WINNER
Lower Secondary (Yr 7 – Yr 9)

On Top of the World
Tayla Basso

One thing I have always loved is heights. The adrenaline rush, the feeling of being on top of the world. I love flying on planes, so much I want to be an aviator. This little ledge looks like a piece of cake. Nothing compared to the heights planes are at. I harness myself up, tightening the straps. I sit down the bottom of the tower, watching all my fellow mates stand on top of the window. I watch Amber closely, she completes everything perfectly and comes down with a smile plastered over her face. “Your turn!” She laughs, handing over the helmet. “Was it safe?” I say cautiously. “You will be fine,”. I look up from the inside of the tower, and realise how many ladders I am going to have to climb up. I sigh and begin the treacherous journey up. Climbing up all the ladders, only to be going back down them again very soon. At the end of each ladder, I tighten my harness for security, but as I trudge up every beam, I whine in pain as the harness pulls tight on my body.

I make it to the top and find Benny waiting there for me. I must have taken forever to climb up all the ladders. He smiles at me as he hooks my harness onto a rope. I turn around and see how high I am. I look below at my friends, so far down I feel I am looking at them from the moon. I stare out into the open distance and start to feel my heart thumping like a herd of elephants. My head begins to throb and my breathing becomes heavy and sharp like a steam train. I step out to the ladder, with only a beam of wood holding me up. I step up to the first beam and take my foot away from the wood. I step up again and again until I reach the tiny ledge. I swing my foot up onto it then pull my other foot up to it. I rise up to stand fully straight on the ledge with my hands glued to the warm metal pole.

I take one quick look down and freak out. I close my eyes immediately and keep the shut tight. I zone into my own world, like no-one is around and everything goes quiet. I stand in silence, shaking as I hold on for dear life. The quiet is so violent, and I am forced to deal with my fear. There is no distraction to mask what is really happening, how high I really am. I open my eyes and look down at my peers again. They watch me, their eyes choking me. The world begins to sway and my hands go clammy with sweat. Heat rises through my body and my sight goes misty. I close my eyes again, my hands tight around the pole. I let all my thoughts flow around my mind but block them out instantly again as the instructor begins talking to me, taking my mind off my fear. I won’t let one tiny fear stop me. I grasp onto the sweaty pole with a strong grip and lean back. I take one last sharp breath, and let go.

I fling my arms out and courage drowns my butterflies. My body becomes solid and everything comes into place. I am on top of the world, soaring through the sky. I imagine myself as God, looking over the land and everyone amongst it. I spin my head to look out over the faded green country. I can see bursts of darker greens, which I make out to be trees. I stare up at the sky, swarming myself in its depths. The wind whips through my hair, making the beam clank. I fling my hands back onto the pole as the sound of banging echoes around me. I stretch my hands back out again and keep watching over the world. I can see the whole campsite, where I am sleeping tonight, where I am having dinner. I can even see all the other groups, engrossed in their own activities. I look down at my peers, cheering for me and waving. I wave down at them, my smile so bright I am sure they can see my teeth from here. Birds flutter past, twittering with the luxury of the ability to fly whenever they want, wherever they want. Clouds bob around the sky, splashing the blue depths with grey puffs. I look behind me and watch someone float down the wall, and another person jump off the side of the tower. We are all mad, taking risks like these. I notice that we all have something in common. We all have a harness. Instantly the thought brings my mind back to the rubbing and pulling. My harness is so tight it feels like it is cutting my circulation, but I know without it, the camp would end in a very unpleasant way.

My heart breaks when my time finishes and I have to return to the grounds of the world. I take one last glance around me, taking a screenshot of the world. I climb down the blue ladder, and Benny gives me a high-five. I begin the long terrible journey down the ladders but keep replaying those few special moments in my head. Standing out in the complete open by myself like that just makes me want to learn to fly even more. If I could be up in the sky whenever, that would be a dream come true. I am so proud of myself, standing 22 metres up in the sky. I get to the bottom of the tower, and everyone congratulates me. I look back up at the ledge, and the will to do it again kills me. If it is the last thing I do, I will be back at the Summit ready to take on the challenge again.

3 Comments
  1. Wow that was so exciting. Your excellent use of words made me feel like it was me experiencing this adventure.

    You show a lot of potential and I look forward to your next story.

    Well done Tayla

    Nanna Rita. ????????????

  2. WELL DONE TAY WE LOVED IT,GREAT STORY
    NONNO AUNTIE MARTHA

  3. Well done, Tayla. Well deserved recognition!

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