On-Demand Writing- Uniform Prompt

Dust Storm
     My family thought our lives were absolutely perfect. My twelve year old mind
thought so, too, until our Sunday paper arrived. I heard the clunk of the mail slot, and
sprinted to get the first peek of the paper. People on the first page were being
interviewed by frantic news reporters, wanting to know reasons for our year long hot
weather. I thought they were crazy, until they were right.
     Days went by, and the hot temperatures got worse. Hot baths were long gone,
replaced with iced cold water. We had all ate the cold foods we could eat, no more ovens
or fires, if you were rich enough. Our family had a fire, and a pan. We stopped doing
that yesterday. I slipped out of my thoughts as my younger sister, Leesh, yelled out
names. "Mom! Dad! Mary! Come see this!"
     The yell was far distance, followed by a scream so high pitch, I sprinted outside,
into the woods to find Leesh. Mom and Dad followed, pale with panic and worry. I
smelled my own blood, from all the thorns in our woods. I felt the trickling on my legs,
my bare legs, and arms, lucky my sundress hasn't yet ripped. "Leesh! Leesh - where are
you?" I saw our fallen treehouse, and something a little beyond the trees.
     "Mom, Dad, get Leesh down. I think I see something beyond the trees!" They
opened there mouths to say something, but they were lost for words, as I ran. Tree
branches, sticks, thorn bushes, and stumps were my obsticales. I noticed the animals all
ran the oppisite way, with fear and shock in their faces and eyes. I got to the end, staring
in shock at the terrifying sight in front of me.
     Over the hills, rather then sun and clouds, I saw it. A big, pitch black cloud,
thousands and thousands of feet tall, making any tree look like action figures. It moved
with the wind blowing its way towards me. It came up the last hill, the one I stood on.
The dust cloud swallowed me, and it whipped me in the face, stinging me like needles
piercing every inch of my helpless body. I still sprinted, as fast as my legs could take
me, swallowing the dust in my mouth, nose, and burning eyes. I wheezed, coughed, and
barely breathed. I felt myself suffocating, rembering my name, will myself I would make
it. You can do this Mary, you can get out of this. I opened my mouth to scream, instead
filling myself with gallons of dust in my throat and lungs. I realized I was finally back in
the woods, almost reaching my terrified family. I took huge rock, and wrote with siliva
and dust. My vision blurred and I tripped over tree branches, rocks, and anything in my
way. I tumbled, over my head, crashing on the ground. I felt myself suffocate before my
head hit the rock, never seeing light or dust, as my body shut down.

In    this    on-demand    narrative,    the    writer    tells    the    story    of    a    girl    and    her    family    caught    in    a    dust    storm   
during    the    days    of    the Dust    Bowl.    She    focuses    it    around    the    narrator’s    conflict    with    the    huge    storm.   
The    protagonist/narrator    is    a    girl    who    is    terrified    by    the    storm    as    she    is    caught    up    in    it.
The    writer    organizes    an    event    sequence    that    unfolds    naturally    and    logically,    including    a    bit    of   
effective    foreshadowing    at    the    beginning    of    the    narrative, which    strengthens    the    piece.    The    writer   
uses    minimal    dialogue;    most    of    the    detail    is    provided    through    description.    There    is    a    significant   
amount    of    precise    words    and    phrases,    relevant    descriptive    detail,    and    sensory    language    used    to   
portray    events.    The    narrative    concludes    with    the    narrator    falling    and    losing    consciousness—perhaps   
a    bit    overly    dramatic    for    an    ending    but    reasonable    for    this    grade    level.    Because    the    narrator    is    losing   
consciousness,    she    understandably    cannot    reflect    on    the    experience    (as    the    Standards    require).