Timed Short Stories... What can you create in 50 minutes?
Prompts given were "Don't judge a book by its cover" and "Choose an objective or possession that is important to you and demonstrate its importance"
Now... See what they did with it!
Maria grew up on a small island off the coast of Mexico. She was only eleven years old, with dark almond shaped eyes, jet black long hair that reached her hips, tan skin, and a very small figure.
Maria had finally reached the age where she would be able to go out fishing with her mother and father. Before, when they left for large commercial fishing trips that lasted for weeks; she always imagined that they went on a relaxing cruise and left her behind with her grandparents so that she wouldn’t get in their way.
At the end of summer, almost the whole village would go out at the break of dawn when the beautiful and vibrant colors of the sun chased away the shadows and the birds were just awakening from their slumbers. The mornings were filled of smells of humidity, tropical flowers, the sounds of scuffling lizards and birds singing their melodies, and the enveloping warmth that comforted and hugged everyone's body like a soft blanket. Families would say goodbye to their young children and leave them with the elderly who couldn’t get on the boats anymore and stayed behind to watch the kids. Everyone would load up on the large boats and head out to go fish for the winter supply of food.
This year would be different though. Maria would get to travel with her family and help prepare meals on the large ships to feed the fishermen with her mom. She would get to be included in helping out the village.
“Hurry! Hurry Maria! We have to get to the loading docks!” Maria’s mother told her.
The house was a mess and Maria had just finished packing a small leather bag with some dried fruit, clothes, and her only book for the long trip. They headed out down the long dirt road to the docks where the large ships were anchored. She looked up and saw a beautiful Galeon, a well known Spanish ship, teaming with villagers who were bustling about, mending nets and loading provisions.
Maria and her parents loaded the boat quickly and were shown a small room where they would be living for the next few weeks. It was tiny and cramped, with a few sleeping mats on the floor and small closet to store belongings. Maria was extremely excited, though the salty, putrid smell and worn down faces of the villagers was not promising. Eventually, everyone and everything was loaded and they set sail for a well known fishing hole some where near Cuba.
The entire experience was foreign to Maria. Yes, she had been on small boats before with her family to go catch small fish, but this was extremely different. She had expected this to be a relaxing cruise filled with a cool ocean breeze and fish everywhere, but this was not the case. People were constantly bustling throughout the ship. There was a constant smell of sweat, human vomit and excrement and the suffocating heat only heightened the odors.They braved storms in which the boat rocked constantly and water soaked everyone’s belongings. Sometimes, they even lost one or two people overboard. The fish were far and few between. When casting nets, sometimes the men were only able to pick a few fish which would only feed those on the boat for a couple of days.
Maria’s entire experience was wretched and she could not wait to be back home on solid ground. She had a flashback to the time before, when she believed that the trip would be relaxing and beautiful. She shuddered at her own obliviousness. How had she not noticed the pained and weary looks of the returning villagers each year, or realized that some never came home? Also, had she never seen when her parents scrubbed their hands and bodies vigorously to try and erase the putrid stench of their travels? Maria learned her lesson, she would never judge a book by it’s cover. This wonderful trip that she had been looking forward to her whole life, turned out to be a torturous journey that her village was forced to endure in order to survive.