Writing Challenge Winner: The Villain, the Traitor, and the Daredevil by Isaac McKinnie

Isaac McKinnie is a twelve-year old writer who participated in the 2022 Seafarer’s Writing Challenge in which he wrote a 5,000 word original short story this summer. Isaac’s sci-fi thriller involves a young motorcyclist participating in a race that takes a drastic and traitorous detour.

Read the full story below!

Roads are dull. There is no other way to describe them. They are just slabs of concrete shaped to make a meaningless line. However, roads are even more mind-numbing when no one is using them. On these occasions it almost hurts to see a sight so boring. Luckily for the road next the small harbor in Winfred, Sasnak, this was hardly ever the case; and today was no exception.  If someone had been counting how many cars had passed through, they would have lost count in the first ten seconds.

Yet, in all the hustle and bustle of this road, one vehicle stood out. It was a motorcycle, a Hoss Boss to be exact. Its black body paint glistened like obsidian in the early afternoon sun. The beautiful Hoss Boss sped down the (still dull) road with the same amount of importance as King Arthur and his own steed would have. The driver was unfortunately neither wearing a helmet nor taking any safety precautions at all. You might say that he was not very smart. If you did, I would commend you for being smarter than him. However, he seemed to prefer riding without any safety measures. Dylan (for that was the name of the motorcycle rider) laughed as the salty sea wind blew back his black hair and lifted the smell of the ocean to his nostrils. After he finished admiring the view, he revved the engine and sped off. As he rode, he decided to take a route he had not taken yet before going to the meeting place. He sped and then took a random turn. This was what excited him about motorcycling the most: the constant adrenaline, the rush of fear when he took a sharp turn, and the idea that anything might happen. He wove his way around the roads until he finally found his way to the meeting place. There it was––an abandoned warehouse. Now, this warehouse might look like any other abandoned warehouse.  But if you went inside and walked through the abandoned warehouse you would find a tear in the wall. If you squeezed through that tear, you would see a small shed. It was there that Dylan met up with his friends.

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What’s Ashley Reading?: Upgrade

Upgrade by Blake Crouch

First line: We found Henrik Soren at a wine bar in the international terminal, thirty minutes from boarding a hyperjet to Tokyo.

Summary: Logan Ramsay is a part of the Gene Protection Agency. He spends his days hunting down scientists and criminals who are using gene technology to enhance or harm the world’s population. However, after a raid that leaves him in intensive care he starts to notice changes to his body and mind. It appears that the explosion at the raid infected him with a gene altering substance that appears to be upgrading his DNA. But the government will not let him continue living as a regular citizen which leads him to make the decision to run for his life.

My Thoughts: Blake Crouch writes a solid story. I do not understand the science behind the plot but the story is always fast moving and thrilling. The story appears to take place in the near future which gives the story a feeling of reality. We have been living through a pandemic and racing to find cures. I can see how easy it would be to rely on science to change humans to survive as the world around us is falling apart. It seems hopeful but Crouch shows that behind every bright spot there is a dark underbelly. As with his other stories I flew through this and cannot wait for his next sci-fi thriller!

FYI: Read his other books if you have not yet. Dark Matter is a book I have recommended many times for its instant action and thrilling plot.