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Will Sessler


Realistic Fiction


Just a Dream

“Jackie!” Kat cried, “Jackie wake up!” Jack opened his eyes and looked around, still in his bed and still in his room. He no longer felt sand beneath him. A dream, he thought, just a dream. The sun was shining through his window and his alarm was not going off, so he decides to look at his clock. “9:30!” Jack exclaimed in surprise, “I’m not packed and we’re leaving in a half hour!” He raced to get ready, getting his swim suit on and getting an extra change of clothes.

“I told you, you should've packed last night,” Kat, Jack’s older sister,  said in a snarky voice, walking down the stairs. “Don’t forget to pack your-”

“Water, I know,” Jack interrupted, racing to get a drawstring bag to throw his clothes in. Why did I have to oversleep, of all days over the summer, why the one I actually do something. He ran around his room looking for his water bottle, a ball, and slides. He ran into the white tiled bathroom to comb his messy brown hair. He ran down the oak stairs to fill his water in the gray, granite countered kitchen. Jack turned the water on and ran upstairs to brush his teeth. Finally, he ran to his room but tripped over the pile of dirty clothes outside of the bathroom. He fell and hit his shin on the door frame. “Ow!” Jack yelled. He limped into his room and overturned it looking for his phone. Within three minutes, he noticed it was on his dresser, still charging where he left it the night before.

“Are you okay?” Dad asked, looking in his room. “I heard you scream.”

“Yeah, I’m fine. Just fell into the door frame,” Jack said checking the time on his phone. “We should probably go downstairs, it’s 9:53. You know how strict Mom is with time.”

“OK,” Dad said heading down. Jack followed him with his stuff in his bag and phone and phone charger in his bag. When he got downstairs, he went into the kitchen to turn off the water and grab his water bottle. Jack sat down and took out his slides, put his charger in his bag.

“Geo still coming?” Mom asked, bringing her stuff down too.

“I’ll ask,” Jack said pulling out his phone, and opening messages. He texted his best friend, George under the contact name, Geo-dude. “U still coming?” He typed.

“I can’t, I have baseball game.” Geo responded. “Sorry.”

“Oh, OK,” Jack texted back. He ran outside and to the garage. “Geo can’t come,” His voice cracked with sadness, hoping his mom couldn’t tell.

Jack ran back inside and grabbed his stuff. Then, he ran upstairs, and grabbed his ear buds.  Jack ran back to the car and prepped for the two-hour long car ride. Getting his music ready, plugging in his charger, and getting comfortable in the backseat.

About two and a half hours later, Jack closed out of his favorite game and checked the time, It was 12:37. We’ll be there soon, he thought. Some six minutes later, they pulled into the entrance of Warren Dunes State Park. At the entrance they payed for the day and drove up and down the crooked road to the parking lot. By then Jack turned off his music and unplugged his earbuds.

“Did you see the sign, 60 degrees today. Coldest one yet,” Dad commented.

“Wow,” Jack said, “Hey mom, could I go exploring this year? You said I could go alone next year, last year,” Jack asked nervously but with a bit of confidence.

“Not alone, but Kat can go with you,” Mom compromised.

“What about me, don’t I have a say in this?” Kat said, headphones still in. “I’ll go, but not far.”

“OK,” Jack said, plotting something to get to go alone.

“We’re here. Help unload the car,” Dad said, but Jack took off. Dropping his stuff and leaving his phone in the car. He full sprinted from the car to the water, and went five feet out and hit the water hard. Walking back to the car to get his stuff, Kat said that they got his stuff already.

“Oh, anything else to get?” Jack asked Kat on his way to the car.

“No, we got it all,” Kat said, “go ask Mom for help.” Jack ran to the place where his mom was setting up.

“Need help setting up?” Jack requested, now panting.

“We’re good,” Mom responded. “Why are you so wet?”

“I jumped in,” Jack stated proudly.

While his parents finished setting up, Jack spent most of his time on the sandy with a few sticks and logs strewn about the beach because the water was so cold, only waiting to put his master plan into action.

Around two hours later, Jack asked Kat if she wanted to go exploring. She agreed and let Mom know that they were leaving. Jack picked his water bottle up which was now half full. It would have to last him the entire trip.

“Bet I can beat you to the top,” Jack said in a cocky voice. They reached the base of the first hill.

“Bet,” Kat challenged, “One dollar.”

“OK, I’ll let you count off,” Jack said taking his slides off. He held one in each hand and his water bottle in his right hand. He took a sip.

“Alright, Three! Two! One! GO!” Kat yelled taking up the mountain. Jack was right behind her, the sand his burning his feet. He pulled ahead and went in front of her. He was kicking sand in her face, or so he thought. She was right behind him and pushed him to the side. He rolled down but wouldn’t go down alone. He grabbed her foot and pulled her down. Jack got to the log Kat had tried to get to. He jumped off and the old log went tumbling down. Jack made it to the top of the hill. He walked over to the tree were his family always watches the sunset. Kat trekked to the tree after she got up Jack was sitting on and she went to the other side of the trunk.

“When do you want to head back down?” Jack asked drinking his water and catching his breath. It was almost empty. There was sand all over him so he tried to brush some of it off.

“Whenever,” Kat said, running her fingers through her long brown hair to get the sand out. “How ‘bout when you finish your water?”

“Sounds perfect,” to juke her and jump down the other side of the dune. Jack said and finished with his thought. He knew it would work, he just needed to find the right time.

What is he plotting, better not be something dumb, Kat thought looking at him with suspicion.

Jack gulped down his water, and got off the tree. Kat followed, and started to walk down the hill. That’s when Jack started running toward the back of the hill. He jumped off the edge and made it to about halfway to the bottom. After he made it down, he ran up a shorter dune.

