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Fiction Fantastic 2019 Winning Story: “Adventures with Old Betsy” by Taitum Forester

The story below is a winner from our Fiction Fantastic Young Writers Contest, open to all youth in Lane County. For more information on this contest, including how to enter, visit here. Support this program with a donation.

You can purchase this story in the 2019 Winners Anthology, Portals here.

“Adventures with Old Betsy” by Taitum Forester, Twin Oaks Elementary

Honorable Mention, Elementary Level, 2019


Adventures with Old Betsy

By Taitum Forester
Twin Oaks Elementary

As I was sitting at my work I heard someone yell, “Stop this dog, he is messing up my office!” I looked over and saw my dog Hercules was gone. Oh no, I said to myself. I ran to the girl who just screamed. It was Sensitive Sally, or that was her nickname. “I am so sorry,” I said to her. As I pulled him out the trash can, she yelled “You better keep that filthy thing away from me.” On the way to my office, I realized the most exciting thing in my life is pulling Hercules out of a trash can. I sat down and looked out the window. I saw the airplane that I usually fly. I thought about how my job is getting so boring flying planes for other people adventures. Then I saw a helicopter and thought about how much fun I could have on one of those. I could take my dog somewhere without me getting in trouble. Then I yelled to Hercules, “we are going to the helicopter store!”

* * *

As I went into the helicopter store I saw how much the helicopters cost. The cheapest one was more money than I have ever seen. The cashier must have seen my mouth wide open because he said, “If you take Old Betsy for a ride I will give it to you for half off.” He was pointing at an old rusty helicopter. I then decided even though it appeared to be falling apart, it was still too expensive for me to buy one. However, a free test ride, why not? “Ok,” I told him. Ten minutes later he buckled me and Hercules into old Betsy and off we went.

* * *

As an hour flew by, Hercules was fine, Old Betsy was fine, it was a little bumpy but I didn’t care. I looked out the window and saw the most beautiful island I had ever seen. All of a sudden there was a big bump in the helicopter and Hercules went nuts. He jumped out of his seat like a kangaroo and hit the key spot and the key went flying out the window. I grabbed the steering wheel and headed towards the ground after the falling key. The steering wheel came right off. We were now going towards the ground as fast as lightning. Then everything went BLACK!

* * *

I woke up to the sound of the ocean. I could feel the waves going on and off my feet and the sand at the tips of my fingernails. The only thing I could see was this big red thing over my eyes and I swear I could feel it moving. I flicked it into the sand. It was a bright red crab now lying on its back. I got up and realized, where was Hercules? Then I yelled, “Hercules, Hercules where are you?” I felt a pinch. It hurt and I felt another. I looked around to see that annoying little crab was pinching me. I started running and that crab started chasing me into the big thick forest. He was chasing me and pinching me at the same time. What did I do to him to get him this mad, I thought? Then I remembered I flicked it up upside down. That had to be the case. As I hopped over a log I turned around the see if the crab was still chasing me. Then all of a sudden I went sliding down rocks and bushes, into the roaring rapids. 

* * *

The rapids pulled me under and out of the water. I grabbed a stick sticking out of the ground and tried to pull myself out. I put too much weight on it and it snapped. I fell into the rocks and onto a big one that felt like I just got punched. It was horrible, and then my foot got caught in a rock that pulled me under the water. I thought it was the end of me, but another stick came by and I grabbed it. I wedged it between my foot and the rock. My arms hurt and I was out of breath, but slowly I got my foot out. I hurt so bad. I couldn’t believe I survived that, but it wasn’t over yet. I still had to get out of these rapids, I told myself. I got a little glance of a waterfall up ahead. Now I was doomed! On the right of me there was a stone. It was the best idea I could think of to get out of those rapids. I started swimming to the stone and tried to grab it but missed. My body hit a shiny round gray rock and I grabbed it while I hung over the waterfall. I pushed myself on top of the stone. As I stood up the rock started to move. I made an epic jump to the side of the river and almost didn’t make it. The rock fell down the waterfall and made a loud smack noise as it hit the ground. I was so tired, was soaking wet, and I still had to find the fallen helicopter key. Worst of all I cannot leave without Hercules, either! I had to find him. He is my best bud in the whole world. 

