The Palisadian-Post is running a selection of winning pieces from the 2020 Pacific Palisades Library Association’s Summer Creative Writing Contest, which featured the theme “Surprise Us!” The following piece was penned by Gabriel Kromwyk, who was awarded third place in the Jotters category (grades three and four).
It was a nice summer day in August in Los Angeles and my mom and I were walking to the bank. My mom needed to get some cash.
When we got to the bank my mom told me, “Martin, why don’t you stay outside and play with your new iPhone X.” So I did. My mom says that I am too young to have a phone and won’t buy one for me. But since I save up a lot I bought one even though I’m only ten years old.
Anyway, I was waiting outside when I saw someone leave through the back door and forgot to lock it. Then some masked people came in. The masked people looked like robbers, so I went to tell my mom about them. But when I got to the glass front doors of the bank I saw them pointing guns at the people waiting in the bank and the employees. I felt scared for my mom.
I decided to wait outside because there were too many robbers. So I went to the back to look for their getaway car. There was only one car in the lot and luckily it was unlocked, so I jumped into the trunk. I waited for a few minutes when finally I heard voices outside saying, “We just got a million dollars!” “I know we’re rich!” Then the robbers opened the doors of the car and drove for a while, with me hidden away in the trunk. I don’t know how long they drove for because I fell asleep for a while.
Finally the car stopped and the robbers got out. Suddenly a bright idea came to me. Pulling out my iPhone X, I tried sharing my location with my dad’s best friend, Joe, who is a cop. I waited for a while but the police didn’t come. I looked at my phone and it said “ERROR! NO INTERNET CONNECTION!” I checked my internet connection and sure enough, there was no internet. I did not know what to do, so I came out of the trunk and started looking for the exit but I forgot to check if the robbers were already there in the same room.
I got caught by the robbers. They were very surprised to find a 10 year old boy hopping out of their trunk. Two of them grabbed me and pushed me into a dark room that had no windows and a door a few inches thick. But there was an air vent. The room seemed impossible to escape from, except for that air vent. So that’s what I did. I climbed through the air vent, which was just big enough for a kid my size. When I finally got to the other side I looked through the grill of the air vent into another room and saw the robbers with the money they stole. So I pulled out my iPhone X again and took a video of them with their money. They were saying, “It was so easy to rob that bank! The cops will have no clue who did this and how to find our hide out. But what are we going to do with that kid? What was he doing in the trunk?”
After the robbers finished talking about how easy it was to rob the bank, they moved to another room and turned off the lights. As they were leaving I could hear them arguing about what to do with me. I opened the air vent and jumped out. Then I started to look for an exit. I had no clue where I was, what I was in and where the exit was. Using the flashlight on my iPhone X, I started to look around and noticed something odd. There were no windows! Then I realized that I must be underground, so that means that there must be stairs. It also explained why my internet was not working. So I started to look for stairs and after five minutes of looking I finally found them. I went up the stairs and pushed open a trap door and saw bright sunlight.
I was so happy to be out of that cave. I check my phone and sure enough, there was now a connection. I quickly sent the video to Joe, and dropped a pin of my location from Google maps. It looks like we are somewhere in the mountains behind Malibu. To be sure, I also dial 911, but before someone answers, one of the robbers snatches the phone out of my hand. I have been caught again!
The robber is furious with me. “Who did you speak to!” he demands. “I was just calling McDonalds to order a cheese burger,” I say, “because I am really hungry. You guys didn’t feed me anything.” Deep down I am really scared for my life, but I try to act cool.
The robber looks at me like I am stupid. “You are lying, kid! You don’t fool me. I am taking you back down to the cave, and you will never be getting out of here.”
I try to delay him. So I say, “Okay, if McDonalds is no good, what about an In-N-Out Burger. And no ketchup, please.” The robber looked furious. He didn’t like my attitude. He threw my brand new phone to the ground and stomped on it with his foot. I hoped Joe got my text. The robber pushed me back downstairs, and tied me up. “You can starve down here, you trouble making kid.”
Hours passed by. I started to doubt that anyone would ever find me. Mom and dad must be really worried about me. And then I heard sirens in the distance. I could also hear the robbers shouting and panicking. The cops came bursting through the doors and told the robbers to put their hands up in the air. They were all arrested. Then the cops found me and untied me.
Later that day, I was at the police station, with my mom and dad. The police chief, Chief Carter, called me a hero. He was friends with Joe and they had acted straight away. Thanks to my video, the robbers would end up in jail for a long time. And the best part of all was that the police bought me a new iPhone X.
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