearby tent accompanied by two other commanders. Sarah and I edged closer to overhear their conversation.

Washington secretly explained his strategic plan, declaring, "On Christmas evening we are going to cross the Delaware River in three groups so that we can launch a surprise attack on the Hessians at Trenton. I will set off from McKonkey's Ferry with 2,400 men and land just north of Trenton. Colonel Cadwalader, you will take 1,000 men and cross at Dunk's Ferry to create a diversion with the Hessians in Bristol. General Ewing, you will cross at Trenton Ferry with 1,000 men and seize the bridge at Assunpink Creek to eliminate that Hessian escape route. Horses and artillery will cross last." Before we could hear anymore, we walked away for fear of getting caught.

"I think we should go with Washington's group. What's your opinion, Abigail?" Sarah asked.

"I agree," I responded. "And we should go with the horses for stealth."

"Let's do it!" Sarah confirmed.

We stayed the next few nights hidden in a small tent that held crates and barrels along with a few blankets. On Christmas day the army knew nothing of the mission until the afternoon when they were quietly told to prepare to cross the Delaware River.

At nightfall the snow was falling more densely, and it was hard to see anything. Repeatedly, boats full of men filled the river and then disappeared into the whirl of snow and returned again ready to retrieve more men. After six hours the soldiers had crossed, and they started to load the horses. We snuck aboard a boat that had a beautiful chestnut horse. The moment the boat was pushed away from the bank, there was no turning back. The ice-choked river was 800 feet across, and the current was strong. Ice floes constantly knocked against the boat blocking our path and splashing us. Even with a heavy coat and blanket, I was still freezing cold and wet. Abruptly, the boat hit the shore and soldiers helped the horse off, creating an opportunity for us to disembark. Without notice once our feet hit the ground, we were transported back to our classroom.

All around us our classmates seemed to appear out of nowhere. Once everyone returned, our teacher announced, "Only one hour has passed since you departed. I would like every group to tell the class about their adventures. Abigail and Sarah, you may go first."

We told our class how we had crossed the Delaware and seen George Washington. The next group to share said that they witnessed the battle of Trenton. I was anything but bored while the whole class recited their stories.

When everyone was done, I asked Mrs. Emerson, "How were you able to transport us into those times?"

"I am not allowed to tell you that," she answered with a smile. The buses came and picked everyone up and brought us all home where we divulged our tales again.

Third place -- "The Triangle" by Daniel Guevara

Chapter 1

Jordan licked his finger and giggled while his friend Mark was drooling in his seat. Jordan then shoved his finger into Mark's ear. I'm awake!" yelled Mark. "Yes!" shouted Jordan while high- fiving Peter who sat next to Jordan. "Gross!" said Mark holding in his laughter. "I'm gonna go to the bathroom," said Mark. "Can everyone return to their seats please, we're hitting some turbulence," the flight attendant said over the intercom. "Really?!" said Mark returning to his seat. He stretched his seatbelt across his waist, and secured it. The whole plane then started to rumble and shake. Jordan looked out his window to see pitch black skies. "That's weird," thought Mark as his phone told him it was 12:00 in the morning. He looked back out his window to see the clouds going up, they were falling.

Chapter 2

The control room of the Miami airport was silent, "How are we on plane 202?" asked the head officer Frank. "Plane 202 is going from Florida to Puerto Rico smoothly so far... Should we be worried about plane 202 flying over the Bermuda Triangle?" asked the co-officer. "No the triangle's just a tall tale" responded Frank as if he was annoyed at the co-officer for even asking. Frank looked at the radar to see plane 202 passing over the triangle. The plane kept a steady beep. But then it suddenly stopped beeping. The whole room stood up instantly. After a few seconds they all started shouting at each other. "Quiet!" yelled Frank. "This is a code B" he said quietly. "Send in the retrieval plane," Frank stated with a stone cold face. "Suit up" he told the room. The people in the room walked in an orderly manner to their station. They opened a cabinet above them with a key. Inside the cabinet was one more key. They all held their keys above a lock on each of their control pads. "On three" said Frank, "one, two three!" they all put their keys into their holes and twisted it. A huge door on the side of the control room opened. Inside that door, was the biggest secret of the U.S government.

Chapter 3

"I haven't done this since 1989" chuckled Frank. Many people stayed in the control room. But four people walked into the room to find four lockers. They each pulled out a special key from their pockets and opened their lockers to see their uniforms, tools, and gadgets. Frank left the room all suited up in outfits that had their names on it. They are team Bermuda. "Ready the ship!" shouted Frank. The door behind them suddenly shut, then the room started to shake. Two wings extended outward from the walls. The room turned into a small plane. "Retro-reflective panels online!?" asked Frank. "Yes sir!" replied the co-officer. "Permission to launch?" Frank asked the control room over the phone. "Permission granted. You are go for launch," replied the control room. The retro-reflective panels activated, making the ship invisible to the naked eye. The engines turned on next, making the ship rumble even more. The plane started to speed down the runway. The pilot was bouncing up and down in his seat because of the speed. "Take off on 3" said Frank. "1,2,3!" the ship lifted up off the ground gracefully. Frank smiled as he flew over the Miami international airport.

Chapter 4

"Plane 202's gonna be on our right in approximately 20 minutes captain!" said the pilot. "Good" said Frank, "we fly in, get the passengers and pilots, and fly out of there" said Frank. "We're all gonna die!" shouted one of the passengers as the plane continued to fall out of the sky rapidly, increasing speed all the while. Suddenly a large tentacle popped out the water, sending tidal waves all across the ocean. The tentacle crouched as if it was ready to pounce on the rapidly descending plane. But suddenly gunshots from the B team's plane pounded the tentacle. Injured, the tentacle plunged back down into the ocean. "We're all gonna live!" said a passenger. The left jet of the plane suddenly exploded taking the left wing with it. The plane now dropped out of the sky, sending passengers tumbling. The B teams plane shot a grappling hook at the falling plane, it landed a perfect shot on the planes side. "Full throttle!" shouted Frank "Roger that!" the pilot said, the engines now blasted much stronger. It was so strong that the B team towed plane 202 back to Florida. The passengers rushed off the plane, but one small child stood beneath Frank and said "thank you mister." "Just another day at the Miami airport" said Frank.

Honorable mention -- "Mermaid's Nightmare" by Rylee Horjus

Sun setting over ocean waves

Unforgiving, unrelenting force

Rise, rise up ocean waves

I will never forget that day

When it all went away

My time swimming in the oceans

Gone in a flash

Swords swinging

Blood in the water

Nothing could save such brave souls

One-by-one cut down

Sun setting over ocean waves

Blood swept away by

Unrelenting, unforgiving waves

Swept away by the waves

That is all I can see as they die

I watch

Hear me out as I cry at their deaths

Saved by cruel fate and given a new life

One that when I dream, I dream of death

And how I could not save them

I cry in my sleep for my fallen comrades

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