This story is by Robert Toto and was part of our 2020 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Growing up, I knew I was different from the other kids. They all had friends to play with, where I was a loner. I was in my own bubble, and that was fine by me.
At home, playing video games was my guilty pleasure. I really enjoyed the pleasure of going on virtual adventures. Although I was having fun playing my Nintendo 64, I was, in reality, alone in my room. I preferred my life that way because it meant escaping from fear. I was anti-social, and afraid to talk to people. Why was I like that? I was a shy child, and was not able to communicate with others.
My mother did not like that I wasn’t making any friends. She was irritated that I would spend hours in my room, staring in front of a television set. “Robert, you need to make friends.” “Why?” I asked. “Because you are always in your room and I want you to go outside and play with other kids your age.”
One night as I was ready to go to bed, I felt a bit of wind, which was weird because it did not come from outside. I looked away from the window and I saw a vortex. Curious, I touched my finger on it, and it sucked me into another dimension. I suddenly saw myself on a deserted jungle island. I could see the palm trees all around the peaks of the mountains. The vortex that sucked me into this dimension vanished. I tried finding the vortex, but it was gone. Realizing I was stuck, I started to cry. “I want to go home!”, I cried. Right after I cried, I saw myself surrounded by monkeys, apes, and elephants. They were all smiling at me. I started to shriek when the monkey told me, “Don’t be scared Robert. I am your friend.”
“How did you know my name?” I asked.
“I have watched you from your home planet, and I saw that you needed friends. Well, I brought you here because I want to help you.”
After being introduced to the animals on this mysterious island, I felt better and joined in on the festivities. I got a tour of the island and loved of how carefree the atmosphere was.
“On this island, we live in relative harmony”, explained the monkey.
“We all learn to respect one another, and to help each other whenever there Is a problem.”
After the monkey finished the tour, I accepted where I was. It felt good to not have my parents tell me to socialize with other kids. As everyone was friendly, I felt right in. It was also nice to hear nothing but the waterfall, the animals, and not a human in sight.
That night, I was greeted by the head ape. He came to me and declared me as “the chosen one”, as I was the first human being to have entered the vortex. They had unsuccessfully had humans who were in trouble go through because they were scared. I didn’t know what to say other than “thank you.” The head ape did not have a name so I called it “Max”. Max liked the name and everyone started to refer to the head ape as such. Everything was going good until storm clouds rolled in. “Oh no!”, said Max. “It’s the dark crow.” The dark crow warned the animals that if they do not accept him on the island, the crow will create a powerful curse that will threaten the island. He then disappeared.
I asked Max about the dark crow and he told me that he was a vengeful animal that wanted to take over the island by making the place dark and scary, hence why he was nicknamed “the dark crow”. The animals rejected him and was sent away to another dimension. Lately, the dark crow has appeared from a storm, making threats and throwing out a vortex that would bring the animals to an unknown dimension. Afterwards the dark crow would disappear along with the storm clouds. Although the animals were concerned about the dark crow, I felt calm and was not worried.
Several days later, as I was talking to the monkey, the storm clouds came back. This time though, the wind picked up. Suddenly, the dark crow arrived and threatened us all. “You have ignored my warnings and therefore you all fall into my great curse!” We all started to feel terrified, and then Max showed up to warn the crow, “if you want this island, you must fight with us to have it!” “Hahaha you can’t kill me,” said the crow. “I am way to powerful to be defeated!” “You will see Mr. crow! We will all unite to fight you off once and for all!”
So, the battle began. The whole island united to fight the crow, including me. We were ready to attack the crow when he would send out ravens in our direction. Terrified, we dogged the ravens as they invaded the island. The crow kept on laughing and demanded that we give the island to him. “Never!” Max yelled. Angry, the crow began shooting lightning bolts at us. Max remembered that there was a wand that would cause a beacon of light that would cause the crow to be defeated. Max ordered me to go on Peanut the elephant, where he would take me to a hidden cave on the top of the mountain. Since I was the chosen one, there should be a secret entrance that I would gain access. When the dark crow wasn’t looking, Peanut and I raced up the mountain through a path. Branches kept on falling along the path, but we were able to dodge them. After an hour, we finally made it. Peanut showed me the rock, and told me to place my hands on it. I placed my hands on the rock, and the entrance to the secret cave opened. It was hard getting through the cave because it was very dark. Then, I notice a gleam of light coming from the cave. I followed the light, and the was the golden wand. Once I got my hands on the wand, I rushed to Peanut. As I sat down on Peanut, the dark crow appeared. He looked at me with his evil eyes, and vowed to take me down when I showed him the wand. “Oh no!”, he cried. “Please don’t use it, I’ll be good, honest.” I looked right into the crow’s eye with anger and Peanut warned me that the crow was trying to trick me. I did not fall for the crow’s trick and I unleashed the wand to the dark crow, striking him. The dark crow then vanished into thin air. The skies then began to clear up.
As Peanut and I raced down to reunite with the islanders, we got huge cheers and applause for saving the island. “Thank you so much for saving our lives Robert!” “We are in your debt.” “Yay!”, the animals shouted.
As we celebrated our victory, Max had an announcement. “Now that Robert saved the island, I think it is now time that he goes back home. His family must miss him terribly and would like to reunite with the hero.” At first, I didn’t want to leave, but Max said that I gained lot of confidence, and that I would be a changed boy when returning to Earth. I said my goodbye and promised to come back.
My time on the island has been filled with emotions, great company, and an escape from the real world. I was sad to go as I wanted to stay and explore more, but I couldn’t stay as I had a purpose in being transported to the island.
I got home through the vortex, and although several days had passed since I left the earth, I was only away from Earth for a few minutes. The next morning, I told my parents about my adventures. My parents tried to convince it was all a dream, but I told them it was real. Meanwhile when I stepped outside, a crow appeared to me. It landed on the tip of my index finger. The crow gave me a strange look, and then it took off. I looked up and wondered what was going to happen next.