La Tempête D'Estaing – (The Storm Of Estaing)
Rachel French, Grade 8
The pleasant sound of vibrant autumn leaves crunching beneath Camille’s feet brought a soft smile to her lips. Ducking under a large cobblestone archway, she entered in the midst of a busy little village. The sweet aroma of vivacious flowers blooming from large pots dotting here and there made her smile grow. The streets were surrounded by towering fiery-coloured trees which sprinkled loose leaves amongst the bustling villagers below.
As a homeless little French girl who traveled far and wide across France to find a suitable home, Estaing was by far her favourite place. She weaved through the thick crowd of people dressed in posh, crisp suits and delicate dresses, feeling a little drab in her battered brown coat and worn-out boots. She wondered through every corner of the village, fascinated by every intricate feature. By evening, her feet had started to blister and every muscle in her legs ached. Stumbling out of the cobblestone archway, she began her way back home in one long, agonizing trek.
By the time she had reached back home – a small hut made of large sticks and wood by the hills, on the outskirts of Estaing - the sky had darkened, leaving only a small trail of light. Exhausted, Camille toppled into the small entrance and curled up in the bundle of blankets by the corner. Yawning widely, she peered through a thin gap between the sticks and was shocked to see large tufts of purple-grey clouds skating across the sky. Sparks of lightning flitted here and there, as if warning the little French village that a severe storm is on its way. Shrugging, Camille buried herself in the blankets and drifted off to sleep.
‘CRACK! BANG!’ Camille sat bolt upright. She felt something cold and wet trickle on her hand. Looking down, she saw that the rain had leaked through the gaps of her hut and was now flooding inside. Throwing her blankets off her, she quickly crawled across to the entrance and stuck her head out. It was as if a colossal bucket was continuously dumping water onto the land. Squinting her eyes, she suddenly spotted a miniature, dark figure scurrying between two tall pine trees in the distance. Straining her ears, she could just hear the sound of faint yapping. Camille felt her chest seize up. Immediately, she grabbed her coat, draped it across her head and leapt into the storm. She raced across the grass, feeling her feet squelch beneath her. Reaching the two pine trees she crouched down and saw that it was a young French bulldog. After a couple of minutes of coaxing, the little dog finally came close enough so that she could scoop it up and dash back to her hut.
“Hello you,” Camille quietly said. “You’re very young to go out adventuring aren’t you? I think it’s best for you to stay with me.” The young bulldog nuzzled her as if agreeing. Camille grinned. “I’ve got a perfect name for you; Astor – God of thunder!”