It’s been a great year for the Block Island Yacht Club’s 2022 Creative Writing Contest. This is our seventh year and seven students have submitted stories, the most so far! The contest is open to students in grades 10-12 enrolled at Block Island School. Candidates are required to use a paragraph given to them in advance in their story. Stories are read and rated by three BIYC members. These “judges”, who change every year, do not know who wrote the stories or who the other judges are. First and second place stories are published in Block Island time. The top three contestants also receive a cash prize, $500 for first, $300 for second, and $100 for honorable mention. This year’s competitors were: Campbell Coviello, Rory Crawford, Samantha Hester, Amira Veldman-Wilson, Cally Weber, Chloe Weber and Sofia Williams. We appreciate the hard work they put into writing; they were creative and fun to read. We look forward to next year’s stories!
First prize went to Sofia Williams for her story “The Noble Taino”, second prize went to Cally Weber for her story “Haunted Island” and honorable mention went to Chloe Weber for her story “Storms Wait for No Drunk”. Congratulations to these students.

haunted island

By Cally Weber

Isla de Mona is a small island located 38 nautical miles off the coast of Puerto Rico. There are no inhabitants other than a few biologists, but with permission people are allowed to camp on the island for limited times. Mona is difficult to reach, the sea is often rough, there are no ferries or docks. It has a small airstrip. After getting permission, Al and Sarah decided to sail Icarus, a 23ft sloop, to Mona. Their idea was to camp overnight, take photos of the night sky, and return to Cabo Rojo the next day. Little did they know there was a storm brewing further south in the Caribbean.
Early Monday morning, Al and Sarah began their journey. The breeze was light, perfect for calm and romantic sailing. They filled the cooler with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and water, enough to last a few days, just in case. They made sure to bring a compass and extra camping gear. Leaving Cabo Rojo, Al and Sarah argued over the best way to reach Isla de Mona.
“Sarah, I’m telling you,” Al said. “If we tack here and go a few miles upwind, it’ll be faster.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about, Al,” Sarah insisted. “A close transport will be much more efficient.”
By the time they finally reached an agreement, the sun had already passed the meridian. It meant noon. They broke into their first bags of sandwiches as they discussed their past browsing efforts.
“Do you remember the time we sailed to Isla de Desecheo, that marine reserve?” Sarah asked.
“And we were chased away by these marine biologists, telling us we were ruining their trial,” Al laughed. “Hopefully we don’t end up there.”
After about eight hours of sailing west, they began to worry. No land was in sight. They checked the compass again. Now it was pointing east.
“But we haven’t repositioned for hours?” asks Al.
Sarah grabbed the compass and shook it and to her surprise the screw holding the arrow loosened and fell off.
“Oh no!” exclaimed Sarah, wondering what they were going to do.
Without a compass, they had no navigation. The old sloop was too old to have a working GPS system. They had no idea where they were, or how far they were from land. Maps weren’t useful if they didn’t know where they were. Sarah began to panic, accusing Al.
“It’s all your fault,” she exclaimed.
“Calm down,” Al said cautiously, not wanting to increase his panic.
“How am I supposed to be calm?” asked Sarah. ” We are blocked ! »
Both of their phones had run out of battery, so all they had left were their cameras. They decided the best plan was to keep sailing in hopes of finding Isla de Mona. If they did not reach the island by nightfall, they would gybe and return to Cabo Rojo. The wind began to pick up and the sails began to billow, causing the boat to list. Al slowly softened
the main one to flatten the boat. On the horizon, the clouds began to darken. The ripples on the water meant strong winds were coming. It started raining. Small spits of water first, then large drops. Clouds covered the sun, ruining their last sense of direction.
“Al, look,” Sarah shouted from the bow.
On the horizon, there was a small dot. The outline of a small island cut its way through the clouds. They could make out a few trees and what looked like a small house.
“Mona’s Island!” We found it,” Al exclaimed.
The closer they got to the island, the worse the weather got. It was raining now and the wind was blowing around 35 knots. They would be lucky if Icarus survived the squall. The shore was rocky so it wouldn’t be an easy mooring. They decided the best course of action would be to lower the sails and let the waves push them. It was a risky move, but the right one.
“I’ve got Principal Sarah, you grab the jib,” Al ordered.
They quickly untie the halyards and cast off the sails. The waves pushed them into the island, occasionally hitting one of the jagged rocks that littered the shallow waters. Al winced every time, just imagining the damage done to his beloved Icarus. Finally, they arrived at the shore. They unloaded their bags and anchored in the sand.
“It wasn’t what Isla de Mona looked like in the pictures,” Sarah said in horror.
The beach was littered with bones, bird carcasses and fish. The smell was awful, rotting seaweed and birds. A growl came from behind one of the
small trees in the center of the small island.
“Al, what was that?” Sarah asked with fear in her eyes.
Al decided to investigate, taking some of his camping supplies with him in case he needed a weapon. Sarah watched him disappear into the bushes. It was now dark and still lightly raining. Sarah decided to pitch the tent for shelter. She waited for Al to return and looked at a map, trying to spot where they were. Her eyelids get heavy and she drops the paper map.
“Oh no,” exclaimed Sarah.
She had fallen asleep and Al was nowhere to be found. She unzipped the tent and was blinded by the scorching sun. She started exploring, looking for any trace of Al. After a few hours, Sarah gave up. The island measured about a mile by a half mile. She had searched every square inch, finding nothing but a few sticks and a few scattered boat parts. Sarah decided to make a small fire and ration water and her peanut butter jelly sandwiches. She sat for days, hoping and praying that Al
would come back, but he never did.
Eventually, Sarah ran out of food and water on her little island. She did one last sweep of the island before deciding to return to Cabo Rojo alone. Just as Sarah was pulling the anchor out of the sand, she heard someone scream. She followed the voice to find Al, buried in a rut. He had tripped and landed in a ditch trying to find the
growling creature. He had no memory of what had happened. The only clue being a large scratch on the side of his face. Sarah helped him out and as they turned to walk away, the growling started again. They ran to Icarus and freed her as quickly as they could.
As they walked away, a haunting black creature emerged from the underbrush, warning them never to return.