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Barren Lands & Unpredictable Fates

I auditioned to a special performing arts high school for a specific program that focuses on creative writing. I had to put together a 20-page portfolio and write an essay (see below) about what I would bring to a deserted island. Here is what I wrote:

Waves are crashing against the sandy shore; they soak into the cracks between my numb toes, sending chills up my spine. I jolt awake and gasp for breath; look around, take in my surroundings. A dried coconut lies by my head, spewing out a nauseatingly-shaded puddle of milk. I am covered, from head to bare toe, in water…salt water that drips from the brim of my brow down along the coast of my body. My clothes reek of it, the stinging salt that clings to the sodden T-shirt and cutoffs that I had thrown on days before my voyage.  A small green duffel lies at my feet, overflowing with salt water and my belongings. Inside is my Swiss army knife; seeing a nearby palm tree, I begin to climb.
            My days on Clipperton Island are quite eventful; first, I wake up at the crack of dawn and stare at the coast, gauging the daily forecast. I usually swim awhile in the lagoon, careful to watch for the incoming waves. I wring out my clothes from the day before, after a much-needed wash in the Pacific Ocean’s thriving waves. The water is always surprisingly clean and fresh, quite like the tap water I used to drink back in the United States. Thinking of home is never easy; I have been on this island for what I assume has been one week. I only know when the day has ended by staring at the evening stars, long after the sun has hidden behind the glimmering moon. At night, I dance in the moonlight the way I would, had I been back in my loving home. The afternoon is filled with the basics: hunting the island for any food that I can cook over a homemade fire, consisting of wood from some fallen palm trees. Not the best kind, I know, but it’s better than eating tuna fish raw. Also, I like to curl up with my meal against a strong bundle of trees, gazing down wide-eyed at my current favorite stories. Prior to my voyage to Mexico, I packed my three favorite books and three favorite movies. That way, should anything drastic happen along the way, I would be prepared.
            “The Subtle Knife” by Philip Pullman tells the story of Will Perry, who, after killing a man, discovers a portal that leads to the land of CittĂ gazze, to escape the police. As the police struggle to find the young twelve-year-old boy, he meets Lyra, a character first introduced in the previous book. The story follows the allies through this new world as they struggle to understand what lies ahead in their futures. “The Subtle Knife” has been my favorite book since it was given to me by a friend for my tenth birthday. I love the way Will and Lyra are two young kids whose lives have drastically changed and they are forced to grow up fast, even though they are only twelve. It is a modern-day fantasy story that is fun and imaginative, an easy read filled with laughs and terror, and a cliffhanger ending.
            The other two books that I stuffed into my duffel are “Just Listen” by Sarah Dessen and “The Summoning” by Kelley Armstrong. I have read these two books countless times, the two strong female authors drawing me in to the seductive and heart wrenching worlds that they have created. “Just Listen” tells the story of a young girl who was recently ditched by her best friend and now lives a complicated life ostracized by everyone she knows. It is a powerful story about telling the truth and standing by the past to look towards the future. Sarah Dessen is a powerful author that digs deep into the very core of high school and the teen years. This is my favorite book of hers by far. Kelley Armstrong tells a rather peculiar story about Chloe Saunders, a necromancer who can see and talk to dead people. Her power is soon discovered by a reformed secret agency that immediately takes her under its wing. But what are these people trying to shield her from? Can they even be trusted? The first book in my favorite trilogy, “The Summoning” is the original story; therefore I must always keep it with me to bring back memories of the tantalizing tale of sorcery, werewolves, and undead ghosts.
My three favorite movies of all time somehow managed the rocky voyage across the Pacific. I had packed my portable DVD player that miraculously stayed intact, so I’ve been able to view them while I wait to be found. I rifled through my bag and pulled out the DVDs: “A Walk to Remember”, “Letters to Juliet”, and “Despicable Me”. These three movies all have a special meaning to me: for “A Walk to Remember” it is because it was the first Drama/Romance flick that I saw when I turned twelve. I loved the book by Nicholas Sparks and the acting is unbelievable (in a totally believable way). The film tells the romantic yet complicated story of two people who have known each other their entire lives and never thought that they would officially meet, until the fates bring them together and they have no choice but to go along for the ride. “Letters to Juliet” is a funny romantic comedy about a young woman whose biggest dream is to be a journalist. She and her boyfriend venture to Verona, Italy where Romeo first met Juliet. This hilarious film takes a new twist on the classic love story that will have all of the young women of America flocking to Verona. I love it because it shows you how simple and fun it can be to find something completely unexpected and how hard it can be to never let it go. “Despicable Me” is my little sister’s new favorite movie that is about a man who wants to be known as the “World’s Greatest Villain”. But when he must adopt three little girls to fill in the next part of his plan to steal the moon, he soon realizes that he may have everything he needs within these little girls.
The sun began to set slowly, flashing its rays one by one against the tip of Clipperton Rock. Light caught me in its grasp and suddenly I was glowing. Spreading my arms out wide, I tilt my head back and closed my eyes. After awhile, the sunshine eventually died away and all I was left with was the moon…and the darkness…and the night calls of the many species of wildlife that inhabited Clipperton Island. My island, I reminded myself. This is now my island and this is where I shall remain. I know that no one would be coming to rescue me, at least not for awhile. There is no point in anxiously awaiting something that may or may not come and find me. So, instead of sitting crossed-legged in front of the crashing mini waves, I lay back against the warm sand and allowed the light evening breeze to massage my temples. This is home. My home.