First Place – Gina A. (6-8th grade category)

First Place – Gina A. (6-8th grade category)

The Ballad of The Jackal – Gina A.

It has returned. I can feel its dark, lonely presence. Every time I get an idea, or a chance,it eats it away. I’ve never seen its vile face. It hides in the shadows. I’m always uncertain
when it will come. Until it’s too late. That’s when it gets into my head. It over powers
me, stopping me in my tracks.

That day was different.

I felt its coldness. That’s when I knew it was back. I saw eyes. Big revolting brown eyes. Icould already hear its whispers in my head. I tried to block them out. That’s when it allchanged. It stepped out of the shadows. Most of its body had sickening brown fur with ebony on its back. It was a jackal. It seeped into my head. It’s whispers clouded my head, paralyzing me. A thunderous ear piercing scream escaped my mouth. I thought the fight was lost. I prepared for defeat. Then, there was a change in me, a flame lit inside me. I felt a surge ofstrength throughout my body. “Get out of my head!” Tears streaked down my face. I took a deep breath, then another, then another. “No,” I demanded. I felt as though I had taken myfirst breath after drowning. A weight lifted off my chest, an icy chill left my bones. I could see its figure running into the shadows. I felt stronger, I stood a little taller. I knew it wasn’tover. It will be back. Doubt never leaves me.