Anna Myers is excited to share these entries in her historical fiction writing contest. Teachers attending the 2015 Encyclomedia event in Oklahoma City were encouraged to have their students write pieces of original historical fiction and then to select the best entries to submit for the contest. From the entries below, a winner was selected by a drawing to receive a free school visit by Anna! Congratulations to Dale Schools on winning the drawing and to all the teachers and students who submitted these wonderful entries!
By Aiyann, 2nd Grade, Dale Elementary
May 18, 1980
Early morning breakfast in my cabin the smell of blueberry muffins woke me up. I
stretched and yawned. I put on my red t-shirt, my hiking shorts, and my boots. I opened my
backpack, put in a water bottle, an energy bar, and a compass. I walked to the kitchen and sat
down at the smooth brown table.
Lauren said, “Good morning, Scottlyn.”
“Good morning to you too,” I said. Lauren is my counselor.
“Glad we’re up early. We’ve got to get a good start,” Lauren reminded me of our hike to
Mount St. Helens.
I ate two helpings of muffins and juice. After I ate, I went outside and met my friend.
Her name is Destiny. I took a look at the towering mountain overhead. It seemed calm and still.
Reports in March said there might be some movement.
Destiny said, “We should catch up with the troop.”
We went to the basketball court and sure enough the whole troop was there waiting for
us. We sat down and began to work on a craft before we left on our hike. We took three pipe
cleaners and a bottle of glue and colored fabric and three small pom-poms.
I was almost done with my craft when I look up at the mountain. I saw the strangest
thing coming out of it. SMOKE! At first I thought it was just my imagination. But then, I
realized it was real. The sky got darker and darker until, finally, the clouds were so thick you
couldn’t see tree tops. I finally made out the shape of the mountain. Just then I heard a low
rumbling sound. I realized it was the volcanic mountain erupting!
I quickly reached into my backpack and pulled out the energy bar. I wanted to have
energy for the run. I stood up from where I was sitting and noticed something. The volcano was
spewing out orange-red colored lava! I took off running towards the cabin and looked back. The
whole troop was running after me eager to run away from the monstrosity.
I ran into Cabin 10. The troop went in too. We stuffed everything into our bags. When
we were finished Destiny cried, “We should all make a run for it if we want to stay alive!”
We poured out of the cabin. We ran through the trees. We ran for so long that we had to
stop running. Then I noticed something in the distance. It was another campground by Lone Fir
Resort. I saw campers. I went over to a man and asked if we could stay. Luckily he said yes.
We all settled down in a cabin and waited for news about when we could get home.
Destiny was concerned about her Uncle Harry Truman. He lived at the foot of Mount St.
Helens. She was sure he would never leave his lodge he built with his wife Edna.
Later that evening, the Forest Rangers came and took us to our parents. I felt so fortunate
to see my parents again I just cried with joy.
I learned that 57 people died in the eruption. Sadly, one of those was Destiny’s uncle,
This will be a day I will never forget as long as I live!
By Alissa, Durant High School
April 22, 1889
At 11:30, my family and I stood at the edge of the boundary line between Indian Territory, or
Oklahoma, and Kansas. We stood among hundreds of impatient people waiting anxiously for
high noon to arrive. From near and far, thousands of people from practically every state in the
nation camped just outside the boundary lines, just like us, waiting for their chance to gain 160
acres of land. Most of the people have been here for several days so that they could be one of the
first to cross the boundary. People brought with them buggies, carts, and wagons that held their
families. While others were mounted on horses, big wheeled bicycles, or simply standing
barefoot. We had a wooden wagon pulled by my favorite painted horse, Penny, who was the
fastest horse in our town. My father’s main concern wasn’t about whether she was fast enough;
he was worried about how she would react to the people around us when the army bugles would
One day, father told me about a new group, called the Boomers, who promoted the idea
of homesteading in Indian Territory. He explained to me that most of the men agreed that the
government should give the Indians an allotment of land, or a homestead, and open the rest of
Indian Territory to settlement.
