Piper Prompts Winning Story – Sunsets and Cigarettes


The Highland Piper kicked off our second Piper Prompts writing contest with the prompt “To my younger self.” We received eight submissions from Shorecrest students, which we voted on as a club, before sending out the top three to the whole school for voting. Our winning piece was written by Ana Matea Reed.

If you’re expecting a rudimentary apology letter, I’m sorry to have you crestfallen. For the heartless actions bestowed upon you were not your fault. Consequently, I suppose this is more of a warning, rather than a letter. Bygone-self, I want you to be prepared. You ought to be cautious, untrusting, and affrighted. Those all seem like inadequate feelings. However, horrendous events are to come and I just want you to protect yourself from the sheer horror you are to endure. You will experience undeniable, agonizing devastations, including being seized from your mother’s arms, and never being able to see her or your
siblings again. You’re going to presume it’s the end of the world because your screams will never be reached by befitting people. When you feel so utterly alone and unloved, it’s because you were. Withal, you need to hold on, by virtue great love will come to you. Dispiritedness and disappointment will be prominent in your life, yet it’s not a sign to give in. It’s a gesticulation that you’re strong, for that’s why you’ve been dealt so much pain. Your childhood best friend, your loyal dog, will lose an unforgiving battle with cancer. The pattern of abandonment won’t end there. Your adoptive mom won’t ask about your day, your dad will forget your birthday, and your older brother will despise and torture you for self-pleasure. You will fall into a profound depression, conjecturing why you weren’t worthy of consolation, though I promise it won’t be everlasting. Blood will run, and gruesome scars will materialize, reminding you every day of your trauma. The many homes you live in will be sequences of screaming and hiding. You’re going to stand before a mirror, a bottle of pills in your trembling hand, but you will survive. You always overcome, managing to keep your whimsical soul protected. No matter how devastated the outside of your body becomes, your spirit remains intransigent. You still see the fairest parts of everyone and do all you can to alleviate the distress of others, because even though nobody was there for you, you endeavor that no one will suffer as you have. You’re ever so caring even when the world has done everything in its power to render emotional detachment. Your mental resilience is something remarkable. Your exuberance of inquiry will serve you well. Your body was broken but nobody could graze your heart. Not giving up is going to pay off, owing there will be many nights of endless laughter and love with extraordinary friendships you’ve inaugurated. The world is cruel; notwithstanding, you find light in the darkness. The numerous things you enjoy like reading, exploring, and watching sunsets are worth staying for. I’m tormented to say I’ve neglected some of the bad occurrences in this warning, but the promising things I’ve mentioned are just the beginning. So, past self, I warn you, you’ll have various obstacles that seem insufferable, still, there will be many more blissful moments and euphoric memories, outweighing the tragedy.