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Ruff Rivers

Finally approaching the end of her pregnancy, Macey’s mum hobbled along the path beside the river, hand on her rotund stomach.

Gracefully, the weeping willows dipped their emerald canopies in the smooth-flowing river. I longed to take a refreshing dip, but all Macey’s mum cared about was Dad’s new sports car.

As we strolled along the path, Macey chattered like a chipmunk about her adventures in school, when suddenly, she started racing ahead. Her small, stubby legs barely keeping up with her body. Eventually, she stopped. Wheezing, her chest heaving, she pointed a chubby finger at an ice cream van (which I assume, were Macey’s first words).

“Ice cream.” She panted.

“No Macey, it’ll ruin your picnic.” Mum told her, firmly.

Gripping Macey’s fingertips, Mum tried to yank her away.

“No!” Macey bawled, “I want ice cream!”

“It’s OK, I’ll get it.” Dad rummaged around in his bottomless coat pocket for loose change.

“What are you doing, Dave? She is not to have an ice cream!” Mum ordered.

“But she’ll keep on crying otherwise!” Dad argued.

“So? I spent ages on that picnic, and now she won’t eat it!” Retorted Mum.

Embarrassed by the public argument, I dived into a bush, and escaped from cruel, harsh reality. Birds sung softly in the gentle breeze, and I almost fell asleep at the forest lullaby. Mum’s name (Rosy) was mentioned a few times before a scream that pierced my highly sensitive ears.

“MACEY!” Mum had screeched.

Instinctively, I shot out the bushes, armed branches scratching my cheeks.

Weeping, Mum cried out again.

There was Macey, frantically paddling amongst the icy waves. Immediately, I plunged in, the freezing coldness soaking me.

I swam with all my might other to where Macey was thrashing. Rippling waves surrounded her, creating a protective force field, which I was defenceless against.

At last, I reached her. Hastily, I grabbed the scruff of her clothing. It snagged on the sharp edge of a jagged rock.

“Help!” She squealed, as I lost grip.

Again, I tried harder, and hauled her limp carcass on the dampened river bank.

Rumbling, tumbling, crumbling, went the muddy earth of the river bed. Plummeting into the swirling, crashing currents.

Fiercely, I dug into the soft soil, despairingly, I attempted to hoist myself up, but I could feel the large clumps of earth loosen from my grip.

Determinedly, my muscular back legs kicked the frozen water, and something grasped my wounded ankles and was yanking me down into the depths of the river.

Gargling on polluted water, I drowned.

Scanning the area, water blurring my vision, I saw a twisted vine wrapped round my ankle.

Running out of breath, I clawed at the knot, once it had freed me, I burst up to the surface.

Under each of my forearms, Mum and Dad hoisted me up.

Rasping, I shook my muddy body dry, splattering all of the surrounding crowd. Mum examined herself and laughed unexpectedly.

“Dog really is man’s best friend!” Dad laughed, light heartedly.


Evie Unsworth


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