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Paynesville Press - Feb. 5, 2005

Three ninth graders at Paynesville Area High School have become published authors. Ninth graders Kayla Lieser, the daughter of Judy Granzow, Cassey Lund, the daughter of Barb and Lee Lund, and Chris Van Eps, the son of Dennis and Jean Van Eps, all have had short stories published in the 2004 edition of the book, "Anthology of Short Stories by Young Americans."

The trio wrote the stories last year as eighth graders at Paynesville Area Middle School as a class assignment and submitted them for publication as extra credit.

Casey Lund's essay:
It did not start out to be an extraordinary afternoon as Stephanie and Bridget, two best friends since first grade, rode their snowmobiles home from school together. Everything seemed pretty normal, the sun shining (for the first time that week), and it was fairly warm outside. A lot of the snow had melted, but there was still enough for Stephanie and Bridget to ride their brand-new snowmobiles home from school. They were so excited that day, because it was going to be the first time they were allowed to ride their snowmobiles alone. In the past they always had to have one of their parents or Stephanie's older sister, Mary, go with them. Now, they were going to be all by themselves, nobody to watch over them. "Can you believe we're finally going to get to go by ourselves?" said Stephanie excitedly as they headed to last hour.

"Yeah, your sister's okay but this will be great!" added Bridget.

It was almost time to get ready to leave school and head off to their journey, when Tiffany (their friendly but not exactly "friend") came up to them. "Stephanie and Bridget," yelled Tiffany, "do you want to come to my house?" She really hoped they would say yes.

"I'll have to check with my mom," said Stephanie. "I don't think I'll be able to."

"Me neither," said Bridget.

She wanted Stephanie and Bridget to go snowmobiling at her house with her, all day. Stephanie and Bridget were too excited about their journey, by themselves, that they kind of blew Tiffany off. They did not want her to completely wreck one of the most exciting times of their lives.

"I mean come on," said Stephanie, "this is one of those events that you will always remember."

"Two fourteen-year-old girls, heading off on an adventure, what a time it will be!" said Bridget.

It was finally time, the bell had rang. Stephanie and Bridget grabbed all their stuff and headed out. They got on the trail right away and started towards Stephanie's house. The trails were quite rough, so it made the trip very bumpy. Still very excited, they had not really noticed that Bridget forgot her cell phone. Both of their parents told them before they left, to make sure that at least one of them has a cell phone with them. Instead of going back to the school for her phone, they figured they wouldn't need it anyway; all they had to do was pretty much, cross the lake.

On the way home, they saw some rabbits and even a deer. The scenery, around the Paynesville area, was beautiful, it was almost picture perfect.

"There's nothing better than riding snowmobiles in Minnesota with your best friend," said Bridget. They had just about everything, it couldn't get better. Being pretty warm out, the snow had seemed to be melting and getting really sticky. Stephanie and Bridget thought, just for the fun of it, to take a break and make a snowman. It didn't matter how late they got home as long as they were home before it was dark out, and it was still light out when they stopped. All they had to do was cross the lake, Lake Koronis, and they were close enough to it, that they could see it.

As the two girls were making their snowmen, they realized, that, even though it wasn't quite dark out, yet, it would get dark out pretty fast. They then decided they should start heading back to Stephanie's house. The girls started their snowmobiles, and they were off. When the girls finally reached the lake, they were going to have a race to see who could get to Stephanie's fish house, on the other side of the lake, the fastest.

Both of the girls yelled out, at the same time, "On your mark, get set, go!" and the race began.

They were both cruising across the lake. Seeing Stephanie's house, they knew the race was going to be very close. Both going very fast, Bridget was taking the lead, leaving Stephanie right behind her. The fish house was coming up, and Bridget was pretty far ahead of Stephanie, but Stephanie wasn't going to give up. Bridget had got there first, going on the right side of the fish house, and then stopping. Still going full speed, Stephanie was about to reach the fish house, going on the left side of it, the ice had broke. Stephanie's snowmobile and she were both under water.

Being pulled under, below the ice, both Stephanie and Bridget were panicking. Bridget didn't know what to do, she was only fourteen years old, no one taught her these things. By now, Bridget thought her best friend, Stephanie, was dead, and it was all her fault. She was the one who had forgotten the phone, and she was the one who couldn't help her out of the freezing water. It was all her fault, she had killed Stephanie.

Still panicking, not seeing Stephanie anymore, Bridget was screaming for help. All of a sudden, she heard something. It was a snowmobile, it was Tiffany's snowmobile. Tiffany was bored and was just driving around the lake, when she heard someone screaming.

"They were saved," thanked Bridget, "Stephanie wasn't going to die." Tiffany had her cell phone and called for help right away. She had also gone to a water safety class and had learned what to do in cases like this. With both of them there, they were able to find Stephanie and pull her up out of the freezing cold water. Even though they found her and pulled her up, she wasn't breathing. With neither of them knowing CPR, they hadn't saved her quite yet. By the time they had realized that Stephanie wasn't breathing, help had come.

The ambulance, police, and all three of their parents were there. With Stephanie in safety and breathing all on her own (thanks to the paramedics), Bridget was able to tell their parents what had happened. As the ambulance started off to the hospital, with Stephanie in it, everyone else headed there too.

Stephanie had to stay in the hospital, Paynesville Area Health Care System (PAHCS), for a couple of days. As they were all sitting there, in her room, they realized how lucky they were that Tiffany had drove up to see why Bridget was screaming for help. If Tiffany hadn't come, Stephanie would have been dead. They were also thinking of how lucky they were to have each other, right there, for one another. It also show that good friends don't always have to do every little thing together, but that you should still appreciate what they do for you, and still try to be there for one another.

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