Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA)




First Place:

The Mystery Of the Dark Figure

By Peter Roose

Ryan is 14 years old and just moved to the small town of Springville. He’s blond-haired and has lots of freckles. He LOVES the violin, Yu-gi-oh and SunButter sandwiches. Since his family moved, Ryan hasn’t made friends yet, but he’s enjoying playing his violin on summer nights.

One night after practicing, he looked out his open window and saw a figure in the dark. He felt a little creeped out. He decided it must have been a figment of his imagination. The next night, after playing his violin, he saw the same strange person in the dark.

Ryan thought, “Now that’s definitely not a figment of my imagination!”

The next morning … “Ryan, get outside and explore your new neighborhood,” Mom said.

“Okay,” Ryan groaned. He grabbed his skateboard and whipped out the door. While riding along he noticed an old run-down house with peeling paint. The yard had grass knee high. He wondered, “Could I get paid to mow this lawn?”

He knocked on the door. An old lady answered, “Yes?”

“Hello, my name’s Ryan. I just moved into the neighborhood. Does your grass need mowing?” asked Ryan.

“Well, hello there Ryan, I’m Mrs. McGullen. How much do you charge?”

“$30?” said Ryan.

“Sounds great, can you start tomorrow?” asked Mrs. McGullen.

Later that night, the dark figure was lingering outside near the bushes again as Ryan played violin. Ryan finally decided to march outside! “Hey, who are you?” Ryan decided to chase after the dark figure and get some answers! The person slipped away into the shadows. Where could the dark figure have disappeared?

The next day Ryan finished mowing.

“Good, come inside and wait while I get your money,” said Mrs. McGullen. Ryan noticed a picture of an old man playing a violin. Mrs. McGullen handed him $30. Ryan pointed at the picture and asked, “Who’s that?”

“That’s Mr. McGullen, my husband, good violinist. He passed away two years ago. I’d better get going if I’m going to do my 8:00 walk.”

“Well thanks for paying me, bye.” Ryan waved as he rode off on his skateboard.

Riding home Ryan thought of the dark figure and he came up with a plan. When it started to get dark, Ryan put on a classical CD and hid outside. He waited for night. The figure walked right past him. Ryan slowly creeped up from behind and was shocked when he saw it was Mrs. McGullen!

“Why were you listening to me play?” Ryan asked.

“Because I miss my husband’s playing,” Mrs. McGullen gently replied.

“Come inside for water,” insisted Ryan.

Ryan asked, “Do you want to know why I play violin?”

“Oh, yes,” said Mrs. McGullen.

Ryan shared, “The teachers introduced band instruments. People were putting their mouths on the instruments testing them. I didn’t want to play them because I have food allergies and anaphylaxis and I worried people might have had peanuts or milk.  So when we went into the orchestra room I picked the violin. The strings were safe and cool for me.”

We both laughed and Ryan’s mystery of the dark figure was solved.

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