“Do you think this is a good idea, Papa?” I asked him.
“I’m not sure yet, Kailyn. Some cattlemen are opposed to opening Indian Territory
because they fear they are going to lose their grazing rights for their cattle. Missionaries, Indian
agents, and Eastern Church folks are saying that by doing this, we are mistreating the Indians.
And of course the Indians are afraid of forced off their land again. But Buffalo hunters, drifters,
whiskey peddlers, other people who wander in and out of the territory say that we need to make
use of the natural wealth of Oklahoma.” Father replied, pondering out loud.
A couple of weeks later, President Harrison issued his famous proclamation on March
23, 1889, stating that at high noon, April 22, Oklahoma would open for settlement. This was
announced as the Homestead Act. The Homestead Act permitted a man or an unmarried woman
who was at least twenty-one years-old, or a person who was the head of the family, to occupy a
quarter section, or 160 acres of public land. The person must live continuously on the land for 5
years and improve it, plus a twenty-one dollar fee that would be paid at the government land
office. By simply being the first person to drive a stake into any one of the quarter sections that
had been marked off, a settler won the right to homestead 160 acres of land.
Finally the clocks struck high noon, Rifles and army bugles rang out up and down the
boundary line. The race was on! Father yanked hard on the reins and Penny, our horse, raced
forward so fast I stumbled and tripped over a blanket in the wagon and flew out. I screamed as I
fell but father was so excited that he didn’t notice the moment that he was the only one in the
wagon. I landed on the hard ground headfirst and got a mouthful of gritty dirt and clumps of
grass. I shot up and started sprinting after our wagon that had grown into a smaller version
speeding further and further away. Luckily for me, Papa arrived first to a quarter section and
staked his claim on the land. He saw me rush toward him, panting, gathered me in a hug, and
apologized when I told him that I fell out of the wagon.
The officials came and rewarded us with the land after checking that we did not break the
law by entering the territory early. We built a farm on the land and lived happily together for
By Tanner, Durrant High School
September 15, 1963
This morning was just like any other Sunday morning; I woke up to the smell of biscuits
and gravy that my momma makes me. The smell could possibly be the most amazing smell I can
ever be trapped in. She told me to hurry and get dressed before they were done so I did and went
to eat so we could head to Sunday morning church. It was my momma, dad, my older sister, and
I in the car heading to church while we are all singing our favorite songs and having a good time
like we always do on Sunday mornings. Then just when we started singing, “Surfing in the
U.S.A” one of the Beach Boys new songs when all of a sudden there was a ginormous ear
exploding noise and our car shook.
It was 10:22 a.m. when we felt the bomb go off. Dad pulled over and I remember asking
repeatedly, “Daddy what was that?” We looked all around and then we found smoke rising up
from a few streets down so Dad started the car and we took off to figure out what it was.
The moment I saw the Church on 16th street my heart froze. “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh,”
my mom was whispering over and over. We parked and we got out even when Mom and Dad
told us to stay in the car and we started running to see what we could do to help. Of course we
had heard so many voices at once but everything in you starts to feel chills when you realize you
weren’t hearing voices, you were hearing every person on the block crying.
“Have you seen my boy? Have you seen my baby boy?” many Negro mothers were
asking. My dad went to help look through the big pile of rubble to find any signs of life. Some of
the white people saw him doing this and he was mocked for caring for the Negros. I don’t
understand why there is such hatred towards them.
So far today we have found four African American girls dead. They are still looking
through the rubble tonight as I write this. I have heard of the Ku Klux Klan and I wonder if they
had anything to do with the bombing. I hope that whoever did it will found and have to pay for
what they did to those girls. Many of my friends hate African Americans, and I think that they
only hate them because that their parents do. It doesn’t matter what race anyone is, no innocent
person deserves to be put through that.
Tonight my dad stayed at the bombing site to see if there was any way he could help. My
sister, mother, and I sat in the living room singing songs to keep us from going over the edge
with the sadness. “Mother, why do people do this?” I asked.