* * *

I sat down on a large rock because my foot still hurt. It was bleeding really badly so I got up and grabbed a leaf and some vines from a nearby tree. I wrapped a leaf around my foot and then wrapped the vine around the leaf. I tried to get up, but it hurt so badly that I fell back on the rock. While I was sitting there I saw a big stick and grabbed it. It worked just like crutches. Just as I started moving it started raining. Then I thought about poor Hercules. He was going to freak out. I saw a cave and thought maybe Hercules had gone in there to keep out of rain and now I could keep out of the rain too. I went as fast as I can but maybe a little too fast because I tripped over another rock. When I got up everything was so blurry I could barely see. Thank Goodness I was just about to reach the cave, at least I thought I was. 

My foot started to feel a little better so I dropped my walking stick and ran inside the cave to get out of the storm. I saw a big rock and dashed to climb it. I think it was a rock, my eyesight was still blurry. When I stood up I yelled as loud as I could, “Can today get any worse!” Just as I was about to sit down the ground started to shake. At first I thought it was an earthquake. Then the rock became alive and started chasing me. I tried to make out what it was, but my eyesight was so blurry I could barely see it. It was chasing me just like the crab did. I slipped over the wet mud and fell right into a stream. Thank goodness there were not rapids this time. As I looked to see if that thing was still chasing me, but just then another brown thing came out of nowhere and attacked that thing. Then out of nowhere a pebble hit me right in the face and I fell face first right into the river. When I got back up my face was cleaned off and I could see again. The big thing that was chasing me was a bear and the little brown thing that saved me was Hercules, my pug. Just as I was going to get Hercules to run away. he knocked the bear right into the water and, “bye bye,” the bear went down stream. 

* * *

“Hercules, come here!” I yelled. I patted him right on the head when he jumped up on my lap. We were so excited to finally see each other. I thought he was dead but he survived out here in the wilderness by himself. I was so proud of him. He then dropped something out of his mouth right onto my lap. At first I did not know what it was, but then I realized it was the key to the helicopter! After another big hug, I said “Hercules, now we can go home, thanks to you.” 

As I turned around to head back to the helicopter, I noticed something shiny lying on the edge of the river. I ran over to pick it up. “What is this?” Unbelievably, it was a diamond the size of my fist! Those are so rare. Suddenly, I thought “Now I can afford one of the expensive new helicopters, if I can get off this island.” 

* * *

I turned to Hercules and asked if he knew where to find the helicopter. He barked and jumped up and down, then started heading in one direction. We passed the bear cave, we passed the rapids, and then we saw that nasty crab. I shook my fist at him. Oh, no! When I was shaking my fist, the key went flying again. Luckily, Hercules jumped up right in time, just as it was about to go back in the rapids, and he caught it with his mouth. He set it down right next to my foot, and I grabbed it and put it right into my pocket so I would not lose it again. I patted Hercules on his head and said, “That was a close call.” I checked my other pocket to make sure the diamond was safe. It was. 

* * *

Hercules and I finally reached Old Betsy the helicopter, and we saw the steering wheel still sitting on the seat. Good news, I could push it right back in place. I started up the engine, and as we were about to take off, I looked over to check on Hercules. Of course that big red crab was on his head! “That annoying crab thinks he is going with us?” I quickly grabbed to crab and threw him back in the sand, so I thought. Hercules and I took off, ready to go home with the diamond still safely in my pocket.

* * *

We landed back at the helicopter store. The store manager came out and helped us get out of the helicopter. “How was your adventure? It looks like you went to the beach” he said. I then realized Hercules and I were covered in sand. He took me and Hercules to the cash register and asked if we wanted to buy Old Betsy. I then said “yes” and pulled out my large diamond. The store manager’s mouth hung open in shock. Then he took me over to the nice helicopters, which were nothing like old Betsy, thinking I would like these better now that I had the money to buy one. Thinking back on my adventure that day and the great time I had in Old Betsy, I made a decision. I told him, “Thanks for the offer, but I’m going to stick with Old Betsy. Today was the best day of my life and I never want to forget it. Without Old Betsy, I would never had crashed on that island.” 

* * *

A week later I buckled myself in my new helicopter, Old Betsy. I sat down on something small and felt a pinch. It was that crazy crab. I told Hercules, “It looks like we have a new partner to go on our next adventure with.” I put them both on my lap and off we went to the Caribbean, we hoped.