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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Death Rattle by Teen Author: Ashton Strange

We are pleased to introduce Ashton Strange, a tenth grader at Alma Bryant High School, to our Lyrical Pens community. Ashton entered the Tracy Hurley annual contest at Mobile Writers Guild. Due to an abnormally low number of entrants this year, a winner wasn't announced. We thought Ashton's entry had merit for the sci-fi readers and here it is. A writer of the future is our Ashton Strange.
Death Rattle    

 I stood there, watching and waiting. At any second, hundreds of flesh feeding, blood hungry beings looking for a good fight would charge at full force in my direction. I had prepared myself for this event for many months, and I knew I had no choice but to give it my all and hope for victory.
My teeth cringed and my stomach churned as I heard the brisk footsteps of what sounded like a legion of starving cannibals. I could only assume that Kuru was rampant. I had been warned of these demonic fiends known to mankind before I arrived at this place of pandemonium. These legends of deranged man-eaters spread like wildfire, and no one could seem to fathom why I would want to visit this place. Four days ago, I stepped off the ship from a vile and brutal journey onto to this place known as Inferno Island. My nose stung as the stench of rotting corpses filled the humid, insect infested air. In the depths of my stomach, I could feel why the warnings of this place were so great.
Who knows what the pits of this abyss holds, I thought to myself. Three days of mass survival passed, and now I now stand waiting, a dagger in my left hand and a fistful of hope in my right. I knew I would not stand a chance against these killers. They would tear me to pieces, bit by bit, and a trace of guilt would never cross their minds. Killing was all they knew to do and they were destined to carry through with it. I caught a glimpse of the leader bolting over the hillside, dispersing his insanity to the hundreds of other flesh feasters. I raised my dagger in attempt to signal that the war had begun. We ran toward each other swinging weapons, and screaming ineffable expressions.
My mind was unconscious for what seemed like forever. It was a brewing blood bath, and I still could not figure out how I had lasted this long against people who were incredibly stronger than
me. Then it hit me, a sharp, stinging sensation, a stab right through the chest cavity discontinuing all mobility of my body. I was paralyzed and didn't have the strength to attempt an escape. At that moment in time, all of my greatest memories flashed before my eyes.
My family, my future, all of my hopes and dreams were diminished. I lost all sense of touch and smell. My vision began to blur, and I could clearly hear the death rattle within me. All locomotion stopped. I looked up and watched the leader of this controversy stroll into the distance. That very moment, I thought to myself:
"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never considered for mass production. Too weird to live, too rare to die." (Quote from Hunter S. Thompson. 1971. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream)

 Please give Ashton feedback in the (comment section below) on this emotional and highly visual work. Congratulations, Ashton on a job well done. Keep writing.  Mahala

As our special gift, Ashton has won a week at one of Barefoot Writing Academy's teen creative writing camps this summer.


  1. I am so very proud of you!! This is amazing story and you are an even more amazing girl!! Keep up the good work!! Selena :)

  2. Nicely done, Ashton. I can see a future best-selling author here.

    cj petterson


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