Ava Buczynski Writer's Eye : Island of Silence

Ava Buczynski in Grade 5, was awarded Honorable Mention for Elementary School Prose for her winning entry in Writer's Eye 2019, The Fralin Museum of Art's 33rd Annual Poetry and Prose Competition. Ava's entry, Island of Silence, was inspired by Nakabayashi Chikkei’s Scholar in a Mountainous Landscape and competed against 265 others in her category. The Writer's Eye Awards Ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 15, in the Newcomb Hall Ball Room at the University of Virginia. Read her entry below:
Once, on a small island, covered in lush green forests, with trees covered in moss, waterfalls, rivers overflowing with fish, animals filling up the woods,  and a small lagoon there lived a girl. She was tall, with tan skin, blue eyes, the most vibrant blue you ever saw. Her hair was black, the color of the blackest death. Freckles were sprinkled here and there, like a light coat of pepper. Her clothes were made of deerskin, decorated with shells. Her feet were bare, cold and calloused. She did not know who she was, or how she got to the island.  

 She was alone but she took care of herself well. She made her little hut out of walnut and mud. Her hut was high on a cliff, overlooking a deep ravine. In the back of the house, there was a garden, full of corn, kale, and other vegetables. No one hardly came to the island, but the people who did said it was  gross, but to the girl it was paradise

One day, the girl was heading up to a fishing spot. In her hand was her bow, crafted from oak, paw paw, and the arrowheads were made of rock. She could hear the river rushing in the distance. Trees were towering over her, and sunlight beamed through the branches, leaving messy shadows stretching far across the path. She stood there, gazing into the wilderness. But slowly she saw dark clouds roll in, and she knew she had to hurry to get to the fishing spot before it started raining. Even though it looked like it might storm, she was in a good mood. She felt like she was going to get a fish. Suddenly, in the middle of her daydreaming, she heard a loud KABOOM! She jumped back when she heard it. She thought it was thunder, and she barely noticed the raindrops falling on her hands, but the noise wasn’t thunder. A young deer with shaggy wet tan fur, cold black eyes, and antlers that were still little stubs, ran down the path. It had blood smeared through its messy fur. It ran around frantically until it slowed, and then it suddenly it slowly fell, its body collapsing. Its chest was rising and falling slowly, then it ceased. 

Two big, burly men stumbled down the path, one wearing brown overalls and a red plaid shirt, the other wearing a pair of ripped jeans and a camo hoodie, they also were speaking very improper English. Their rifles were pointed at the wet ground, their boots squishing and leaving imprints in the brown mud. 

The man in the overalls had a red beard and a harsh voice. “I think ya got it,” he called.
“Yeah .” said the other man who was bald with a black mustache. “ It dead right there. Well, I guess we gonna throw it in the woods now. This was a waste of time.”  
As they got closer, they noticed the girl and the man with the mustache said,“ Who she? She ain’t here earlier.” 

The girl froze, not knowing what to do. She was staring at the man. She had no idea who these men were and why they were here. Suddenly she turned and ran as fast as she could, so she could get to her hidden house high up on the cliff. It was pouring now. She ran through spikey brambles and tripping on roots with skinned, bleeding knees. She finally started running up the hill. She was out of breath when she got to the hut.
 When she got there, deer meat she shot earlier and corn were on the table. After she prepared the meat and steamed the corn she sat down to food. The smoky fragrance filled the air. The smell drifted off,  a hungry wolf followed it, along with two greedy hunters. 

The wolf wandered up to the house, and the girl saw it. The wolf eyed the meat greedily. Its glossy fur seemed was hanging off its skeleton. She grabbed some leftover meat, but as she stood up, it bounded off, followed by a faint, Kaboom, and “ You idiot you missed it.” The girl pondered what she heard and suddenly the girl realized what she heard the hunters say earlier.  The hunters were killing for sport, and they just threw out what they shot. Soon the girl wouldn’t have any food to eat. It wasn’t safe. She grabbed her bow and bolted through the rain to the lagoon where she kept her kayak. She ran onto the grainy sand and got to the little cave where her kayak was. She untied the rope hastily and pushed the kayak into the shallow water. She threw her bow and arrows in the kayak with a clank! She took a quick glance back and saw the wolf bound onto the wet, sticky sand. She jumped into the kayak and pushed with the oar. She paddled away and didn’t look back to see the hunters run onto the sand, trying not to let the wolf get away. The kayak bobbed in the choppy water, and the girl looked back as the wolf whined and she saw that he was trapped in front of the cave and he had nowhere to go. She watched as the hunters loaded their guns, and a loud KABOOM came out of them. White smoke billowed in the rainy air. The wolf let a painful yell escape from him, he fell and died. The rain was pouring hard, and the girl curled up in a little ball. The island became a little dot, and as the rain slackened, and the sad dark clouds disappeared from the murky sky, she realized the heartbreaking fact. This island was where she was born. It was her home. She turned away from the island as hot tears welled up in her eyes and then started pouring down her face. She knew that if she came back, the island would never be the same.    

The Covenant School

Birdwood Campus | Lower School | Pre-K–Grade 5 |
1000 Birdwood Road Charlottesville, VA 22903 | 434.220.7309

Hickory Campus | Middle and Upper School | Grades 6–12 | 175 Hickory Street Charlottesville, VA 22902 | 434.220.7329
Located in Charlottesville, VA, The Covenant School is a non-denominational, private, Christian day school for Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, visual and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.