I recently had the pleasure of working with students at the South Central Service Cooperative’s Young Writers & Artists Conference in Mankato, Minnesota. In my sessions, we brainstormed a story outline. Then students broke into groups and were assigned different parts of the story to write. This story was written by…
March 7, 2017: Session 3
The TV screen flashed “game over.” Link had lost again. He had been playing video games for six hours, but he was still stuck on level three.
Link was a good kid. He cared for his Chihuahua, Jack. He could hold his breath for a really long time, and he was the best hot dog cooker in town. Why couldn’t he pass this level?
“Shut off your game,” snapped his mom. “You’ve been playing all day!”
“Get off your behind, and do something,” his dad added.
“Link, you need to get off the couch,” said his mom.
“What should I do?” asked Link.
“Play a sport or clean the mall bathrooms,” his mom answered.
Link felt very frustrated at the moment. He turned the TV channel and saw a hockey game. He said to himself, “I want to set a goal to play hockey.”
As soon as Link made a game plan, he went to find out when hockey tryouts were. They were about to start in an hour, so he went outside with his dog and tried to get to hockey tryouts on time.
He went to the sports store to get his equipment. He got knee pads, elbow pads, a face mask, a hockey stick, and all the other things that he needed. Then Link went outside in his yard to practice his moves. He got really good and thought the coach would be impressed enough to let him be on the team.
After he left home again, he realized that his dog, Jack, was not with him anymore. Link started to worry and looked for Jack.
Meanwhile, the Chihuahua ran outside, took a right, and jumped onto a train headed to a warehouse in Alaska. The train took a left turn, and Jack jumped off the train in Duluth, Minnesota.
As Link looked for Jack, a bully named Tarzan started picking on him. Then Grandpa George called to tell Link that Grandma Jane was dying. Link became so upset that he went back home and to his bedroom. He slammed his Xbox to the ground.
He walked outside and wondered what to do. He thought of what his grandma would say, which would be to keep trying. He decided to go to tryouts.
Link still couldn’t find his dog, and it was getting late. Tryouts started in five minutes and one second. He noticed that the garage door was open, and he saw his mom’s car. That gave him an idea. “I’ll take it.” It was only fair, since his parents went on vacation in Hawaii without him.
As he drove to tryouts, he got stuck in traffic. He really loved hockey, and he didn’t want to miss his chance.
When he finally arrived, he found his dog. Jack ran to him, and Link cried because his dog was not locked up or dead. When he walked in to tryouts, he said, “I made it just in time for hockey.”
Link got his turn on the ice, and he slipped and fell. A boy named Jeremy helped him up. As Link continued to try out, he got better at skating. He started being good at the goalie position, and the coach told him that he made the team.
“Whew, I’m glad I made it on the team,” said Link. “I’m also glad I’m not cleaning bathrooms!”
“Hey, Link, it turns out I’m going to have an award for you,” said the coach. “MVP!”
“Yes!” said Link.
He went home and saw that his grandma was better.
“Can I play video games now?” he asked.
“No!” his parents exclaimed.