“I don’t know baby, I don’t know,” was all she replied with.
The time that my dad got back home it was around midnight. “We only found four dead,”
as he whispered to my mom quietly but just load enough for me to hear, “there were many hurt
but they all should recover fine.” We all were exhausted so I came in here to my room.
The thought of how the Church on 16th street looked is still embedded in my brain. How
part of the church had collapsed and then all the people running around just hoping to God that
they could find their children and family. I hope that this world full of hate will end soon; four
girls dead should be more than there ever should’ve been.
By Matthew, Durant High School
May 10, 1775
I cannot write long. Ethan Allen, our leader, is going to have us move out again in about
twenty minutes. I am unsure of the following hours. The Green Mountain Boys and I are almost
to Fort Ticonderoga. My best friend Dalton says that we will all surely live, but he has not seen
the size of this fort. I heard there were many more British Militia inside than there were Green
Mountain Boys. There are only 175 of us. The only advantages we have are the sneak attack
before dawn, and our faith that God will protect us. I was issued a top of the line sword last
night, for I have been training with Allen for the past couple months, I have trained hard as to
where can take on at least four men at a time. I had overheard Allen speaking of Dalton
becoming a master marksman. Says he will be allowing Dalton to carry four pistols into battle,
not including his rifle. He is a very respected man. When he was recruited he had already been
able to beat the rifle specialist, not there is no doubt that he can outshoot anyone. I have to go. It
is about time to get up and commence the attack.
May 10, 1775. 1400 hours.
The battle was a success! The ambush in the morning worked according to plan! We had
gotten there before most of the British soldiers were up! Dalton did not even have to fire a single
shot. I did not even pull my sword out once. I stood beside Ethan Allen and make sure that he
made it to the objective safely, which he did. I walked away to use the restroom. On the way, I
was standing over a British soldier when he awoke; I had never seen as much fear in anyone’s
eyes as I did his. I did not want to kill him. I did not want to kill anyone. He lay there in fear,
staring at me, then my sword that was in its scabbard at my side, then back to me. I rolled him
over, used a piece of rope used to take prisoners, and tied his arms behind him, then sat him up.
He looked at me in disbelief of what I was doing, he more than likely thought that I had been
giving him false hope and I would soon end his life. I sat down in front of him and said quietly to
him “We may be enemies, but I do not wish to kill you or anyone, come join us, for we will win
this war, and your life will be spared. If you do not, I will not be able to protect you from the
others. You decide, my friend.” For a moment he sat there, probably wondering why I did not do
what I had been ordered to do. He then spoke in a nervous, soft voice. “I will join you in the war,
let me fight alongside you and your comrades, for you have shown great mercy. I will do what it
takes to protect you, for you spared my life. Thank you.” I then untied him and took him back to
the camp, praying nobody would notice him. God must have been on my side this day, for many
looked at him and I, but took no real interest to us. I took him to where we kept our clothes. We
had a few extras for when we either recruited someone, or when someone’s clothes got too bad
to wear. I tossed him a set of boots, garments, and undergarments and waited outside for him to
change. He is now in my regiment, he looked famished, so I sent him to Allen to get some food.
He should be eating now. Hopefully he is not worried of getting caught. Allen is coming this
way; I will continue to write after he is gone.
May 10, 1775. 1600 hours
Allen says that we have another fort to capture, Crown Point, which is north of Fort
Ticonderoga. We will be heading out in two days. He also said that he likes my new friend, that I
have treated him well. Allen hopes that he and I will fight alongside Allen in the upcoming
battle. We surely will do such that. I am starting to run low on ink, the next shipment of it is not
until next week either, so this will be the last journal letter I write for a while. I hope after this
next attack I will go home to my family, hopefully Mother is okay. I might take my new friend
home with me, since he has nowhere else to go. I have not even asked his name yet. When he
gets back, I surely will do so. I pray for blessings upon the men fighting for this freedom, and my
family, and the future of these new lands. May they be protected by God and may He bless their
lives. Until I write again, Matthew Carter
By Adison, Durrant High School
July 15, 1938
My name is Daniel and I am eleven years old! On Fridays, we have the best meal of the
week. My mother and Erika light the Gabbath candles. And father says the blessing over wine, I
get to drink some! Erika and I help mother make cookies and cakes; we even get to lick the
bowl! I enjoy playing with the kids in my neighborhood, and I love playing with all my friends at
school! After school I enjoy working in our family store, I like getting to see all of the costumers.
