Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA)




Second Place:

The Picnic

By Indygo Tabb

The summer sun beat down on Leia’s head. Sweat ran down her face and made her wheeze. Bugs whined around her ears and settled on her cheeks. Leia swatted at the bugs and took a puff from her inhaler. Her friends Nicole, Matt and Dmitri walked ahead of her.

“Guys… are we almost there?” Leia asked.

It was her friends’ idea to have a picnic at Sullivan Lake. They invited Leia because she rarely came outside due to her asthma. They told her they wanted to include her in the fun.

“Guys …” Leia started.

“Relax. We’re here,” Dmitri said as he playfully bumped into her.

Leia took in the view. The lake glittered and glinted in the sunlight. It was beautiful.

“Whoa,” whispered Leia.

Leia glanced at her friends. Nicole, Leia’s friend since second grade, was admiring the view. Matt was standing casually off to the side. He moved to town a month ago. Dmitri had been Nicole and Leia’s friend for five months. He was looking at Leia and when he caught her eye, he grinned.

“Come on,” Matt said as he walked towards the lake.

They picked the spot where they would have the picnic and settled down to eat.

“Hope you like ham sandwiches,” Nicole said as she passed them out.

“Sure!” blurted Dmitri.

They all laughed and began to eat. Matt looked at Nicole.

“Nicole, these sandwiches are great!” he exclaimed.

Nicole blushed and Dmitri scowled. Matt looked at Dmitri and smiled.

“Time for dessert.” Matt said.

He took bags of cookies from the basket. The bags had each of their names on them.

“I made peanut butter cookies, but there is sugar for you, Nicole,” Matt declared.

Nicole was allergic to peanuts. She carried her epinephrine auto-injector with her wherever, everywhere. They all began to eat. All of a sudden, Nicole started to sputter and choke.

“Can’t…breathe….peanut butter…” Nicole choked.

Her face began to swell and she collapsed onto her side. Everyone began to panic.

“Guys! Calm down,” Leia shouted. “Nicole needs help. Dmitri, get help. Matt, get her epinephrine.”

The boys scrambled to obey. After Matt helped Leia, they waited for Dmitri to come back. They waited for 15 minutes before Matt jumped up.

“It shouldn’t take that long to get help. I’m going to see what is wrong,” Matt sprinted off.

Leia sat in the sand beside Nicole. She was worried. After another long period of waiting, she decided to go after them.

“I’ll be back, Nicole,” she said as she raced toward the tree line.

Leia had hardly entered the cover of trees before she was tackled from the side. Her breath was knocked from her and she began to wheeze. She looked up and saw Dmitri. Matt was lying next to a fallen beehive, covered in bee stings.

“Gotcha,” Dmitri said, maliciously.

Leia fought him off and ran towards town. As she ran, she recognized Dmitri’s jealousy of Matt. She had to get help and her asthma would not get in her way.

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