Memoir by Skylar Mullins, Gold Key winning essay

My alarm screeched through the dark, startling my brain into waking up. I rolled over looking at the clock, my vision muddled. I intended to go back to sleep, but it hit me. Today is the day! I nearly fell out of bed, so many thoughts ran through my mind! I needed to get dressed, eat, and make a list of what I needed. I still couldn’t believe it! My long years of dreaming was over, I was getting a dog!
I nearly broke my head open running down the stairs so fast! I couldn’t think straight. What should I do first? I tried to focus to see if I was even hungry enough to eat, but the butterfly flutters in my stomach just wouldn’t go away. I finally came to a decision to get dressed first, so I rushed back upstairs. I got dressed in some jeans, boots, and my lucky blue and white striped shirt. I brushed my cloths of any dirt or dust, and make my way to the bathroom. I brushed my teeth and hair, making sure I looked presentable. I pinned back my long bangs, and burst into my parents room. My mom was in the bathroom, doing her makeup. My dad was in the closet pulling a hoodie over his head. Not knowing how to wait, I sat on their bed about to explode. “Sky, can you wake up ET, and Maddie?” My mom asked, I sighed and decided to just shake them awake. They both woke up confused, I had totally forgotten that they didn’t get the news (even though they were on the couch next to us when I convinced our parents). I seemed to bounce off the walls when I told them. They looked dazed as if they were told to clean the dishes five hundred times. I got bored looking at their confused faces so I went back to my mom and asked, “When are we leaving?”
She turned around away from the mirror and replied, “At ten, it’s a hour drive and it starts at eleven thirty.” I took out my phone from my front pocket to check the time, only nine forty five. I ran down stairs and into the garage, there I found my dad sitting at the bench, holding a cigarette. I sat down next to him and start to doodle on the bench.
Smoke laced in his breath he asks me, “What are you going to name the dog?”
“I have no clue!” I answered, miserably. He leaned back in the chair settling his feet in front of him on the workbench. The overwhelming smell wafted over to me.
“Daaad! Put your feet away!” I choked. He chuckled and shoved them in my face. I balled over acting as though I was dying. I then snatched his foul sock and shoved it in his face.
“Ahhh!” he says startled and almost fell out of his chair dying of laughter. I laughed hard until my stomach hurts, then I had to pull myself together. My dad then said, “Oh! I wanted to show you something!” He then pulled up a picture of matchsticks in a plus sign, on his phone.
“You have to make a square, but you can only move one match.” The first thing I noticed is that one side is uneven in the plus sign. Allowing you to move one matchstick to make a tiny square in the middle.
“That’s easy!” I exclaimed, I pointed to the matchstick that has to be moved.
“Dang it!” He turned to me and said, “You are just like me!… Why don’t you get mom and see if she can get it.” I nodded and head back inside to get my mom.
“I don’t understand!” My mom bellowed, for the hundredth time. My dad started to wheeze from laughing so hard. I asked her one more time on how to make the square. My mom began to roll the question in her mind, then she looked at the clock. She gasped and rushed us all to the car! It was ten thirty! I suddenly couldn’t breathe. I may have lost my chance.
We arrived at a small little pet shop on the street corner. I was drowning in my worries. We parked the car, everyone pouring out the side doors of the vehicle. I staggered through the door. I looked around, no one at all! My mom had my same face and went to ask the manager when the puppies arrive. I followed finding a young man in an apron. “Excuse me, Sir. When do the rescue puppies get here?” my mom asked.
The young man thought for a moment and says, “They get here around… one o’clock.” I snatched my phone out of my pocket, checking the time. Eleven thirty! I was going to have to wait about two hours! My patients was about to blow!
“Ugh…” I moaned into the arm of my mom’s coat. We thanked the young man and wandered back to the rest of my family to report the disappointing news. My dad once hearing the news dashed back out the door, carton of cigarettes and lighter in hand. My siblings decided to look around the shop holding cats, lizards, snakes, and other animals. Having nothing else to do, I ran outside to the car and grabbed a large pad of paper. I came back inside, and sat in the room filled with running water and fish.
I had almost finished sketching the pet shop in front of me, adding value and space as best I could to the messy shelves, filled with cards, nylon collars and leashes, pet food and toys. Making sure that the last aisle was uneven than the others like in the real world. I started to get up from my little corner surrounded by fish tanks, knees cracking from sitting on my legs too long. Then I heard a truck outside, and the little bell above the entrance began to rapidly repeat. Then barking started and never ended! Two people rushed by and set up a bunch of tables. “Form a line people!” a lady yelled, then suddenly a large group of people came running! I swiftly got in line and luckily made it third! The puppy pens were quickly set up. I started to get a little nervous about all the competition for the puppies, then my mom found me and it started to fade.
“Quick! Sky, they want young volunteers to help with the puppies! You will be able to get first pick!” I began to sprint to the front where the puppies were. A little old man quickly said to me to just keep the puppies happy and ran off. Then another girl appeared helping me with the puppies. I tried to find a puppy that seemed to like me, but no luck. “Hey I found the runt! Can you hold her?” the girl helping me asked, I came up to her and she handed me a ball of wriggling fluff. “She keeps getting trampled by the other pups!” the girl added. I was filled with love and happiness the moment I laid eyes on the pup. The adorable runt snuggled into my embrace, trusting me with what felt like her life. I suddenly couldn’t take my eyes off her. All I could see was the heart on the top of her head, the speckles of black on her pink little nose, the flaps of her tiny ears, and her rosy colored cheeks.
The spell that seemed to fall over me broke when my family appeared around me repeating, “Is that the one?” I had no words so my only way of answering was to nod, my eyes swelling with tears. My siblings suddenly interested in the new puppy started spewing names. Jenny, Diamond, Elizabeth,and even Mustard. Not one of their names described the little girl. I looked at the pup as if hoping she would speak up and announce her name her self. I then remembered a book series I read. The book had a unique language. I then decided that I wanted to name her in that language to be different from other dogs. Then it hit me, Lunamyrrglotch. The word meaning “little moon miracle”. For short I called her Luna. I told my parents of what I wanted to name her they winced as if it were a nasty name that a bully would use, but in my head it was unique and perfect.
A lady holding a yorkshire terrier pup the size of a teacup started to waddle through the crowd till she reached me and said cheerfully, “Hello! I’m the host, if you’re adopting you can come with me and fill out the papers?” I nodded and followed the nice lady to one of the tables that was set up earlier. She sat down across from me and slid a small package of papers toward me. I cradled the pup in my right arm as I efficiently filled out the papers, the pen trickled out way too much ink that my handwriting was smeared by the slightest touch. Once I finished she pulled me aside to take a picture of me, the pup, and my family. The light flashed making the pup jump a little. The lady then handed us a bag of pills and instructed us on how to give Luna the medication. Then we left the corner store and headed home. The entire ride home, the pup slept in my lap.
When I got I was filled with excitement Luna ran around the couch about a hundred times. I sat down on the kitchen floor watching her in the next room. After about ten minutes of running Luna sat in my lap and fell asleep. Once again I couldn’t help but stare. After five years, five long years, I could stop studying to prove to my parents I needed a dog. I finally found a reason to keep smiling.