On August 15th it was my birthday! I got a bike, a soccer ball, and a diary! Mother and Erika
made me a cake, with my favorite icing! I played with all the children in my neighborhood, and
we had lots of fun!
July 16, 1938
Today when Erika and I went to school, we were sent home. We were told that because
we were Jewish, we could no longer attend public school. When we left we went straight to the
store to tell mother and father about when had happened, but when we got there we didn’t know
what was going on. Some big men with guns were yelling at mother and father, telling them that
because they were Jewish they could no longer run this business. They had the doors boarded up,
and they wouldn’t let anyone inside. We later learned that these men were called Nazi, and they
wanted to rule the world. They thought that Germany was superior to all other countries. One
day, Erika and I were on our way downtown to get ice cream, and we saw something awful. Four
Nazi men were making fun of 2 Jewish men, pulling the hair on their beards, and kicking them to
the ground. I overheard mother and father talking one night, The Nazi men had made father and
Uncle Edward scrub the streets, while everyone watched. I would often stay awake at night,
partly because I was scared that something would happen if I fell asleep. And partly because my
mind wouldn’t stop wondering about what this country has come to.
July 18, 1938
It was 11 o’clock am, we had just finished eating lunch, and we were listing to the radio.
The broadcaster said “The Jews must be drawn out; in this new Germany there will never be
discrimination between the leader and the people, because the leader and the people will be from
the same flesh and blood”. The next day all the Jews were sent to an awful place called the
Ghetto. It was a small 1.4 mile piece of land, where all the Jews in my town were sent. The
Ghetto was a dirty place, and people were always sick. There wasn’t much food or water there
either. Father, mother, Erika, and I had to share a small room with four, tiny beds. Our room had
a small sink, a desk made out of a plank of wood, and our beds. Erika and I had a secret hiding
place in that room, so that when the Nazi came we could hide. And just when we thought it
couldn’t get any worse, it did.
July 20, 1938
Today we were sent to concentration camps, it was even worse than the Ghetto. They
crammed all of us into railroad cars, even when we couldn’t all fit, they kept pushing us in. We
had no idea where we were going we just knew it was going to be worse than the Ghetto, which
was impossible to imagine. When we got there, father and I were separated from mother and
Erika, I missed them. When we go got just past the gate, we were stripped of all of our
belongings, things such as our shoes, and my father’s wedding ring. We were all crammed into
wooden bunks, with no blankets or pillows. We were given a bowl, which was used for
everything from bathing ourselves, to eating soup, and sometimes going to the bathroom. It was
a brutal world we were living in, and nobody understood.
July 22, 1938
Today, I learned that mother and Erika had been murdered. Things have gotten worse, the
Nazi now have people digging their own graves and then shooting them. We have to work very
hard, and barely get any food, this is an awful place. I just want to go home, but we all know that
it’s going to be a while before this is over. We have now been tattooed with numbers, so they can
keep track of how many of us there were. I just couldn’t seem to understand how people could be
December 3rd, 1938
Life in the concentration camp has been very hard. There was a lice outbreak, so they
shaved all of our heads, even the women. If your lice was too bad, you would be killed to stop it
from spreading. Yesterday I was almost killed, they had a mass murder. The Nazi had some
prisoners dig a big hole, then lined them up and shot them into their own graves. Every man from
my bunk house was killed but a few. Father and I were sparred. They said there would be a new
shipment of people in the next day. The Nazi killing more people was hard to imagine.
December 7th, 1938
Today, father and I were saved, and sent back to my town to be free! Read my book to
learn more about my part in the Holocaust.