“[…] The javelin felt weighted in my arms, the back of the iron spear barely touching the tiny blades of grass that held my shifting feet. The field never seemed to end; it seemed longer as beads of sweat drizzled down my face.
“[…] The students before me that had already stuck the landing chanted advice at me, my brain processing their help as nonsense—and in response I bit my lip, hesitating…”
Sixteen-year-old St Charles High student J’Leise Sealey is our eighth shortlisted fictional writer for the inaugural Wired868 Write Start competition. J’Leise was 15 at the time of writing and participates in the 11-15 category entitled ‘The day I met my local hero’:
The sun bore holes into my skin. The clouds drifting apart to reveal a sky that could be clear for miles. The javelin felt weighted in my arms, the back of the iron spear barely touching the tiny blades of grass that held my shifting feet. The field never seemed to end; it seemed longer as beads of sweat drizzled down my face.
Other students had awaited their turn to test the widely misunderstood field, leaving me to adjust my hold. Actively ignoring their jabber.
The students before me that had already stuck the landing chanted advice at me, my brain processing their help as nonsense—and in response I bit my lip, hesitating. It was when the bell rang, I let out a long breath.
Everyone had broken apart from their respective positions, racing to the pipes for a drink of water or heading to the benches for their water bottles. I let the javelin stick leave my hand, my shoulders sagging at the temporary ten-minute break, attempting to lift my feet off the dirt and grass.
I had found myself in the bathroom, nearing the end of break I washed my face, letting the cool water relieve the sun burn I had received, allowing it to soak the neck of my PE uniform. It was then, when I had reached into my pocket for my bottle of water, I heard loud voices—as well as my teachers’ muffled voice from just outside the room.
I uncorked my bottle peeking outside the washroom to hear the conversation better, noticing the assembly of students that had already crowded around her. I filtered into the pack, screwing the bottle cap back on after taking a gulp of water. Miss began to explain something about a special guest after calming down the roars and cheers from the students.
“He was brought here to be a good example for the techniques used in javelin, most of you must know him…”
As she spoke, the office door creaked opened, and a tall dark-skinned man strolled towards us waving his hand. The world was on pause, our mouths were hung open in utter surprise.
“Keshorn Walcott!” Miss finished excitedly.
Screams from the students welcomed him, as our teacher ushered us back on the field. It had seemed like everyone recalled I was next, my friends pushing me forward as I complained to them, finding myself in front of the students that once conversed behind me. Now I wasn’t alone up there, the Olympian gold medallist had picked up the javelin, holding it in a V grip as he turned to me and asked my name.
“Jay,” I responded, trying to remove the awkward shaking from my voice.
He nodded and turned back to the class. “I’m going to use your classmate Jay as an example on how to throw the javelin.”
He then turned to me, bidding me to take the javelin from his hands. When I did my friends cheered, even though it wasn’t encouraging. I settled with the V hold he had done before, seeing as it looked simple enough.
“Positioning—you don’t have to really angle the javelin, try to angle your body instead, and keep your throwing hand, whichever hand you’re comfortable with, at the back of you and as long as possible…”
As he explained, I followed his directions. The tip of the thin iron spear near my head and pointed to the end of the field.
“Now all you have to do, is run forward as you throw the javelin stick…”
I nodded as he finished explaining, biting the inside of my cheek as if it would ease my racing heart. Yet, doing as I was told, I forced down the anxiety, pulling the javelin back.
I began to stride letting the javelin go, the metal flying, after a soft ‘shunk!’ it shoved itself into the dirt. All the way at the end of the field.
I was silent for a moment, before my mouth twitched into a broad smile. The class cheered behind me, my friends raising my hand to give me a high-five as I was paralysed with the surge of joy, that pulsed through my bloodstream. Keshorn applauded me, offering congratulations.
I glanced at Miss taking marks, and I didn’t even want to think about what it could have been if Keshorn wasn’t present. The success felt exhilarating, I turned to Keshorn giving him an earnest ‘thank you’ as my friends pulled me away, the others continuing the line of nervous students.
Truly, Keshorn Walcott was my hero for the day.
Editor’s Note: Wired868 will announce the winners of the inaugural Write Start competition on 13 December 2021. The first place winner will get TT$6,000, a six-month mobile plan from bmobile, and two complimentary movie tickets to CinemaONE.
Click HERE for more information on the Wired868 Write Start prize structure and do share your favourite essays!