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BMS 8th Grader's Story Wins Chagrin Valley Times Contest!


The Chagrin Valley Times held its first story contest at the end of 2014, bringing in more than 50 entries from authors of all ages from across Northeastern Ohio. According to the paper, the stories included "uplifting biographical slices of life as well as fictional tales. Bruno's Best Day by BMS 8th grader Sarah Litwak touched the hearts of the Chagrin Valley Times editors" and was selected as the winning story. Congratulations Sarah!

Below is a reprint of Sarah's story as published in the December 25th edition of the Chagrin Valley Times:

   It was the day the leaves began to fall, dusting the ground in an amber tipped waltz.
   The sky was always blue on these days. The grass was at its greenest, but the air had a slight nip.
   It was such a contrast to Bruno the dog. He was a shallow gray that blended in so well with the hard walls of the animal shelter.
   Always curled in the shadows, that Bruno.

   So, naturally it took Davey the skater a long while to realize that the pen in the corner was, in fact, occupied. Davey seemed awful – ripped jeans, dyed hair, nose stud kind of awful.
   Why did he keep staring at the eldest dog in the pound?
   Charlene, always all too cheerful, kept asking Davey the same pinching question: “Would you like me to take him out for you?” Her sugar-plum voice slid quite easily off of Davey’s rough exterior. Yet he always answered no, simple enough to understand with no need for an explanation.
   But he kept on staring.
   Bruno hated the curiosity that boiled within him and the curiosity of the boy with the ripped jeans who had not moved.
   Ever so slowly, Bruno got up. He seemingly floated like a leaf, a bit unsteadily in the wind. But he was graceful in his own special way.
   As Bruno approached, a smile escaped onto Davey’s lips for a moment before he quickly tucked it away. Smiles, Davey had decided, are for emergencies only.
   With his black velvet nose, Bruno began to nudge Davey’s gloved hand resting over the wall of the pen. As they touched, Davey looked into Bruno’s deep, heavy eyes. They were eyes that had seen too many friends move on, Davey figured.
   Then Charlene noticed a connection between the two lost souls. With no question, she simply unlocked the pen door, a mere foot from Davey’s hand.
   The only movement between the two was rising and falling chests.
   Bruno the dog wasn’t about to let another moment slip by. He moved first pushing the pen door with his black velvet nose.
   The dog’s steps sparked a reaction in Davey. He pulled a collar out of his backpack. It was the same amber as the leaves performing a ballet right outside. The silver tag on it jingled marking the collar a hand-me-down.
   In no time, Davey the skater walked out of the shelter $120 poorer, but so much richer in another way. He had someone much better than money. Bruno the dog pranced at Davey’s side with a new spirit in his eyes.
   The leaves—plums and reds and golds – danced with excitement around them.
   The sky was seemingly a more brilliant blue and the grass an even deeper green.
   And there was Bruno with his simple amber collar—a circle of love from his new best friend.
   Davey couldn’t stop smiling.


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