Sooke teen wins legion writing award

Marley DeKelver’s short story is called “We Remember”, focuses on war and veterans

Marley DeKelver, 13, took part in the local Sooke Remembrance Day literary contest for her age group, and won at the local level. (Contributed - Royal Canadian Legion)

Marley DeKelver, 13, took part in the local Sooke Remembrance Day literary contest for her age group, and won at the local level. (Contributed - Royal Canadian Legion)

A young Sooke writer hopes her short story will make her peers think about the impacts of conflict around the world.

Marley DeKelver, 13, took part in the Sooke Remembrance Day literary contest for her age group, and won at the local level. She then placed second in the South Vancouver Island Zone competition.

“Kids my age might think war is a thing from the past, then the Ukraine situation surfaces,” she said.

The story charts a conversation between a child and her grandmother, who recounts a story about her own experiences during the Second World War. DeKelver said much of what she knows about the war comes from her grandfather, who is a big supporter of her writing.

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“We Remember” by Marley DeKelver

Maya was at her grandmother’s house. She was sitting on one of her grandmother’s knitted carpets by the fire. Her grandmother sat in her rocking chair by the window looking over her garden. “Grandmother, can you tell me about when you and your sisters were in World War 2?” Maya asked “MAYA! Be mindful asking your grandmother questions like that! She may not feel like remembering today,” her mother exclaimed. As her mother left the room her grandmother looked Maya straight in the eye; “I’ll tell you the story, but if I tell you, you must promise me you’ll tell your kids my story when I’m gone and that my story will be passed on. My hope is that others do not experience what I did.” grandmother said. “I promise!” Maya said, eager to know more. Grandmother began her story.

“Waves of terror rushed through me. My light blue dress was torn at the bottom and was dirty. My skin felt dry, and my hair felt wet and hot at the same time. My sister Hannah was wrapped up in one of the scratchy woolen blankets they gave us. That’s right, I was stuck in the middle of a World War. The second to be exact. I had been taken away from my family – my parents and three sisters. Luckily two of my younger siblings, Hannah and Christiana had been put in the same work camp as me. Unfortunately, my oldest sister, Anne, had been separated from us and taken to a different camp. If I had known any better, I would have lied about my age to go along with her. But this time, that wasn’t the case. I was stuck here. Hannah and I sat waiting for Christiana’s work shift to be done. Hannah sat on my lap, her short blonde hair was knotted, her purple dress was a lot like mine, torn at the bottom and dirty. A bell rang in the distance as Christiana’s work shift was done. Prisoners Walked by many looking like us. I saw her through the crowd. Christiana, her long blonde hair and red dress was all dusty and worn. But she was alright. Christiana was the youngest of us all. I would protect her and

Hannah with my life just like my older sister would have done if she were here. I smiled at Christiana trying to cheer her up, but there is no cheering up in these camps. We stood there for a while, hanging onto hands, enjoying these very few minutes together.” Grandmother paused.

“That’s all?” I asked. “No, there’s much more, but I’ll tell you more another time. All that matters is, did you get the point of my story?” she asked. “Huh?” Maya asked. “The whole point of my story was to tell you that my sisters and I went through very dark times. As long as we had each other, we knew happiness would find us in the end.” Grandmother smiled.

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bailey.moreton@goldstreamgazette.com

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