The iditarod

June 1, 2009
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Cold wind tore at her clothes, stung her eyes and bit at her lungs every time she took a breath. Her parka made from seal and bear fur snuggled her body but felt like a tank top in this weather. She had four pairs of socks on, warmed rocks on her toes and seal fur boots on top but her feet were still frozen. All she wanted to do was give up, fall off the sled and fall asleep in the snow but she grasped the sled even tighter.

The dogs were pulling with all their might, wagging their tails joyfully and panting with all their effort. Onyx, the lead dog, was as black as coal. His eyes sparked with excitement and were the perfect shade of blue like the ocean, Jasmine, the musher or driver, thought. Onyx pulled even harder, living for this exact moment. He thrived in adventure and even though he was a dog, Jasmine knew he loved pulling her sled in the great sled dog race called the Iditarod. Jasmine's nose tickled at the salty aroma of the Alaskan ocean. Unexpectedly she looked down to see cracks form around her sled. The cracking sound of ice breaking rang in her ears. She cried for help but no one was anywhere within 30 miles. She plunged into the icy water along with the sled. She floated to the surface thrashing about and gasping for breath. Her hands skimmed the smooth, slippery ice but could not grasp it. The dogs pulled, their muscles straining with the weight of the sled. Slowly the sled emerged from the water though Jasmine was still in the water. Onyx walked toward Jasmine. He silently came up to her and lowered his head.

Jasmine grasped his collar, holding on to him with the last bit of strength in her body. Slowly the other dogs backed up, pulling Onyx and Jasmine. Jasmine's limp body was dragged onto the ice, out of the harsh, icy water. She was so cold she couldn't even shiver, so cold, she couldn't blink, so cold she laid on the ice for five minutes. Eventually, she crawled back to her sled. The whole time she crawled she hoped with all her heart that her clothes were bundled tight enough so that no water had seeped in. Thankfully they were dry. Pulling on a fresh parka and pants felt cozy and warm after being so cold in the water. She pulled her raven black hair underneath her parka to keep it from freezing in the cold. Quietly she fed and watered all of the dogs, giving Onyx extra. Silently she worked on her igloo, building it brick by brick. She built it with just enough room for her dogs and herself because their body heat would keep each other warm. The light was already gone from the landscape because their was only five hours of daylight every day.

The next morning Jasmine blinked furiously in the complete darkness. Peeling off her blankets she quickly exited the igloo. Stretching her legs and arms in the crisp, cool early morning air she yawned widely. Every breath made clouds in the air around her. Dark copper eyes skimmed over the deserted wasteland covered in snow. Moonlight glittered across the snow, stars danced in the sky. She laughed and the noise erupted onto the tundra, then the dogs started to bark.

Tyeing the dogs to the sled, she hummed to herself quietly. As she climbed onto the back of the sled, she smiled. They were close to the finish line of the Iditarod. The wind blew her hair over her face, enticing her to go forward. Onyx must have felt it too, because at that very second he gave a let's- hurry-up-and-win-this-race kind of bark. Through every breath she took, it bit at her lungs, her sled flew across the ice. She was going to win.





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AmySchaffer said...
Jun. 30, 2009 at 11:00 pm
That is AMAZING, Amelia!!!!
C U in a month!

Love,
Amy
 
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