“Come back or I’m telling!” Kat threatened. Jack made it to the top in less than a minute.

“You think I care!” Jack yelled back. Jack dabbed and jumped down the other side of that hill too.

Why is my brother so dumb? Can’t he just listen sometimes, Kat thought as she jumped down the front of the main dune. She ran back to the tent her parents set up. Meanwhile, Jack made it past another dune and took in his surroundings. He tried to sip his water but there was none left.

“Oh right, I don’t have any left,” Jack said to himself. “I’m not thirsty so I’ll just keep going.” By then, Kat had reached her parents.

“Where’s Jack?” Dad asked Kat, who was out of breath. She grabbed a sandwich her mom had made the night before from the cooler.

“He ran off,” Kat said, sitting down. “I called after him, but he just dabbed on me and left.”

“Ooh, he is so grounded. Plus he didn’t have much water, so we better go find him,” Mom said standing up. They went from their tent to the base of the first hill but took a shortcut to get around it. When they got around Mom, and Dad just followed Kat and eventually they found a lump of light tan human, almost the same shade of wet sand. In the shaded area of a tree and his water bottle next to him.

“Oh no,” Kat said running over to him, “Jackie, Jackie wake up!” His eyes fluttered but he didn’t wake up. Mom could tell he was alive but really dehydrated. Dad picked him up and carried him to the water. Since he was just dehydrated, they decided to punish him a little. It was Kat’s idea to throw him in the freezing cold lake. “It would be refreshing since it is ninety degrees outside,.” Kat justified.

“How long should we ground him?” Dad asked before she left to get water. They reached the beach area.  

“At least a month, yeah a month is good,.” Mom said heading off in her own direction. When they got to the beach they laid him on the ground. Kat got his arms and Dad picked up his legs. They lifted him with ease and they rocked him back and forth and threw him into the water.

“On three, one, two, three!” Dad shouted. Jack woke up right before they let him go.

“What? AAAAAHHHHH!!” Jack screamed, confused at what was happening in midair. He went out seven feet and hit the water hard. It sounded like the water slapped him on the back.

“Payback for leaving me and making us come find you!” Kat yelled when got up. “Oh yeah, you’re grounded for a month, too,” Jack walked to the shore and took some of Kat’s water. She ran after him but tripped on her bag.

“Ha!” Jack said sipping more water. She got really mad and kept running after him. He managed to screw on the cap, drop the water, and jump back into the lake without her touching him. Kat stormed off to the bathroom, as their parents walked back with some water and iced tea. Jack took some. He felt guilty, and he wanted to apologize, but he couldn’t. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, sorry, sorry. Jack thought over and over until he finally blurted out, “I’m sorry! I regret everything I did! I deserve being thrown into the water and being grounded!” Jack went on and on for five minutes doing random stuff like throwing small stones and kicking sticks.  He burst into tears when he was finished.

“You’re forgiven, but still grounded,” Mom said in a consoling voice. Jack nodded, grabbed a boogie board, and walked to the water in attempt to sit on it. Jack was used to the cold water, so he went all in. He tried over and over again until he got it, only to be knocked over by a small wave. He came back one hour later, opened the cooler and grabbed a sandwich.

“Hey, could you grab my half eaten pb&j?” Kat asked. Jack tossed it to her.

For the next two hours until sunset, Jack was in the water. He was either wading or relaxing or playing catch with his dad. When Jack got out he ate some food. When he finished eating he worked on a sandcastle he started before he left. He placed wet stones on the houses and the main building for decoration. One stone in particular stood out to him, a Petoskey stone, great for a flag. With his sandcastle complete, he grabbed the clothes from his bag and went to change. While on his way there, the sun blinded him and he tripped over a stick and face planted in the sand. Aahh, he thought, then ran to the mini shower to wash the sand off. When he was clean, he went to change. His parents saw him go in and waited to walk back with him.

On their way back Dad pulled out his phone and checked the time. “What time is it?” Jack asked, picking up his bag.

“It’s time, to climb,” Dad answered.

This climb was always the hardest for Jack. It was the largest dune with steep edges and not many logs to sit on. Plus it was the end of the day so everyone was worn out from climbing and playing in the water.

“I’m gonna make it as far as possible in my first burst of energy,” Jack announced, scouting the places to rest. The ground switched from sand to pavement. He threw his stuff to the place he sat on the way there.

“Really,” Kat challenged, “I think that’s dumb. I’m gonna walk all the way up and not rest once.” Quickly the ground changed from pavement to sand and Kat tripped but did not fall. Mom was ahead of them and was already climbing. They looked up and Dad joined them, staring at the beast. It looked larger than before.

“If I make it to the top, full sprint, non-stop, could I get ungrounded?” Jack requested in a cocky voice.

“Not ungrounded but, how ‘bout for a week instead?” Dad compromised.

“Deal!” Jack stated, getting ready to run. “I’m going with my word more than your’s.”

“OK. Ready? Too bad, Three! Two! One! Go!” Dad yelled. Jack took off. Sadly for Kat, she was standing behind him so she got sprayed all over with sand. The stones, sand, and twigs, from beneath him poked him. He went all the way to the top without slowing down, or stopping.

“YESSSS!!” Jack screamed, when he got to the top, “I’m not grounded for a month!” Jack walked over to his side of the tree and climbed, out of breath. Mom got up not much later, but Kat and Dad took a while. When they were done watching, they walked to the car. Jack hopped in the back and closed his eyes, doing what he always does before he goes to bed. What am I grateful for? For all of my family. Even though they tease me all the time, I would still be out there if it weren’t for them. I love them all. Jack dozed off and slept the entire way home.

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