Oisin Quinlan – Drifting Away
By Oisin Quinlan
Last summer on the 24th of July it was my birthday. I was turning 12. Every year for my birthday I asked if I could go to my cousin’s lake house in Cork, but every year I got the same answer “I’ll take you next year, I promise”. But of course they never did. So this year I made sure that dad organised that me, him, my Uncle Gavin, my cousin Lia and my other cousin Alan all stayed in the lake house for two nights and the mothers went off shopping so they won’t be at us about wearing helmets and all that.
The next day mum got up at 6 o’clock to get our stuff packed because she couldn’t trust us to get the stuff we needed. At 9 o‘clock me and dad got up and had breakfast. At 10 o’clock we hit the road. It took about half an hour to get to the train station.
When we got to the train station dad went inside to get the tickets, but there was no one at the counter so he had to get the tickets out of the machine. Unfortunately dad didn’t know how to operate the machine so he ended up buying seven tickets when he only needed two. When we got on to the train dad needed to unwind after all of that stress, so he listened to music on his iPod and he eventually feel asleep. I too was tried but I was so excited about going to the lake house. I rummaged through the luggage bag and found a Mars bar in one of the pockets in dad’s pants and that kept me going for a while.
When we got to Cork station we saw our cousins waiting for us. I became kind of shy when I saw Lia and she was kind of shy as well because we hadn’t seen each other in over a year and I barely remembered her name. When we sat in the car dad and Gavin were talking and laughing the whole time. Eventually the silence in the back was broken when Lia asked me how I had been. I said I was fine and when I answered her she didn’t stop talking. After about an hour of hearing her life story we arrived at the lake house.
When I stepped outside the car a beam of sunlight shot down on me like a laser. The lake was situated right in front of the house. Gavin promised he would take us out on the boat the next day. At 11 o’clock Gavin said it was time for bed. I was sleeping on a blow-up mattress on the floor in Lia’s room. We talked for a while and fell into a deep sleep. The next morning we had pancakes for breakfast. I had about six because I was starving, and I hadn’t had pancakes in ages. I had chocolate spread on my first pancake and I had honey and sugar on the others.
When we got dressed Lia and I went for a walk. Lia seemed to be very fit because she was walking at about six miles an hour and I was struggling with a pace of a half a mile an hour. For dinner we had steak and chips. Dad bit into his steak and there was a big crunch. Dad screamed in pain, he had broken his tooth on a bone. Gavin brought dad to the dentist and told Alan to look after myself and Lia. Lia suggested playing Monopoly. I agreeed because I was a master at Monopoly. As the game went on I realised that I was losing and that they were playing using totally different rules than I was used to.
Eventually I said I needed some fresh air to unload the build-up of stress. I went down to the lake and sat on the boat that was docked at the edge. I picked up the rope from the boat and tied it onto the pole that was on the dock so that it wouldn’t drift away. I then lay down and fell asleep. When I woke up I found myself in the middle of the lake. It was pitch black and the rain was pouring down. I started screaming for help but there was no reply. I was really angry that they hadn’t come to look for me. Gavin’s car wasn’t outside the house so I figured out that dad was still at the dentist. All the lights in the house were switched off, so that meant lia and Alan were in bed.
I tried to remain calm although that was hard considering that I was in the middle of a lake and it was pouring rain. I noticed that the boat was drifting to the other side of the lake. When the boat struck land I jumped out and then decided that if I wanted to survive I was going to have to walk to the other side of the lake. When I was a quarter way around I came to a stream flowing into the lake. I was ready to just fall down and burst into tears, but I knew that I had to keep going.
I jumped over the wide stream and landed safely. I took a step but my foot went into a hole. I heard a crunching noise coming from my leg. I took my foot out and tried to stand up but my foot couldn’t hold me and I fell and hit my head on a rock. I didn’t have the energy to scream out in pain so I just closed my eyes and let the rain put me to sleep.
When I woke up I was nearly blinded by a bright light shinning in my eyes. I saw my dad, Gavin, Lia and Alan surrounding me in my room in the hospital. There was a cast on my leg and an icepack on my head. When it was time to go home from the hospital Dad called a taxi. I asked him why we weren’t taking the train home and he said it was because it was too long a journey with all the stops, but I knew it was because he didn’t know how to use the machine to get the tickets.
When we got home my dad stopped me just before went in the front door. He told me to make sure I told mum I was wearing a helmet.
By Oisín Quinlan,
6th class, Scoil Iósaif Naofa,